How to Get a Contractors License in Colorado

If you want to work as a contractor in the State of Colorado, you will likely need to get a contractors license. The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) requires electricians and other types of contractors to be licensed at the state level. Additionally, various local municipalities throughout the state require licenses for general contractors.

In this post, we will go through the different licensing requirements and how you can get a contractors license in Colorado.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Step 1: Determine license type

The first step to becoming a licensed contractor is to determine what type of license you need. There are several types of licenses available, each permitting you to perform a specific kind of work.

General contractors license

General contractors licenses allow the licensee to work on general building and construction projects. In Colorado, general contractors licenses are issued at the municipal level rather than the state level.

Electrical contractors license

Electrical contractors licenses allow the contractor to work on projects involving electrical work. The licenses are issued at the state level by the Colorado Electrical Board. There are three classifications available:

  • Residential Wireman
  • Journeyman Electrician
  • Master Electrician

Plumbing contractors license

Plumbing contractors licenses allow the contractor to work on plumbing projects. The licenses are issued at the state level by the Colorado State Plumbing Board. There are three license classification levels:

  • Residential Plumber
  • Journeyman Plumber
  • Master Plumber

Step 2: Register your business

No matter what type of contractor license you need, you will have to register your business with the Colorado Secretary of State. During the process, you must provide your Federal Employee Identification Number (EIN) and other business information.

You must also get a Tax ID number from the Tax Division of the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Step 3: Get a surety bond

Several municipalities in Colorado require contractors to post a surety bond as part of the licensing process. The bonds help ensure that the contractor adheres to all licensing requirements and allow the government and public to seek financial compensation for damages caused by the contractor.

The required bond amount for Colorado contractors license bonds varies depending on the location. Below are the required amounts for a few popular bonds:

  • Denver General Contractor Bond: $50,000
  • Denver Special Contractor Bond: $10,000
  • Denver Structural Contractor Bond: $25,000
  • Denver Sewer Contractor Bond: $50,000
  • Arvada Municipal Contractor Bond: $20,000
  • Aurora Contractor License Bond: $10,000

No matter the bond total, you only need to pay a small percentage of the total amount as a premium. When the surety company issues your bond, they will evaluate your industry experience, credit history, and other factors to determine your premium. For well-qualified contractors, this can be as low as 1% of the bond amount.

Step 4: Submit contractor license application

After you register your business and fulfill any bonding requirements, you can go ahead and apply for your Colorado contractors license. Below are the application requirements based on the license type.

Electrical contractors licenses

Electricians can complete the license application online using the Colorado DORA website. There is a $210 licensing fee and you must provide your Acknowledgement of Responsibility form along with the application.

Plumbing contractors licenses

License applications for plumbers are also available online through the DORA web portal. The licensing fee is $210 and you must provide your Affidavit of Experience and Acknowledgement of Responsibility forms with the application.

Local contractors licenses

The application process for municipal contractors licenses varies by location. Below are links to municipal websites for more information: 

Step 5: Pass the license exam (electrical and plumbing only)

Electricians and plumbers must pass a knowledge test before officially receiving a license. Once the Colorado state board approves your application, they will mail a letter of acceptance and details on how to complete the testing process.

How EZ Surety Bonds can help with a Colorado contractor license

When you are ready to get your Colorado contractors license, EZ Surety Bonds can help you meet your local bonding requirement quickly and conveniently. Find the bond you need and apply online today or get in touch to learn more.