South Carolina Business Licensing Information for Contractors


south carolina independent contractors

Depending on the value of the work that you wish to do in the state of South Carolina, you will be required to obtain a contractor’s license. To find the licensing procedures, exams and preparations, see the information listed below.

Residential Builders License

The Residential Builders License covers the repair, improvement or the construction of a residential dwelling. If the work is valued between $200.00 and $5,000.00, a license will be required.

Filing an application for the license online can be done at the website for the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. After ten days have passed following the receipt of the application, its status can be checked on the Commission’s portal.

Upon approval, testing can be done for the Business Management and Law Exam and the Residential Builders Exam through PSI Exams. Testing dates and times can be obtained by calling 1-800-733-9267 and you can find a list of the testing locations provided here.

To obtain your residential builders license, you will need a surety bond of $15,000.00, of which you can apply here.

Send the following information through the mail or online to the Residential Builders Commission: a copy of your PSI testing results, a certified check for either $80.00 or $160.00 depending on the length of time the license is active, and a $15,000.00 surety bond in your name as the principal.

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Commercial Contractor Licenses

For any commercial work that exceeds $5,000.00 in value in the state of South Carolina requires you to have a Commercial Contractor’s License. A license is required for contractors performing general and mechanical work, plumbing, electrical and fire protection services in South Carolina.

For information on the licensure requirements for this type of work in the state of South Carolina, refer to the resources provided by the South Carolina Contractor’s Licensing Board.

Business Licensing Information for Electricians

To obtain your license for electrical work, you must pass the Commercial Business and Law Exam along with the trade exam. In addition, you will be required to have at least two years of residential or commercial field experience within the previous five years prior to your application in order to qualify.

Using this license, you will be able to install, alter and repair wiring material and electrical equipment used in the utilization of electrical currents of under 600 volts.

To apply, you must submit documentation proving your experience, information related to your finances, a copy of your exam scores and a fee of $175 for a one year license or $350 for two years.

Applications can be sent to:

Licensing Board for Contractors

P.O. Box 11329

Columbia, SC 29211

Phone: 803-896-4686

Electrical Specialty Contractor License

To obtain a license as an electrical specialty contractor, you must have at least a year’s experience under a Master Electrician or licensed Electrical contractor’s supervision.

In order to become licensed in the state of South Carolina, you need to do the following:

  • Fill out and send a written application.
  • Cover the cost of the $100.00 application fee as required.
  • Show proof on a company letterhead of your experience.
  • Show proof that you’ve passed the PSI exam.
  • Pay the license fee and bond if the work exceeds $5,000.00 in value.

Business Licensing Information for Plumbers

This license type is required for those individuals interested in completing work with regard to residential plumbers. This includes the installation, alteration, repair or replacement of piping and fixtures related to water supply.

Commercial Contractor Licenses

To qualify, you must have two years of commercial work experience along with the group with which you wish to apply:

Group 1: Covers jobs that are $17,500.00 or less in value and applicants with a net worth of $3,500.00.

Group 2: Covers jobs $30,000.00 in value and under and applicants should have a net worth of $6,000.00.

Group 3: Covers jobs $50,000 in value or less and applicants should have a net worth of $10,000.00.

Group 4: Covers jobs of $125,000.00 or under and the applicant must show a net worth of $25,000.00 along with a CPA compiled financial statement.

Group 5: This group has no financial constrains and applicants must show a net worth of over $100,000.00 along with a CPA compiled and audited financial statement.

To qualify, you must first pass the examination and when done, it will be sent to the state licensing board with proof of experience, your financial statement and your passing exam scores.

In order to apply, contact the SC Contractors Licensing Board at 803-896-4686.

For commercial licenses, a fee of $350.00 is required. To schedule a time and date for the examination, contact PSI at 800-733-9267.

Plumbing Specialty Contractor License

In order to obtain a license as a Residential Plumber in the state of South Carolina, you must have at least one year’s worth of experience under the supervision of a Master Plumber or licensed Plumber contractor.

To obtain your license, you must do the following:

Fill out and send a written application.

Submit a certified check, cashier’s check or money order for the application processing fee for the amount of $100.00.

Submit a company letter from your workplace showing proof that you have the required experience.

Pass the examination as provided by PSI.

Pay the license fee and send your PSI test results along with a surety bond if the work’s value exceeds $5,000.00.

Additional Business Licensing Information for All South Carolina Businesses

South Carolina Business and Occupational Licenses

For additional information on licenses, permits and registrations, and how to properly license your business, see the official website for the state of South Carolina.

Business Tax Information

South Carolina Business One Stop

For businesses looking to operate in the state of South Carolina are required to apply for the proper permits and licenses associated with the type of business, if applicable. In order to determine which licenses or registrations are applicable, see the South Carolina Business One Stop website.

General Tax Information and Forms

For tax filing information, the Department of Revenue’s website has a wide range of information on registering your business, filing your business taxes, tax credits and more.

South Carolina Insurance Requirements for Businesses

Get Unemployment Tax Requirements for South Carolina

For businesses that have employees, an unemployment insurance tax is required to be paid depending on if certain conditions are met. If your business has been required to pay taxes under this requirement, you must register with the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.

Find Workers’ Compensation Requirements for South Carolina

For businesses that have employees, Workers’ Comp Insurance is required through a commercial insurance provider or through the Workers’ Comp Insurance Program in the state of South Carolina.

South Carolina New Hire Reporting Requirements for Businesses

Report New Hires in South Carolina

Companies that have employees working for them must report their newly hired employees to the South Carolina New Hire Reporting website within the span of twenty days following the employee’s first day of work.

South Carolina Licensed Contractors

The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation has a section with which you can use to search and verify a contractor’s licensure in the state of South Carolina.