Montana Contractor License Courses, Classes & Exam Prep

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Overview & Benefits

Obtaining a Contractor's License in Montana

If you are a subcontractor or a construction contract and have projects and employees that value $2,500 or above, then you will need to register with the Montana Department of Labor & Industry.

A construction contractor either takes away or adds to project development, railroad, highway, excavation, or structure. They can even make improvements with real estate.

All subcontractors and construction contractors must register with the Department of Labor & Industry if they have employees. You are not required to register if you don't have employees; however, you can do so. 

Note also that each building contractor and re-modeler who contracts together with a homeowner for improvement or construction work, offering more than one skill, need to hold a license, too.

Owners who work on their personal property will also be required to register and hold a license. The owners who work on their private property will, too, be responsible for obtaining a license. This is if they plan on building or remodeling for a purpose under the umbrella of resale or speculation. 

You will need to pay a fee of $53 when you register. You will also need proof of Worker's Compensation coverage when sending in your application too. It doesn't matter whether you are a subcontractor, contractor, construction contract — you will need to provide these things to obtain a license. 

It's incredibly beneficial to contact your local or county municipality for further regulations, too.

Electrical and plumbing work that is more than 90 volts is also regulated at Montana's state level. In the state of Montana, general contractors are required to register and apply. 

To register, you should contact the Contractor Registration Unit at 1-406-444-7734.
Contact the Business and Occupational Licensing Bureau at 1-406-841-2300 for applications for a plumbing or electrical license.

Alternatively, if you would like to discover further information regarding how to obtain a Contractor's License in the state of Montana, as well as the applications for contractor registrations, then visit the website below:

The Benefits of Having a Contractor’s License in Montana

Even if you think that putting the work into achieving your contractor's license sounds like too much, in Montana, putting the effort in is 100% worth it.

If you undertake paid contracting work and don't hold a license, you could get fined up to $500 per violation.

The benefits definitely outweigh the negatives, though, as there are many other great reasons why you should get a

Montana contractor's license. Not only is it imperative for your business and proving you are a legitimate worker, but it also provides these other benefits too.

It Shows That You are Trustworthy and Professional

When you register with the state for a license, you have to provide them with information about your experience, training, expertise, and qualifications. Note that not everyone can get a license — it requires time and effort, which ultimately shows that licensed contractors are more credible.

It Presents You With Higher Paid Work Opportunities 

A lot of licensed contractors have the capacity and opportunities to succeed financially. Once you obtain your license, you will be featured in the state's database of licensed professionals, which means your name and occupation will be available for all to see and contact.

You are essentially receiving a free advertisement for your services simply because you bothered to take the time to take your examination. Home and business owners alike will be able to find you on the list and contact you regarding any potential work offerings.

You Are Guaranteed Business Insurance

If you work in construction, making sure you have business insurance is vital.

A general liability insurance plan can protect your business in the event of any loss or accident. Not only does this make sure that you are covered, but it can also provide peace of mind to know that if you ever did encounter an accident, you wouldn't suffer.

Continually, if you have employers, you will need to access workers' compensation insurance, too. The reality of this type of work means that anything can happen, so it's always best to be prepared and have measures put in place that can protect you.

This is why taking your Contractor License in Montana is so crucial to your business and livelihood. 

What's on the Exam?

What You Can Expect From Us

Rightly so, you may be curious about what to expect from a state examination, alongside what it may entail.

The examination will include 110 questions, which will be multiple choice. Fifty questions will focus on business and law, with the remaining 60 questions related to construction. 

To pass the examination, you need to answer a minimum of 77 questions correctly. As an applicant, you will have four hours to complete the entire exam, with it being separated into two different sections.

The first section of the exam relates mainly to construction in general, with the second portion relating directly to you and running your own construction business.

The examination is not as daunting as you think because you are allowed a copy of the State Building Codes to use as a reference during the entirety of your examination. 

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License Requirements

How To Get A Contractors License In Montana

Depending on whether you are applying for an independent contractor’s license or a construction contractor’s license, there will be some differences regarding the application process.

Here are some steps you should follow to obtain a Re-modeler or Business Montana License.


First, you must register for and get a business license with the Montana Secretary of State. Simply visit the state's secure website to access all this information. 

To achieve your license, you must pass each part of the exam — the Re-modeler, Trades, Business/Law, or Contractor Licensure exams for Montana.

You will also need to get a Montana Tax Identification Number from the Montana Department of Revenue.

