North Carolina Landscape Contrators' Registration Board

Statute & Rules

As of August 1, 2014, the NC Landscape Contractors' Registration Board, became the NC Landscape Licensing Board.  We are working to transition to a licensing board as quickly as possible.

Current registered landscape contractors are grandfathered, but will need to file a new application and proof of a Surety bond.

* (PLEASE NOTE: The NC Landscape Contractors' Licensing Board Surety Bond Form must be filed.  (The Irrigation Contractors Surety Bond cannot be used)

Licensing Information at a glance (PDF)

Licensing (for Grandfathering) Application (Form GF001) for qualifiers (1), (2) and (3) (PDF)

Licensing (for Grandfathering) Application (Form GF002) or qualifiers (4) (PDF)

Corporate License (Form CL001) (PDF)  Please Note: If your business is not a sole-proprietorship but is a corporation, partnership, Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), or other business entity, you are required to have a corporate license in addition to an individual license.

Surety Bond Form (PDF)

Additional information may be found on the new NC Landscape Contractors' Licensing Board website at:

Eligibility for grandfathering :

Any person who, on or before December 31, 2014, meets at least one of the following criteria
shall be issued a landscape contractor's license by the North Carolina Landscape Contractors' Licensing Board, without the requirement of examination, upon submission of a completed application,proof of a Surety Bond of $10,000 and payment of the application fee on or before August 1, 2015: *

(1)       Is registered as a landscape contractor.

(2)       Is licensed as an irrigation contractor.

(3)       Is certified as a turf grass professional.

(4)       Has three years of documented experience in the person's own business as a landscape contractor or three years of documented experience as an employee in a landscape contracting business and meets all other requirements and qualifications for licensure as a landscape contractor. Educational experience can be applied toward the three-year experience requirement as follows:

a.   One year of credit for a two-year degree in related educational training.

b.   Two years of credit for a four-year degree in related educational training.

c.  Up to two years of credit for education or business experience in general business management.

Exempt entities, such as lawn mowing,turf edging and debris removal services and others, as well as  additional statue information can be found in the following link: REWRITE THE LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR LICENSING STATUTES  (Page 3)

Again, details and requirements to obtain a landscape contractor’s license will be sent to all currently registered landscape contractors and updates will be posted on this website as well. 

Statute (To Be Updated)
Rules  (To Be Updated)

Chapter 89D. (Previous version effective until August 1, 2015)
Landscape Contractors.

§ 89D‑1.  Certificate required.
On and after December 1, 1975, it shall be unlawful for any person, partnership, association or corporation in this State to use the title "landscape contractor," or to advertise as such without first obtaining a certificate issued by the North Carolina Landscape contractors' Registration Board under provisions of this Chapter.(1975, c. 741, s. 1.)

§ 89D‑2.  Definition.
A "landscape contractor" within the meaning of this Chapter is any person, partnership, association or corporation who for compensation or valuable consideration or promise thereof engages in the business requiring the art, experience, ability, knowledge, science and skill to install, plant, repair and maintain gardens, lawns, shrubs, vines, bushes, trees and other decorative vegetation including the grading and preparation of plots and areas of land for decorative treatment and arrangement; who constructs or installs garden pools, fountains, pavilions, conservatories, hothouses and greenhouses, incidental retaining walls, fences, walks, drainage and sprinkler systems; or who engages in incidental construction in connection therewith, or does any part thereof in such a manner that,  under an agreed specification, an acceptable landscaping project can be executed. (1975, c. 741, s. 2.)

§ 89D‑3.  Application of Chapter.
The provisions of this Chapter shall not apply to and shall not include any person, partnership, association or corporation who shall perform any of the acts aforesaid in G.S. 89D‑2 with reference to any property, so long as that person, partnership, association or corporation shall not use the title "landscape contractor." (1975, c. 741, s. 3.)

