Oregon Contractor License

Oregon Contractor License

Before starting your new business as a contractor it’s essential to get familiar with the local and state requirements in Oregon to start your company successfully. To do that, I have researched and gathered all the needed information about licensure,  state-specific requirements for contractors in Oregon, how to find out whether an individual or business is licensed or not, and much more.

How do I get a contractor’s license in Oregon?

The contractor’s licensing regulation in Oregon is handled by the Construction Contractors Board (CCB). The Board states “any contractor who works for compensation in any construction activity involving home improvements to real property needs a license”. Consider obtaining a contractor’s license if you perform one of the following mentioned works:

  • Roofing
  • Siding
  • Painting
  • Carpentry
  • Floor covering
  • Concrete
  • Heating
  • Air conditioning
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Tree servicing
  • Repair of attached appliances (ORS 701.005 (5)(a))
  • Manufactured dwelling installation
  • Land development
  • Handyman
  • Home inspection
  • Most construction and repair services

According to the laws of CCB, there are also certain specialties that won’t necessarily require licensing. Among such works are:

  • Gutter cleaning
  • Power and pressure washing for the purpose of cleaning (siding, sidewalks, etc.)
  • Debris clean up (yard or construction site)
  • Qualified real estate property managers managing a building under a property management agreement.

In a nutshell, unless you’re carrying out the above-mentioned works, all other types of construction or home improvement projects will require an Oregon contractor’s license.

As you can see the state of Oregon has very strict rules about performing any type of construction project. The process of licensing can seem both overwhelming and confusing. That’s why we will break down the key steps of obtaining a contractor license in the state and discuss each process of licensure separately.

1.Determine the type of contractor license that is right for you

Based on the scope of your work the CCB offers 3 types of contractor’s licenses (endorsements) that are listed below:

  • Residential contractor’s license is designed for smaller-scale construction projects that cost less than $250,000 and have a project area limiting 10,000 square feet.
  • Commercial contractor’s license allows you to construct or improve large commercial structures such as malls, hospitals, etc.
  • Dual contractor license. If you plan to perform both residential and commercial projects of all sizes you can apply for a dual contractor’s license.

Remember that by picking the type of contractor’s license according to the scope of your work you also determine the bond and insurance requirements. If you select the dual contractor’s license, you have to purchase two separate bonds and one higher liability insurance.

2. Meet the pre-licensing requirements

Before applying for your Oregon contractor’s license, make sure you meet the following basic requirements of licensure:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Completed 16 hours of training on law and business practices. You should be able to indicate the completion of these practices from an approved education provider. To learn more about the CCB-approved providers and the costs of training visit here

3. Pass the Oregon CCB License Examination

As soon as take the pre-licensing training you can now take the CCB license examination by scheduling the exam date with PSI. It’s an open-book examination that involves 80 multiple choice questions about business practice and law. You will have 3 hours to pass the CCB exam and you should score at least 70% accuracy.  You can register PSI online and pay $60 which is the cost of the open-book examination.

4. Collect the paperwork for your application

Once you successfully pass your CCB exam you need to collect the materials before your contractor’s license application. The following steps should be taken to be eligible for the licensure in Oregon:

  • Register your business name. To form your legal entity (whether it’s an LLC, partnership, etc.) you should register it with the Oregon Secretary of State
  • Purchase a CCB surety bond. Obtaining a surety bond is mandatory for licensure and the amount will depend on the endorsement type. Residential license bonds starts from $10,000 to $20,000 while commercial license bonds range from $20,000-$75,000. More information about the surety bond requirements can be found here
  • Obtain general liability insurance and worker’s compensation (if you hire employees). Purchasing general liability insurance is a must and the amount will again depend on the endorsement type.
  • Get federal EIN or SSN. Any business operating in the state should get federal EIN from IRS for tax purposes.

5. Submit contractor’s license application

You are almost there.  Once you collect all the needed materials you will be able to apply for your contractor’s license.  To do so, first print the application form of your desired contractor type and fill out the form:

The completed application form, the required paperwork along with the non-refundable fee of $250 should be sent to:

PO Box 14140
Salem, Oregon 97309-5052

How do I find out if a contractor is licensed in Oregon?

To identify the licensed contractors in Oregon who perform any type of construction project you can use the CCB contractor license lookup

How do I look up a general contractor in Oregon?

You can look up qualified general contractors in Oregon by utilizing the CCB contractor search tool. To verify the licensed contractor, the best is to enter the CCB license number. The alternative ways of identifying the qualified contractor include: searching the business name, or contractor’s last name, or entering the business telephone number in some cases.

Mary H

Mary H

Being a skilled creative writer and SEO content writer, with 2+ years of experience I can't imagine any other profession to fulfill my life as much as writing does. As a proud member of geek culture, I enjoy reading, writing, watching Sci-Fi gems, while also advocating the involvement of young, bright-minded girls and women in STEM research. Latter was largely the result of working at UNESCO Chair, Life Sciences International Postgraduate Educational Center as an editor of scientific journals.