Skip to main content

Office of Consumer Protection

Licensing & Registration

New Home Builders

Hammer on top of Blueprints

The Office of Consumer Protection licenses any new home builder that constructs a new residence in Montgomery County.  Montgomery County Code Chapter 31C (  view l aw here ) is the local law which requires new homebuilders to be licensed, and for these same builders to provide home buyers a new home warranty.  
This law was enacted to protect consumers by ensuring that each builder has met the requirements established under Chapter 31C.  Licenses are valid for two (2) years from the date license is issued. Violators of Chapter 31C are subject to a $500.00 civil fine in addition to all other remedies prescribed by the law, which may be both civil and criminal. 

Who must be licensed?
Chapter 31C of the Montgomery County Code requires that any builder who constructs new homes or acts in the capacity of a building contractor be licensed by the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection.  For the purpose of these regulations, the term " engaging in the business of erecting or otherwise creating a new home" includes:

  • Constructing any new home for sale,
  • Acting as prime contractor to construct any new home for another person, or
  • Advertising or holding oneself out as constructing or being available to construct a new home or homes. 
The term also includes
  • The sale or transfer of title to a parcel of land to any person and the subsequent participation in the construction of a new home.
  • A person who contracts with a general contractor or with subcontractors for the construction of a new home for the purpose of sale to a purchaser.

Application Process​
Montgomery County Code Chapter 31C requires new homebuilders to be licensed, and for builders to provide a   new home warranty. Chapter 31C-4 creates a Board of Registration for Building Contractors. The five (5) member board reviews builder applications and certifies to the Office of Consumer Protection whether the applicant (an individual or organization) is qualified to comply with the building codes and laws of the County and State, as those duties and responsibilities relate to the construction of new homes in the county. Properly completed applications will be forwarded to the Licensing Board of Registration for their review and approval. The Board meets once each month to review license applications.  The review process normally takes 45 to 60 days.  You will be notified of the Board's decision within two business days.
The licensing process requires submitting an application, demonstrating experience in the construction trade, providing proof of insurance, banking and material references, and a $805.00 non-refundable application fee. View the "  Forms" tab for additional information.
A l icense is valid for two (2) years from the date issued.  
If the Board denies an application, you can appeal to the Board of Appeals located at 100 Maryland Avenue, 2nd Floor, Rockville, MD. 
Maryland Home Builder Guaranty Fund
*  Important * As of January 1, 2009, the State of Maryland established a “Home Builder Guaranty Fund” to protect consumers who purchase new homes in Maryland.  The Maryland Attorney General’s Office will collect the appropriate fees when builders register with the State. However, new home builders who build   only in MontgomeryCounty, and are therefore registered   only in Montgomery County, are also required to pay $150.00 to the State of Maryland for this guaranty fund. Our office is required to collect this fee and submit it to the State of Maryland.
Accordingly, if you are   not registered with the State of Maryland as a new home builder,   in addition to your non-refundable check in the amount of $805.00 payable to “Montgomery County”   you must also provide a second check, in the amount of $150.00, made payable to:  Office of the Attorney General . (If you are registered with the State of Maryland as a new home builder, please provide your State registration number.)
Additional Information
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Consumer Protection, Licensing & Registration Unit by calling 240.777.3636, or by email at  OCP.Licensing@montgomerycountymd.gov. >

How to Apply
To apply for a license, applicants need the following:

  • Completed Application
  • Three (3) Material Supplier References
  • ​Letter of Reference from the applicant's banking institution indicating:
    • How long the applicant has maintained a business account with them and 
    • Verification that the business account is in good standing
  • ​Certificate of Registration of Libability for Insurance for no less than $500,000 and Worker's Compensation if applicable.  "Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection" must be listed as an additional named party on the insurance certificate.
  • Detailed description of applicant's building experience.  Can be in the form of a resume.
  • Copies of other relevant licenses held by applicant.
  • Please note that   all documents   must be in the name of the applicant.
  • If your business is a corporation, your corporation must be registered with the   State Department of Assessments and Taxation in Maryland and you must provide us with your Tax ID number, Resident Agent’s name, address and telephone number.
  • A non-refundable payment of $805.00 payable to "Montgomery County"
  • Payment of $150.00 to the State of Maryland Guaranty Fund payable to "State of Maryland"
  • Forms must be completed and returned to this office with a check or money order for the application fee and guaranty fund payment.  
​ Submit Application Packet to:
Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection
Licensing & Registration Unit
100 Maryland Avenue, Suite 330
Rockville, MD 20850

Additional Information
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Consumer Protection, Licensing & Registration Unit by calling 240.777.3636, or by email at  OCP.Licensing@montgomerycountymd.gov.


Licensing Qualifications/Requirements

What experience do I need to get a license?  
What documents do I need to provide in order to get a license?  
I am just starting my business – how do I get Building Material Supplier References?  
Do you offer reciprocity for licenses issued in a different jurisdiction?  
I have a Maryland Builder’s - or General Contractor's License – do I need a Montgomery County license?  
I have an MHIC license – do I need a Montgomery County license?
If sub-contractors are licensed - do I need a license?  
I am building in the City of Rockville or Gaithersburg – do I need a MontgomeryCounty license? 
I am a non-profit organization – do I need a license? 
I build condominiums - or - town homes for sale - do I need a license?
I am building a home for a friend – do I need a license?  
I am building a house for myself – do I need a license?  
I own the land and I want to build a new home for my family and myself – do I need a license?  
I do major renovation/remodeling – do I need a new home builders license?  
I am going to build a new home, but a realtor will sell the home - do I need a license?  
I have already built the house – how do I get a retroactive license? 