§ 89D‑4.  Landscape Contractors' Registration Board created; membership; compensation; power, etc.
(a)  There is created the North Carolina Landscape Contractors' Registration Board (hereinafter called the Board) which shall issue registration certificates of title to landscape contractors. The Board shall be composed of nine members appointed as follows: Two by the Governor to represent the public at large; two by the Commissioner of Agriculture; two practicing nurserymen operating a nursery certified by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Plant Pest Inspection Program appointed by the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Association of Nurserymen, Inc.; two registered landscape contractors in the business of landscape contracting appointed by the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Landscape Contractors' Association, Inc.; and one registered landscape architect appointed by the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. All appointments shall be for three‑year terms and no member shall serve more than two complete consecutive terms. Any vacancy on the Board created by death, resignation or otherwise shall be filled for the unexpired term by the initial appointing authority and all members shall serve until their successors are appointed and qualify.

(b)  From its funds, the Board shall pay its members at the rate set out in G.S. 93B‑5: Provided, that at no time shall the expense exceed the cash balance on hand.

(c)  The Board shall have power to make such rules and regulations as are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Chapter and the laws of North Carolina. The Board shall not make rules or regulations regulating commissions, salaries, or fees to be charged by registrants under this Chapter. The Board shall adopt a seal for its use, which shall bear thereon the words "North Carolina Landscape Contractors' Registration Board."

(d)  The Board may employ a secretary‑treasurer and such clerical assistance as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Chapter and to put into effect such rules and regulations as the Board may promulgate. The Board shall fix salaries for employees and shall require employees to make good and sufficient surety bond for the faithful performance of their duties.

(e)  The Board shall be entitled to the services of the Attorney General of North Carolina in connection with the affairs of the Board or may, on approval of the Attorney General, employ an attorney to assist or represent it in the enforcement of this Chapter, but the fee paid for such service shall be approved by the Attorney General. (1975, c. 741, s. 4; 1983, c. 108, s. 1; 1997‑261, s. 109.)

§ 89D‑5.  Application for certificate; examination; renewal.
(a)  Any person, partnership, association or corporation hereinafter desiring to register and be titled as a landscape contractor shall make written application for a certificate of title to the Board on such forms as are prescribed by the Board. Each applicant for a certificate of title as a landscape contractor shall be at least 18 years of age. Prior to July 1, 1976, each applicant for a certificate shall have been actively engaged as an untitled landscape contractor for at least one year prior to date of application. After July 1, 1976, an applicant shall furnish evidence satisfactory to the Board of three years' experience in landscape contracting or the completion of a study or combination of study and experience in landscape contracting equivalent to three years' experience under a landscape contractor.

(b)  Any person who applies to the Board to be registered and titled as a landscape contractor shall be required to take an oral or written examination to determine his qualifications. Each application for registration by examination shall be accompanied by an application fee of seventy‑five dollars ($75.00).
The Board shall compile a manual from which the examination will be prepared. The examination fee shall not exceed seventy‑five dollars ($75.00). Any one failing to pass an examination may be reexamined upon payment of the same fee as that charged to persons taking the examination for the first time, in accordance with such rules as the Board may adopt pertaining to examinations and reexaminations.
If the results of the examination are satisfactory, the Board shall issue the applicant a certificate authorizing him to be titled as a landscape contractor in the State of North Carolina upon payment of the initial certification fee as outlined in subsection (c).

(c)  All certificates granted and issued by the Board under the provisions of this Chapter shall expire annually on December 31. Renewal of such certificates may be effected at any time during the month preceding the expiration date of such certificates upon proper application to the Board accompanied by the payment to the secretary‑treasurer of the Board of a renewal fee, as set by the Board, of not more than seventy‑five dollars ($75.00). The fee for an initial certificate shall be the same as for a renewal certificate and is in addition to the application fee. All certificates reinstated after expiration date thereof shall be subject to a late filing fee of twenty‑five dollars ($25.00). In the event a registrant fails to obtain a reinstatement of such certificate within 12 months from the date of expiration thereof, the Board may, in its discretion, consider such registrant subject to the provisions of this Chapter relating to the issuance of an original certificate. Duplicate certificates may be issued by the Board upon payment of a fee not to exceed five dollars ($5.00) by the registrant. The Board may charge a fee not to exceed thirty‑five dollars ($35.00) for issuance of a duplicate parchment certificate. (1975, c. 741, s. 5; 1983, c. 108, ss. 2, 3; 1991, c. 180, s. 1; 2007‑426, s. 1.)

§ 89D‑6.  Registers of applicants and certificate holders.
(a)  The secretary‑treasurer of the Board shall keep a register of all applicants for certificates of title. The register shall include the date of application, name, place of business, place of residence, and indicate whether the certificate of title was granted or refused.

(b)  The secretary‑treasurer of the Board shall also keep a current  roster showing the names and places of business of all registered titled landscape contractors. The roster shall be kept on file in the  office of the Board and be open to public inspection.

(c)  On or before the first day of September of each year, the Board shall file with the Secretary of State a copy of the roster of landscape contractors holding certificates of title. At the same time the Board shall file with the Secretary of State a report containing a complete statement of receipts and disbursements of the Board for the  preceding fiscal year ending June 30. Such statement shall be attested by the secretary‑treasurer of the Board. (1975, c. 741, s. 6.)

§ 89D‑7.  Denial, revocation or suspension of certificate.
(a)  The Board shall have power to revoke or suspend certificates of title herein provided. The Board may upon its own motion or upon a verified complaint in writing hold a hearing as hereinafter provided to investigate the actions of any titled landscape contractor. The Board shall have the power to suspend or revoke any certificate of title issued under the provisions of this Chapter if the registrant has by false or fraudulent representations obtained a certificate; if the registrant has been convicted or has entered a plea of nolo contendere to any crime involving moral turpitude in any court, State or federal; if the registrant is found to have committed any act which constitutes improper, fraudulent or dishonest dealing; or if the registrant violates any rule or regulation duly promulgated by the Board.

(b)  Chapter 150B of the General Statutes applies to proceedings under this section to deny, revoke, or suspend a certificate. (1975, c. 741, s. 7; 1987, c. 827, s. 74.)

§ 89D‑8.  Out‑of‑state applicants.
An applicant from another state which offers registration privileges to residents of North Carolina may be registered by conforming to all the provisions of this Chapter and, in the discretion of the Board, such other terms and conditions as are required of North Carolina residents applying for a certificate in such other state. The Board may exempt from the examination prescribed in this Chapter a landscape contractor duly registered in another state if a similar exemption is extended to registered landscape contractors from North Carolina. (1975, c. 741, s. 8.)

§ 89D‑9.  Persons in practice prior to July 1, 1976.
Before July 1, 1976, any person, partnership, corporation or other legal entity submitting an application, application fee and evidence satisfactory to the Board that he has actively engaged in the practice of landscape contracting for one year prior to July 1, 1976, shall be issued a certificate of title without the requirement of examination. (1975, c. 741, s. 10.)

§ 89D‑10.  Injunctions for violation of Chapter.
The Board shall have authority to petition for, and the superior courts of the State shall have authority to issue, temporary  restraining orders, and preliminary and permanent injunctions for violations of this Chapter. (1975, c. 741, s. 11.)

End of Statute.


All communications to the North Carolina Landscape Contractors' Registration Board, hereafter called the "Board," shall be addressed to the Board at Post Office Box 20875, Raleigh, North Carolina 27619.

History Note:  Authority G.S. 89D-4;
Eff. February 1, 1976;
Readopted Eff. September 30, 1977;
Amended Eff. January 1, 2014; May 1, 2007.

The Board shall meet at least once each year at the time and place fixed by the Board.  Other meetings may be called by the chairman of the Board.  A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum.  Meetings shall be open and public except that the Board may meet in closed session to prepare, approve, administer, or grade examinations, or to deliberate the qualification of an applicant for license or to dispose of a proceeding to discipline a licensed landscape contractor.
At its annual meeting the Board shall organize by electing a chairman, a vice chairman, a secretary‑treasurer, and such other officers as may be deemed necessary.  Officers of the Board shall serve for terms of one year and until a successor is elected, without limitation on the number of terms an officer may serve.
History Note:  Authority G.S. 89D‑4(a); 89D‑4(c); 89D‑4(d);
Eff. February 1, 1976;
Readopted Eff. September 30, 1977;
Amended Eff. September 1, 1988; October 1, 1983.

21 NCAC 28 .0106  FORMS
Forms used by the Board, and available from the Board office upon request, include the following:
(1)  Application for Certificate of Title,
(2)  Application for Renewal of Certificate.
History Note:  Authority G.S. 89D‑4(c); 89D‑5(a); 89D‑5(c);
Eff. February 1, 1976;
Readopted Eff. September 30, 1977;
Amended Eff. September 1, 1988.

