Requirements for a license for roofing or other construction work vary according to state. Typical requirements include being at least 18 years old, having a high school diploma or GED, proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency, documentation regarding any other occupational licensing the applicant has, and an explanation of any citations, liens or violations received for previous construction work. Many states also require posting of a state license bond as well as securing liability insurance and workers' compensation coverage.
To obtain licensing, the contractor may have to pay an application fee and take a written exam covering construction laws, business organization and trade-specific skills. In some cases, the applicant must provide proof of the financial ability to operate a contracting business. Many states also require proof of on-the-job experience as well as letters of recommendation from previous employers, customers or bankers. All states require registration with the Secretary of State if doing business as a corporation.
Many states do not acknowledge licensing from other states. Without a license, a contractor may be subject to a fine for accepting substantial amounts of construction work. Additionally, an unlicensed contractor may not be able to sue a client for refusal to pay. State projects typically require precertification prior to allowing a contractor to place a bid.