Understanding the contractor requirements for construction professionals working in Oregon will help you operate your business within the law and anticipate any education or experience you might need to become a contractor. If you want to work on residential or commercial structures in the state of Oregon, you must following the licensing laws.
Choose a Niche and a Responsible Managing Individual
In Oregon, your contractor’s license will carry endorsements based on your niche. If you only intend to work on residential structures, for example, you need a residential structure endorsement. The same is true for small commercial projects and large commercial projects.
If you’re working as part of a company or team, your entire organization must be licensed. This requires you to select a responsible managing individual (RMI) to represent your team. He or she will take the licensing exam and serve as the voice of your company.
Complete Your Training and Pass the Test
In addition to passing the licensing exam, Oregon contractor requirements also include a pre-license training course. After you complete the training, you have 24 months to pass the test and obtain your contractor license.
After you complete the training course, you can take the exam. Study hard for it and make sure to bring your Oregon Contractor Reference Manual, which you can use as an aid. As of 2015, the 11th edition is the most current publication.
Obtain a Surety Bond
As an Oregon contractor, you need a surety bond to protect your clients. It’s a form of insurance that guards against default on the part of the contractor; also called a “performance bond,” it reimburses the client if you fail to complete the project or if you don’t satisfy the job requirements.
You will need your surety bond before you apply for a contractor’s license. Obtain quotes from multiple insurers to ensure you get the best deal.
Purchase Liability Insurance
In addition to surety bonds, the contractor requirements in Oregon also provide for liability insurance. This protects you and your client should the client’s property become damaged or in case someone suffers an injury while you’re completing the project.
Typically called “general liability insurance,” this form of protection provides reimbursement up to the limits outlined in the policy. Obtaining more liability insurance than the state requires affords you better protection.
Register Your Business and Obtain Your License
Your business must be registered in the state of Oregon if you want to become a licensed contractor. Conduct a business name availability check through the Oregon Secretary of State website, then register your business.
Afterward, you simply need to apply for a contractor license. Submit all the required information, including proof of surety bond and liability insurance, evidence that you passed the exam, and proof of your business registry. You will receive your license.
Keep in mind that Oregon contractors must also complete 8-16 hours of continued education every two years, depending on the length of their experience. To satisfy this requirement, start your course now at PDH Contractors Academy.