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Ohio General Contractor Regulations – By City

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The State of Ohio does not have a license requirement for General or Residential Contractors.  On the other hand, Commercial Contractors are required to obtain a license from the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board if they are involved in the following trades:

  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Refrigeration
  • HVAC
  • Hydronics

Commercial contractors practicing these trades are required to fill out an application and pass an exam to receive their license.  For more information on receiving a Commercial Contractor’s License in Ohio, please visit:


Ohio handles the licensing of General and Residential Contractors at the local level; therefore, it is highly important for contractors to check the laws of their city or municipality before beginning work on a construction project.

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

Columbus, OH

The City of Columbus, OH requires general contractors to register with the Department of Building and Zoning Services.  All applicants must be at least 18 years old and a citizen or legal documented worker in the United States.

The contractor must fill out a registration application and pay a registration fee.  Businesses may choose a responsible full-time employee within the company to complete the registration process.  All applications must be signed and notarized. Additionally, contractors are required to prove that the hold:

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

Registration fees are subject to change.  To determine the specific fee amount, call:


Applications and fees may be mailed in or submitted in-person to the following address:

Contractor Registration
City of Columbus
Department of Building and Zoning Services
757 Carolyn Avenue
Columbus, OH 43224

Make checks payable to “Columbus City Treasurer.”

For a copy of the application and instructions, please visit:

General Contractor License Application

For more information about registering as a General Contractor in the City of Columbus, OH, click the link below:


Cleveland, OH

General contractors in the City of Cleveland, OH are required to register with the Department of Building and Zoning Services.  Registration is required to work on commercial and residential projects.  Contractors are also required to submit project plans, drawn to scale, and apply for additional permits.  Proper bonding and insurance is required.

For more information about registration, bonding and insurance requirements, contact the City of Cleveland’s General Contractor Bureau Monday through Friday between the hours of 8am and 5pm, at: (216)-664-2884

To view additional registration information, please visit:


Contractors may also obtain registration and building permit applications at City Hall in Room 505, Monday through Friday between 8am and 5pm;  OR  by emailing:


For a guide to the types of building permits the city requires, please visit:


For a schedule of fees to have the project plans examined, and also to view permits fees, click the link below:

City of Cleveland Permit Fee Schedule

Cincinnati, OH

Contractors performing work within the city limits of Cincinnati, OH are required to register with the City of Cincinnati Building and Inspections Division.  In order to register, contractors must:

  • Obtain and fill out an application packet
  • Be current with their income taxes for wages earned within city limits
  • Must hold liability insurance with a minimum of $100,000 in damage coverage and $300,000 per incident.
  • Must hold worker’s compensation insurance if they plan to employ workers

Registration costs $125 and is renewed once a year for the same amount.  Registration may be done in-person or through the mail at the following address:

Business Development and Permit Center
Contractor Registration
3300 Central Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45225

Make checks payable to “City of Cincinnati.”  For a list of additional fees, visit:


For more information about General Contractor Registration in the City of Cincinnati, OH, please visit:


For a copy of the Registration Packet, please visit:


Youngstown, OH

The City of Youngstown Division of Building and Inspection asks General Contractors to register and obtain the proper zoning or demolition permits.  In order to obtain the proper permits, contractors are required to submit the plans for their projects.

Registration is good for one year, and expires each year on December 31st.  There is a non-refundable registration fee of $25.00.

For a copy of the registration form, please visit:



Call City Hall at: (330)-742-8800

Contractors may submit their registration form and fee in-person between the hours of 8am to 4pm; or by mail to the following address:

5th Floor, City Hall
26 South Phelps Street 

For more information about registering as a General Contractor in the City of Youngstown, OH, please visit: