The State of Iowa requires that “Construction Contractors” register with the Iowa Division of Labor and renew registration annually. More information can be found by reviewing the Iowa Code and Administrative Rules.
Iowa law requires all individual contractors and businesses performing “construction” work to be registered with the Iowa Division of Labor if they earn at least $2,000.00 a year from construction. Individuals or businesses making less than $2,000.00 a year on “construction” work, or who work only on their own real estate or property, are not required to register.
Registering with the Iowa Division of Labor
Print and complete the New Application/Renewal Form. The form cannot be completed without an Iowa Unemployment Insurance account number and appropriate federal identification or social security numbers. Mail the completed form with all required attachments and non-refundable $50.00 annual fee to the Iowa Division of Labor - Contractor Registration. If the application is complete, processing may take up to 30 days.
Renewals are not accepted over the phone, an application must be completed or renewed online.
Unemployment Insurance Number
Each contractor is required to obtain an unemployment insurance number before applying for contractor registration even if the contractor has no employees. To obtain a unemployment insurance number visit www.myiowaui.org or contact customer service at IWDuitax@iwd.iowa.gov or 888-848-7442 (select language, then option 1, 1 then 2).
If you would like to apply for or renew a contractor registration number in person, we are located at 150 Des Moines Street, Des Moines, IA 50309. If you do not have an unemployment insurance account number (UI#), visit www.myiowaui.org and obtain a UI# before coming to the contractor registration office.
Plumbing, HVAC/R, Hydronics, and Mechanical Professionals
If your business provides any type of plumbing, mechanical, HVAC, refrigeration, sheet metal or hydronic systems services, you are required to obtain a license with the Plumbing & Mechanical Systems Board. Visit the Plumbing & Mechanical Systems Board website or call 866-280-1521 to complete a joint application for a 3-year registration and contractor license. Do not complete an online application and payment with Contractor Registration.
While all contractors must register, some contractors register without paying the $50.00 non-refundable fee. 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 in the same phase of construction at a job site, qualifies to register at no charge. If you meet the conditions, complete the Fee Exemption Form, have it notarized, and send it instead of payment with the registration application.
Registering an Out-of-State Business
Out-of-state contractors must file a $25,000.00 surety bond at the time of registration. The bond must meet the following three criteria in order to be valid:
- the bond must be executed by a surety company licensed to do business in Iowa.
- the bond must be issued on the Out-of-State Bond form with the bonding company's seal and two original signatures.
- the bonding company must attach their Power of Attorney (POA) to the form. Once we have accepted a valid bond, we consider it continuous until we receive a bond cancellation from the bonding company. If an out-of-state contractor is pre-qualified to bid on projects for the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT), they may submit their DOT-issued pre-qualification letter in lieu of a bond.
A contractor with a branch office in Iowa does not qualify as an in-state contractor if the contractor's business is primarily based outside of Iowa.
Currently we are only accepting contractor registration renewals online. Visit the Contractor Registration Public Portal to renew your registration. Credit card or ACH payments will not be accepted over the phone.
There will be a 3% service fee added to your total purchase amount or a 30 cent service fee added to your ACH (checking account) payment.
Contact Contractor Registration
Contractor Registration Application/Renewal Form - English
Contractor Registration Application/Renewal Form - Spanish
Fee Exemption Form
Out-of-State Contractor Bond Form
Out-of-State Contractor Bond Requirements
Database of Iowa's Current Contractor Registrations
Definition of Construction
Disaster Emergency Proclamations
Contractor Registration Questions and Answers
Iowa Code and Administrative Rules
License Requirements in Iowa
Important Construction Reminders
The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA)
Report of Construction Contractor's Wage Rates (WD-10) Form
Open Records Requests