Post Your Application

You should send your application to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry to obtain your Contractors License.

Decide What Type Of License Your Business Needs

You must decide what type of license you or your business requires. 

All that's left is filling out and sending the application form. It will need to be printed and mailed to:

Department of Labor and Industry
Registration Section
PO Box 8011
Helena, MT 59604-8011

Also, don't forget to pay your application fee. Either send it in the mail with your application or pay it online. Head over to the Department of Labor and Industry for more information!

Independent Contractor’s Licenses

Firstly, you must prove that you independently own a business.

Obtain a Montana Tax Identification Number with the Montana Department of Revenue. 

Fill out an independent contractor exemption certificate. You can choose to purchase a self-elected worker's compensation insurance plan, too.

Finally, fill out the application form and send via mail to:

Department of Labor and Industry
Registration Section
PO Box 8011
Helena, MT 59604-8011

For an independent contractor, the fee is $125. 

Which Exam Should You Take?

You can either opt for a general license or, if you are an independent contractor, you must apply for this variant. 
If you're a subcontractor or contractor with employees who either own or work for a business, you should choose the

Construction contractor's license.

If you plan to undertake contracting or construction work and you independently own your business, you should apply for an independent contractor's license. If you decide to go for this option, you can choose whether you want to be covered under Montana's Worker's Compensation Policy or not.

Research Different Types Of Insurance

Even if you are not quite ready to apply for a license, it's always a good idea to start researching what particular business insurance you may need, so you can decide which exam you need to take. You should also research general liability insurance and workers' compensation plans.

As previously mentioned, when it comes to construction, you never know what can happen. Even though it is gratifying to work, accidents, losses, and injuries can occur. This is why you must be prepared if they do happen, so you can get back to doing what you do best quicker and with peace of mind. 
If you have employees, make sure you get good workers' compensation plan, as you will need to show the state proof of insurance.

Find Out If You Need An Additional Contractor’s License

This all depends on whether you are a specialized contractor — for example, an electrician or a Plummer. If any of this applies to you, check out these resources.


Visit the Montana State Electrical Board's website to apply. However, if you have any questions, you can contact:

Montana State Electrical Board
301 South Park Avenue
P.O. Box 200513
Helena, MT 59620-0513


If you are a plumber, you can apply for a license online, too. The state of Montana offers plumbing exams through Gainesville Independent Testing Services. If you have any questions, please contact the same address as above, but titled to the Montana Board of Plumbers.

For more information on what exam you should take, head over to the Montana Department of Labor & Industry Construction Contractor Registration Unit website to find out more!

Take The Exam

So, when it comes to taking the actual exam, here are a few pointers on how to prepare and how long it takes to receive your results, approval, or denial of your application.

Exam Times And Date

If you opted to mail the application, then the processing time can take around 5-7 business days. However, it can sometimes take longer, depending on the volume of applications received at a time. 

Continually, it can also take up to 30 days to receive the approval or denial of your application.

Preparing For The Contractors Exam

There are many forms of home study material available to contractors to help prepare for the examination.

There are many resources out there to give you that extra push you need to achieve your license, from classrooms to online learning and codebooks.

As previously mentioned, Montana allows open-book exams, meaning you can take a codebook into the examination with you for reference purposes. It is still worth making sure that you are up to speed with everything you need to know beforehand, too, though.

To ensure your construction business operates successfully for a long period of time requires learning, developing, and understanding all of your trades regulations, anyway. So, if you want to earn a reputation for being a professional and efficient construction company, it is essential to have all bases covered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about the licensing process

Who is required to apply?

All businesses in the building and construction industry have employees and independent contractors who own their businesses. 

Why would I want to apply for a license?

The Montana Contractors License guarantees that all construction businesses working within the state pay the same premiums for workers' compensation insurance on their employees.

You should also apply to make sure that you cover your own back, as many general contractors will only hire registered contractors to protect themselves for insurance purposes.

What is the risk of working without a Montana contractor's license?

Not only could you be fined $500 per violation, but you could also lose work. This is because people are reluctant to hire unregistered contractors because of the risks they pose. Should an individual be hurt on the job, they are not covered, meaning unregistered contractors are riskier to take on.

Contact Contractor Training Today

To apply for your Montana Contractors License, contact Contractor training today.
Not only will you be covered for any potential accidents, but you will also be held in higher esteem than those who are not registered. 

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