Oregon Introduces New Modified License For Landscape Contractors

Published: Apr 19, 2019
oregon landscape contractor


As of February 1, 2019, Oregon landscape contractors can obtain a new type of license allowing the legal execution of certain activities in the state. This gives contractors more flexibility in terms of the license they may need and easier access to smaller contracting companies to the licensing process.  

The new Oregon modified landscape contractor license requires only one year of relevant professional experience. It allows you to work on jobs of up to $5,000.

Similarly to other types of licenses, this one also entails providing an Oregon contractor license bond. This is a safety mechanism that ensures you will adhere to all applicable state rules in your work as a landscape contractor.

You can find out more details about the new license type below.  

The Oregon modified landscape contractor license

The Oregon Landscape Contractors Board is the licensing authority that oversees the activities of landscape professionals in the state. It recently adopted regulations that create the new modified license.

This type of license permits you to conduct limited landscaping work. More specifically, you can engage in the following activities:

  • Preparing for planting and planting
  • Work on fences, decks, arbors, and patios
  • Landscape edging
  • Grading (not to exceed 5 cubic yards)
  • Work on driveways and walkways  

The Board also clearly defines the work that you cannot perform under the modified license:

  • Drainage, irrigation and backflow
  • Ornamental water features   
  • Low voltage lighting
  • Retaining walls

If after 12 months of holding the license you are clear of claims or penalties, you can engage in low voltage lighting as well.

The requirements for the modified license are as follows:

  • You should have at least one year of qualification
  • You should be the business owner
  • You have to pass the landscaping exam (laws, rules and business practice sections)
  • You have to provide a surety bond similarly to other landscape contractors, as set by the Board

Furthermore, the license does not allow piercing of the dwelling. However, you can work with subcontractors within the $5,000 limit of the job amount. After 12 months of holding the license with claims or civil penalties, the jobs you can do can be up to $6,500.

Obtaining the required contractor license bond

oregon landscape contractor

If you want to obtain a modified license as a landscape contractor in Oregon, the Board will set a surety bond requirement for your licensing. Its amount will be based on the type of work and the amount you charge for the work.  

The contractor license bond works as a security mechanism that protects the state and your customers against potentially unlawful activities you may commit as a licensed landscape contractor. A harmed party can demand compensation in such cases by bringing a claim against your bond.

To get bonded, you need to cover a small percentage of the bond amount, which is the bond premium. It is based on the strength of your finances. If they are in good shape, you can expect rates in the range of 1% to 5%. Thus, if you have to post a $5,000 surety bond, your bond cost can be around $100-$250.


Do you have further questions about the new modified license and bonding requirements for landscape contractors in Oregon? You can reach our bonding specialists at 877.514.5146.

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