Licensing Requirements for Michigan-Based Residential Builders

Residential builders and maintenance and alteration (M&A) contractors must be licensed in order to work in the state of Michigan as explained in Article 24 of Public Act 299 of 1980. This requirement applies to all construction professionals who build residential and combination buildings as well as those who regularly complete home repairs, renovations, alterations, additions, subtractions, and other improvements in exchange for monetary compensation. These requirements do not apply to hourly workers or those who are employed by another builder. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) sets licensing standards. These are the current steps Michigan builders need to complete to qualify for a builder's license.

Education Requirements

Before submitting a licensing application, candidates must complete a 60-hour prelicensure education course. These classes are designed to teach new builders how to run a successful business while complying with applicable safety codes and regulations. Some of the subjects presented in these courses include:

  • Business management
  • Providing customer estimates
  • Evaluating job costs
  • Design and building science
  • Contracts and liability
  • Project management
  • Michigan Residential Code review
  • MIOSHA safety standards

Candidates must successfully complete all coursework before submitting an application. Documents proving satisfactory participation must be submitted with the application.

Submit an Application

Licensing applications are available on the LARA website. The application you choose depends on your goals and current occupation. Available application choices include:

  • Applications for those who want to be licensed for residential builder and M&A.
  • New licenses for corporate entities.
  • M&A add-on licenses for those who work in other trades (plumbers, electricians, etc).

Applications can be submitted online or printed and delivered via the US Postal Service. All fees should be submitted with the application, regardless of the delivery method.

Complete Licensing Examination

In order to validate knowledge and abilities, all licensing applicants must complete the builder's license exam. The state of Michigan uses PSI Services LLC, a third-party independent testing firm, to administer and evaluate these tests. The exam consists of two parts. The first contains 50 questions that explore your understanding of the business and legal aspects of building. The second part is 110 questions about residential building. Test takers are notified on-site if they pass or fail the test. Once the state of Michigan receives confirmation of a passing grade, the application process moves forward. 

Michigan builder and M&A licenses expire every 3 years. Renewal applications require proof of continuing education courses.

The stringent demands on new builder's licenses in the state of Michigan are designed to ensure contractors are always up-to-date on the latest safety codes and legal requirements. These standards guarantee that all new residential buildings are secure enough to last a lifetime.