Ohio Licensure Courses, Classes, & Exam Prep


The state of Ohio offers a lot of opportunities to individuals who want to launch their own contracting business. However, just like every state, there are rules, laws, and requirements that must be met before legally being able to perform work in the state.

In Ohio, general contractors are licensed locally, and licensing requirements vary by city: contact your city or county for licensing information and requirements. You must hold a state license to do Electrical, HVAC, Refrigeration, Plumbing, or Hydronic work in Ohio - these trades are licensed by the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board.

To become licensed, all tradesman must take and pass an Ohio Business Law exam, which we offer an exam prep course for here.

At Contractor Training Center, you’ll have your license in no time. Our experienced and knowledgeable team understands this process inside out, and we are equipped with the right tools, resources, and exam prep services to support you through this process.



To be a licensed tradesman/contractor in Ohio, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a legal alien (you must provide documents proving legal alien status)
  • Have performed work in the relevant trade for a minimum of five years prior to the date of the application OR be a registered engineer in the state for a minimum of three years in the trade for which you are applying a license for. (With your application, you must attach W-2’s and at least one permit for each five-year period and the license number of the contractor you worked for)
  • Have never been convicted of a disqualifying offense as defined in S.B. 337
  • Take and pass the trade exams
  • Carry a minimum of $500,000 in contractor liability insurance coverage.
  • Settle all applicable fees

Please note, your application must be notarized.


Your contractor license application will be reviewed by the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCILB).

The OCILB reviews applications during the first week of February, April, June, August, October, and December. To be processed, your application must be received before the 20th of the month.


State License Applications must be submitted to the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Industrial Compliance at:

Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCILB)
6606 Tussing Road
P.O. Box 4009
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068-9009

Phone (614) 644-3493


Is My License Valid in Other States, Too?

The following licenses are accepted reciprocally in these states:

Electrical: Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina

HVAC: Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, West Virginia

Hydronics: Louisiana, Tennessee

Plumbing: South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia

Refrigeration: Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee


How Much Does It Cost to get Licensed?

The OCILB application requires a $25 application fee. In addition, most Ohio tradesman's tests have a small testing fee, usually under $100. For specific license applications, see the OCILB website.


Do I Need Experience to get Licensed?

For general contractors, no, there are no requirements at the state level. It is important to check with the local county or city regulations regarding general contractors. However, there are exam and experience requirements to hold refrigeration, hydronic, HVAC, plumbing, or electrical licenses.

Will I need Continuing Education?

For general contractors - no. For the tradesman listed above, continuing education is required.

Will my NASCLA License be accepted in Ohio?

At this time, Ohio does not accept a National NASCLA license.

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

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.

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


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