Becoming a general contractor with no experience may seem unfeasible, but it is legally possible, and if you are willing to work hard and have a plan then you can start as a general contractor in a relative short period of time. There are a few provisions that allow you to work as a general contractor by associating with individuals who have the required qualifications.
What Are The Requirements To Become A General Contractor?
There are a couple of requirements to obtain a general contractor license.
- When applying for a general contractor license, you will have to take a test and pass it.
- Most states require that you have a working experience of a specific number of years (generally four) before you can become a general contractor.
- Work for a company that already has a general contractor’s license in place.
How To Become A General Contractor With No Experience?
You don’t necessarily need the required experience to work as a general contractor. Here are a few ways you can become a general contractor with no experience.
Partner With Someone Who Has The Required Experience
If you have no experience of working as a general contractor, consider partnering with someone who has the required experience and is willing to start a contracting business with you. You can form a legal entity, such as an LLC, with the person. They can apply for the test and will have the required experience as well for obtaining a general contractor license.
Make sure that the person is willing to work with you in the field and won’t just be a silent partner. Your primary goal is to become a good general contractor and not just get a license. Consider someone who is good at their work, and whom you know well. It can be a friend or family member. They will be your partner, and their work ethic will impact your company’s reputation.
Find A Person With an RMO License
If you can’t find someone to partner with or your partners don’t have the required experience either, you can consider a person with an RMO license. An RMO or Responsible Managing Officer is a person who may have multiple contractor licenses, also called RMO licenses. The person will allow you to use his or her licenses for your contracting business.
The RMO must hold at least a 20% ownership stake in the company. He or she will ensure that the construction activities undertaken by your company or business adhere to best practices and the rules and regulations of the state. You can work with an RMO until you have the qualified experience for obtaining a general contractor license. RMOs are considered as legal employees of the company they are working with. An RMO can only be associated with up to three contracting businesses in a single year.
Employ An RME License Holder
An alternative to an RMO is an RME. An RME or Responsible Managing Employee is a person like an RMO, but they work for your company. It is not mandatory for them to hold an ownership stake in your company. RMEs have contractor licenses that allow your business to undertake construction work legally without a license. Once you or a person associated with your business has the required experience, you can apply for the license yourself. An RME can’t work with more than three contracting businesses in a single year.
Get a Bachelor’s Degree
Most states require you to have four years of work experience before you can get a general contractor license. However, there are a few states that waive the work experience requirement if you have a relevant Bachelor’s degree. Your degree must be related to construction. The only thing that you have to do is take the test. If you pass the test, you will get your general contractor license.
If you have already enrolled for a degree, and don’t have the time to get the work experience separately, then the waiver will be helpful. If you had previously dropped out of your college and left your degree incomplete, you might consider continuing it if you want a general contractor license. Only continue the degree if it is in a relevant major that will get you the experience waiver.