Oregon Contractor Licensing Guide

Before you can begin work as a contractor in Oregon, you must be licensed through the Oregon Construction Contractors Board. SuretyBonds.com has developed this quick and easy guide to become a licensed contractor in Oregon.

Do I need a contractor’s license in Oregon?

If you are working for compensation in any construction activity that involves making property improvements in Oregon, you will most likely be required to be licensed. Examples of the few kinds of work that do not require licensure include gutter cleaning, power/pressure washing, and debris clean-up.

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

Follow these steps once you’ve made sure that your line of work requires licensure:

Determine what type of license endorsement you will need

The Construction Contractors Board License Endorsement chart can help you select the correct endorsement based on whether you will work on residential structures such as single-family homes, commercial structures such as manufacturing facilities, or both. Some types of work require specialty licenses in addition to the Construction Contractors Board license. These include:

  • Home inspectors
  • Lead-based paint licenses
  • Locksmiths
  • Home Energy Assessors
  • Construction flagging contractors
  • Public works bonds
  • Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Technology Program

Have a Responsible Managing Individual (RMI) complete the pre-license training and exam

A Responsible Managing Individual is an owner/employee of the business who manages or supervises its construction activities. The RMI must be at least 18 years of age and complete 16 hours of training from an approved education provider.

If you are an applicant who has already passed the NASCLA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors, you are not required to complete the pre-license training. You are still, however, required to pass the Oregon exam on laws, rules, and business practices.

Additionally, you must apply for your Construction Contractors Board license within two years of passing the test and retake the training and test if your CCB license lapses for more than two years.

File your corporation, LLC, and/or assumed business name with the Oregon Secretary of State’s Corporation Division

Submit an Oregon Construction Contractors Board surety bond

You are required to submit an original residential or commercial surety bond to ensure that you will lawfully abide by all contractual agreements and laws stated in the Oregon Revised Statutes. Required amounts vary depending on the type of work you will be performing.

Residential contractor bond amounts range from $10,000 to $20,000, while commercial contractor bond amounts range from $20,000 to $75,000.

Provide proof of general liability insurance

This should be in the required amount and name the Construction Contractors Board as the Certificate Holder. The amount will depend on your endorsement type. More information on how to find and submit insurance can be found here.

Obtain workers’ compensation insurance (if you are hiring employees)

Prior to hiring employees, you must obtain workers’ compensation insurance in Oregon. More information including exemptions, leased workers, and temporary staffing can be found here.

Obtain other state and federal tax numbers for employers

Complete the application for your endorsement type:

Once all of these requirements have been met, you may submit your application, which should include your original bond, insurance certificate, and the $250 fee for a two-year license to the State of Oregon Contractors Board:

P.O. Box 14140

201 High St. SE, Suite 600, Salem, OR 97309-5052

(503) 378-4621

[email protected]

How much does an Oregon construction contractor license cost?

The amount that you will pay during the licensing process varies on the type of license you are obtaining. While costs pertaining to pre-license education and proof of insurance may vary, the general contractor application fee is $250 and the CCB License Exam fee is $60. Typically, an Oregon construction contractor license surety bond costs 1% to 1.2% of the total bond amount, but the exact cost may be determined by an underwriter’s review of the contractor’s credit.

Additional considerations for Oregon commercial construction contractors

These bonds are split into two categories: Level 1 and Level 2. Level 1 contractors must have eight years of construction experience and post a $75,000 bond, while Level 2 contractors must have four years of experience and post a $20,000 bond.

In order to receive a commercial contractor license, Oregon commercial contractors must own all properties they plan to work on, work on or improve properties they plan to sell, and work side by side with another licensed contractor to oversee all levels of the construction activity.

General contractors can supervise or perform any number of commercial construction projects.

Additional considerations for Oregon residential construction contractors

General residential contractors must post a $20,000 bond.

Limited residential contractors* in Oregon can supervise an unlimited number of building projects, with a necessary bond amount of $10,000, if:

  • The applicant expects gross sales to be less than $40,000
  • No contract is written for more than $5,000
  • The value of any work doesn’t exceed $5,000 for a job site in one year
  • CCB can access tax records to verify compliance with all applicable laws

*This classification is also necessary for part-time contractors.

Oregon residential developer bonds must be posted in the amount of $20,000. In order to obtain this bond and license classification, applicant must own properties, intend to sell properties, work with one or more general contractors who oversee job site building, and perform no work on the site.

Residential restoration contractors must post a $10,000 bond. Section 2, Chapter 701 of the Oregon Revised Statutes defines the following services as examples of restoration work for residential restoration contractors:

  • Non-routine cleaning, water removal, or personal property inventory
  • Board-up services (covering openings of a damaged structure to prevent unauthorized entry and to secure against weather)
  • Debris removal (excluding removal involving demolition work)

Additional considerations for Oregon specialty construction contractors

Commercial specialty bonds are also split up into Level 1 and Level 2 categories: Eight years of experience and a $50,000 bond is required for Level 1 contractors, while four years of experience and a $20,000 bond is required for Level 2 contractors.

Specialty contractors can only work on one or two commercial projects at any given time.

Residential specialty contractors must post a $15,000 bond and may only work on one or two unrelated projects. If working on a single property, they may work on three or more buildings as long as labor and material costs amount to less than $2,500.

Need a Surety Bond?

If you’re an Oregon contractor in search of a surety bond, call 1 (800) 308-4358 to talk to a SuretyBonds.com surety expert or get a free, no-obligation quote.