The Step-by-Step Rhode Island Contractor License Guide (2024)

Published: Jan 08, 2022

rhode island contractor license


If you want to launch a construction business in Rhode Island, you have to pass through a number of administrative steps. The most important process that you need to undergo is to obtain a Rhode Island contractor license.

First, you need to establish the type of license or registration that you will need in order to perform your activities. The three main types are:

  • Contractor Registration - home and commercial construction, remodeling and repairs (RI general contractor license) 
  • Commercial Roofing Contractor License - non-residential roof works
  • Underground Utility Contractor License - sewer, water and storm drainage lines works

You can learn the details for obtaining each of these RI contractors licenses in the sections below. 

The Rhode Island Contractor License Requirements

The licensing authority in the state is the RI Contractors' Registration and Licensing Board (CRLB). It oversees the activities of the different types of contractors. The Board sets the requirements that you have to fulfill in order to obtain your registration or license. 

Business Entity Registration 

Before you can launch the process with the Board, you have to register a business entity in the state. You can do so through the Rhode Island Business Portal. Follow the steps that the Business Assistant offers, so that you can determine the needed structure. You will also obtain information if you need any other registrations with other state bodies. 

Pre-education Course and State Examination

All types of contractor applicants have to successfully pass a state examination for their trade. The PSI administers the RI contractors license tests. You can find further information in the PSI bulletin

If you are applying for a contractor registration for the first time, you have to pass 5 hours of pre-education training

Complete the Rhode Island Contractor License Application

rhode island contractor licenseWhen you have ensured that you meet all requirements set by the Board, it’s time to complete your application.

The forms are different for each license and registration type:

Mail your completed application and full set of paperwork to:

RI Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board
560 Jefferson Boulevard

Warwick, RI 02886

License and Registration Fees

You have to cover the following fees in order to submit your application:

  • $200 - contractor registration and underground utility contractor license
  • $400 - commercial roofing contractor license

Provide a Surety Bond and Insurance

In addition to fulfilling the criteria mentioned above, you also have to provide the necessary insurance policies and for some license types, also a surety bond. 

Worker’s Compensation Insurance

All businesses that will be hiring employees have to obtain worker’s compensation insurance. You can learn more from the state Department of Labor and Training

Liability and Property Damage Insurance

All applicants have to get insurance in the following amounts: 

  • Contractors - $500,000 combined single limit for bodily injury, and property damage liability
  • Commercial roofing contractors - $1,500,000 insurance per occurrence
  • Underground utility contractors - $1,000,000 combined single limit for bodily injury, and property damage liability

Surety Bond 

If you’re applying for a license as an underground utility contractor, you have to post a surety bond. The required amount of the Rhode Island contractor license bond is $20,000.

The bonding process entails that you pay a small fraction of the bond amount. This is called the premium, and it is based on the strength of your personal and business finances. If they are stable, you can expect rates between 0.75% and 5%. 

Want to see the exact cost of your RI contractor license bond? Fill in the short form below! 


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How to Verify Your Rhode Island Contractor License

You can use the Registration/License Status Lookup page of the Board to check your RI contractors license or registration. You can search by contractor type, name, city and license or registration number. 

License Renewal and Expiration

Your license or registration is active for 2 years. If you want to extend it, you have to undergo the RI contractors license renewal. The licensing period ends at the end of the 2-year period, on the first day of the month of issuance. Make sure to renew your license or registration on time to avoid a break in your operations. 


Do you have more questions about your Rhode Island contractor license and bonding? You can speak to our bonding experts by calling us at 877.514.5146.

Ready to get your FREE surety bond quote? Apply with Lance Surety Bonds and get bonded in minutes.
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