How to Get a Contractor’s License in North Dakota

When you get your contractor’s license in North Dakota, you can work at on-site projects, like this contractor wearing safety glasses.

Put down your hammer and nails and let’s talk about contractor’s licenses. Are you ready to get one in North Dakota?

There’s a ton of information out there, but a lot of it’s outdated too. That’s why I’ve put together this simple guide to help you how to get your license, hassle-free. As a first step, let’s cover why the state requires contractors to get licensed.

Why Do I Need to Become Licensed in North Dakota?

You might have already heard—North Dakota requires anyone doing work as a contractor to register as a business in the state, get business insurance, and apply for a license. You can do most of this through the North Dakota Secretary of State’s office.

There are good reasons why. The state is protecting homeowners from scams and unsafe work practices. Just imagine if anyone could work on a house, including people without qualifications. Yikes.

The good news is getting a license in North Dakota benefits you too. For example, it:

  • Helps you land bigger jobs and higher-paying work. Tired of doing small handyman projects? With a license, you can officially get hired to do larger construction projects, as well as electrical, plumbing, or HVAC work if you get the proper training.
  • Makes you appear trustworthy and credible. People want to hire a contractor they can trust. Fortunately, a license gives you credibility and helps sell your services.
  • Adds a new level of business protection. To get a license in North Dakota, you have to buy business insurance first. This is actually great news. General liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance prepare you in the event of an accident, injury, or loss. It’s nice to see the world with rose-color glasses, the truth is, you never know what could happen. That’s why it’s better to be prepared.

Applying for a ND Contractor’s License?

You may need to show proof of business insurance to get your license.

That’s where we come in. Compare free insurance quotes for policies as low as $19.58/month.*

Getting a Contractor License in North Dakota: What You Need to Know

North Dakota makes it easy. The state has gone “high tech,” and lets you apply for a license through a new online application system. Sign up for a username and password, and you’ll be well on your way.

To make things go quickly, gather this information ahead of time:

  • Information about your business (sole proprietor, LLC, partnership, or corporation). You’ll also need to register your business with North Dakota first.
  • The type of license you’re applying for:
    • Class A: You can work on projects that cost any amount.
    • Class B: You can work on projects up to $500,000 in value.
    • Class C: You can work on projects up to $300,000 in value.
    • Class D: You can work on projects up to $100,000 in value.
  • Your work experience and skillset.
  • Proof that you have general liability insurance, including a policy number and effective date.
  • A statement from Workforce Safety & Insurance saying you’re in good standing.
  • An application fee made payable to “Secretary of State.” The fees are:
    • Class A: $450
    • Class B: $300
    • Class C: $225
    • Class D: $100.

You can file it online (it’s easy), or print and mail your application to:

Secretary of State State of North Dakota PO Box 5513 Bismarck ND 58506-5513

Getting Additional Contractor’s Licenses

Some of you might need more than one license. For example, if you’re an electrician, plumber, or work on asbestos abatement, here’s where you should go:

Electrical licenses

You can apply for your electrical license through the:

State Electrical Board PO Box 7335, Bismarck ND 58507 Phone: 701-328-9522

Plumbing licenses

In North Dakota, plumbing licenses are issued through the:

State Plumbing Board 1110 College Drive, Suite 210 Bismarck ND 58501 Phone: 701-328-9977

Asbestos abatement licenses

Apply for your asbestos abatement license through the:

Department of Environmental Quality 918 E. Divide Ave Bismarck, ND 58501 P: 701-328-5150

Keep in mind that all these licenses require different fees and licensing exams. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.

Get Business Insurance

With every contractor’s license in North Dakota, there is one common thread. No matter what, you’ll need business insurance. Most licenses require proof of general liability insurance and workers’ compensation if you have employees.

Even if you’re not ready to apply for a license today, start shopping for business insurance. It pays to find the right plan that can protect you—no matter what happens with your business.

Emily Thompson

I earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison (go Bucky). After realizing my first job might involve carrying a police scanner at 2 am in pursuit of “newsworthy” crimes, I decided I was better suited for freelance blogging and marketing writing. Since 2010, I’ve owned my freelance writing business, EST Creative. When I’m not penning, doodling ideas, or chatting with clients, you’ll find me hiking with my husband, baby boy, and 2 mischievous mutts.

Emily writes on a number of topics such as entrepreneurship, small business networking, and budgeting.