Apply for or Renew a City of Boulder Contractor License

The purpose of licenses and permits is to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.

Our office issues licenses to individuals and companies who perform work within Boulder that requires a building permit or right-of-way permit. Boulder does not accept reciprocal licenses from other jurisdictions. ICC certifications, State of Colorado Electrical or Plumbing certification, or ISA Arborist certification must be submitted with your contractor license application for your license to be issued.

  • Locations and information regarding International Code Council (ICC) contractor license exams is available on the ICCSafe.org website.
  • Locations and information regarding the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) exams is available on the ISA-Arbor.com website.
  • Licenses issued for the City of Boulder are for work being performed INSIDE city limits.
  • If you are performing work outside of city limits, you may need a license for Boulder County.
  • The most common error for applications is insurance not listing the City of Boulder as additional insured on your COI – double-check your application materials before submitting.

Insurance Requirements

Every contractor granted a license is required to maintain a certificate of insurance showing the following information:

  • General Liability Insurance - minimum limits of $1,000,000 per occurrence and a $2,000,000 aggregate limit
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance as required by Colorado Revised Statutes for any employee other than the licensee
  • Certificate of Insurance must be submitted with the following information:
    • The City of Boulder listed as additional insured for general liability
    • The City of Boulder listed as certificate holder
    • The insurance agent’s name and address
    • The insured’s name and address – must match company name on the contractor license
    • The policy number, limits and policy term

Apply for a City of Boulder Contractor License

Get the materials

  1. Contractor Licensing Packet
  2. Application form

Register on Customer Self Service Portal

  • Create a Customer Self-Service account before emailing your application.
  • Be sure to provide the same email you registered with on your application so we can link your account with your license.

Submit your application

  • Submit complete applications including copies of required certifications and insurance by email to COBcontractorlicense@bouldercolorado.gov
    • Fire Licenses are now processed through the Fire Department. The Fire Department will review your certifications and technical competence in the area of work to be considered as an acceptable qualification prior to issuing a license. Please email your application to firecontractors@bouldercolorado.gov
  • You will receive an email notification to pay fees through the Customer Self-Service portal when processed

Renew a City of Boulder Contractor License

Log in or register on Customer Self-Service Portal

Renewals are now processed through the Customer Self-Service Portal.

  • Log in or register and you should be able to see your license.

Email

Licensing Fees

Contractor Licensing fees are available in the Contractor License application, as well as the Schedule of Fees PDF, available at the Applications and Forms Database.

Fees are updated annually in the Boulder Revised Code in Sections 4-20-4, 4-20-13, 4-20-15, 4-20-21, and 4-20-56.

Find a Licensed Contractor

Customer Self-Service Portal search

  • Search for a licensed contractor on our Customer Self Service portal by using the search tool in the black bar

Open Data catalog

When Is a Licensed Contractor Not Required?

You may be able to do construction work yourself on a property you own if your project meets one of the following criteria. If you do not meet these criteria, you must hire a City of Boulder licensed contractor:

  • The work will be done on a single-family detached dwelling (single-family house) or on a single-family house’s accessory structures that you own and occupy as your primary or principal residence. This exception does not apply to detached accessory dwelling units.

  • You are a contractor with a current license in good standing with the City of Boulder and the scope of your project work is covered by your license.

A list of city-licensed contractors is also available in the Planning & Development Services Center, 1739 Broadway, third floor. You can also find contractors in the local phone books and on the International Code Council (ICC) website, but they must be licensed with the City of Boulder to perform the work.

If you do meet one of the above criteria and plan to do the work yourself, or if you plan to hire a licensed contractor, read the information on the Before You Apply and Do You Need an Allocation pages before you start the project. All subcontractors must be licensed by the city.

Building Contractor License

Contractor means any person who undertakes with or for another person within the city to build, construct, alter, repair, add to, move or demolish any building or structure, or any portion thereof. Contractor also includes any person licensed by the city manager to inspect residential buildings, per the Boulder Revised Code (BRC)10-3.

General Building Contractor includes any person, company or agency holding a current A, B or C building contractor license with the City of Boulder and does not include the following:

  • Subcontractors working for and under the supervision of a general contractor;
  • Plumbers, electricians, mechanical and fire or other specialized trades people for whom another license is required by the city; and
  • A homeowner who builds, constructs, alters, repairs, adds to, moves, or demolishes any building or structure, or any portion thereof, that constitutes the owner’s residence or an accessory building or structure and is intended for the owner’s personal use. This exception is available only as to one such building or structure during a calendar year.

