Wisconsin Eliminates Building Contractor Registration Program

Effective July 2, 2013, Wisconsin eliminated its Building Contractor Registration Program.[1]    The Building Contractor Registration Program was eliminated in connection with the passage of Wisconsin’s Biennial Budget Act.  A new statute was also enacted that prohibits the Department of Safety and Professional Services from creating or enforcing any administrative rule that would require any person engaging in the construction business to hold any license, except a license specifically required by statute.[2]

Under former law, no person or entity could legally work in the construction business in Wisconsin without being registered as a Building Contractor, unless the person or entity held a Dwelling Contractor Certification or some other Wisconsin construction license.  The Building Contractor Registration requirement was therefore the “catch-all” credential requirement for those who held no other credential.  In order to obtain the Building Contractor credential, the applicant was merely required to submit the appropriate application form, certify compliance with Wisconsin’s statutory worker’s compensation and unemployment compensation requirements, and pay the registration fee.  The registration had to be renewed every four years.  There was no requirement that an applicant possess any special skills or qualifications.  The Building Contractor Registration Program had therefore been criticized as being little more than an excuse to charge a fee.

If you have any questions regarding this article, please contact Attorney Steve Slawinski at O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing S.C. at 414-276-5000.
[1] 2013 Wis. Act 20 § 1708e, repealing Wis. Stat. § 101.147.
[2] 2013 Wis. Act 20 § 1708f, enacting Wis. Stat. § 101.1472(2) (2013).