Contractor Licenses Requirements
Iowa law requires contractors to be licensed with the board and also registered with Iowa Workforce Development - Division of Labor. "Contractor" means a person or entity that provides plumbing, mechanical, HVAC, refrigeration, sheet metal or hydronic systems services on a contractual basis and who is paid a predetermined amount under that contract for rendering those services.
To view approved Contractor Licenses in the state of Iowa, please see the list below or on our main homepage.
To apply for a contractor license, please see the application at the bottom of this page or contact the Board office at 1-866-280-1521 to have an application mailed to you. At this time applications for a contractor license cannot be submitted online or renewed online. No paper application fee is charged.
The general requirements for a contractor license are as follows:
Must be at least 18 years old.
Must provide documentation of criminal convictions related to the practice of the profession, which shall include a full explanation from the applicant.
Must file an application and submit appropriate fees.
Must provide the applicant's Iowa Workforce Development Contractor Registration Number.
Must provide the board with evidence that the applicant maintains a permanent place of business.
In addition, an applicant must meet public liability insurance, surety bond and Master of Record requirements as listed below.
Public Liability Insurance Requirement
An applicant must provide the board with evidence of a public liability insurance policy issued by an entity licensed to do business in this state with a minimum coverage amount of $500,000. The certificate provided to the board must identify that the public liability insurance policy shall not be canceled without the entity first giving 10 days written notice to the board.
Sole Proprietor - If the applicant operates the contractor business as a sole proprietorship, the applicant must provide the board with evidence that the applicant personally obtained the policy.
Firm/Legal Entity - If the applicant operates the contractor business as an employee or owner of a legal entity, the applicant must provide the board with evidence that the insurance policy is obtained by the entity and that the insurance covers all plumbing or mechanical work performed by the entity.
Surety Bond Requirement
An applicant must provide the board with evidence of a surety bond issued by an entity licensed to do business in this state in a minimum amount of $5000. The surety bond provided to the board must identify that the surety bond shall not be canceled without the entity first giving 10 days written notice to the board.
"Surety bond" means a performance bond written by an entity licensed to do business in this state which guarantees that a contractor will fully perform the contract and which guarantees against breach of that contract.
The obligee for the bond must be listed as the customers of the principal. It cannot be the state of Iowa or the board. There have been approved that used language such as, “licensee’s Iowa customers” or “Person(s) injured by Principal’s breach of construction contract.” If your bonding agent has questions, please contact our office.
Sole Proprietor - If the applicant operates the contractor business as a sole proprietorship, the applicant must provide the board with evidence that the applicant personally obtained the surety bond.
Firm/ Legal Entity - If the applicant operates the contractor business as an employee or owner of a legal entity, the applicant must provide the board with evidence that the surety bond was obtained by the entity and that the surety bond covers all plumbing or mechanical work performed by the entity.
Master of Record Requirement
“Master of record” means an individual possessing an active master license under Iowa Code chapter 105 who shall be responsible for the proper designing, installing, and repairing of plumbing, mechanical, HVAC-refrigeration, sheet metal, or hydronic systems and who is actively in charge of the plumbing, mechanical, HVAC-refrigeration, sheet metal, or hydronic work of a contractor.
An applicant must provide the board with evidence that the applicant holds an active master license or employs at least one person who holds an active master license issued under Iowa Code chapter 105 for each discipline in which the applicant performs chapter 105-covered work. Without prior board approval, a contractor shall not knowingly utilize a master licensee to meet this requirement if the master licensee is simultaneously associated with another contractor in that discipline.
A master may only be a master of record for one contractor in any particular discipline at any one time, except that a contractor or a master may seek prior board approval to serve as the master of record for more than one contractor in a particular discipline. An individual who possesses master licenses in multiple disciplines may be a master of record for multiple contractors so long as the individual is only a master of record for one contractor in any particular discipline at one time.
Changes to Master of Record
In the event a licensed master of record’s employment with the contractor is terminated, or the master of record otherwise discontinues the master of record’s relationship with the contractor, or the master of record’s master license is lapsed, suspended, revoked, expired, or otherwise invalidated, the contractor may continue to provide plumbing, mechanical, HVAC-refrigeration, or hydronic systems services for a period of up to six months without identifying a new master of record.
To utilize the six-month grace period set forth above, a contractor must notify the board of the contractor’s loss of the master of record within 30 days from the date the master of record is no longer associated with the contractor.
Through June 30, 2017, a contractor must maintain registration as a contractor with the labor commissioner pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 91C. These requirements are separate from the requirement for licensure with the board. For additional information contact Iowa Workforce Development - Division of Labor.
Also please be advised that beginning May 2017, you will be able to apply for/renew your contractor license & Iowa Workforce Development contractor registration on a single, combined form. To facilitate this process, beginning May 2017, you will also be required to include the fee for three year contractor registration in addition to the license fee, proof of workers compensation insurance coverage, proof of unemployment insurance compliance, and, for out-of-state contractors, a bond as described in Iowa Code chapter 91C.
A contractor shall not knowingly allow an apprentice employed by the contractor to perform work covered under Iowa Code chapter 105 without supervision of the apprentice by a master or journeyperson who is also employed by the contractor and who is licensed in the discipline in which the apprentice is performing such work.
Closing Contractor Business/Relinquish License
If your business is closing or has closed and you no longer need a contractor license to provide business services described in Iowa Code chapter 105, you may voluntarily relinquish your license. If you relinquish your contractor license, you may not provide any services for which a contractor license is required. If you determine at a later date that you need a contractor license, you will be required to submit a new application and all required information. The form “Intent to Relinquish Contractor License” must be filled out, signed, and submitted to our office. NOTE: This will not affect any other individual licenses you hold with our office. For example, if you are a licensed master plumber, relinquishing your contractor license does not impact your individual master plumbing license.