Business & self-employment

Get a Contractor License

Service overview

A Contractor License is required for any business doing work that:

  • Involves construction, demolition, or repair.
  • Does not require a specialized company license.

Some work requires a specialized license, including:

You don’t need this license if your business only does work on existing one-or-two-family dwellings and does not do work that requires a special trade license. In that case, the company must instead register as a Home Improvement Contractor with the State.

Who

Business owners and their agents can apply for this license.

Requirements

Other licenses and registrations

Insurance

You must provide a Certificate of Insurance that includes these minimum amounts:

  • General liability: $500,000 per occurrence
  • Automobile liability insurance: $300,000
  • Worker’s compensation:
    • $100,000 per accident
    • $100,000 per employee
    • $500,000 policy limit

Safety training

You must identify the supervisors responsible for construction projects. A supervisor can only be employed by one company. They must also show proof of completion of an approved OSHA 30 safety training course taken within five years of application date.

Tax compliance

The contractor must be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes.

Operating requirements

The contractor must follow the contractor requirements.

Where and when

Online

Use the eCLIPSE system.

In person

Permit and License Center
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
MSB, Public Service Concourse
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Office hours: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Office closes at noon on the last Wednesday of each month.

Cost

License fee
$100

A non-refundable application fee of $20 is applied to the license fee. The balance of the license fee is due upon application approval.

Renewal fee
$100

Payment methods and details

Accepted payment methods

Where Accepted payment
Online through the eCLIPSE application
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.5% surcharge)
In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.5% surcharge)
In person at the Cashier’s Station in the Municipal Services Building

(Items paid at the Cashier’s Station will be mailed within five business days.)

  • Check
  • Money order
  • Credit card (+2% surcharge)
  • Cash

Checks and money orders

Check requirements
  • Make all checks and money orders payable to the “City of Philadelphia.”
  • The individual or company listed on the check must be listed on the application.
  • Personal checks are accepted.
  • Checks and money orders must have issue dates within 12 months of the transaction.
Reasons your check may be rejected

L&I will not accept checks that are missing depository information or are:

  • Unsigned.
  • Expired.
  • Post-dated.
  • Starter checks without account info

Returned payment policy

If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds:

  1. You authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect a fee of $20.
  2. The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.

How

You can apply for this license online using eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center. 

Online

1
Upload all required documents.

Applications are reviewed within five business days.

2
If the application is approved, you will receive a notice to pay the balance.

 If the application isn’t approved, you will receive an email stating what is missing or required.

In person

1
Visit the Permit and License Center.

L&I can review most applications while you wait.

2
L&I will either issue your license or request more information.

Renewal requirements

This license must be renewed annually. You can renew online through eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center.

To renew your license, you must:

  • Be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes.
  • Have proof of an active insurance policy.
  • Have eligible supervisor information on file with L&I.

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