The State of North Dakota requires all individuals and businesses engaging in construction work of $2,000 or more, including labor and materials, to obtain a license from the North Dakota Secretary of State. General contractors include anyone engaging in the business of building, altering, repairing, dismantling or demoing a building or structure.
The North Dakota Secretary of State does not require General Contractors to meet a work experience or education requirement, or pass a qualifying exam in order to obtain a license. Instead, contractors must register their business name or entity with the Secretary of State and complete an application. All contractors are also required to hold the proper forms of insurance.
License Classifications in North Dakota
The license classification that the contractor applies for determines the size of the job or project they may work on in the State of North Dakota. The North Dakota Secretary of State offers the following license classifications to General Contractors:
- Class A License- allows contractors to work on projects over $250,000 per job
- Class B License- allows contractors to work on projects up to $250,000 per job
- Class C License- allows contractors to work on projects up to $120,000 per job
- Class D License- allows contractors to work on projects up to $50,000 per job
Process to Obtain a General Contractors License in North Dakota
- All new General Contracting businesses must register their trade name or business entity with the North Dakota Secretary of State
- All contractors must complete the Contractor License Application from the North Dakota Secretary of State. Additionally, contractors must sign the application, including an under-oath/ affidavit statement and have the application notarized.
- All contractors must obtain a Certificate of Liability Insurance
- All contractors must obtain a statement from Workforce Safety & Insurance, noting that they are in compliance with North Dakota worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance laws
- All contractors must submit the completed application, along with all required documents and fees to the North Dakota Secretary of State
Preparing to Submit an Application
Before beginning the process of obtaining a General Contractor license in North Dakota, it is important to read and become familiar with the Statutes Pertaining to Contractors working within the State. For a copy of these statutes, please visit:
For a copy of the Contractor License Application, please visit the link below:
Prior to completing and submitting the application, all contractors must go through the following steps and obtain the following documents:
- All new General Contracting businesses are required to register their trade name or business entity with the North Dakota Secretary of State Business Division- businesses, including general partnerships and sole proprietors must register their fictitious business name or trade name with the Business Division. Corporations and LLCs must register their business entity with the Business Division. For more information about registering your business with the North Dakota Secretary of State, please call:
For more information about registering your specific business type, please click below and visit the link for your business type, i.e. sole proprietor, limited liability partnership, corporation, etc.
- Some business types are required to obtain a Sales and Use Tax permit from the North Dakota Tax Department- to determine if a Sales and Use Tax permit is needed, or for more information, please call the Tax Department at:
- All businesses must obtain a Certificate of Liability Insurance- the certificate must be in the contractor’s exact business name and it must list the North Dakota Secretary of State as the certificate holder. Liability insurance must be obtained from a company licensed to do business in the State of North Dakota.
- All contractors must prove that they are in compliance with worker’s compensation insurance laws in the State of North Dakota- contractors must obtain a statement from Workforce Safety & Insurance, stating that they have obtained worker’s compensation insurance, or that the contractor is exempt. For more information, please visit or contact Workforce Safety & Insurance at:
1600 East Century Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58506
Phone Number: 701-328-3800 OR Toll Free- 1-800-777-5033
*All contractors will also be required to prove that they are in compliance with unemployment insurance laws in North Dakota, once they receive their license and begin to hire workers.
Be sure to read and follow all directions when filling out the application. All businesses are required to provide the name, general information and Social Security Number/Federal ID Number for all partners, managing partners and officers within their company. The last page of the application must be signed by the contractor and notarized by a notary public. Please note that all applicants must also sign the under-oath/ affidavit statement at the end of the application.
For questions about filling out the application, or the application process itself, contact the North Dakota Secretary of State at:
Call Toll Free 1-800-352-0867
Submitting an Application
To be sure that all required documents have been obtained, prior to submitting the application, it is a good idea to use the Contractor Compliance Checklist, which ensures that the contractor has secured all the proper documents. For a copy of the checklist, please visit:
The cost to apply for a General Contractor License in North Dakota depends on the license classification that the contractor is applying for. Use the table below to determine the appropriate filing fee:
|License Classification||Filing Fee|
Please make checks payable to, “Secretary of State.” The Secretary of State also accepts payment in the form of credit card, using the Credit Card Payment Authorization form. For a copy of this form, please visit:
Submit the completed application, along with all the required documents and fees to:
North Dakota Secretary of State
600 E Blvd Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505
*Once the contractor has submitted an application and started the licensing process, all required documents must be on file within 90 days of the original application. If the Secretary of State does not receive all the required documents within the 90 day time frame, they will refund 1/2 of the contractor’s filing fee. The other half of the fee is non-refundable.
Once the Secretary of State has approved the application, they will issue the contractor their license. It is the responsibility of all licensed General Contractors in the State of North Dakota to secure the proper building permits needed for each project. Contractors will be asked to provide their license number each time they attempt to secure a permit.
Any contractor who employs workers must determine if they are required to hold unemployment insurance coverage. Within 20 days of hiring their first employees, all contractors must file a Report to Determine Liability. If the report determines that unemployment insurance is needed, the contractor will be required to submit quarterly Employer’s Contribution Wage Reports. For more information, please contact:
Job Service North Dakota
1000 E Divide Avenue
P.O. Box 5507
Bismarck, ND 58506-5507
Phone Number: 701-328-2814
All contractors are also responsible for maintaining current and up-to-date liability insurance. They must post the current Certificate of Premium Payment in their place of business at all times.
How Long is a North Dakota General Contractors License Valid?
All license classifications expire once a year on March 1st and must be renewed in the State of North Dakota. If the contractor does not renew their license before March 1st of each year, they will be subject to fines and penalties.
At renewal time, contractors must obtain the following documents and complete the following steps:
- File a renewal application with the Secretary of State. Licenses may also be renewed online. For more information, please call: 701-328-3665Toll Free: 1-800-352-0867OR
- All contractors are required to submit a listing of all projects or contracts where the cost of the job was $25,000 or more, including labor and materials. The list must describe each project in detail, including the nature of the work.
- All contractors must certify that they have submitted all payroll taxes and North Dakota income taxes. This certification is listed as #6 on the renewal application. Contractors must also verify that they have paid their unemployment and worker’s compensation insurance premiums.
- All contractors must prove that their general liability insurance coverage is current and up-to-date.
Along with the renewal application, contractors are required to submit a renewal filing fee in the following amounts:
- Class A – $60
- Class B – $40
- Class C – $30
- Class D – $10
For more information about General Contractor License renewal in the State of North Dakota, please visit:
Table of Fees
|Fee||What is it For?||When is it Due?|
|$300||Filing Fee for a Class A License||Upon submitting the license application|
|$200||Filing Fee for a Class B License||Upon submitting the license application|
|$150||Filing Fee for a Class C License||Upon submitting the license application|
|$50||Filing Fee for a Class D License||Upon submitting the license application|
|$60||Renewal Fee for a Class A License||Upon submitting the renewal application|
|$40||Renewal Fee for a Class B License||Upon submitting the renewal application|
|$30||Renewal Fee for a Class C License||Upon submitting the renewal application|
|$10||Renewal Fee for a Class D License||Upon submitting the renewal application|