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Oregon contractor license and insurance requirements

Matt Crawford image
By Matt Crawford
Oct 11, 2020 min read

Are you a contractor who installs or repairs roofing, siding, flooring, plumbing or air conditioning? If so, you need an Oregon contractor license.

Under Oregon law, anyone who “works in any construction activity involving improvement to real property,”[1] must have a Construction Contractors License.

Oregon’s licensing requirements are more stringent than some other states. It’s important to follow the steps necessary to obtain a license before submitting your application to avoid delays.

What are the requirements to get an Oregon contractor license?

To get an Oregon contractor license, you must be at least 18 years old and submit an application to the Construction Contractors Board (CCB). But before you can submit your application, there are a few other things you need to do.

If you haven’t already registered your business with the state, that’s a good place to start. Then you must decide what types of buildings you plan to work on — residential, commercial or both — and what kind of work you intend to do. 

The answers to these questions will determine the type of license and insurance you need.

You must then complete a 16-hour training course and pass an exam before applying for an Oregon state contractor license. If you’ve already passed the NASCLA commercial exam, you don’t have to take the pre-license training, but you do need to pass the exam. 

Classes are available in self-study, online and in-person formats. Fees range from $19-$385 for online and self-study courses and $200-$550 for in-person courses. [2] The cost to take the exam is $60.

How to apply for an Oregon contractor license

To apply for a license, you must have a surety bond in the appropriate amount, ranging from $10,000 to $75,000[3] based on the type of license you’re applying for. 

All contractors need to maintain general liability insurance, and if you have employees you need to provide your Oregon Business and Federal Employer identification numbers and purchase workers’ compensation insurance.

After you’ve met the requirements for obtaining an Oregon contractor license, you need to submit a completed application, your supporting documents and a $250 fee to the Oregon Construction Contractors Board. 

If your application is approved, your license will be good for two years. Your CCB license number must appear on all your advertising. To renew your license, you must complete continuing education every two years.

Oregon general contractor license types

There are two different types of general contractor licenses in Oregon — residential and commercial. If you work on both residential and commercial buildings, you can apply for a dual license. 

When you complete your application, you must select an endorsement, which defines the scope of work you’re licensed to perform and, in some cases, the amount of experience you have.

There are nine residential endorsements, which include:

  1. Residential general contractor (RGC)
  2. Residential specialty contractor (RSC)
  3. Residential limited contractor (RLC)
  4. Residential developer (RD)
  5. Home services contractor (HSC)
  6. Residential locksmith services contractor (RLSC)
  7. Home inspector services contractor (HISC)
  8. Home energy performance score contractor (HEPSC)
  9. Residential restoration contractor (RRC).

There are five commercial endorsements, which include:

  1. Commercial general contractor level 1 (CGC1)
  2. Commercial general contractor level 2 (CGC2)
  3. Commercial specialty contractor level 1 (CSC1)
  4. Commercial specialty contractor level 2 (CSC2)
  5. Commercial developer (CD)

Common challenges for obtaining a license

Applicants who have unpaid construction debt or been indicted or convicted of certain crimes may have difficulty obtaining a general contractor license in Oregon. 

If you have outstanding debt, you’ll need to provide official documentation of the amount you owe. If you have a criminal record, you may need to provide an explanation of the crime.

How long does it take to get a general contractor license?

It takes the Construction Contractors Board approximately 7-10 business days to process an application, which may be submitted by fax, mail or in person. The board doesn’t offer online or email submissions.

You must submit your application with your test score report, bond, certificate of insurance, application fee and any other required documents. If your application is incomplete, processing will be delayed.

Insurance requirements for Oregon General Contractors

All general contractors in Oregon must have general liability insurance. The required insurance varies by endorsement and ranges from $100,000 to $500,000 per occurrence for residential licenses. Commercial licenses must have have $500,000 per occurrence and $2 million aggregate insurance limits.[4]

General liability insurance helps protect you against claims related to property damage and injuries (to non-employees) caused by your business. It also helps for court costs and legal fees you may incur to defend your business against a claim.

If you have employees or plan to hire some, you’ll also need workers’ compensation insurance, which provides benefits to employees who experience a work-related injury or illness.

It’s illegal to drive in Oregon without insurance, and your personal auto insurance policy won’t cover business-owned vehicles. If you have vehicles you or your employees use for business purposes, you’ll need a commercial auto insurance policy. 

This type of coverage helps pay for medical bills related to injuries or property damage that occurs from driving a business-owned vehicle.

How Next Insurance protects Oregon General Contractors

Next Insurance specializes in working with general contractors to create customized insurance packages designed to fit your business’s specific needs. 

With our online application process, you can get a free quote, view your coverage options, select the right policies for your business, and get your certificates of insurance in less than 10 minutes.

Our U.S.-based, licensed insurance advisors are available to help if you have questions during the process.

Start a free instant quote today.

Do you have projects in a different U.S. state? Visit our summary of general contractor license requirements in every state.

Sources:

[1] https://www.oregon.gov/ccb/licensing/Pages/get-licensed.aspx

[2] https://www.oregon.gov/ccb/licensing/Pages/list-prelicenseeducators.aspx

[3] https://www.oregon.gov/ccb/licensing/Pages/suretybonds.aspx

[4] https://www.oregon.gov/ccb/Documents/pdf/endorsementchart.pdf

Matt Crawford image
By Matt Crawford
Matt Crawford is Associate Content Director at Next Insurance and a small business insurance specialist. He has worked throughout his career to help small business owners grow and protect their businesses.
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