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Contractors & Contracting Companies
Contractors & Contracting Companies

Contractors & Contracting Companies

The Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCILB) issues State Licenses to Commercial Contractors for the following trades: Electrical, HVAC, Hydronics, Plumbing, and Refrigeration. To receive a state license, an applicant must  meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Be a United States citizen or a legal alien-must provide proof of being a legal alien.
  • Either have been a tradesperson in the type of licensed trade for which the application is filed for not less than five (5)  years immediately prior to the date the application is filed, currently be a registered engineer in this state with three (3) years of business experience in the construction industry in the trade for which the engineer is applying to take the  examination.
  • Never have been convicted of a disqualifying offense as defined in H.B. 263. 
  • Pass the examination in the trade.
  • Carry minimum $500,000 contractor liability coverage.
  • Pay the applicable fees.

Be advised:

Once you have been approved by the Board, you are required to complete a State and Federal Background Check prior to sitting for the examination.

License Information

  • Effective September 1, 2018 contractors may take some online continuing education.
  1. One-year renewals can only take up to 4 hours each year online.
  2. Three-year renewals may take up to 12 hours on line. Since hours can be carried over within a three-year period, all 12 hours can be taken in one year. The same 4-hour class cannot be repeated in the same year.
  3. Those coming out of escrow and needing hours can take up to 12 hours on line in one year and no 4-hour classes shall be the same. This is just like the 3-year renewal.
  • This license is for commercial contractors in the five specialty trades (Electrical, HVAC, Refrigeration, Plumbing and Hydronics). H.B. 434 also allows local Building Departments to require this license for residential at their level.
  • This is a License. It is non-transferable to someone else. You obtained this license based on your qualifications.
  • You cannot use your license to pull permits for your unlicensed competitors.
  • If you use your license to pull a permit, you must be the contractor in charge of the project and be readily available to meet with OCILB investigators. All tradespeople working under your license must be employed by your company, be on your payroll, and receive a W2, or they may be hired from a nationally recognized temporary agency.
  • If you pay your help, or sub work out to any of the five specialty trades by a 1099, then they are designated as independent contractors and they must also be state licensed.
  • Your license can only be assigned to one company name (NO DBA’S).
  • Your license number must be displayed on all advertisements, i.e., vehicle, business cards, letterhead, telephone directory ad, internet ads, newspaper ads, etc. (If your company name is not on your vehicle, then it is not an advertisement and your license number does not have to be displayed).
  • If you leave the company your license is assigned to, you must wait 90 days from the date OCILB is notified in writing to reassign your license to another company. Please note, the reassignment does not start when you leave the company. It starts the date OCILB is notified in writing. Or, if you obtain a letter from the previous company releasing you of the 90 days, you may reassign your license immediately
  • If your license has been expired more than one year, you must start over and apply to the appropriate section to take the test.
  • All trades are required to attend 8 hours continuing education classes for one-year renewal or 24 hours for 3-year renewals. The Electrical trade only must have half of their hours in code.
  • Always keep us informed of an address change to make sure renewal notices and licenses are sent to the proper address. When possible, provide us with an email address. That is a quick and easy way for us to contact you if there is a problem with your license.
  • Your license is processed and mailed within two days of receipt of your renewal notice. If you do not receive your license within a few days, please contact us.

Background Check

Once you have been approved by the Board, you are required to complete a State and Federal Background check prior to sitting for the examination.

Results must be submitted from the background agency directly to:

Ohio Department of Commerce
Division of Industrial Compliance
Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCILB)
6606 Tussing Road
P.O. Box 4009
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068-9009
Phone (614) 644-3493

For general information pertaining to the Background Checks, please visit these links: WebCheck Locations

Escrow License

  • You may place your license in “Inactive Status” (Escrow) if you are still current and within your renewal period. You may remain in escrow indefinitely. While in escrow, you do not need to take continuing education every year or maintain liability insurance. However, you must pay the $60 renewal fee each year.
  • To come out of escrow and be active, you must take up to 24 hours continuing education and show proof of liability insurance.


  • If you do not submit your renewal form and renewal fee by your expiration date, a late fee will be applied.
  • You no longer are required to show proof of liability insurance. However, it is your responsibility to maintain at least $500,000 and your insurance may only be in one contracting company name.

You may renew your license, change your address and email, retrieve forms and look up approved continuing education courses by visiting our website

Reciprocity with Other States

Ohio contractors now have reciprocity with the following states. Reciprocity is only offered to those who have taken the state recognized test. If you grandfathered in, you are not eligible to reciprocate.

  • West Virginia – Electrical, HVAC and Plumbing
  • Kentucky – Electrical, HVAC and Refrigeration
  • North Carolina – Electrical
  • South Carolina – Electrical, HVAC and Plumbing
  • Louisiana – Electrical, HVAC, Refrigeration and Hydronics
  • Tennessee – Electrical, HVAC, Refrigeration, Plumbing and Hydronics