A contractor is a anyone who engages in the business of construction. This includes building, repairing, altering, dismantling, or demolishing real or personal property, parcels of land, and structures that are permanently attached to the land. Examples include bridges, highways, roads, streets, buildings, airports, dams, and pipelines. It also includes property that is for sale or rent. 

When the cost, value, or price of a job exceeds $4,000, the person doing the work must be licensed as a contractor in North Dakota (NDCC ch. 43-07). This includes subcontractors, general contractors, public contractors, and nonresident contractors.

Hiring and Working with Contractors

Search contractors who are registered in North Dakota to see if their license is in good standing.

Search for Registered Contractors


The Office of the Secretary of State accepts the filing of certain complaints against contractors. Visit File Complaint Against Contractor for more information.

Become a Licensed Contractor 


Step 1: Determine if Business Registration is Required

Before applying for a contractor license, you need to determine whether you have a business registration requirement with the Secretary of State. 

  • If you are a sole proprietor, you may need to register a trade name
  • If you are a general partnership, you may need to register a fictitious partnership name
  • If you are any other business structure (corporation, limited liability company, etc.), you must register

Step 2: Submit Contractor License Application

Submit a Contractor License Application using the FirstStop Portal. If your business is registered with the Secretary of State, the name on the application must be the same as on the business registration. The application will require you to sign a statement of your experience and qualifications as a contractor. 

The application must include the following documents:

Certificate of Liability Insurance

You must include a certificate of liability insurance with the application. The liability insurance must be in the same name you are requesting for the contractor license. The certificate must list the North Dakota Secretary of State, 600 E Boulevard Ave, Dept 108, Bismarck, ND 58505, as the certificate holder.

Workforce Safety & Insurance Verification

If you have employees residing in North Dakota, a current certificate of payment from Workforce Safety & Insurance (WSI) is required to verify workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Instructions for obtaining the certificate of payment are included in the FirstStop Portal.

If you do not have employees residing in North Dakota and do not meet the tests of significant contact, you must provide a letter of good standing from WSI.  Instructions for obtaining a certificate of good standing from WSI are included in the FirstStop Portal.

License Fees

ClassContract AmountFee
Class AOver $500,000 per job$450
Class BUp to $500,000 per job$300
Class CUp to $300,000 per job$225
Class DUp to $100,000 per job$100

Step 3: Apply for Other Licenses or Permits

In addition to a contractor's license, you may need to obtain other licenses or permits as required by law. These specialized licenses or permits are not part of the contractor license issued by the Secretary of State. 

Examples include:


Renew Contractor License

If you are a licensed contractor, you must renew your license on or before March 1 of each year.  


Complete the Contractor License Renewal in the FirstStop Portal, which includes:

  • Listing of each project, contract, or subcontract completed in North Dakota during the preceding calendar year that exceeded $25,000
  • Certification that all payroll taxes, Workforce Safety and Insurance premiums, and unemployment insurance premiums have been paid at the time of renewal
  • A certificate of liability insurance verifying liability coverage.

Renewal Fees

License renewals must be received on or before the deadline or incur a late filing fee.

ClassContract AmountFee
Class AOver $500,000 per job$90
Class BUp to $500,000 per job$60
Class CUp to $300,000 per job$45
Class DUp to $100,000 per job$30