Contractor Licensing Requirements


To receive a permit, a licensed contractor must obtain the permit related to their field in all but the following instances:

  • A homeowner can act as the contractor on their own property in which they reside without a license. The applicant must sign the Homeowner-Building Permit Affidavit (PDF).
  • A licensed contractor is not required on residential work that is less than $3,000
  • A Home Improvement license is required for residential remodeling projects from $3,000 to less than $25,000
  • A licensed contractor is not required for commercial jobs less than $25,000; however proof of Tennessee workers' compensation may still be required
  • A licensed mechanical contractor is not required for jobs less than $25,000


The City of Cleveland also requires that for any electrical, mechanical, or plumbing work and also any work by a non-licensed commercial contractor (work less than $25,000), a license be obtained with the city before purchasing a permit. For licensing applications, please see the following: