How to Get an Oregon Contractors License

Published: Mar 10, 2017
Oregon contractors license

Construction specialists in Oregon need to get an Oregon contractors license, so that they are allowed to do construction work. If you’re considering a contractorship business in the state, you need to make sure you are legally compliant.

The licensing process is regulated by the Oregon Construction Contractors Board. In order to receive your license, you would need to meet a list of requirements. The most notable ones include obtaining an Oregon contractor license bond and general liability insurance, among others.   

Here are the most important steps of the licensing process.

Getting acquainted with the Oregon contractors license types

There are three main types of contractor licenses in Oregon that correspond to different types of construction activity: residential, commercial and combined. Within each endorsement, there are a number of classifications. You need to select your license depending on the main operations you’re planning to undertake. Check out all classifications offered by the Oregon Construction Contractors Board in its Endorsement Chart.

A Residential Endorsement gives you the right to work on residential and small commercial projects. The latter are structures with an area less than 10,000 square feet and height below 20 feet, or a part of a bigger building which is below 12,000 square feet and 20 feet high, and costs less than $250,000.

If you want to work on all types of commercial structures, you would need a Commercial Endorsement. In order to work on both residential and commercial structures in all sizes, you have to get a Residential and Commercial Endorsement.

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Meeting the Oregon contractors license requirements

Oregon contractor license requirements

Each classification that you can get as an Oregon contractor entail meeting a different set of licensing requirements. For all license types, you have to complete an Oregon contractors license application, undergo pre-licensing education, and successfully pass an Oregon contractors license test.

Depending on the endorsement you want, you will need to file an application for a Residential, Commercial or Residential and Commercial License. Your business entity and name have to be registered with the Corporation Division of the Oregon Secretary of State.

You have to file your general liability insurance, and may need worker’s compensation insurance if you plan to hire employees. A federal or state tax number is also required before applying for the license.

The Oregon contractor license bond that you have to post depends on the classification you are applying for. The same goes for the general liability insurance. Below you can find the different amounts accordingly:

  • Residential General Contractor (RGC) and Residential Developer (RD) – $20,000 bond and $500,000 insurance
  • Residential Specialty Contractor (RSC) – $15,000 bond and $300,000 insurance
  • Residential Limited Contractor (RLC), Home Services Contractor (HSC), Residential Locksmith Services Contractor (RLSC), Home Inspector Services Contractor (HISC), and Home Energy Performance Score Contractor (HEPSC) – $10,000 bond and $100,000 insurance
  • Commercial General Contractor Level 1 (CGC1) – $75,000 bond and $2 million insurance
  • Commercial General Contractor Level 1 (CGC2) – $20,000 bond and $1 million insurance
  • Commercial Specialty Contractor Level 1 (CSC1) – $50,000 bond and $1 million insurance
  • Commercial Specialty Contractor Level 1 (CSC2) and Commercial Developer (CD)- $20,000  bond and $500,000 insurance

Posting an Oregon contractor license bond

Getting licensed as an Oregon contractor entails obtaining a surety bond. The amounts are set by the Construction Contractors Board and vary between the different classifications.

Your bond amount can be anywhere between $10,000 and $75,000. However, this is not the price you have to pay. To get bonded, you have to pay a bond cost that is only a few percentages of the bonding amount.

The bond price is formulated after examining your personal and business finances. Your surety assesses their strength by checking your credit score, statements, and assets and liquidity.

If your overall finances are solid, you can expect a bond premium in the range of 1%-5%. This means that for a $10,000 bond, you are likely to pay between $100 and $500.

If you want to launch your bonding process, you can get started today. Just apply online for a free bond quote. Need help or have questions? Call us at 877.514.5146 to get assistance from Lance Surety Bonds’ specialists.

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Victor Lance is the founder and president of Lance Surety Bond Associates, Inc. He began his career as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving two combat tours. As president of Lance Surety, he now focuses on educating and assisting small businesses throughout the country with various license and bond requirements. Victor graduated from Villanova University with a degree in Business Administration and holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.