Operating a landscaping business in Oregon requires following the licensing and insurance rules established by the state’s Landscape Contractors Board (LCB). This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know as a landscaping contractor in Oregon, from eligibility requirements to reciprocity with other states.

Anyone in Oregon who performs landscaping services for compensation must hold an active license issued by the LCB. Landscaping services that require a state license include:

  • Installing or planting lawns, trees, shrubs, nursery stock or ornamental plants
  • Preparing property for installing landscapes, including rototilling, grading, or adding soil amendments
  • Building or repairing landscape features like fences, arbors, retaining walls, walkways, patios, or driveways
  • Installing, maintaining, or repairing irrigation systems
  • Pruning and trimming bushes, trees, or ornamental plants

In Oregon, there are two main license types landscaping contractors must hold:

Individual Landscape Construction Professional License

This is the primary license held by the individual who will manage and supervise the landscaping work performed by the business. This person is referred to as the Responsible Managing Individual (RMI).

To qualify for this license, the RMI must complete 16 hours of pre-license education, pass the Oregon Landscape Contractors Exam, and submit an application with the required fees to the LCB.

Landscape Contracting Business License

This license is held by the business entity itself, which could be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or LLC. The landscape contracting business must carry the required insurance policies and license bonds.

Having both the individual landscaping professional license and the business entity contractor license is mandatory for legally and safely operating a landscaping company in Oregon.

Eligibility Requirements

Before you can apply for an initial landscaping contractor license in Oregon, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:


The RMI who will hold the individual landscaping professional license must be at least 18 years old.

Pre-License Education

The RMI must complete a 16-hour pre-license training course from an approved education provider. See the LCB’s list of approved providers here.


The RMI must pass the Oregon Landscape Contractors Exam administered by PSI Exams.

Business Registration

The business entity should be formally registered with the Secretary of State’s office as a partnership, LLC, corporation, or other legal structure.


You must obtain a surety bond in the proper amount for your desired scope of work. Bond amounts range from $3,000 up to $20,000.


The business entity must carry general liability insurance coverage starting at $500,000. Workers’ compensation is also required if you will have employees.

Meeting these eligibility criteria is key before you submit a new license application to the LCB.

Getting Your Initial Oregon Landscaping License

Once you meet the eligibility criteria, follow these steps to get your initial landscaping contractor licenses in Oregon:

1. Complete Pre-License Training

The RMI for your landscaping business must complete a 16-hour pre-license training course from an approved provider recognized by the LCB.

This training covers crucial business management topics like Oregon contracting laws, liability, project management, safety requirements, and more.

Once your course is finished, the provider will give you instructions for scheduling your licensing exam with PSI Exams.

2. Pass the Oregon Landscape Contractors Exam

The RMI must pass the Oregon Landscape Contractors Exam to qualify for an individual landscaping professional license from the LCB.

This is an open-book exam with 80 multiple choice questions based on the reference book used in the pre-license courses. You’ll have 3 hours to complete the exam.

A passing score is 70% or higher – you must answer at least 56 questions correctly to pass.

The exam costs $60 and is administered at various testing centers by PSI Exams. Your pre-license course provider will give you information on registering and paying for your exam date with PSI.

Bring your reference manual and be sure to review it thoroughly before your exam date. You cannot bring in any loose papers or notes.

3. Establish Your Business Entity

Decide whether you will operate your landscaping business as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC, or other legal structure. Consult with an accountant or attorney to determine the best option.

Once you decide, formally register your business with the Oregon Secretary of State’s office to make it a legal entity. You’ll also need to get any necessary tax ID numbers or employer identification numbers (EINs).

Properly establishing your business entity is a key step before applying for the landscape contracting business license.

4. Obtain a Surety Bond

All applicants for a new or renewed landscaping contractor license in Oregon must provide an original surety bond issued by an approved surety company.

The LCB determines the required bond amount based on the scope of landscaping work your business will provide:

  • $3,000 bond for contractors performing less than $25,000 in work per job
  • $5,000 bond for contractors performing $25,001 to $40,000 in work per job
  • $10,000 bond for contractors performing $40,001 to $100,000 in work per job
  • $20,000 bond for unlimited landscaping work

The surety bond provides an important source of funds if the contractor fails to complete work according to contract terms or fails to honor a warranty. This helps protect consumers.

Your original bond documentation must be included when you submit your new landscaping license application to the LCB. Never submit your bond separately.

5. Obtain General Liability Insurance

Licensed landscaping contractors in Oregon are required to carry a general liability insurance policy to cover their business operations.

The minimum coverage amounts required by the LCB are:

  • $500,000 for basic landscaping work
  • $1 million for contractors with endorsement for hardscaping and/or irrigation
  • $2 million for unlimited landscaping work

Make sure your insurance certificate names the Construction Contractors Board as the certificate holder. Submit this directly with your application.

