Mississippi Contractor License Search

What You Should Know about Hiring a Contractor in Mississippi

With over 10,600 licensed contractors currently operating in Mississippi, finding the right fit for your projects can be challenging. When looking for professional contractors in Mississippi, it is advisable to consider essential criteria like licensing, experience, insurance, and bonding. Hiring a contractor with such credentials guarantees that your project will be delivered satisfactorily following local codes and industry standards. Also, insured and bonded contractors offer coverage against damages, work-related injuries, and uncompleted work.

Besides verifying your contractor's license, you should consider the following issues when hiring a contractor in Mississippi:

Who Is a Contractor in Mississippi?

Mississippi contractors are businesses or individuals that provide various services to their customers. These services can range from building a new home or commercial building to remodeling and repairing existing structures. They can also install systems connected to these types of properties. The Mississippi State Board of Contractors (MSBOC) licenses general contractors intending to operate within the state. MSBOC is also responsible for licensing specialty contractors like electricians, plumbers, HVAC-R, and mechanical contractors.

Mississippi contractors can be grouped into the following categories:

  • General Contractors: These contractors usually supervise and manage home improvement and construction projects on behalf of their clients. They can also perform other construction work, excluding those that require specific trade licenses and specialized skills. General contractors are typically sub-categorized into four groups depending on their specialization:
    • Commercial Contractors: Any professional handling commercial projects over $50,000, including equipment installation, must have a commercial license from the MSBOC. In addition, work related to the maintenance, repair, or construction of fire sprinkler systems in public projects over $5,000 and private projects of $50,000 require a commercial contractor license.
    • Residential Builders: These professionals handle the construction of new buildings intended to be used by another individual as their residence. They must hold a residential contractor license if the project costs exceed $50,000. Also, they will need this license if they carry out residential roofing worth over $10,000.
    • Residential Remodelers: these contractors handle the management, construction, or improvement of improvements to an existing residence when the total cost exceeds $10,000
    • Construction Managers: these are licensed residential builders or remodelers who do not engage in remodeling or building projects.
  • Specialty Contractors: These individuals offer various construction and building-related services, typically requiring special training and skill. Some of these include the following: plumbing, electrical, mechanical, and HVAC. The Mississippi State Board of Contractors (MSBOC) requires any specialty contractor intending to obtain a state-issued license to work on a residential construction or residential improvement project. General or project owners hire specialty contractors for specific tasks on a large project.

How to Search for a Contractor's License in Mississippi

In Mississippi, the licensing of contractors and subcontractors is handled at the state level through the Mississippi State Board of Contractors (MSBOC) handled by the counties and cities. Confirming the licensing status of your preferred general contractor or specialty contractor before they commence work is always advisable.

Using the Uhire Professional License Search tool, you can confirm that the contractor you're considering has the license to work in your area. It allows you to perform various searches using the license number, location, and individual name. Alternatively, using their name or license number, you can check the contractor's licensing status through the Mississippi State Board of Contractors' Search Contractor platform.

Penalty for Hiring a Contractor Without a License in Mississippi

Although there are no specific penalties for hiring an unlicensed contractor in Mississippi, several drawbacks may impact your project negatively, including:

  • Unlicensed contractors do not usually carry bonding or insurance. This means they may be unable to provide you with the necessary protection during your project. You may also be held liable for any damages during the work.
  • You risk hiring an unlicensed individual who lacks the necessary skills and experience to do the job, which may lead to substandard services and possible safety issues.
  • Only licensed contractors are allowed to work in Mississippi and pull permits. If you do not have the proper permits, you may be fined and risk a potential decrease in your property's value.

Non-compliance with the licensing requirements by contractors is deemed a misdemeanor that carries a penalty fine of not less than $100 and not more than $5,000 or imprisonment for not less than 30 days and not more than 60 days in the county jail.

How Much Does a Contractor Charge in Mississippi?

Specialty contractors in Mississippi charge an average of $40 to $110 per hour for their services. The exact cost of hiring a specialty contractor can vary depending on various factors, such as the scope of the project and the contractor's type.

The table below shows the typical rates for different contractors in Mississippi. But keep in mind that this information may change based on your locality and the company's reputation:

$65 - $100
$70 - $100
HVACR Technicians
$80 - $120
$30 - $70
$25 - $80
$60 - $105
Flooring Contractors
$40 - $80
$50 - $90
$45 - $90
$85 - $200
Interior Designers
$70 - $150
Excavation Contractors
$70 - $180
Concrete Contractors
$50 - $90
$40 - $90
Appliance Repair Technicians
$40 - $90
$40 - $100
Cleaning Services
$45 - $100
$50 - $175

By choosing a general contractor to handle your home improvement or construction project, you will be relieved of dealing with multiple subcontractors and laborers. In Mississippi, a general contractor can charge clients around 10 to 20 percent of the project's total cost, with two different methods to calculate these fees, including:

  • Lump Sum Pricing: the general contractor provides all the services agreed upon for a fixed price, and a markup is included in the price to reflect any unforeseen circumstances. It is ideal for projects with clear scopes.
  • Cost Plus Pricing: This method allows you to pay the contractor the cost of materials and labor plus a set amount allocated for the fees. It is ideal for projects with uncertain scopes, as this approach can save you money if the work costs less than your expectations. However, you should set a maximum amount to ensure the project's price doesn't exceed what's expected.

