Ohio Contractor License Guide

In the State of Ohio, contractor licensing is done at the local level. If you want to perform commercial or residential work, you will need to follow the local license and bonding requirements for contractor licensing. For more information and requirements, please check with the city or county where you wish to operate as a contractor.


Determine the Type of Contractor License You Need

Among the larger cities in Ohio, the following requirements may apply:

The City of Columbus requires building contractors to have either a Home Improvement Contractor License or General Contractor License.

  • General Contractor – allows you to perform construction of new structures or buildings or repair existing commercial or multi-family dwelling units. Please note that if you wish to perform work on existing 1, 2 or 3-family dwellings you are required to have a Columbus Home Improvement Contractor license.
  • Home Improvement Contractor – allows you to do any type of repair, remodeling improvement or addition to private residences or dwelling places for no more than 3 families.

The City of North Canton requires all contractors who want to perform construction work to be registered with the city even when a permit is not required.

The City of Warrensville requires a Contractor Registration of all general, electrical, plumbing and HVAC contractors.


Access Ohio Contractor License Application Forms


Fulfill Requirements and Obtain Required Documents

To get licensed in the City of Columbus you will need to do the following:

Home Improvement applicants:

  • Provide proof of work experience: For Home Improvement General you will need 3 or more years of relevant work experience; for Home Improvement Limited the requirement is 1 full year. You can either use the Work History space provided in your application to list your experience or attach an additional sheet/resume.
  • Submit copy of test results (for Home Improvement General only)

General Contractor applicants:

  • Obtain a Certificate of Liability Insurance: You are required to submit proof of liability insurance that lists the City of Columbus as a certificate holder. The amount of the insurance must be at least $500,000 per occurrence and $300,000 per damage (to a single person).
  • Fill out the Assignment Authorized Signer Form: If you are assigning the license registration to a business you must fill out and have signed the assignment form (provided in the application) by no more than 6 full time employees, which will include the applicant. The assignment form must be notarized.

To register as a contractor in the City of North Canton you will need to do the following:

  • Obtain a Certificate of Liability Insurance
  • Provide proof of Workers’ Compensation Certificate or Sole proprietor waiver
  • Submit a RITA income tax form

All HVAC, Electric and Plumbing Contractors are required to submit a license certificate copy.

To register as a contractor in the City of Warrensville you will need to do the following:

  • Obtain a Certificate of Liability Insurance
  • Make sure City of Warrensville Heights is listed as additional insured

All electrical, plumbing and HVAC contractors must provide a copy of their licenses/permits.

Contractor Insurance

There are several types of insurance coverages that are recommended for contractors, but the recommended coverage will vary based on your operation.

If you’d like to learn more about all of the insurance coverages available to you, please read our contractor insurance guide.


Pass the Examination

In the City of Columbus, all Home Improvement General Contractor applicants must pass an Ohio Home Improvement Contractor – 767 examination. Please contact the International Code Council for further information regarding study materials and scheduling examination at 877-783-3926 or visit their website. A passing score is 70%.


Obtain Your Contractor License Bond

In the City of Columbus all General Contractor applicants must furnish a $25,000 Ohio contractor license bond. You are required to use the bond form that is enclosed in the application and must be issued in the name of the individual who holds the license.

In the City of North Canton all contractor registration applicants are required to furnish an original bond in the amount of $10,000. The bond must be issued on the City’s official bond form (also attached in the application).

In the City of Warrensville in order to be a registered contractor you must submit an Ohio surety bond of $5,000 and send it along with your application. City of Warrensville Heights should be listed as additional insured.

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Submit Your Ohio Contractor License Application

How to fill out your application

Please type or print plainly in ink.

Licensing and Application Fees

City of Columbus payments can be made in person or via mail (at the mailing address listed below). Checks must be made payable to Columbus City Treasurer.

  • $185 (non-refundable) filing fee for Home Improvement License applications
  • $350 registration fee for General Contractor applications. The fee should be paid annually and the registrations are valid for 1 year after they have been issued.

City of North Canton payments can be made with a credit card, check or exact cash only.

  • $150 registration fee

City of Warrensville payments can be with a company or certified check, money order, or bank card. Please note that personal checks and cash will not be accepted.

Mailing Address

Please mail your City of Columbus application along with all supporting documents to:

City of Columbus
Department of Building and Zoning Services
757 Carolyn Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43224

Note: As the Board of Home Improvement Contractors meets once per month make sure to send your application at least one week before the next board meeting. You can find the Board meeting schedule here.

Please mail your City of North Canton registration application and all additional documentation to:

City of North Canton
Department of Permits & Development
145 North Main Street
North Canton, Ohio 44720

Note: If you would like a receipt, provide a self-addressed stamped envelope, or a fax number or email address.

You may bring your registration in-person to:

North Canton Permits & Development Dept.
845 West Maple Street
North Canton, Ohio 44720

Please send your City of Warrensville registration along with the fee to:

19700 Miles Road
Warrensville Heights, Ohio 44128

Note: City of Warrensville contractor licenses are valid for one calendar year and expire on December 31st.

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