License Required

  • Other than a homeowner performing work on their own home, no person shall perform any work as a contractor in the city without first obtaining a city contractor’s license to perform such work.

  • Permits will not be issued for work to be done by a person who does not have a valid, current license as required by the city for the type of work to be performed, except a homeowner performing work on their own home.

  • No person other than a Class A or Class B licensed contractor shall perform work requiring the supervision of an architect or structural engineer.

New and Renewal License Applications

To obtain a new contractor license or renew a license, the contractor must:

  • Complete a City of Boulder Contractor Licensing Application
  • Provide a copy of A, B or C Contractors certificate issued by the International Code Council (ICC).
  • Provide a current copy of a Certificate of Insurance as required by BRC 4-1-8 (except Class F, G and D-9).

  • Pay the annual licensing fees as required by BRC 4-20-4.

Classifications of Building Contractor License

Class A: entitles the licensee to contract for the construction, alteration, wrecking, or repair of any type or size of building or structure permitted in the City of Boulder.

Class B: entitles the licensee to contract for the construction, alteration, wrecking, or repair of all commercial and residential buildings or structures in the City of Boulder having the following construction types: Type V, Type IV, Type III-B and Type II-B.

Class C: entitles the licensee to contract for:

  • The construction, alteration, wrecking, or repair of any detached One-and-Two Family Dwelling or Town home and their accessory structures not more than two stories in height and of Type V construction.
  • The repair of non-residential buildings not involving primary structural elements or a public building or place of public assembly or where the total value of the labor and materials does not exceed $5,000.00.

Class D: entitles the licensee to contract for labor or for labor and materials involving one or more of the following trades:

  • D-1. Moving and wrecking of structures
  • D-2. Roofing
  • D-3. Siding
  • D-4. Landscaping, irrigation and site work
  • D-5. Detached one-story garage and sheds accessory to single-family dwellings
  • D-6. Mobile home installer (requires state license)
  • D-7. Elevator and escalator installer
  • D-8. Class not identified but requiring a building permit and inspection
  • D-9. Rental housing inspector (requires certification)

Class E: entitles the licensee to contract for the building or construction of:

  • All fences of any size or value, and
  • Minor structures not more than 200 square feet in area; or for the alteration or repair of other buildings or structures, if total value of the labor and materials for each such project does not exceed $2,000.00, the total square foot area of each such project does not exceed 200 square feet, and such work does not involve any load-bearing element.

Class F: entitles the licensee to construct, alter, or repair the licensee’s own building or structure, if the total value of the labor and material for each such project does not exceed $500.00 and if the project does not involve alteration of a load-bearing element or work governed by the city’s electrical, mechanical, or plumbing codes.

Class G: entitles the licensee to inspect rental properties within the City of Boulder for energy efficiency prescriptive requirements as detailed in the Boulder Property Maintenance Code, B.R.C. 1981, 10-2, Appendix C. These requirements are part of the SmartRegs project adopted by City Council in the fall of 2010.

Obtaining a Class A, Class B or Class C General Contractor License

New License applicants: Any person, agency or company wishing to become a City of Boulder licensed A, B or C general contractor must provide a professional criterion that demonstrates competency in, or knowledge of, the International Building Codes. Proof of professional criteria includes:

  • A, B or C Contractors certificate issued by the International Code Council (ICC).

New Class A or Class B license applicants shall also provide information indicating their level of education or level of training or years of experience in the construction of non-residential buildings. Where the education or training or experience is not applicable to the A or B type work, the City Manager reserves the right to refuse the license to a particular applicant.

Obtaining a Class D, Class E, Class F or Class G Specialty or Single Trade Building Contractor License

License applicants: Any person, agency or company wishing to become a City of Boulder licensed Class D, E, F or G contractor need only submit a completed application along with the certificate of insurance and the applicable fees with the following exceptions:

  • D-1 contractors wishing to move or implode/explode a structure within the city limits shall provide information demonstrating competence, knowledge and experience in such methods.
  • D-2 contractors providing service to non-residential structures shall provide information related to their experience with Class A and Class B roof covering materials or ICC Roofing Contractor Certificate.
  • D-3 contractors applying proprietary exterior stucco products shall include installer certification information.
  • D-6 contractors must have a current State of Colorado Manufactured Housing Installation Program certificate.
  • D-7 contractors installing elevators or escalators must provide information related to their experience and/or participation in the ASME Professional Development Elevator and Escalator Education Programs.
  • D-9 contractors must provide one of the following: ICC or ICBO certification, ASHI registration, A, B or C city contractor license, Architect or Engineer registration.
  • G contractors must provide one of the following: ICC Energy Inspector certification; ASHI/NAHI certification; A, B or C city contractor license; Architect or Engineer registration; RESNET certification as senior certified rater; Certified Home Energy Rater or Rating Field inspector certification. In addition, all contractor must attend and pass a certification program sponsored by the City of Boulder to make compliance inspections.

General Contractor Revocation Statement

The city manager may suspend or revoke a license issued under this chapter for the grounds and under the procedures prescribed by section 4-1-10, "Revocation of Licenses," B.R.C. 1981. Grounds for suspension or revocation include, without limitation, failure to maintain required insurance.

Electrical Contractor License

Registration Required

  • Complete a City of Boulder Contractor Licensing Application
  • No person required by Section 12-23-105, C.R.S., to be licensed shall perform any services covered by such license in the city or any building outside the city that is served by city sewer or water utility service or subject to city building inspection without registering with the city on forms provided thereby and filing the evidence of insurance required by Section 4-1-8, “Insurance Required,” B.R.C. 1981. This is a non fee registration.
  • To register under this chapter, a person must have a valid State of Colorado Electrical Contractor's Card and be a master electrician licensed by the State of Colorado or have in charge and responsible for all electrical work a supervisor who is a master electrician currently licensed by the State of Colorado.

Supervision Ration Per State Statute Article 12-23-1105

Any person may work as an apprentice but shall not do any electrical wiring for the installation of electrical apparatus or equipment for light, heat, or power except under the supervision of a licensed electrician. The degree of supervision required shall be no more than one licensed electrician to supervise no more than three apprentices at the jobsite.

Fire Contractor License

Fire Contractor means a person that undertakes or performs, with or for another, any fire installation, alteration, repair or other work in the city for which a permit issued under the city fire code from the city is required under this code.

But this term does not include subcontractors working for and under the supervision of a fire contractor licensed under this chapter or a homeowner performing work upon the owner’s residence, or a building or structure accessory thereto, which is intended for the owner’s personal use.

License Required

  • No person shall perform any work as a fire contractor in the city without first obtaining a fire contractor license from the city manager under this chapter.
  • No fire permit shall be issued for work to be done by a person who does not have a valid, current fire contractor license as required by this chapter that covers the type of work to be performed.

Application for Fire Contractor License

  • Complete a City of Boulder Contractor Licensing Application.
  • Provide a current copy of a Certificate of Insurance as required by BRC 4-1-8.

Classifications of Fire Contractor License

  • *Class A: entitles the licensee to undertake or perform any work covered by the city fire code fire sprinkler systems. The annual fee for a Class A license is that prescribed by Section 4-20-13, “Mechanical Contractor License and Mechanical Permit Fees,” B.R.C. 1981.
  • *Class C: entitles the licensee to undertake or perform fire alarm system installations and servicing.
  • Class E: entitles the licensee to undertake or perform hand or portable fire extinguisher installations and servicing.

*NOTE: All installers of fire alarm systems shall be licensed as low voltage wire installers by the State of Colorado. All line voltage work, when necessary on a fire alarm system, shall be completed by a State of Colorado licensed electrician.

Obtaining a Fire Contractor License

Companies or individual wanting to become a fire contractor within the City of Boulder must submit proof of qualifications in their field of work.

All Class A fire sprinkler license’s must show proof of registration with the State of Colorado as a Fire Suppression System Contractor and the sprinkler fitter(s) working in the City of Boulder must be registered as a Sprinkler Fitter with the State of Colorado. Proof of registration is required.

Companies or individuals wanting to become licensed as a Class C Fire Alarm Contractor or Class D Special Suppression System Installer must show proof of qualifications in the form of certification from a nationally recognized organization. The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) is an example of a commonly accepted certification with a Level II or higher. Proof of manufacture training of specific brands or models may be acceptable as well. Other certifications by other entities that shows a level of technical competence in the area of the work will also be considered as acceptable qualifications.

Submit certifications and proof of identification to Amber Wright at wrighta@bouldercolorado.gov or Boulder Fire-Rescue, 3065 Center Green Drive, Boulder, CO 80301.

Change in business name

If your business name has changed since your last renewal, a request to change the name on the license must be submitted in writing. This request should be on letterhead with the current name of the company and be accompanied with a current certificate of insurance. If you start a new business, all new license requirements must be met.

