Do You Need a Licensed Commercial Contractor in Virginia?

We all have heard the stories of contractors messing up a job and bailing—or just fleeing to another, more lucrative job at the last minute. One of the best ways to avoid this is to get a high quality commercial contractor. 

And what’s one of the basic requirements a contractor must meet to be considered a quality partner? Having their commercial contracting license. 

The legalities of a commercial contractor

We’re not a law firm, but we do know a bit around construction and contractor regulations and laws. In Virginia, commercial construction permits are issued only when the project’s contractor is licensed

To be a licensed commercial contractor in Virginia, a company must have:

  • An official business entity, such as an LLC or S-corp
  • A determined class for the license. Each class can only take on construction projects below a class-specific maximum budget. 
  • A chosen speciality. They must also meet any requirements needed for that speciality.
  • All owners, partners, members, and managers of your business, including Qualified Individuals and Designated Employees, identified 
  • A completed pre-licensure course and license application
  • A passing score on 3-4 tests, depending on the type of license

And, before you can take the state-qualifying tests, another person has to recommend you for these tests.

As you can imagine, this is a long, sometimes confusing process to those outside the construction world. All you need to know is that you should find a contractor who has gone through this process–and has the license to prove it. 

Navigate regulations

A licensed contractor understands ADA regulations and other local policies that impact your construction process. Their team and trusted subcontractors can make sure everything is compliant. For example, our licensed team was able to do this for Two Maids and a Mop, who needed to make their space ADA compliant in a short timeframe. 

Deal with local partners

When a contractor is licensed in Virginia, they’re more likely to know local partners and local government processes. This can speed up the permit process and help them find the right subcontractors faster. 

Beyond the permits, it also makes coordinating with local partners easier. For example, our team was able to make sure shoppers at Lynnhaven Mall experienced minimal disruption during our renovation of Adele Diamond. As a local contractor, we had a good relationship with the mall already in place. 

When looking at local contractors in the Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads, and Chesapeake areas, consider these guidelines from the state of Virginia on choosing a contractor.

Build the future, not a future contractor’s invoice

A high quality, licensed contractor’s work lasts for years to come, saving you time and money in the future. After working with a licensed contractor (Carlton Building Services), Norfolk Botanical Gardens found this to be the case. We renovated their butterfly house, but the end result wasn’t as good as before. It was better and built with durable, high quality materials that would last longer and lower the amount of contractor invoices in the future. 

If you want a partner who will build the future of your business with you, consider Carlton Building Services. We specialize in repairs, maintenance, renovations, remodelings and build-outs for a variety of clients in Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach, and Chesapeake areas. We have years of experience handling projects in the retail, office, and healthcare space and would love to work with you on your next project!

To learn more about our services, check out past project highlights or contact Carlton Building Services to see how we can help with your next project. 

JP Carlton

J.P. Carlton

J.P. Carlton is the founder of Carlton Building Services, a Hampton Roads-based construction company.