The Office of the Secretary of State accepts complaints against contractors in some instances. 

Complaints related to workmanship and the quality of work performed by a contractor are not filed with our office because we do not have the authority to investigate these complaints. 

Complaints Reviewed by Secretary of State

You can submit the following complaints to our office:

Abandonment of Contract – deposit or other consideration is provided to the contractor and the contractor fails to start or complete the work required within the time periods provided below (unless the failure is due to circumstances beyond the control of the contractor):

  • Failure to substantially begin work either within:
    • 60 days of the starting date agreed upon in writing
    • 90 days of the contract date if no starting date is agreed upon in writing
  • Failure to complete any work agreed upon in writing either within:
    • 90 days of the completion date agreed upon in writing
    • 180 days of the contract date if no completion date is agreed upon in writing

Diversion of Funds or Property – contractor uses funds or property received for a specific contract for purposes other than those identified in the contract or for purposes to defraud or deceive creditors or the owner.

Fraud – contractor engages in fraudulent or deceptive acts, or practices or misrepresents themselves as a contractor; and the conduct results in damage to one or more people, which exceeds a combined total amount of $3,000.

False Statement or Legal Issues – contractor makes a false or misleading statement on an application for a license or renewal; or the contractor violates contractor law or is convicted of an offense and this office determines that the violation or conviction has a direct bearing on the applicant’s or licensee’s ability to act as a contractor.

No Trade or Professional License – contractor performs work without the trade or professional license that is required to perform such work, such as a license issued by the State Electrical Board or State Plumbing Board.

Failure to Refund Advance Payment – when requested by a customer, a contractor fails to fully refund an advance payment made by the customer, and evidence exists that abandonment of contract by the contractor has occurred and the contractor has not proven otherwise or has admitted to abandonment of contract.

How to File a Complaint

To file a contractor complaint, submit a Complaint Against Contractor (SFN 16999) form to:

North Dakota Office of the Secretary of State
600 East Boulevard Avenue, Dept 108
Bismarck ND 58505-0500

The Secretary of State will review the complaint to determine whether we have the authority to handle the complaint. If we determine that the complaint falls under our authority, a copy of the complaint will be forwarded to the contractor for their review. The contractor then has 3 weeks to provide a written response to the complaint. The contractor will be encouraged to contact the complainant to attempt to resolve the issues.