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General Contractor

Required State License(s):

A sales tax license may be required as discussed below. You may call the Michigan Department of Treasury at (517) 636-4660 and request a 518 sales tax form.

Personalized sales tax returns and a payment schedule will be mailed to you about four to six weeks after your registration is processed. If you have questions about this process, please call the Michigan Department of Treasury at (517) 636-4730.

A residential builders license is required when a person contracts to build, construct, repair, alter or improve a residential or combination residential and commercial structure. Contact the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Bureau of Professional Licensing at 517-373-8068 for licensure information or visit our website at

Further Information:

A contractor is directly involved in the business of constructing, altering, repairing or improving real estate for others. Construction firms, home improvement companies and wall-paperers are all contractors.

Services provided by contractors are NOT TAXABLE. Contractors are not considered to be selling at retail when they provide materials and other goods as part of their service. They are, in fact, seen as the final consumers of those goods. Sales tax on any materials provided as part of the contract work or consumed by the contractor must be collected by the seller when the contractor purchases the materials.

However, contractors may also sell at retail. When they do, they act as a retailer and need a sales tax license. For example, if a construction company performs contract work and also sells lumber at retail, it must remit sales tax on the gross proceeds of the lumber sales. If, however, the lumber is taken from the sales inventory of the company and used in the company's contract work, the company would be responsible for remitting use tax on the purchase price of the lumber.

When a contractor purchases an item from an out-of-state seller and NO Michigan sales tax has been paid, the contractor is responsible for remitting use tax on the purchase price.

NOTE: When a general contractor (employer) hires a subcontractor (employee), the general contractor (employer) has all the responsibility for that project. However, if the general contractor (employer) hires an independent subcontractor (non-employee), they are both responsible for the completion of the project.

Revised: 10/15