Mississippi's home improvement and construction projects usually cost around $100 to $280 per square foot. The overall cost can vary depending on the project's scope and other factors like:

  • The experience of involved contractors.
  • Contractor costs.
  • Labor and materials costs.
  • Your location.
  • Location accessibility and conditions.
  • Permit costs and other miscellaneous expenses.

Tips for Hiring a Contractor in Mississippi

Hiring reliable, skilled, and experienced contractors can ensure your home repair, construction, or building project is completed successfully. Ensuring that the individuals you hire are competent for the job is important. Here are some tips to help you choose the right individuals for the job:

  • Get a clear idea of the project's scope before hiring.
  • Be wary of unsolicited contractors.
  • Never pay the total cost of the project upfront. You should consider limiting the down payment to 10 – 30 percent of the project's total cost.
  • Verify that your prospective contractor holds the appropriate licenses issued by the Mississippi State Board of Contractors (MSBOC). You can also confirm if your prospective contractor has been in violation by using MSBOC's Search Contractor Violations platform.
  • Confirm they have adequate liability insurance and bonds to protect you from potential liabilities.
  • Review past work by asking for references from past clients and contacting them to learn more about their work experiences with the contractor.
  • Get and compare quotes from multiple contractors for your project. Avoid significantly low or high bids, as they could indicate fraudulent activities.
  • Carefully review and understand your work contract before signing. Ensure it includes important details, including project scope, timeline, payment terms, and warranties.
  • Keep copies of all correspondence, contracts, invoices, and receipts safe.
  • Avoid cash payments.

Is Your Contractor Insured and Bonded as Required by Mississippi Statutes?

All applicants must show proof of their general liability insurance to get a license or renewal. The minimum policy amount for commercial licenses is $300,000 for each occurrence and an aggregate of $600,000. In contrast, residential licenses have no requirement for a minimum policy.

Confirming the status of a potential contractor's bond and insurance before you commit to them can help protect you from various liabilities, such as injuries, errors, and accidents. Insurance provides financial protection against various liabilities, like work-related accidents. However, bonds protect you from losses caused by the contractor's failure to deliver the agreed-upon services.

Before you hire a contractor, request copies of their bond and insurance documents. Also, make sure that there are adequate necessary coverage limits for your project. In addition, you should contact the Mississippi State Board of Contractors at (800) 880-6161 to learn more about state insurance requirements.

Top Home Improvement Scams in Mississippi

About 0.3 in every 10,000 Mississippi homeowners have been victims of contractor scams annually. Some of the common tactics used by these contractors included deceiving consumers.

  • Employing aggressive or high-pressure sales tactics to make you rush decisions without fully understanding the project's scope or costs
  • Request a sizeable upfront payment before any work commences.
  • Claiming to be licensed or insured when they are not.
  • Providing fake discounts while charging more than the market prices of inferior materials.
  • Non-existent or fake references: Contractors may:
  • Providing nonexistent or fabricated references,
  • Exaggerating the need for extensive repairs that are unnecessary,
  • Adding malicious terms or hidden charges to contracts or undermining their importance.

Before starting a home improvement project in Mississippi, you must take the following steps to avoid getting scammed:

  • Verify their credentials, licenses, and insurance coverage.
  • Get multiple cost estimates from contractors for your project. This allows you to compare prices, timelines, and services.
  • Ask the contractor for references from previous clients and ensure you follow up by contacting them.
  • Insist on a written contract and carefully review any contracts or agreements before signing. Ensure all project details, including costs, timelines, and warranties, are clearly stated and understood. Seek legal advice if necessary.
  • Avoid paying large upfront payments. If you have to limit it to 10 percent to 30 percent of the total cost.
  • Avoid making cash payments.
  • Keep documentation like contracts, invoices, and receipts related to the project safe.

How to Report Fraudulent Mississippi Contractors

Several organizations can help you resolve issues related to fraudulent contractors operating in Mississippi, including:

The Mississippi State Board of Contractors: You can report an unlicensed contractor to the Mississippi State Board of Contractors by completing an online complaint form. Alternatively, you can print the form-fillable PDF and mail it to:

ATTN: Complaint Dept.
Mississippi State Board of Contractors
P.O. Box 320279
Jackson, MS 39232

The Mississippi State Attorney General's Office: You can report contractors engaging in illegal, deceptive, or unfair business practices in Mississippi by filing an official complaint with the state's attorney general's office. If you need to talk to one of their consumer mediators for help, you can fill out a consumer complaint form online or send it via email to be assigned a mediator who will handle it.

Small Claims Court: If you are unsatisfied with the work you received from a contractor or are trying to get monetary compensation, you can file a small claims case against them at the Justice Court. You can fill these cases in different locations in the state. You can only ask for the maximum amount in these cases is $3,500 or less.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB): You can also contact the Better Business Bureau's local branch to seek their assistance in addressing issues related to fraudulent contractors. Informing this organization about these types of contractors helps protect other consumers from getting victimized by such schemes.

Local Police Departments: It is essential to report any issues concerning theft or threats from a contractor to the nearest local police department.

Cities in Mississippi