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author RocketCert Staff
date 09.13.2023

Every state has different rules when it comes to licensing for skilled trades. To become a residential contractor in the state of Minnesota, you’ll either have to obtain a residential remodeling license or a residential building contractor license, depending on the scope of your work.

If you’re interested in building residential structures and/or contracting directly with property owners to build or improve residential structures, you’ll need a residential building contractor license — a residential remodeling license only covers remodeling work on existing structures, not new buildings. 

With a building contractor license, the scope of work is more expansive, allowing for a wider range of projects and greater potential earnings. This license is needed for any contractor looking to perform services in two or more skill categories, including:

  • Excavation
  • Masonry and concrete
  • Carpentry
  • Interior finishing
  • Exterior finishing
  • Drywall and plaster
  • Residential roofing
  • General installation specialties

In order to obtain a residential building contractor license from the Construction Codes and Licensing Division of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, you’ll need to meet specific criteria.

Requirements to Obtain Your License

When you apply for a residential building contractor license, there are several steps to take to ensure success. You’ll start by registering your business entity with the Minnesota Secretary of State/Assumed Name Verification, whether you’re a sole proprietor or employed by a larger company.

Companies must designate a qualifying person (QP) to obtain this license, and that person can be an owner, partner, officer, member, or managing employee. A managing employee must be actively engaged in residential contracting work for the company and cannot serve as the QP for another company (unless the two companies share 25% or more ownership).

As part of the application process, you’ll have to disclose business owners, partners, officers, and members, provide proof of insurance and bonding, and submit a completed application, along with fees. The fees will vary based on annual gross revenue. You will also have to pass a state exam.

What’s Included in the Exam?

The Residential Building Contractor Exam is an open-book test that you’ll have four hours to complete. It includes 110 questions pertaining to the following topics:

  • Plans and specifications
  • Energy code
  • Building planning/life safety
  • Sitework
  • Concrete and masonry footings and foundations
  • Carpentry
  • Roofing
  • Exterior finishes
  • Foam plastic insulation
  • Interior finishes
  • Associated issues
  • Job site safety

You must answer a minimum of 70% of the questions correctly to pass. If you do pass, your license will remain valid for two years from the date you pass the exam, after which you will have to renew it.

How to Prepare for the State Exam

The best way to prepare for your exam is with the help of a state-approved program designed for working professionals. You should choose an online course created by expert professionals and educators that offers a convenient, self-paced format and 24/7 access. A no-pass, no-pay policy is a good indicator that you’ve chosen an effective program.

Are you interested in obtaining a residential building contractor license in Minnesota? RocketCert has the exam prep program you need. Contact us today to learn more.