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How to Become a Colorado Contractor

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

As Colorado’s population continues to increase, so does the need for contractors. Whether a contractor focuses on building new homes, remodeling older homes, or working with commercial and government clients, there is a solid need for construction. Becoming a contractor in Colorado is not difficult, but it is best to get started on the right foot.

Understand the Contractor Industry in Colorado

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Select a contracting field to pursue. In Colorado, specific fields include general, plumbing, electrical, roofing, concrete, heating and painting.

Acquire first-hand knowledge of the work environment and tasks performed by each type of contractor. This can be done by visiting job sites or talking with other contractors.

Examine the effect of Colorado weather on the trade selected. Consider the roofing trade as an example. Heat, wind and cold can all have a big impact on a roofer’s daily job. The seasonal Colorado weather can be temperamental and limits working conditions and days. Plan for winter when inclement weather can hinder or altogether prevent the completion of projects. Business slows industry-wide, but trades such as painting, roofing and framing can be especially affected. A successful contractor needs to plan for this seasonal slowdown.

Acquire Skills and Experience

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Learn the skills and building codes for the construction field that you are interested in. Contracting projects vary, and experience helps you understand how to handle special situations and learn industry standards.

Build experience by starting at the bottom and working your way up. Get hired as an apprentice. Many companies hire apprentices that may work for less but will receive focused guidance and training.

Attend a community college or trade school. Learn skills, safety and building codes from classes or seminars.

Acquire all Licensing and Insurance

Check with Colorado's Office of Economic Development and International Trade for industry license requirements for plumbers and electricians. For other trades, the State of Colorado does not require contractors to pass an exam or receive a certification in order to operate a business as a contractor.

Contact your local city clerk’s office to verify what their specific requirements are for contractors. These requirements vary among municipalities.

Obtain a business license from the Colorado Department of Revenue. Contact them at one of their walk-in centers or go online to fill out form CR 0100. This form allows you to legally open a business, as well as a sales tax account and a wage-withholding account.

Contact an insurance agent about liability, disability and other insurance options to keep you covered and protected.


  • "Start Your Own Business;" Rieva Lesonsky; 2001


About the Author

Getting hands dirty is just part of the fun for Sarah Shelton, who draws on personal experience to write home and garden, automotive and travel articles. Her pieces have appeared on ConsumerSearch.com, USA TODAY, Dremel.com and other websites. Shelton received a bachelor's degree from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado and currently lives in southern Oregon.