21 NCAC 28 .0107  FEES
Fees, as authorized by G.S. 89D-5, shall be as follows:
(1)  application fee is set in G.S. 89D-5(b)  $75.00
(2)  initial certificate fee  $60.00
(3)  all renewal fees  $60.00
(4)  penalty for late renewal fee  $25.00
(5)  duplicate certificate  $5.00
(6)  examination or re-examination fee  $60.00
(7)  copy of duplicate parchment certificate  $35.00
History Note:  Authority G.S. 89D-4; 89D-5; 89D-8;
Eff. February 1, 1976;
Readopted Eff. September 30, 1977;
Amended Eff. January 1, 2008; January 1, 1992; September 1, 1988, October 1, 1983.

Every individual licensee, partnership, firm or corporation has the continuing responsibility of keeping the Board currently advised of his or its proper and current mailing address and the name or names under which he or it is practicing.  Each licensee or firm shall immediately notify the Board of any and all changes of association or address.  Upon the dissolution of a professional relationship, the member or members thereof shall promptly notify the Board in writing concerning such dissolution, and of the succeeding status and addresses of the individual or firm.
History Note:  Authority G.S. 89D‑4(c);
Eff. February 1, 1976;
Readopted Eff. September 30, 1977.

Every landscape contractor shall, upon registration, obtain a seal of the design authorized by the Board, bearing the name of the registrant, number of certificate, and the legend "North Carolina Registered Landscape Contractor."
History Note:  Authority G.S. 89D‑4(c);
Eff. February 1, 1976;
Readopted Eff. September 30, 1977.

Every registered landscape contractor shall place his professional seal on all plans, specifications or other professional documents prepared by him or under his immediate supervision.  The seal may be used only while the registrant's certificate is in full force and effect.  The seal may not be used except for work offered, or performed, by or under the immediate supervision of the registrant.
History Note:  Authority G.S. 89D‑4(c);
Eff. February 1, 1976;
Readopted Eff. September 30, 1977.
(a)  "Improper, fraudulent or dishonest dealing" within the meaning of G.S. 89D‑7 includes dishonest practice, unprofessional conduct and acts of incompetence.

(b)  The following shall be deemed to constitute "dishonest practice":
        (1)  To make any false or deliberately misleading statements in an application for examination or in any statements or representations to this Board, to a client, or to another landscape contractor.
        (2)  To violate the laws of North Carolina or of any other state relating to the practice of landscape contracting, or to violate any rule of this Board.
        (3)  To use or attempt to use the title or seal under a certificate that has been suspended or revoked or which has not been renewed.
        (4)  To use or to permit the name or the professional seal of the landscape contractor to be used on the plans or specifications or other professional documents not personally prepared, or prepared under the immediate supervision of such landscape contractor.

(c)  The following acts shall be deemed to constitute "unprofessional conduct":
        (1)  To use any gift or donation as a device for obtaining competitive advantage over another landscape contractor;
        (2)  To do any act that would falsely or maliciously injure the professional reputation, prospects, practice or employment position of another landscape contractor;
        (3)  To attempt to supplant another landscape contractor after definite steps have been taken by a client towards the latter's employment; or to undertake a commission for which he knows another landscape contractor has been employed, unless and until he has been notified by either the client or the other landscape contractor that the original employment has been terminated;
        (4)  To allow his name to be associated with an undertaking in any professional capacity unless he has served specifically in that capacity;
        (5)  To offer payment directly or indirectly to others in order to obtain work.

(d)  The following acts or omissions shall be deemed to constitute "acts of incompetence":
        (1)  To fail to use diligence in planning, supervising, performing, or inspecting landscape work directly resulting in improper and unprofessional practices and results.
        (2)  To be guilty of such acts or omissions as to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Board that the holder of the certificate is mentally incompetent or habitually addicted to alcohol or drugs so as to render the registrant unfit to practice landscape contracting.
History Note:  Authority G.S. 89D‑4(c); 89D‑7;
Eff. February 1, 1976;
Readopted Eff. September 30, 1977;
Amended Eff. September 1, 1988.

