General construction contractors do not have regulation by the state. However, they may have regulation through local sources or city municipalities. Having a license is a requirements for hydronic, plumbing, refrigeration, HVAC, and electrical work.

You must hold a state license do Electrical, HVAC, Refrigeration, Plumbing, or Hydronic work in Ohio. General construction contractors may need to be licensed at the local level. Check with the city or county for licensing information and requirements.

How to Obtain an Ohio Contractor License

A contractor license in Ohio is not needed for the state level. It is best to check with city or county for further regulations. Any information reg    Contractor licensure in the state of Ohio does not have a requirement for the state level. It is best to check with your city or local county for further regulations. Any information regarding a license for hydronics, plumbing, refrigeration, HVAC, and electrical can be obtained from the following:

Construction Industry Licensing Board
Website:  http://www.com.state.oh.us

Experience, Exam, or Education Requirements: Are There Any Within the State of Ohio?

No, there are no requirements at the state level. It is important to check with the local county or city regulations regarding general contractors. Exam and an experience is a requirement to hold a refrigeration, hydronic, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical license.

Contractor Continued Education: Is This a Requirement in the State of Ohio?

No, this is not a requirement for a general contractor. Any other contractors who are listed above will be required to complete continued education.

NASCLA Commercial Contractor: Is this Accredited License accepted within the State of Ohio?


Contractor, Commercial Contractor License: Does Ohio Require This?

Check with your local county or city for further regulations.

Does Ohio Have Reciprocity With Other States?

Check with your local county or city for any reciprocity. Ohio typically has an agreement with Kentucky and West Virginia for electrical.

All contractor license classifications must take the Business and Law exam in addition to any required trade-specific exam.
# of Questions                                          % Required to Pass                               Time Allowed
       50                                                                 70%                                                 2 Hours
5 to 10 Pretest Items Not Scored Not Timed

Subject Area                                                     # of Items
Business Org                                                           2
Licensing                                                                 3
Estimating and Bidding                                            8
Contract Management                                             5
Project Management                                               4
Insurance and Bonding                                            5
OSHA Record Keeping and Safety                          5
Personnel Regulations                                             5
Financial Management                                             6
Tax Laws                                                                   5
Lien Laws                                                                 2
Pretest Items                                                          5-10

Ohio handles all licensures for General and Residential Contractors at the local level; therefore, it is curical for contractors to check their laws of the city, or municipality before starting any work on a construction project.

Below are the permit and licensing requirements for some of the larger cities in Ohio.

Columbus, OH

The City of Columbus, OH has a requirement that general contractors will need to register with the Department of Building and Zoning Services.  Each applicant will need to be at least 18 years of age, and will need to be a citizen or legal documented worker in the United States.

Each contractor must complete a registration application and pay a fee for registration.  Businesses can  choose a responsible employee (full-time) within the company to complete the registration process.  Each application will need to be signed and notarized. Also, contractors will have a requirement to prove that the hold:

  • A Bond that is worth $25,000
  • General Liability Insurance that has a minimum limit of $300,000 and $500,000 per each occurrence

Cleveland, OH

Each general contractor in the City of Cleveland, OH will have a requirement to register with the Department of Building and Zoning Services.  Registration is required to work on all residential and commercial projects.  Each contractor will also be required to submit project plans, drawn to scale, and apply for additional permits.  Proper bonding and insurance will be a requirement.

Cincinnati, OH

Each contractor who is within the city limits of Cincinnati, OH have a requirement to register with the City of Cincinnati Building and Inspections Division.  In order to complete registration:

  • Complete an application packet
  • Be current with income taxes for wages that are earned within the city limits
  • Must hold liability insurance that has a minimum of $100,000 in damage coverage, as well as $300,000 per incident.
  • Must hold worker’s compensation insurance if they have a plan to employ any workers

Youngstown, OH

The City of Youngstown Division of Building and Inspection suggests that General Contractors to obtain and register the proper zoning or demolition permits.  In order to receive the proper permits, each contractor will be required to submit the plans for their projects.

Registration is good for one full year, and it will set to expire each year on December 31st.

Question: How do I register my construction company in Ohio? 

 Register your Ohio Business With:

Ohio Secretary of State
180 Broad Street, 16th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215


(614) 466-3910


What forms do I need to register my new company in Ohio?

Register your Business in Ohio                  

Forms   Tax Forms  


Question: How do I look up a company in Ohio or see if a company name is available to register?  

Answer: Use this link to see if your company name is available in Ohio Entity Search  


Where can I get the books?

AMAZON – Click on the book to order:

Ohio, Contractors Guide to Business, Law and Project Management

Ohio, Contractors Guide to Business, Law and Project Management