Rhode Island’s Contractor Registration Law states that any sole proprietor, business entity or subcontractor engaged in the building, repair, remodeling or demolition of any building or structure in the State of Rhode Island, must be registered with the Contractors Licensing and Registration Board. This registration law applies to both residential and commercial contractors. Registration is required, regardless, if the contractor plans to work per job, hourly, weekly or at cost, or if the contract agreed upon is written or oral. The law also applies to anyone bidding on or advertising work on construction projects in the state.
The Rhode Island Contractors Registration Law was created by the State General Assembly as a way to protect consumers and the safety of the public. It is important to note that this is a registration law, not a licensing law. Contractors in the State of Rhode Island are prohibited from referring to their registration as a license. Registration is required before a contractor may obtain the building permits needed to start a project. To obtain registration, contractors must attend mandatory pre-registration education. However, there are no other work experience or exam requirements in the State of Rhode Island.
In addition to commercial and residential contractors, the following subcontractors and trade specialists are required to register with the Board:
- Drywall Installers
- Foundation Installers
- Insulation Installers
- Ceramic Tile Installers
- Floor Covering Installers
- Swimming Pool Installers
- Siding Installers
- General Masonry Erectors
*Plumbers and Electricians are licensed by a separate licensing entity in the State of Rhode Island. All out-of-state commercial and residential contractors planning to work in the state must also obtain registration.
Process to Obtain General Contractors Registration in Rhode Island
- All contractors must attend the mandatory 5 hour pre-registration course, as indicated by the Board, and obtain a certificate of course completion
- All contractors must obtain and complete the Contractors Registration Application as well as the Affidavit. Both documents must be signed and notarized
- All contractors must obtain general liability insurance, as well as unemployment and worker’s compensation insurance, if the contractor plans to employ workers
- All businesses must register their business entity with the Rhode Island Secretary of State
- All contractors must provide a copy of their photo I.D., such as a driver’s license
- All contractors must submit the completed registration application along with all required documents and fees to the Rhode Island Contractors Registration and Licensing Board
Before a contractor may apply for registration with the Board, they must attend a mandatory 5-hour pre-registration course. At the end of the course, the contractor will be given a certificate of completion, indicating that they have successfully completed the course requirement. The certificate of completion is one of the required documents that must be submitted along with the registration application.
Applications submitted without the certificate of course completion are not accepted, and returned to the contractor. Contractors cannot obtain their registration without completing this mandatory course. Additionally, some contractors are required to complete 5 hours of continuing education at renewal time, as the Board instructs.
To find out more about pre-registration education, contact the Board at:
Preparing to Submit an Application
To obtain a copy of the Contractors Registration Application, please visit:
Be sure to read all instructions and follow all the directions included on the application. The business name provided on the application is what will appear on the registration certificate and pocket card; therefore, it is important that these names match exactly. The application must be signed and notarized.
Before a contractor may submit the completed application, they must obtain the following documents and go through the following steps:
- Complete and sign the Affidavit, indicating that the contractor understands the various laws and contracting rules in the State of Rhode Island. Like the application, the Affidavit must also be signed and notarized. For a copy of the Affidavit, please visit:
- All businesses must register with the Rhode Island Secretary of State to be authorized to conduct business within the State. For more information about registering with the Secretary of State, please visit:
- Obtain general liability insurance. The Board requires that contractors hold a combined single-limit policy, covering bodily injury and property damage, in the minimum amount of $500,000.
- If the contractor plans to employ workers, they must also obtain worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance. The contractor must list the insurance account number for each of these types of insurance on the registration application.
If the contractor registering does not reside in the State of Rhode Island, they must complete and sign the out-of-state service form affidavit. They must also hire a Rhode Island attorney to act as an agent of service. For more information on registering as an out-of-state contractor, please visit the following links:
All contractors are required to provide the following information on their registration application:
- Driver’s License/ Photo I.D.
- Insurance Account Numbers (Unemployment and Worker’s Compensation)
- Proof of General Liability Insurance Certificate
- Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN)
- State Tax Withholding Number
All businesses must list the name and address of each member, owner, officer or partner within their company. If the contractor is operating more than one business entity, they are responsible for registering each company.
For additional forms and registration information, please visit:
For any questions or concerns about the registration process, call the Board at:
Submitting an Application
Once the contractor has completed all the registration steps and gathered the appropriate documents, it is time to submit their
completed application to the Board. Remember that a completed application includes the following documentation:
- Application- signed and notarized
- Affidavit- signed and notarized
- Certificate of Course Completion- pre-registration course
- Business Registration Papers- Rhode Island Secretary of State
- General Liability Insurance Certificate
- Copy of Photo I.D. or Driver’s License
There is a $200 registration fee that must be submitted along with the application. This fee applies to both commercial and residential contractors.
*The fee to register as a commercial roofer is $400.
The Board accepts payments in the form of check or money order, made payable to “R.I.C.R.L.B.” for applications submitted by-mail. Contractors who submit their application, in-person at the Board office may pay be credit or debit card. The Board does not accept payments in the form of cash.
Mail or hand-deliver the completed application, along with all required documents and fees to:
1 Capitol Hill
Providence, RI 02908
The Board’s office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4pm.
Once the Board approves the application, they will mail the contractor their registration certificate and pocket cards. Contractors may obtain additional pocket cards for each partner, member, officer and owner within their company for the added cost of $20 per card.
During their registration, contractors are required to provide a written contract for any project of $1,000 or more, including labor and materials. Contractors are also required to obtain the proper building permits for their project before they begin working. Contractors are responsible for notifying the Board, in writing, if there is any change to their business information or structure, such as a change of address.
The State of Rhode Island prohibits contractors from using the word “license” when referring to their registration. The word “license” should not appear on any business materials, including, contracts, advertisements or business cards.
How Long is a Rhode Island General Contractors Registration Valid?
Contractors Registration is good for a period of 2 years in the State of Rhode Island. All registrations expire on the 1st of the month that they were issued. Upon renewal, contractors are responsible for signing and notarizing a new Affidavit, and paying the $200 renewal fee. In some cases, the Board may require the contractor to attend 5 hours of continuing education to keep their registration up-to-date.
For more information about renewing a Rhode Island General Contractors Registration, call the Board at:
Table of Fees
|Fee||What is it For?||When is it Due?|
|$200||Commercial and Residential Contractors Registration Fee||Upon submitting the Registration Application|
|$400||Commercial Roofers Registration Fee||Upon submitting the Registration Application|
|$20||Cost to obtain additional pocket registration cards for other members, owners, partners and officers within the contractor’s company||Upon submitting the Registration Application|