Do I Need a Contractor’s License to Paint Houses?

Date Published: 10/24/2020

Written By George Leon

George Leon is a Painting Contractor in Charlotte NC and a Partner at Scalebloom Web Design.

If you’ve decided to start your own painting business, you’ve made a great choice as it can be a very profitable profession. The obvious requirement for it is to have the necessary skills to get the job done right and live up to your clients’ expectations. Needled to say, painting a house is no easy task. There are various risks and hazards you’ll be exposed to when working as a professional painter, not to mention customers these days have higher standards than ever, so they’re not going to be easy to please. 

But there’s more than skills and hazards to think about when running a painting business. You should also be up to date with all the rules and regulations in the field and have the correct licenses so you can perform your job properly. Having everything in order will give you peace of mind and help you start off your business on the right foot. One question you may be asking yourself is “Do I need a contractor’s license to paint houses?” We’ll answer that question below.

Licenses and registrations

A common question in this situation is whether or not one requires a contractor’s license to paint houses. The answer very much depends on your location. Depending on the state in which you want to operate, you may or may not need a contractor’s license for your business. Professional painters are required by law to have a license in over 20 states. However, in some states you’ll only need registration to start working as a professional painter, so you should familiarize yourself with your state’s current regulations in the field to ensure full compliance. 

Generally, contractor’s licenses are harder to acquire and require rigorous exams to prove you have the needed knowledge, skills, working experience, or financial means to run the business. Registering your painting business on the other hand is not as difficult, since you’ll only have to provide some basic information. Nevertheless, you should be aware that you’ll probably have to pay a fee to become a registered contractor. 

Contractor’s license requirements 

If the law in your state requires you to get a contractor’s license for your painting business, there are several steps you’ll have to follow. In most cases, you’ll need to take one or more exams that will test your skills and knowledge on a wide variety of topics (e.g. construction laws and regulations, business management etc.). Passing these exams guarantees you have the necessary know-how and you’re a proficient house painter, capable of undertaking painting projects and completing them successfully. 

Additionally, you may also be required to prove you have the financial resources to set up and run this type of business. This means providing financial statements to give a clear picture of your financial situation. Apart from that, in certain cases you’ll have to bring letters of reference from previous employers, and some states also include background checks in the licensing process. 

As you can see, the list of requirements to become a licensed painter can be quite extensive. That’s why it’s extremely important to conduct extensive research when planning to start a painting business

Related Articles:

Painting Warranty Templates

Painting Warranty Templates

Want to win more jobs by offering your customers a warranty on their paint job? You can download our free painting warranty template here: Download Warranty Template Step 1:  Open the PDF and fill it out with your information just by clicking on the highlighted...

read more
Good Painting Business Names

Good Painting Business Names

Are you looking for a good name for your new painting business? Then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll look at how to get good painting business names that will help you stand out from the crowd and help you win new house painting customers. Should you...

read more
How to Write A Painting Company About Us Page

How to Write A Painting Company About Us Page

At first glance, a painting company about us page might seem like a summary of your painting company — but it serves such a bigger purpose than that! Your about page is a great way for you to convey to prospective customers who you are, why they should...

read more
How to Get Customers for Painting Business

How to Get Customers for Painting Business

Want to attract more customers to your painting business? Here’s how to make your marketing more effective and how to get customers for painting business. Whether you’ve just started your painting business or have been in the industry for some time now, finding...

read more
How to Open a Painting Business

How to Open a Painting Business

Do you want to open a painting business? Maybe you already have experience working for a painting contractor and think you’re ready to head out on your own. Maybe you don’t have experience with the actual painting but think your customer service and business skills...

read more
How Much Does a Painting Contractor Make a Year?

How Much Does a Painting Contractor Make a Year?

A local residential painting contractor can make over $250,000.00 a year in net profit if they serve a typical metro area of two million residents or more. In this article, we’re only going to be talking about residential painting contractors. Commercial painting...

read more
How Many Painting Contractors in the US?

How Many Painting Contractors in the US?

Have you ever decided to paint a room in your house, purchased the paint and supplies, only to come home and look at the room and think to yourself, “Wow, I’m way in over my head”. The idea of doing the paint job yourself might seem nice and cheap, but realistically...

read more
Best Place to Advertise a Painting Business

Best Place to Advertise a Painting Business

A beautiful paint job is what gives a house its character and turns it into an oasis of peace and inspiration. This is why homeowners tend to be very particular about the redecoration process. In a time when inspiration is everywhere, and interior design trends are...

read more
Is Starting a Painting Business a Good Idea?

Is Starting a Painting Business a Good Idea?

As an entrepreneur, you’ve probably asked yourself “is starting a painting business a good idea?” Unlike other industries, the painting business is relatively simple to enter, making it an easy choice when starting your own company. But is this low barrier-to-entry...

read more
How Much Can a Painting Business Make?

How Much Can a Painting Business Make?

Can a painting business be profitable? Well, if you enjoy painting and do it well, you’re in a great position to start a painting business that has the potential to be very profitable. Did you know that the search term “painter near me” is searched for over...

read more
Painting Subcontractor Agreement

Painting Subcontractor Agreement

Hiring subcontractors for your painting business? Set clear expectations and terms with a subcontractor agreement. Use the above download buttons to get a PDF version of either a 1 job agreement or a running agreement to cover multiple jobs for a specific period of time.

read more
5 Ways to Get Google Reviews for Your Painting Company

5 Ways to Get Google Reviews for Your Painting Company

Word of mouth is important to your company’s growth. When you have happy customers, they become your brand advocate and spread the word to everyone they know. But with Google, you can amplify that reach by having your satisfied customers share their experience with everyone searching for a local painting company in your area!

read more
4 Steps to Job Site Photo Management

4 Steps to Job Site Photo Management

When I started my painting company, getting great pictures was my first priority. I was more interested in getting great pictures out of a job than I was in getting profit out of it. Painting services, as with any aesthetic or luxury products, sell through pictures....

read more
How to Set Up a Painting and Decorating Business

How to Set Up a Painting and Decorating Business

The prospect of setting up your own painting business can be as terrifying as it is exciting. Being able to work for yourself and doing something that you love is a dream held by many. But it can be daunting — with a lot of uncertainty and worry attached. This article...

read more
How To Clean Painted Cabinets

How To Clean Painted Cabinets

Instructions for How To Clean Painted Cabinets Download a printable PDF sheet to give to your cabinet painting customers.Download Printable PDFHow to Clean Your Newly Painted Cabinets Prior to cleaning, wipe over your cabinets with a clean and dry cloth to remove...

read more

Get More Tips, Resources, & Documents for Your Painting Business by Subscribing to Our Blog

Don’t worry, we don’t spam. We only send the good stuff.