Insurance and Warranty Issues 
Do I need Workers’ Compensation insurance if I do not have employees? 
What warranties must I give to the home buyer?  

Fees/Penalties 
What is the cost of a license? 
How are the fees established?   
If you build without a license what are the penalties?
What experience do I need to get a license?   The builder needs to be able to demonstrate that he/she has the requisite knowledge of the construction industry and that he/she has supervised, managed, and performed the duties necessary to build a home or do major remodeling renovations.  Back to Top
What documents do I need to provide in order to get a license?   Application, three (2) material supplier references, a bank reference, Certificate of Registration for Liability Insurance and Worker's Compensation, detailed description of building experience, and copy of other relevant licenses.  All documents   must be in the name of the license applicant.   Back to Top
I am just starting my business – how do I get Building Material Supplier References?   You must establish credit accounts at three (3) building material supplier businesses. 
Do you offer reciprocity for licenses issued in a different jurisdiction?   No. However, we do encourage applicants to provide the Board with copies of any current licenses.   Back to Top
I have a State of Maryland Builder’s - or - General Contractor's License – do I need a Montgomery County license?   Yes, if you plan to build in Montgomery County. Even if you have a license issued by the State of Maryland, you are still required to have a Montgomery County Building Contractor's New Home Builder's License. See Montgomery County Code Chapter 31C2(a)(1).  The General Contractor's License does not apply to construction of residential homes.   Back to Top
I have an MHIC license – do I need a Montgomery County license?   Yes, if you plan to build new homes in Montgomery County.  An MHIC license only allows you to perform home improvements.
If sub-contractors are licensed - do I need a license?   Yes, any person acting as prime contractor to construct a new home for another person must be licensed.   Back to Top
I am building in the City of Rockville or Gaithersburg – do I need a Montgomery County license?  Yes, Chapter 31C applies in the City of Rockville, City of Gaithersburg and all the other municipalities in Montgomery County.
I am a non-profit organization – do I need a license?   Yes, non-profit organizations are not exempt from Chapter 31C.    Back to Top
I build condominiums - or - town homes for sale - do I need a license?   Yes, any construction of new homes is covered by Chapter 31C. 
I am building a home for a friend – do I need a license?   Yes, a license is needed when building a new home for another person.    Back to Top
I am building a house for myself – do I need a license?   No, as long you establish residency in the home and sign an affidavit.
I own the land and I want to build a new home for my family and myself – do I need a license?   No, as long you establish residency in the home and sign an affidavit.   Back to Top
I do major renovation/remodeling – do I need a new home builders license?   No, you would need to be licensed by the Maryland Home Improvement Commission, for more information call 410.230.6309.  
I am going to build a new home, but a realtor will sell the home - do I need a license?   Yes, a license is needed if the new home is constructed for the purpose of sale to a purchaser.   Back to Top
I have already built the house – how do I get a retroactive license?   Constructing a new home for sale without a Building Contractor's license issued by Montgomery County is illegal. Thus, you must apply for the license and meet all the requirements under Montgomery County Code Chapter 31C. You are subject to a minimum $500 fine and other penalties for violating Chapter 31C.   Back to Top
Do I need Workers’ Compensation insurance if I do not have employees?   No, but a written explanation is required.    Back to Top
What warranties must I give to the buyer?   You can find the information about warranties by clicking   here.
What is the cost of a license?   As of September 2008, the cost of a license is $805, which is non-refundable, and valid two (2) years.    Back to Top
How are the fees established?   The County Executive establishes licensing fees.
If you build without a license what are the penalties?   You may be subject to a $500 fine, in addition to all other remedies/penalties prescribed by Law, which may be both civil and criminal.   Back to Top

Contact Information Description
Maryland Home Improvement Commission
500 North Calvert Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
T: 410.230.6309
T: 888.218.5925
www.dllr.state.md.us
The Maryland Home Improvement Commission licenses and regulates home improvement contractors, subcontractors and salespersons. Home improvement work includes alteration, remodeling, repair or replacement of a building or part of a building used as a residence.
Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation
301 W. Preston Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
T: 410 767-1184
T: 800 735-2258
www.dat.state.md.us
Visit the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation to:
  • Register your business and establish legal entity
  • Register a trade name
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
11510 Georgia Avenue
Wheaton, MD 20902
T: 202 283-8097
www.irs.gov/businesses/small
Obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number
Comptroller of Maryland
Revenue Administration Center
Annapolis, MD 21411

Maryland Combined Registration Application
File a combined registration form to establish your tax accounts with the Comptroller of Maryland.
Business License Information System
http://www.choosemaryland.org/blis/pages/default.aspx
Licensing and permit information for businesses in Maryland
Montgomery County Circuit Court
Montgomery Court License Department
50 Maryland Avenue, Room 111
T: 240-777-9460
Montgomery County Circuit Court
Provides information on business licenses in Montgomery County Maryland.
Go Top