General and residential contractors in Ohio are licensed by their local building departments, not by the state. More specialized contractors, such as electrical, HVAC, hydronics, plumbing and refrigeration, are licensed through the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board. Some of these more specialized contractors may also need to undergo state administered testing to get a trade-specific license. All registered contractors in Ohio require liability insurance. You must be at least 18 years old and able to work in the United States to be registered as a contractor. Some municipalities may also withhold registration if the applicant was convicted of a felony or engaged in professional misconduct in the past.
Complete a general or residential contractor registration application. These can vary depending on your municipality, but you will need to include your name, address and company information, if applicable. In some municipalities, you may have to get your application notarized. You can generally find these applications on your municipality’s building department website or by contacting your municipality’s building department directly.
Get a contractor license or registration bond. You must get a bond from a bonding company or agency. These bonds are used to protect the public from any financial damage you may cause in the course of your duties as a contractor. Required bond amounts can vary from municipality to municipality, but you should expect to need a bond for at least $10,000.
Get liability insurance. You must have liability insurance before you get registered as a contractor. In general, you must be covered for at least $300,000 in damages. You can get this coverage from most major insurance companies.
Submit your application, bond and certificate of liability insurance to your local building department. Most municipalities will also require a licensing fee. Check with your local building department for fees in your municipality.
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