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Who needs a license?

Individuals and business that contract directly with homeowners to build or improve residential real estate (a building constructed for habitation by one to four families and detached garages) by offering work in more than one skill area are required to have a residential building contractor or remodeler license. License applicants must designate one individual to serve as a "qualifying person" (QP) regardless of whether the licensee is an individual proprietorship, partnership, LLC or corporation. The QP must take the required exam and fulfill the continuing education requirements for the licensee. Read more about who needs a license.

How do I get a license?

The first step in the licensing process is the pre-license exam. The individual who will act as the QP for the license must pass the exam before a license application can be submitted to DLI. View exam information.

Once your QP passes the exam, they will be assigned a “Q number” which is a registration and not a license - it’s used for tracking the individual’s continuing education (CE) in the future. All QPs must take 14 hours of DLI-approved CE every two years. Of the 14 hours, one hour must relate to the Energy Code and one hour must relate to business management strategies every two years.

With your QP’s Q number, you can now submit a license application. All required application forms must be completed and either uploaded during the online license application process or mailed to or dropped off at DLI’s offices in St. Paul.

Important points

As you complete your license application, please review your submission to ensure the following. Failure to follow all of these instructions will result in significant delay in the processing of your application:

  • Your business filing with the Minnesota Secretary of State is current . Include a copy of your certificate of incorporation or a screen shot of the information on your company from the Secretary of State’s website.

  • Your business name appears on all application forms exactly as it is filed with the Secretary of State (including “Inc.” or “LLC” as appropriate).

  • Your business name and address appear on your certificate of liability insurance exactly as they are filed with the Secretary of State.

  • Signatures must appear as requested on the application documents.

  • Provide a detailed written explanation for any "yes" answers on the background disclosure form.

Other tools

Applications and forms


Contact us at or 651-284-5034.

Please note: We do not accept cash as payment for licenses, inspections, copy requests or other services. Accepted  payments include checks, money orders and electronic payments that can be made through our website.