(a)  Notice.  The Board shall hold at least one examination during each year and may hold such additional examinations as may appear necessary.  The secretary‑treasurer shall give public notice of the time and place for each examination at least 90 days in advance of the date set for the examination.

(b)  Applications.  Applications on forms provided by the Board and accompanied by the required application fee must be filed with the Board at least 60 days prior to the date of examination.

(c)  Education and Experience Equivalents.  Applicants for examination shall be given credit for education and experience to meet the statutory requirements as follows:

        (1)  Education Equivalents.  Credit for educational attainment shall be credited as follows:
                (A)  Graduation from a four‑year program in Landscape Architecture, Landscape Horticulture, or                         Horticulture:  Maximum Credit - 1.5 years;
                (B)  Graduation from a four‑year curriculum in any other field:  Maximum Credit - 6 months;
                (C)  Graduation from a two‑year program in Horticulture or similar curriculum in a land grant institution
                        or community college:  Maximum Credit - 1 year.
        (2)  Experience Equivalents.  Time spent in the jobs listed shall be credited as follows:
                (A)  Landscape Crew Leader  100% credit
                (B)  Landscape Designer or Landscape Architect  100% credit
                (C)  Landscape Estimator or Landscape Sales Person  100% credit
                (D)  Landscape Project Manager  100% credit
                (E)  Landscape Crew Member    75% credit
                (F)  Nursery retail sales person    75% credit
                (G)  Grading operator    50% credit
                (H)  Irrigation installer    50% credit
                (I)  Nursery worker    50% credit
                (J)  Turfgrass installer or turfgrass maintenance worker    50% credit

(d)  Certificate.  After each examination, the Board shall notify each examinee of the result of the examination and the Board shall issue certificates of title to all persons successfully completing the examination.

(e)  Applicants who have not met registration requirements within a period of three years from date of initial application to the Board shall be considered inactive.  Inactive applications shall be destroyed after giving 30 days notice to the last known address of the applicant.
History Note:  Authority G.S. 89D‑4(c); 89D‑5(a); 89D‑5(b);
Eff. February 1, 1976;
Readopted Eff. September 30, 1977;
Amended Eff. May 1, 2007; September 1, 1988; October 1, 1983.

(a)  Any person whose license is revoked may be relicensed by majority vote of the Board on written application made to the Board and successful completion of the examination.  Relicensing is subject to the completion or fulfillment of conditions imposed upon the person by the Board at time of revocation and upon payment of annual fees and late fees as set forth below.

(b)  If a registration has lapsed for a period of five years or more, the individual must complete and submit a new application.  Once the application is approved, the applicant must pass the Registration Board exam requirements.

(c)  Any person whose license has lapsed for a period less than five years, without incident, may have their license renewed upon written application to reinstate a license and payment of annual fees and late fees since license lapsed.

(d)  Any person whose license lapsed for a period less than five years but has outstanding complaints filed against them or been convicted of a crime shall be required to submit an application for license and pass the Board examination before reinstatement.
History Note:  Authority G.S. 89D-4(c); 89D-7;
Eff. February 1, 1976;
Readopted Eff. September 30, 1977;
Amended Eff. July 1, 2007

In accordance with G.S. 150B‑16, any person desiring the adoption, amendment or repeal of a rule by the Board shall submit a petition to the Board containing the following information:
        (1)  Name of Board;
        (2)  A draft of the proposed rule;
        (3)  Reasons for the adoption, amendment or repeal;
        (4)  Data supporting the proposed rule;
        (5)  The effect of the proposal on existing rules;
        (6)  Effects of the proposed rule on persons licensed under Chapter 89D of the General Statutes of North                   Carolina;
        (7)  Names (including addresses if known) of those most likely to be affected by the rule; and
        (8)  Name(s) and address(es) of petitioner(s).
History Note:  Authority G.S. 89D‑4(c); 150B‑16;
Eff. February 1, 1976;
Readopted Eff. September 30, 1977;
Amended Eff. September 1, 1988; April 1, 1983.

PO Box 20875
Raleigh, NC 27619
T: 919-266-8070 | F: 919.782.9470
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