General contractors and subcontractors in Virginia are required to hold a Virginia Class A contractor’s license if they perform or manage construction where either (1) the total value of a single one of their projects or contracts is $120,000 or more, or (2) the total value of the construction undertaken by them in any single 12-month period is $750,000 or more. The consequences of not holding a valid Class A license can be devastating –contractors who are not properly licensed may not be able to enforce their contract rights, including the all-important right to recover money due for work performed under a contract even if the work was completed properly and the contract balance would otherwise be due and owing.
So, how do Virginia contractors obtain and maintain a valid Class A?
Class A licenses are issued by the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (also known as DPOR) and, specifically, by the Virginia Board for Contractors, which is part of DPOR. Anyone desiring a Class A license must file a written application with DPOR on an application form that can be obtained from the Board for Contractors.
Importantly, in order to obtain a Class A, Virginia contractors must name a “designated employee” (DE) who is either a full-time employee of the firm (defined as an employee working at least 30 hours a week) or who is a member of “responsible management” of the firm (defined generally as the officers of a corporation, the managers of an LLC, or the partners of a partnership). In addition, the DE must also pass a Board-administered written examination and either the DE or another member of responsible management must successfully complete a Board-approved course in basic business.
Virginia contractors may also seek to be licensed in one of seven (7) specifically designated “classifications,” as follows: (1) commercial building contractor (CBC); (2) residential building contractor (RBC); (3) electrical contractor (ELE); (4) highway/heavy contractors (H/H); (5) HVAC contractor (HVA); (6) plumbing contractor (PLB); and (7) “specialty” contractor. The Virginia Administrative Code, in regulations generated by DPOR and the Board, defines literally dozens of “specialty” services, everything from asbestos contracting to water well and pump contracting. Google “18 VAC 50-22-30” for a complete list of all Virginia “specialty” contractor services.
For every “classification” or “specialty” service in which a contractor wishes to be licensed, the contractor must name a “qualified individual” (QI) who is a full-time (30 hours a week) employee of the firm and who has a minimum of five (5) years of experience in the classification or specialty for which she or he is to be the QI. In addition, in order to become licensed in some of the “specialty” services there are additional certification requirements – for instance, in order to be licensed in fire sprinkler contracting, a Class A contractor’s QI must have obtained her or his NICET Sprinkler III certification. All such additional certification requirements can be found by googling 18 VAC 50-22-60.
Conveniently, the same person is able to serve as both DE and QI for a single firm.
Importantly, Class A licenses are issued to business entities and not to individuals and are not transferrable. So, if the legal business entity holding the Class A changes its form of organization, the Class A becomes void and the firm will have to apply for a new Class A within 30 days of the change in business entity. For instance, if a contractor which had been a sole proprietorship or partnership incorporates and becomes a Virginia corporation or an LLC, a new Class A must be applied for and obtained.
Finally, any change in a contractor’s DE must be reported to the State Board within 90 days of the change. Any change in a contractor’s QI must be reported to the Board within 45 days of the change.
Maintaining the validity of your Class A is one of the most important business and legal obligations that Virginia contractors have. If you have any question about how to deal with the retirement or termination of either your DE or your QI, or how to react to a change in the corporate organization of your business, please call a member of Hirschler Construction Industry Team.
As president of Hirschler and head of the firm's litigation section, Courtney knows how to lead people and projects to a successful outcome.
Leveraging deep experience in the construction industry, Courtney advises public and ...
Liz combines enthusiasm and diligence to help her clients resolve complex disputes. Whether the dispute is a construction claim, a breach of contract, or a business tort, Liz brings focus and determination to every case. Liz has ...
Kelly’s practice focuses on construction law, commercial and product liability law, with an emphasis on dispute resolution—including mediation, arbitration, jury and bench trials in state and federal court. She routinely ...
Nate fully engages in each case and shoulders his clients’ needs. Communication, efficiency and careful judgment define his practice. In every case, he investigates competing claims to thoroughly understand their strengths ...
A professional engineer (P.E.) and an experienced lawyer, Webb began practicing at Hirschler Fleischer following four years of work as a consulting engineer. His multidisciplinary practice focuses on general business and ...
SubscribeSubscribe to Hirschler by Email
- Have Force Majeure Defenses Based on COVID-19 Been Successful This Year?
- Kelly Bundy and Liz Burneson Publish Article on Joint Employer Status in Construction Executive
- Kelly Bundy Authors Article for ABA Construction Law Forum’s “Under Construction” Series
- Miller Act Notice More Than 90 Days Before A Subcontractor’s Final Day of Work Held Untimely
- Virginia Supreme Court Allows Sub-Sub Material Supplier To Recover Directly From General Contractor For Unpaid Material
- New Virginia Law Can Make General Contractors Liable for Subcontractors' Employee Wages
- OSHA Changes Course on COVID-19 Record-Keeping Requirements
- New OSHA Guidance Suspends Enforcement of Record-Keeping Requirements for COVID-19 Cases in Most Industries
- What the Virginia Temporary Stay at Home Order Means for Your Business
- Ten Tips For Addressing Coronavirus Concerns In Your Workplace
- COVID-19, Coronavirus Outbreak
- Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
- Little Miller Act
- Force Majeure
- Miller Act
- Dispute Resolution
- Government Contracts
- Workforce Development
- Mechanic's Liens
- Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR)
- Department of Labor (DOL)
- Joint Checks
- Unjust Enrichment
- Virginia Employment Commission (VEC)
- Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission
- Uniform Statewide Building Code
- Change Orders
- October 2020
- August 2020
- July 2020
- June 2020
- May 2020
- April 2020
- March 2020
- February 2020
- January 2020
- November 2019
- August 2019
- June 2019
- April 2019
- February 2019
- January 2019
- December 2018
- October 2018
- September 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016