6. Acquire Workers’ Compensation Insurance (If Applicable)

If your landscaping business will have employees, you must carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy. This is mandatory for commercial contractors with staff in Oregon.

Sole proprietors and partnerships without employees are typically exempt from this requirement. But be sure to consult with the LCB or the state’s Workers’ Compensation Division to determine if you need coverage.

Having adequate workers’ comp insurance protects your business and employees in case of a workplace injury.

7. Complete Your License Application

The final step is to fill out the LCB’s landscaping contractor application including:

  • Your company and RMI’s information
  • Your original surety bond documentation
  • Certificate of insurance naming the LCB
  • Nonrefundable licensing fee of $325

Double check that your application is complete and accurate before submitting it to the LCB. Be aware it can take up to 10 days to process an application.

Incomplete or incorrect applications will take longer to process, so take the time upfront to ensure yours is ready for approval.

Once approved, the LCB will mail your landscape construction professional license and landscape contracting business license documents. Now you can legally perform landscaping services in Oregon!

Renewing Your Oregon Landscaping License

Licenses must be renewed every two years in Oregon. To keep your landscaping contractor licenses current, you must:

  • Pay the $325 renewal licensing fee
  • Provide an updated surety bond
  • Submit a current certificate of liability insurance
  • Verify you’ve completed any continuing education requirements

The RMI must complete at least 8 hours of continuing education each two-year renewal period. Courses must be taken through approved providers recognized by the LCB.

Subjects include pest management, tree care, water management, laws and rules, business practices, and other important topics for operating a landscaping company.

Renew promptly when notified by the LCB to keep your landscaping contractor licenses valid in Oregon.

Reciprocity With Other States

In some cases, the LCB offers reciprocity for landscapers holding current licenses from other states. This can allow you to get an Oregon license without taking the licensing exam.

To qualify for reciprocity, your home state’s licensing requirements must be substantially equivalent to Oregon’s licensing process and rules.

You’ll still need to submit the $325 licensing fee, surety bond, certificate of insurance, and complete application. But you can skip the exam step if your out-of-state license qualifies.

Some of the states that have reciprocity agreements with Oregon include:

  • California
  • Idaho
  • Washington
  • Montana
  • Louisiana
  • Nevada

Check the LCB’s reciprocity policies to see if your current license meets the requirements. You can also contact the LCB directly to ask about reciprocity.

Having an active license from a reciprocal state can simplify the process of getting your Oregon landscaping contractor licenses.

Bond Requirements for Oregon Landscaping Licenses

All landscaping contractors in Oregon must provide a surety bond with their license application and renewals.

The bond helps protect consumers financially if the contractor fails to complete work or honor a warranty according to contract terms.

Bond amounts are based on the scope of landscaping services the business will provide:

| Scope of Landscaping Services | Surety Bond Required |
| $25,000 or less per job | $3,000 bond |
| $25,001 to $40,000 per job | $5,000 bond |
| $40,001 to $100,000 per job | $10,000 bond |
| Unlimited landscaping work | $20,000 bond |

Your original bond documentation must be included when you submit a new or renewal application to the LCB. Never send your bond separately or it may delay approval.

The LCB provides full details on surety bond requirements for Oregon landscaping contractor licenses. Having adequate bonding is essential for consumer protection.

Insurance Requirements for Oregon Landscaping Contractors

Oregon landscaping contractors must carry the following insurance policies:

General Liability Insurance

All license types require a minimum of $500,000 in general liability coverage. Contractors performing higher risk work or unlimited services need up to $2 million in coverage.

Your certificate of insurance must name the Construction Contractors Board as the certificate holder when you apply.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

If you have employees, you must carry a workers’ compensation policy. This is mandatory for commercial landscaping contractors in Oregon.

Sole proprietors and partnerships without employees are typically exempt. But confirm with the LCB to see if you need coverage.

Having proper liability and workers’ comp insurance is critical for protecting your new landscaping business in Oregon. Consult with an insurance agent to ensure you meet all requirements.


Becoming a licensed landscaping contractor in Oregon involves meeting eligibility criteria, completing pre-license training, passing the state exam, formally establishing your business, obtaining a surety bond and insurance, and submitting your application to the LCB.

Some key steps include:

  • Finishing approved pre-license education as the RMI
  • Passing the Oregon Landscape Contractors Exam
  • Registering your landscape contracting business entity
  • Obtaining a sufficient surety bond for your scope of work
  • Carrying adequate general liability insurance
  • Acquiring workers’ compensation insurance if you have employees
  • Submitting your complete application, fees, bond, and insurance certificate

Renewing your Oregon landscaping contractor license involves paying the fee, meeting CE requirements, providing updated bonds and insurance, and submitting your renewal application on time.

Reciprocity is available in some cases if you hold a current license in certain states like California, Idaho, or Washington.

Following all of Oregon’s landscaping contractor licensing, bond, insurance, and renewal requirements is essential to legally operate in the state. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the end-to-end process and key considerations for landscapers.