A general contractor will need to register and apply through The Montana Department of Labor and Industry as either a construction contractor or an independent contractor. During both processes, there will be one form for registration and application. Additionally, a business license will need to be obtained for a construction or independent contractors license. It is important to know that additional paperwork will be needed, such as tax registration, and workers’ compensation insurance will be required to avoid a fine. Although Montana operates under modified comparative fault theory, and therefore liability insurance is not required, it is still helpful to acquire relevant insurance electively. Holding a certificate of insurance can significantly reduce risk on your part.
Furthermore, if you are planning on performing specialty trade work (such as plumbing and electrical contractor work), you will need to go through a separate licensing and exam process, along with paying the additional associated fees. Check out the information below to understand all that you need to know about becoming a general contractor in Montana.
Montana General Contractor License Requirements
Anyone who plans on doing the contractor work as described by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry will need to register and apply for a Construction Contractors or an Independent Contractors license. Licenses will be valid for two years, and will need to be renewed accordingly.
A general contractor, as defined by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry, under Title 39, ch. 9 of the Montana Code Annotated 2017, is anyone who “offers to undertake, undertakes, or submits a bid to construct, alter, repair, add to, subtract from, improve, move, wreck, or demolish for another a building, highway, road, railroad, excavation, or other structure, project, development, or improvement attached to real estate.”
Who Needs a Contractors License?
Any contractor or subcontractor with employees, or who is part of a business entity, that plans on building and performing the above-listed work will have to register and apply for a construction contractors license.
Additionally, the Montana Department of Labor and Industry offers an independent contractor central unit application. If you are planning to do contractor work as described above, and independently own your business, and have elected not to cover yourself under Montana’s Worker’s Compensation policy, you will still apply through the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. However, you will need to complete and submit an Independent Contractor Exemption Certificate to complete your registration application.
What Do You Need To Become a General Contractor in Montana?
Registering for a construction contractor or independent contractors license will be processed through the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. For both licenses, the registration and application will be done through the same form. Although your licensing application process will look similar, you will need to meet additional requirements to become a licensed independent contractor.
For a construction contractors license, you will need to:
- Register and obtain your business license through the Montana secretary of state website.
- Show proof of workers’ compensation insurance if you have employees.
- Complete and submit the application.
If you are applying for an independent contractors license, you will:
- Show that you are engaged in your own independently established business.
- Obtain an independent contractor exemption certificate, or be covered through a self-elected workers compensation insurance policy.
- Submit application and waiver form.
Exams or proof of experience is not required for construction and independent contractor licenses. Exams, fees, and additional requirements may need to be met for specialty trade licenses, such as electrical and plumbing.
While not required by Montana state law, some federal and independent clients may require that general contractors acquire a surety bond, in which case you will need to contact an authorized bonding company.
Licensing and Registration Fee Summary
- Construction contractors application: $70
- Independent contractor: $125
Visa, Discover, MasterCard, American Express, or an Echeck are all accepted forms of payment. Fees can be paid through the Montana Department of Labor and Industry online payment page. Payment can also be made by money order or check to:
Montana Department of Labor & Industry
PO Box 8011
Helena, MT 59604
Once licensed, individual projects will often require unique expenses. For example, jobs that require a surety bond will require an additional cost, and general liability insurance carries an additional premium.
Montana Contractors Exam
As mentioned above, your construction and independent contractors license will not require examinations. However, an electrical or plumbing license will require exams and associated fees.
Contractors Exam Fees
Your process for an electrical license will go through Montana State Electrical Board. For residential, journeyman, and master electrician licensing information including application, scheduling, locations, and fees, visit the Montana State Electrical Board website.
To obtain a plumber‘s license, you must contact the Montana Board of Plumbers. Or, go to the Montana Board of Plumbers website for information on application, exams, locations, and associated fees.
Montana Contractors License Application
As mentioned above, your registration and application for both a construction and independent contractors license will be handled by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. For both licenses, you will need to show proof of a business license — whether you have employees or not. If you do have employees (in the case of a constructors license), you will need to show proof of workers’ compensation insurance and may be required to show additional paperwork. If you are applying for an independent contractors license, you may submit a workers’ compensation exemption certificate with your registration and application form.
Montana Contractor Registration and Permitting Requirements
Montana’s application and registration are one and the same for construction and independent licenses. Both applications will go through the Department of Labor and Industry, and you will need to show proof of business for both licenses. For an extensive look at Montana’s contractor registration and permitting requirements, visit the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.
Montana State Business Licenses and Registration
To perform contractor work in the state of Montana, you will need to obtain a business license to do so. Furthermore, you will need to acquire the proper permits and additional paperwork to bid or perform contractor work in the state of Montana.
Montana Business Registration
Business registration can be conducted through the Montana Secretary of State website.
Montana Tax Identification Numbers and Registration
Businesses that operate within Montana are required to register for one or more tax-specific identification numbers, licenses or permits, including income tax withholding, sales and use tax (seller’s permit), and unemployment insurance tax. Visit the Montana Department of Revenue, Business Tax Express page for more details.
Montana Workers’ Compensation Insurance Requirements and Forms
Montana Contractor License Lookup and Verification
Visit the Montana Department of Labor and Industry contractor database to look up a valid contractor, report an incident, or additional information.
See General Contractor Licensing Information in Nearby States
- Idaho contractors license
- Wyoming contractors license
- South Dakota contractors license
- North Dakota contractors license
For More License and Career Guides
To find out how to become a General Contractor in another state, start here.
For information on other trades in Montana, click on a link below to learn more about the licensing requirements: