Becoming a Building Contractor

The City of Sioux Falls requires a Residential Building Contractor's License of all contractors doing work on residential 1- & 2-family dwellings and townhomes within the city limits. Any construction work done on residential homes that would require a building permit, would require the contractor obtain this license. This work includes, but is not limited to: building of sheds and decks, shingles, sheetrock replacement, replacing of exterior doors or windows, basement finishing, new construction, etc. Homeowners are not required to obtain a license, but must acquire building permits and any applicable homeowners permits and would be responsible for building code compliance and obtaining required inspections.

In order to acquire this license, the contractor must first take and pass the Construction Supervisor Examination. This examination is a timed, open book test based on the City of Sioux Falls Residential Code Handbook, which you will receive upon application for exam (This book is also available for purchase for $10.00). There is a $75.00 examination fee due upon application. This exam is offered once per month. Please review the examination application (2B25015 link on right) for more information as well as the exam schedule.

Once the "Construction Supervisor" has taken and passed the exam, he or she can then apply for the Residential Building Contractor’s License. Upon application the Construction Supervisor must submit a $10,000 Compliance Bond, a minimum of $300,000 general liability insurance and the appropriate license fees within 90 days of examination. Please review the license application (2B25001 link on right) and information sheet (2B25023 link on right) for more information.

Also available to individuals who have taken and passed exam is the Inactive Construction Supervisor License (2B25003 link on right). This license does not allow you to do work as a contractor, but does allow you to hold a current license with the city, allowing you to reinstate your Residential Building Contractor’s license without being required to re-test.

Construction Supervisors must provide at least one hour of continuing education during each license cycle. When attending a course for the continuing education requirement, the course instructor must sign the Continuing Education Certificate (2W25016 link on the right) and this certificate must be submitted for approval.

The City of Sioux Falls does not require a license for a contractor doing work on commercial projects, but does require each individual project go through the plan review process and acquire the proper permits. Apartment buildings, although residential in nature, are considered "commercial" in regard to construction purposes. Download the Plan Review Application Form from the link on the right or contact 605-367-8248 for more information regarding plan review and building permits.

For more information, you may contact Building Services at:

  • Licensing: 605-367-8672 or thovaldt@siouxfalls.org
  • Plans Examiners: 605-367-8248
  • Building Inspectors: 605-367-8251

Building Contractors FAQs

  • Why does Sioux Falls require licenses?
  • I already have a license in another state, does Sioux Falls reciprocate?
  • I have a state contractor's license, isn't this good enough?
  • The test is open book and multiple-choice? It must be easy!
  • What is required to pass the construction supervisor examination?
  • What type of questions should I expect on the examination?
  • Are there any study tools available for the examination?
  • I just do reshingle work, can I get a license just as a roofing contractor?
  • I just want to do "handyman" work. Do I need a license?
  • What if I want to do electric, plumbing, or mechanical (HVAC) work?
  • Where do I get a "Compliance Bond"?
  • I already am bonded and insured. That’s all I need, right?
  • Do I have to have my bond and insurance before I test?
  • What if I fail the test, can I take it again next month?
  • What if I pass the test, but don’t apply for the license within 90 days?
  • Once I get the license, is it good forever?