Oregon Contractors License: What You Need to Know

If you want to work on construction projects in Oregon, you need a contractor license. The Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) is responsible for managing the licensing process. Their requirements can vary based on the specifics of your work. 

In this guide, we’ll outline what steps you need to take to get your Oregon contractors license.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Oregon contractor license requirements

The CCB states that anyone who works on construction projects for pay must obtain a contractor license. This includes all the following types of work:

  • Building
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)
  • Concrete
  • Carpentry
  • Roofing and siding
  • Floor covering
  • Land development
  • Home inspection

Certain types of work such as gutter cleaning, pressure washing, and handyman projects under $1,000 in value are exempt from the licensing requirements.

The CCB requires all contractors to be at least 18 years old to receive a license.

Process of getting an Oregon contractors license

Step 1: Determine license type

The first step to getting your Oregon contractor license is to determine what kind of license you need. The CCB offers three types of licenses:

  • Residential Contractor License: This license lets contractors work on small buildings such as single family homes, small apartments and single high rise units. These structures must cost less than $250,000.
  • Commercial Contractor License: This license lets contractors work on large commercial building projects.
  • Dual License: This license lets contractors work on residential and commercial projects without limit.

Each type of license has different classifications known as endorsements. These specify the type of structure the contractor can work on. Here is a list of the different endorsements.

  • Residential general contractor (RGC)
  • Residential specialty contractor (RSC)
  • Residential limited contractor (RLC)
  • Residential developer (RD)
  • Home services contractor (HSC)
  • Residential locksmith services contractor (RLSC)
  • Home inspector services contractor (HISC)
  • Home energy performance score contractor (HEPSC)
  • Residential restoration contractor (RRC)
  • Commercial General Contractor Level 1 & 2 (CGC1, CGC2)
  • Commercial Specialty Contractor Level 1 & 2 (CSC1, CSC2)

You can use the CCB Endorsement Chart to learn more about what each endorsement allows.

Step 2: Complete pre-license training and exam

Contractors are required to complete 16 hours of pre-licensing training issued by an approved vendor. You can complete the training in-person or online. The CCB website has a list of approved pre-license educators.

After you complete the training, you are required to pass a knowledge test for the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) Contractors Guide to Business, Law, and Project Management (covered in the training). 

PSI administers the exam and you can register by visiting their website or by phone. The exam has 80 questions and you need to answer 56 (70%) correctly to pass.

Step 3: Register your business

You must register your business name with the Oregon Secretary of State, Corporation Division. You can do so online at the Secretary of State website or you can print and mail in the necessary forms.

You’ll also need to get a Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and a Business Identification Number (BIN) from the Oregon Department of Revenue.

Step 4: Get a CCB surety bond

The CCB requires Oregon contractors to post a surety bond before receiving their license. The bonds provide extra protection to the government and consumers and help ensure that the licensed contractor complies with regulatory requirements.

The required amount for Oregon contractor license bonds depends on the type of license and endorsement.

  • Residential general contractor: $20,000 bond
  • Residential specialty contractor: $15,000 bond
  • Residential limited contractor:  $10,000 bond
  • Residential developer:  $20,000 bond
  • All restricted residential endorsements: $10,000 bond
  • Commercial General Contractor Level 1: $75,000 bond
  • Commercial General Contractor Level 2: $20,000 bond
  • Commercial Specialty Contractor Level 1: $50,000 bond
  • Commercial Specialty Contractor Level 2: $20,000 bond
  • Commercial Developer: $20,000 bond

Contractors only need to pay a small portion of this amount as a premium, typically between 1% and 5%. The surety company issuing this bond is responsible for determining the exact premium rate you’ll pay. To do so, they’ll evaluate a variety of factors including credit history, industry experience, and financial standing.

With EZ Surety, you do not need to worry about a negative credit or financial history preventing you from getting a bond––we work with people of all qualifications.

Step 5: Get insurance

The CCB requires contractors to get general liability insurance coverage to ensure consumers are compensated for any damages or injuries caused by the contractor’s work. The required coverage amounts depend on the license type. 

You can find the coverage requirements for your license classification on the Oregon CCB website.

If your business has more than one employee, you must also obtain workers’ compensation insurance. 

Step 6: Submit application

Once you’ve met all the requirements, you are ready to submit your application to the CCB. Each license type has a different application that you can find on their website.

After you fill out the form, you need to gather all necessary supporting documents, and payment for the $325 application fee and mail the packet to the CCB at the following address:

State of Oregon Contractors Board
PO Box 14140
Salem, Oregon 97309-5052

Oregon contractor license frequently asked questions

How much is a contractor license in Oregon?

To get a contractor license, you must pay a $325 application fee, a $60 exam fee, and at least $49 on pre-license training.

You also need to post a surety bond. These can cost as low as $100. 

How much work can you do without a contractor license in Oregon?

Contractors can work on gutter cleaning, pressure washing, and handyman projects under $1,000 in value without a license.

How do you renew an Oregon contractor license?

Contractors must complete continuing education courses every two years to renew their licenses. You can learn more about the renewal process inside the CCB Online Services portal.

How EZ Surety Bonds can help with an Oregon contractors license

When you’re ready to get your Oregon CCB license, EZ Surety can offer you a free quote for your contractor license bond. Applying is quick and easy and we offer affordable premiums for people of all standings. Get in touch to learn more today.