When we set out to start a business helping others grow their own edible gardens, we never expected that this work would fall into a gray area governed by rules set by two statewide regulatory bodies: the Landscape Contractors Board and the Construction Contractors Board. But now that we know, we are happy to share this information!
Construction Contractors License
The CCB license is required to build raised beds, chicken coops, and other garden structures that are “permanent” (that is, dug into the ground); prune trees taller than 15 feet; and install water catchment systems. Many of the projects that we’ve been asked to do require this license. The Construction Contractors Board is the authority on this, and the rules that govern the CCB are spelled out in ORS Chapter 701. We also have our regional contractor’s license, which allows us to operate in all counties under the jurisdiction of Metro.
Landscape Contractors License
We do not plan to get our LCB license at present. Without the license, the only things we cannot do are install irrigation systems and water features; plant lawns; and install ornamental (that is, non-edible) nursery stock: vines, trees, and shrubs. Consult the Landscape Contractors Board for information about this license, and ORS Chapter 671 for the full story.
A lot of what we do falls under landscape maintenance and design services, which are not regulated by the state. There are very specific rules defining landscape maintenance; see the LCB landscape maintenance page for a basic description of how it differs from landscape contracting work.