Unlicensed contractors cannot bid solar installations

This article is a brief refresher on Oregon contractor law as it applies to solar installation and sales, guest authored by a representative of the Oregon Construction Contractors Board. 

The Oregon Construction Contractors Board, CCB, investigates all reports of unlicensed contractors. On any given day, investigators check construction job sites at random, monitor Craigslist and follow up on complaints about unlicensed contractors and subcontractors.

“Tracking down contractors who work outside the law levels the playing field for hardworking, legitimate contractors and protects the public,” said CCB Enforcement Manager Stan Jessup.

The requirement to hold a license does not apply only to the physical construction work itself. Contractors must be licensed with the Oregon CCB in order to advertise, submit bids or enter into contracts for construction work with homeowners in the state of Oregon.

Companies representing themselves as contractors or performing work without a license face penalties of up to $5,000 for each occurrence. Additionally, the CCB reports violators to the Oregon Department of Revenue, the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division and the Oregon Employment Department. In extreme cases, such as those involving fraud, acting as a contractor without a license can result in criminal convictions.

Licensed subcontractors who knowingly assist an unlicensed contractor to act in violation of state contractor laws can also face penalties.

Problems with a fellow contractor?

Complying with contractor law protects contractors, workers and homeowners. The CCB can help mediate disputes between homeowners and contractors as well as disputes between contractors and employees, suppliers and subcontractors. However, the dispute must involve a licensed contractor; the CCB cannot help mediate construction disputes involving unlicensed contractors. Also, unlicensed contractors and subcontractors lose their rights to file a construction lien against a property for non-payment on a job.

If you have a question about whether a company is operating legally, it’s easy to check a contractor’s license with the CCB. The best way to search is using the CCB number with the license search feature on the CCB website. For help checking records, call 503.378.4621.

Report unlicensed contractors

If you spot someone you suspect of working without a license, call the CCB immediately at 503.943.2246. Or, you can file an online complaint.