Mechanical Contractor License

Mechanical Contractor means a person that undertakes or performs, with or for another, any mechanical installation, alteration, repair or other work in the city for which a mechanical permit from the city is required under this code. Mechanical contractor does not include subcontractors working for and under the supervision of a mechanical contractor licensed by the city or a homeowner performing work upon the owner's residence, or a building or structure accessory thereto, which is intended for the owner's personal use.

License required

  • No person shall perform any work as a mechanical contractor in the city without first obtaining a mechanical contractor license to perform such work.
  • No mechanical permit shall be issued for work to be done by a person who does not have a valid, current mechanical contractor’s license as required by the city for the type of work to be performed, except for a homeowner performing work on their own home.
  • Any person holding a valid plumbing contractor’s license may perform the installation of fuel gas piping without first obtaining a mechanical contractor license.

Application for Mechanical Contractor License - new and renewing applicants

  • Complete a City of Boulder Contractor Licensing Application
  • Provide a copy of your International Code Council (ICC) certification.
  • Provide a current copy of a Certificate of Insurance as required by BRC 4-1-8.
  • Pay the annual licensing fees as required by BRC 4-20-13.

Classification of Mechanical Contractor License

  • Class A: entitles the licensee to undertake or perform any work covered by the city mechanical code and fuel gas codes.
  • Class B: entitles the licensee to undertake or perform work covered by the mechanical code and fuel gas codes for commercial and dwelling units except for work associated with commercial kitchen hoods and ventilation systems, and installations or repairs in an “H” or “I” occupancy as defined in the city building code.

  • Class C: entitles the licensee to undertake or perform work covered through the city residential mechanical code for one- and two-family dwellings and town homes.
  • Class D: entitles the licensee to undertake or perform installation, servicing and repair of commercial kitchen hoods and kitchen ventilation systems.
  • Class E: entitles the licensee to undertake or perform boiler, water heaters and hydronics installations covered in the city mechanical code and fuel gas codes.

Obtaining a Mechanical Contractor License

New License applicants: Any person, agency or company wishing to become a City of Boulder licensed mechanical contractor must provide a professional criterion that demonstrates competency in, or knowledge of, the International Mechanical Codes. Proof of professional criteria includes:

  • Class A: ICC Standard Mechanical Contractor A Certification.
  • Class B: ICC Standard Mechanical Contractor B Certification.
  • Class C: ICC Standard Mechanical Contractor C Certification.
  • Class D: Any Class A or B License.
  • Class E: Any of the Class A, B, C or D License.

Complete a City of Boulder Contractor Licensing Application.

Plumbing Contractor License

Plumbing Contractor means any person that undertakes or performs, with or for another, any plumbing installation, alteration, repair, or other work in the city for which a plumbing permit is required from the city or fuel gas piping as described in the fuel gas code.

Plumbing contractor does not include subcontractors working for and under the supervision of a plumbing contractor licensed under this chapter or a homeowner performing work upon the owner’s residence or a building or structure accessory thereto intended for the owner’s personal use.

License required

  • No person shall conduct the business of a plumbing contractor in the city without first obtaining a plumbing contractor license the city.
  • No person shall conduct the business of a plumbing contractor in the city without first obtaining a plumbing contractor license the city.
  • No person required by 12-58-105, C.R.S., to be licensed as a plumbing contractor shall perform any work as a master, journeyman, or residential plumber in the city unless such person holds a valid state license to perform such work.

Qualifications for license

  • An applicant for a plumbing contractor license shall be a master plumber currently licensed by the Colorado State Plumbing Examiner's Board or shall have in charge and responsible for all plumbing work a master plumber so licensed.
  • If the supervising master plumber leaves the employment of the licensee or no longer holds a valid state plumbing license, the licensee shall immediately notify the chief building official, who shall suspend the license until a qualified master plumber is employed to supervise the business of the plumbing contractor licensee. If such suspended license is thereafter reinstated during the calendar year, no further license fees shall be due to the city for such year.
  • No master plumber of record may be designated as supervisor for more than one plumbing contractor licensee.

Application for Plumbing Contractor License

  • Complete a City of Boulder Contractor Licensing Application
  • Provide a current copy of a Certificate of Insurance as required by BRC 4-1-8.
  • Pay the annual licensing fees as required by BRC 4-20-15(a)
  • An applicant for a plumbing contractor license shall provide the name of the master plumber of record for the business, as prescribed in Subsection 4-15-5(a) B.R.C. 1981.

