How to Become a Licensed Contractor in Oregon

The Oregon housing market saw an increase in apartment building construction and more demand for single-family houses than were available on the market in 2016. With the increase in baby boomers retiring and wanting to move to the coast and millennials wanting to purchase homes, this might be a good time to get licensed as a contractor. Taking continuing education courses for contractor license renewal in an easy and convenient manner can also help when renewal time comes around.

Licensed contractor

Following the steps to qualify for a contractor’s license in Oregon can help save time for approval.

Who Needs to Be Licensed as a Contractor in Oregon?

An Oregon contractor’s license is required for those who make improvements to a home or work in the construction of a home or other building. An exemption is made for anyone working as a handyman, if the job costs less than $1,000 and if that person does not advertise. Knowing the requirements for obtaining an Oregon contractor license can make it simpler.

Determining the Right Type of Endorsement

Oregon contractors must be endorsed for the types of construction jobs they work on such as commercial buildings or residential structures. For example, if a contractor builds residential homes, he or she requires a licensing update to work on commercial structures. Endorsement classifications include residential structures, small or large commercial structures, general or specialty residential contractor and limited residential contractor. There are also other categories.

Obtaining Prelicensing Training in Oregon

To be licensed, an applicant must be 18 or older, complete 16 hours of study on business and law practices in prelicensing training and pass the exam. The owner or employee of a business who supervises or manages the construction is eligible for this licensing and is referred to as the Responsible Managing Individual. If the RMI leaves the business, that person must immediately be replaced by someone who has served as an RMI within the previous two years or who has passed the exam.

Filing With the Oregon Secretary of State

Those wishing to register as a business, corporation or business may do so online at the Oregon Secretary of State, Business Registry. On this site, a contractor can also find the appropriate forms, update registration, request copies or register trade and service marks.

Licensed contractor

Submission of a bond and having adequate liability insurance is important to conduct business while being protected.

Submitting a Bond

Bonds must be original and submitted with all other documents to avoid delays in licensing. They must also be submitted on forms supplied by the CCB. Having the bond issued using full legal names is important, whether the business is designated as a sole proprietor, partnership, joint venture, LLP or trust. All full names must be included in the bond. Limited partnerships are required to contact the CCB for further information at 503-378-4621. In the case where a power of attorney is used, the form must remain attached to the bond. In addition, the original signature of the attorney representing the bond company is required.

Proof of Liability Insurance

The Oregon Construction Contractors Board offers information on how to find liability insurance for personal injury types of losses and public liability and requirements to submit this form to the CCB. The amount of insurance required depends on the licensing. As with bonds, full names are required on the insurance form.

Complying with Workers’ Compensation Requirements

In Oregon, those who employ workers are required to carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance, unless the person is working as an independent contractor. Understanding the difference between an independent contractor and employee is important to avoid a lawsuit, and the Workers’ Compensation Division of the Oregon government provides helpful information to help a contractor assess whether an employee would be covered by Workers’ Compensation or not.

Licensed contractor

Workers’ compensation is necessary for employees.

Obtaining Tax Numbers From Employees

Business identification numbers are necessary for payroll taxes. However, a contractor without any employees or licensed as an LLC may also obtain a business identification number. For information about what is required by the business owner, a contractor can phone the IRS at 1-800-356-4222 or the Oregon Department of Revenue at 503-378-4988.

Completing a Contractor License Application

Once all the above steps have been taken care of, a contractor applicant can fill out the form to apply for new licensing. There are three different types of applications: residential, a dual license in residential and commercial and commercial. Forms can be downloaded to fill out, and when completed, can be mailed or taken in person to the office in Salem, along with the required fees.

Oregon Contractors License Continuing Education

PDH Contractor Academy offers preapproved online and correspondence courses that fulfill all your continuing education requirements to get your contractor’s license renewed in Oregon minus the three-hour course required at the CCB. As Oregon contractors know, those with fewer than six years of experience must complete a total of 16 hours, including the CCB three hour course. Five hours must be from Series A, with the additional hours from either Series A or B.

Those with more than six years of experience have to take eight hours of continuing education, with five hours out of Series A. At PDH, we offer an assortment of courses from both Series A and B, and a bundled package at an attractive discount. Once you have successfully completed your chosen courses, we report the results to the Oregon CCB for you and give you a copy of the certificate for your own records. Our courses give a contractor the advantage of completing continuing education requirements whenever and wherever it is convenient. Start course by clicking here, or check out our website to learn more.


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