Carpenters in North Dakota who perform contracting work valued at over $4,000 are required to be licensed by the state. This licensing ensures carpenters are qualified, insured, and able to safely operate.

Introduction to Licensed Carpenters in North Dakota

In North Dakota, a “contractor” is defined as any individual or company engaged in construction, repair, alteration, dismantling, or demolition of buildings, structures, infrastructure projects, and any other improvements to real or personal property. This broad definition includes carpenters.

Any carpenter who performs contracting work valued at over $4,000 in North Dakota must hold a valid state-issued contractor’s license. This license is required in addition to any local permits or licenses.

The North Dakota Secretary of State oversees contractor licensing. Licenses are issued to individuals or companies, not employees. There are four classes of license depending on the scope and value of contracting work performed:

  • Class A: Projects over $500,000
  • Class B: Projects up to $500,000
  • Class C: Projects up to $300,000
  • Class D: Projects up to $100,000

Licensed carpenters must comply with requirements on insurance, bonding, and continuing education. Licenses must be renewed annually.

Becoming a licensed carpenter in North Dakota ensures you can legally operate and protects your customers. This guide covers the licensing process and requirements.

Requirements for a Carpenter’s License

To become a licensed carpenter in North Dakota, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Register your business name with the Secretary of State if a sole proprietorship or partnership
  • For other business types, register your company with the Secretary of State
  • Submit a contractor license application including:
  • Your experience and qualifications
  • Type of license requested (class)
  • Provide a certificate of liability insurance in your business name
  • Provide proof of good standing with North Dakota Workforce Safety Insurance
  • Pay licensing fees

Additional requirements depend on the type of carpentry work you will perform. For example, carpenters doing electrical work may need a license from the State Electrical Board.

The Secretary of State reviews applications to verify applicants have met eligibility criteria. Licenses must be renewed annually by March 1st.

Applying for a New Carpenter’s License

Follow these key steps to get a contractor’s license as a carpenter in North Dakota:

  1. Register your business If a sole proprietorship or partnership, register your business name with the Secretary of State. Other business types must form their company with the SOS.
  2. Get insurance Obtain general liability insurance and Workers’ Compensation coverage in your business name.
  3. Apply for license Complete the contractor license application. You’ll need to provide:
    • Your experience and qualifications
    • Type of license requested
    • Insurance certificates
    • Proof of good standing with Workforce Safety Insurance
    • Licensing fees
  4. Fulfill any other requirements Depending on your carpentry niche, you may need additional permits or licenses. For example, a license from the State Electrical Board for electrical work.
  5. Renew annually Licenses must be renewed each year by March 1st to remain valid. Submit a renewal form, insurance certificate, project list, and renewal fees.

Carpenter License Fees in North Dakota

The following fees apply to initial contractor licensing and annual renewals for carpenters:

| License Class | Initial Fee | Renewal Fee |
| Class A (over $500K projects) | $450 | $90 |
| Class B (up to $500K projects) | $300 | $60 |
| Class C (up to $300K projects) | $225 | $45 |
| Class D (up to $100K projects) | $100 | $30 |

Late renewals after March 1st incur an additional $50 penalty fee.

License Bond Requirements

North Dakota does not require general contractors, including licensed carpenters, to carry contractor license bonds.

However, you may need to provide project-specific performance bonds when bidding on large public works jobs or contracts requiring bonded contractors. This helps protect the client if you fail to complete the work.

Insurance Requirements

At a minimum, licensed carpenters must carry:

  • General liability insurance: Covers property damage and bodily injury caused by your business. Minimum $250,000 per occurrence recommended.
  • Workers’ Compensation: Covers medical and lost wage expenses for job-related employee injuries. Required in ND if you have staff.

Higher policy limits may be advisable depending on your project size and risk. Consult with an insurance broker to ensure adequate coverage.


Becoming a licensed carpenter in North Dakota requires registering your business, obtaining necessary insurance, and completing the contractor licensing application process. Key steps include submitting your application, fees, insurance certificates, and any additional documentation to the Secretary of State.

Licenses must be renewed annually. Carpenters must also maintain the required insurance policies and bond (if applicable) at all times. Following the licensing and insurance requirements protects your business and allows you to legally operate as a carpenter in North Dakota.