Contractor responsibilities

A plumbing contractor licensed by the city is responsible for all work performed under the contract, whether the contractor, an employee, or a subcontractor performs the work.

Supervision ratio

  • On all work requiring a plumbing permit in the city, no person shall permit a ratio of more than two licensed apprentices to one licensed journeyman or master plumber on each jobsite.
  • For purposes of this section, "jobsite" means:
    On all work requiring a plumbing permit in the city, no person shall permit a ratio of more than two licensed apprentices to one licensed journeyman or master plumber on each jobsite
    • For commercial properties , the scope of work included on one plumbing permit;
    • For residential properties , the scope of work included on one plumbing permit and the work on up to one platted lot on either side of the lot for which one permit is issued.

Revocation or suspension of license

  • The chief building official may suspend or revoke the license of a plumbing contractor or an apprentice plumber for the grounds and under the procedures prescribed by Section 4-1-10, “Revocation of Licenses,” B.R.C. 1981. Grounds for suspension or revocation include, without limitation, failure to maintain required insurance.
  • No person engaged in the plumbing contractor business shall employ or continue to employ for work in the city covered by the city plumbing code an apprentice who is not licensed or a person required to be licensed under 12-58-105, C.R.S., who is not so licensed.

Right-of-Way Contractor License

License required

No developer, contractor, or subcontractor shall perform any work affecting public property, rights-of-way, grounds, any city-owned utility system, or any other utility system or in the street right-of-way or utility easement, whether or not the work is performed for the city, without first obtaining a right-of-way contractor license from the city before commencing any such work.

Application for Right-of-Way Contractor License

  1. Complete a City of Boulder Contractor Licensing Application
  2. Provide a current copy of a Certificate of Insurance as required by BRC 4-1-8.
  3. Pay the annual licensing fees as required by BRC 4-20-6.

The applicant shall provide a bond:

  1. To secure performance of the work authorized by the license
    • in accordance with the standards and specifications of the city
  • in a safe manner that protects employees and members of the public
  • within the time required for completion
  • To provide necessary repairs to existing improvements damaged during the licensee's work
  • To maintain the work during the two years after it is accepted by the city

Insurance

  • Every Right-of-Way contractor licensed by the city shall maintain at all times the insurance prescribed by Section 4-1-10, “Revocation of Licenses,” B.R.C. 1981.
  • If work undertaken by the licensee may require blasting, explosive conditions, or underground operations, the comprehensive general liability insurance shall cover blasting, collapse of buildings, and damage to adjacent property.
  • The licensee shall maintain the required insurance throughout the period of the contract work and maintenance responsibility.
  • In addition to the insurance required in this section, the city may require, before or after the license is issued, insurance protection for a hazard peculiar to the particular project.

Contractor responsibilities

  • The licensed contractor is responsible for all work performed under its contract, whether or not the contractor, an employee, or a subcontractor performs the work.
  • A Right-of-Way contractor licensed under this chapter shall comply with all standards for construction in the public rights of way prescribed by the City of Boulder Design and Construction Standards.

Sign Contractor License

Classification of Licenses

  • Class A: entitles the licensee to contract for the manufacture and installation of signs and related structures, including awnings which are directly supported by the structure only and canvas canopies being supported by building and vertical supports, and to paint signs on existing structures.
  • Class B: entitles the licensee to contract for painting signs on existing structures.

Application For Sign Contractor License

Tree Contractor License

License Classifications

  • Licensed Tree Contractor - A professional engaged in the business of cutting, pruning, removing or applying pesticides to any tree(s) on private property within the City of Boulder limits for commercial gain and/or profit.
  • Certified Arborist - A licensed tree contractor who meets the qualifications set forth in subsection (a) or (b) of Boulder Revised Code, Chapter 4-28-4: License Application and Qualifications.

Applying for a Contractor License

  • Complete a City of Boulder Contractor Licensing Application
    • To qualify as a certified arborist, applicants must show proof of current International Society of Arboriculture certification or an equivalent exam.
    • The city manager may approve an application to be a "certified arborist" for persons that have demonstrated equivalent qualifications to those described in Boulder Revised Code Chapter 4-28-4.
    • To qualify as a licensed tree contractor, a person must meet all requirements except those specified to become a certified arborist.
  • Provide a current copy of a Certificate of Insurance.
  • Pay the annual licensing fees.

Contractor Licensing Exams

For exam dates and locations, select the "International Society of Arboriculture" link. For a written arborist licensing exam, contact the City of Boulder Urban Forestry Division at 303-441-4406.