Delaware requires that all contractors, including painters, be licensed.

While you may have to complete an exam to apply, these licenses do not indicate competence. They are part of the business and tax registration process.

Depending on the type of painting jobs you want to take, you can apply for a:

  • Resident Contractor License. You can apply for a resident contractor license if you live and work within Delaware.
  • Non-Resident Contractor License. A non-resident contractor license allows contractors who do not live in the state to work there.

Contractors working on annual projects worth $20,000 and more will require a surety bond worth 6%.

Additionally, if you have employees, you will require worker’s compensation cover.

painting license laws delaware

Where To Get a Painting License in Delaware

The Delaware Division Of Revenue issues licenses to contractors.

Before you apply for the license, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Pass the Delaware Contractor License Exam. Only specific contractor trades are required to sit the exam. For example, electricians and plumbers must prove that they passed the exam.
  • Fill out the application form applicable to your situation.
  1. Resident contractor license application form.
  2. Non-resident license application form.
  • Pay the $75 license fee.
  • If you are applying for the non-resident contractor license, you will need a letter of credit from your bank to show you can handle arising financial obligations.
  • Proof of surety bond.
  • Proof of Workers Compensation
  • Proof of business insurance.

On successful license application, you will receive the following from the Revenue office:

Your business license.

  • Tax advice related to the activity of your business.
  • Tax forms for your business activity.

When you have a license, you can start your general contractor business.

Licenses are renewable annually. They expire every year on 31st December.

Depending on the time of application, you may not have to pay the application fees in full. You can pay a prorated fee.

However, at the beginning of the following year, you will pay the required amount of the license renewal fee.

What Can Happen if You Hire an Unlicensed Painter

In Delaware, you can not hire an unlicensed painter or contractor for any project.

Unlicensed contractors risk a fine of $10,000.

Here are some negative consequences of hiring an unlicensed contractor.

  • They may not deliver as agreed. Licensed contractors risk losing their license if reported to the Registrar of Contractors for wrongdoing. Always hire only licensed contractors for your painting jobs.
  • Shoddy work. Licensed contractors have passed practical and written examinations to show their experience and competence.
  • You will have to pay for any damage or accident during the job since unlicensed contractors do not have insurance. It will cost you more if an unlicensed contractor causes damage to your property.
  • If you have a dispute with an unlicensed contractor, you cannot report them to the Registrar of Contractors or start a lawsuit against them.
  • It will affect the value of your property and void your home insurance.
  • Potential safety hazard.

Can I Paint My Own House Without a License?

In many states, Delaware included, homeowners can paint both the exterior and interior of their homes without a license or permit.

However, if you do not have the time or skills to paint, you can hire a contractor.

Painting your home is an easy task. It is affordable since all you need is the paint and paintbrushes.

If you choose to hire a contractor, ensure that you hire a licensed contractor.

When you hire a contractor, the cost of painting your home is likely to exceed $1,000.

When you hire a licensed contractor, you can expect the paint job to last at least ten years before you need to repaint your home.

Lead Paint Disclosure Delaware

A lead-based paint disclosure is a federal and Delaware legal requirement when selling or renting property built before 1978.

Before selling a house, sellers must inform their prospective clients’ presence of lead-based paint in the. Additionally, sales contracts must include the lead paint disclosure.

Landlords must also include the disclosure in the rent leases.

Lead is harmful to human beings. It gets into the body through breathing in or swallowing lead dust from chipped paint. It causes brain damage and nervous disorders in children under six years.

Pregnant women and unborn children are at high risk of infections caused by exposure to lead.

Benjamin McInerny
Author: Benjamin McInerny - is a qualified arborist with 20 years of industry experience. Ben has a wide knowledge of renovation and DIY projects around the house such as lawns, fencing and painting. Ben shares his skills with DIY and gardening enthusiasts.