Who Needs a Limited Licensed Electrician (LLE) License?

Board for Licensing Contractors

The following describes each electrical license:

1.  Contractor - Electrical License (CE)
If you perform electrical work where the total cost is $25,000 or more, there is no need to apply for a state LLE license and you would need to obtain a "Contractor's" license with a CE license classification. This state contractor's license is required for electrical work as a prime (general) and also by subcontractors, where the total cost is $25,000 or more (includes materials and labor).  The "CE" electrical classification is accepted statewide, and additional exams are not required in each county or municipality.  However, you must adhere to their local permit, licensing rules and inspections within their jurisdiction and pay local fees.  Contractors with a "CE" classification are acceptable in lieu of a Limited Licensed Electrician (LLE) license to obtain local license, permits and inspections.  Click onto "Contractor" for licensing steps, exam reciprocity and other information. This state electrical contractor's license is comparable to a "Master's" electrical license (which is typically a license at the local government level). In addition to the CE classification designated on the state license, a monetary limit is also designated.

2.  Local Licenses (City/County from each municipality) and Business
The local license is required regardless of the amount of the project in areas where there is a codes office.  This type of licensing is referred to as journeyman/master, etc.  Every jurisdiction is different, and you must adhere to their local requirements.  If you have a state contractors CE license, you will not be required to take their local electrical exam, but will need to pay their fees.  Click onto local government for their contact information. Check with local government before obtaining a Limited Licensed Electrician (LLE) license to ensure it is acceptable.

You may also need to obtain a local "Business" tax license in each city or county where you plan to do business and/or a federal employee ID number. Check with State's Department of Revenue for local business tax licenses.

3.  Limited Licensed Electrician (LLE)
This state license is only required for electricians where the total cost is LESS THAN $25,000 (projects cannot be split into phases to circumvent the law), and if electrician is working in a municipality where there is not a local license agency for inspections; the Division of Fire Protection performs these inspections. Always check with local government to see if they accept the LLE or if they have an exam requirement. A contractor’s license with a CE classification is exempt from the state LLE license; but not exempt from local license permits or inspections. (The LLE license is NOT considered a "Contractor's" license.) Electrical Permitting Issue Agents​.

To make sure of the type of license needed for projects less than $25,000, you must check with the local government, where you plan to work, for their local licensing, permit and inspection requirements.  Some may require you to take their electrical exam, unless you have a CE contractor's license. The LLE is not accepted where the local jurisdiction has their own licensing and inspections already in place. Exempt Jurisdictions​.

NOTICE: An individual licensed with an LLE license cannot use the term "Contractor"

Again, those who work in counties/cities having a codes office which performs their own inspections (such as Davidson/Nashville, Hamilton CountyCity of ChattanoogaShelby/MemphisKnoxKnoxville, City of Franklin, etc.), licensing and testing, the LLE is not accepted. Please contact your local codes for their requirements. See the Division of Fire Prevention's website for counties and cities accepting the LLE.