Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Construction Contractor Registration Requirements
What is the purpose of Construction Contractor Registration?
To assure all Conctruction Contractors in Montana are in compliance with Montana Workers' Compensation laws.
Who has to register?
All construction contractors and subcontractors in the building and construction industry that have employees. This includes incorporated businesses and Manager Managed limited liability companies even if the only employees are officers of the Corporation or Managers of the Manager Managed LLC.
How do I become a registered contractor?
Complete a contractor registration application. Provide proof of workers' compensation coverage. Complete an independent contractor exemption affidavit ( if not a corporation or a manager-managed limited liability company) or provide proof of workers' compensation on yourself. Submit a $53 registration fee.
What if I am an independent contractor with no employees?
The law exempts construction "independent contractors" without employees from registering, although they can choose to register.
Why would I want to register?
Many general contractors will hire only registered contractors to protect themselves from upward migration of liability. If a contractor hires an unregistered contractor, (even if that person has a workers' compensation exemption), the contractor is taking a risk and assuming the liability for workers' compensation, should an individual be hurt on the job.
Can I be penalized if I don't register?
Yes, the registration law provides for a $500 maximum penalty for construction contractors who aren't registered. It also allows for a $5,000 fine for falsely transferring a registration certificate.
Is a test required to become a registered contractor?
No test is required.
I only perform a few odd jobs during the summer. Do I have to be registered?
If the total of both labor and materials does not exceed $2,500 for the entire job, you do not have to register.
I'm an out-of-state contractor bidding work in Montana. Are there any special requirements I might want to know about?
Montana's workers' compensation law does not allow coverage from other states' workers' compensation plans in the construction industry. If you are only bidding jobs in Montana, you may ask for a "Bid Only" registration. When you come to work in Montana, you must have a workers' compensation policy specific to Montana. Construction companies with "Bid Only" certificates must upgrade their registration to "Employer" status before they can have employees working in Montana.
Do I need to advise the Employment Relations Division if the name or address of my business changes?
Yes. If you are changing only the name or the address under which your business is registered, you do not have to reregister. However, you do need to notify the Employment Relations Division in writing.
Can my spouse or child take over my business and registration?
Depending on the entity structure of your business, generally it is considered a new business and the new owner must register under his or her name.
What is the difference between Contractor Registration and the Independent Contractor exemption?
Construction Contractor Registration was enacted in 1995. It is only for those in the construction industry. The independent contractor exemption, exempts the owner of a business from carrying workers' compensation coverage on themselves, has been around since 1983.
If you have questions, please call 406-444-7734, or write the Employment Relations Division, Contractor Registration, PO Box 8011, Helena, MT 59604.
For your convenience, Job Service Offices have application forms.
Construction Contractor Registration
Workers' Compensation Regulation Bureau
Employment Relations Division
PO Box 8011
Helena, MT 59604-8011