Which contractors must register with the State?
The definition of “construction” is very broad. Carpenters, electricians, plumbers, roofers, painters and many others must register. View a list of the types of work that are included under the definition of “construction”.
Do sub-contractors have to be registered?
Yes. Sub-contractors are not covered under the general contractor's registration.
What if I operate more than one business?
You must register each construction business that has a separate federal identification number.
Can I register online or over the phone?
Yes. Visit the contractor registration public portal to register online.
Why must contractors register?
- To ensure compliance with unemployment insurance laws
- To ensure compliance with workers’ compensation laws
- To ensure payments owed to state agencies by out-of-state contractors are collected
- To make information about contractors available to the general public
How do I get a copy of an application or renewal form?
- Print a copy of the Contractor Registration Application/Renewal Form
- Call 515-242-5871or email Contractor Registration to request a new application or renewal form
What do I do with the completed registration application?
Do all contractors have to pay the annual $50.00 registration fee?
No. A few contractors can register for free. A self-employed contractor who does not pay more than $2,000.00 annually to employ other people in the business and who does not work with or for other contractors may get a free registration. If you believe you may be exempt from the fee, please complete the Fee Exemption Form, have it notarized, and include it with your New Application/Renewal Form.
Do I have to renew my registration number?
Yes. Your registration must be renewed every year. The month before your registration expires, a renewal form will be sent by mail or email. To renew use the New Application/Renewal Form, mark “renewal” and write your current contractor registration number where indicated.
What if the information on my registration changes?
Notify the Iowa Division of Labor in writing if the information on your application changes. Failure to do so may result in penalties.
Will I have the same registration number every year?
Yes. If you renew your registration on time, you will keep the same registration number.
What if I incorporate my business?
If you first applied as a sole proprietor or partnership and then incorporate your business, you must re-apply as a new business and be issued a new contractor registration number.
Is a bond needed to perform construction work in Iowa?
With few exceptions, each contractor with a principal place of business outside of Iowa must file a $25,000.00 bond in order to register. Having a branch office in Iowa does not exempt a contractor from the bonding requirement.
Are out-of-state sub-contractors covered under the general contractor's registration and/or bond?
No. Subcontractors must register and have their own bond.
What kind of bond must I have?
Bonds must be issued on the Iowa Division of Labor Bond Form by a surety company licensed to do business in Iowa.
What is the purpose of the bond?
The bond guarantees that taxes, penalties, and other payments due to the State of Iowa as a result of your work are paid. Only the State of Iowa and its agencies may collect on the bond.
What happens to the bond after I quit working in Iowa?
Your bonding company may send a written request to the Iowa Division of Labor asking that your bond be released.
What are the penalties if I don't comply?
Violators may receive a $500.00 citation for a first violation. A citation up to $5,000.00 may be imposed for a repeat violation.
If I am issued a citation, can I appeal?
Yes. You have 15 working days from the date you receive the citation to file an appeal with the Iowa Division of Labor. The Iowa Employment Appeal Board will set a hearing date. If you receive a citation and promptly correct the violation, you may be eligible for a penalty reduction.
Are there any other requirements for contractors working in Iowa?
Visit the Iowa Department of Revenue for information on Iowa sales/use tax requirements for construction contractors. You may also need to register with the Electrical Division of the State Fire Marshall Bureau as an electrician or with the Iowa Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board as a plumber. You may search for other licensing requirements in Iowa. Contact the city or county government for each project to determine local requirements.
How do I contact the Contractor Registration Program?