How To Become a Contractor in Ontario? (2024)

Do you have a passion for overseeing projects and procuring the necessary supplies required? Do you love to get your hands dirty building constructions? Then it would be best if you considered applying for a general contractor position, either as a free agent or as an employee in the construction industry.

To begin a career as a contractor in Ontario, you will need to complete an apprenticeship program and pass the provincial qualification examination. You will then obtain a Certificate of Qualification (C of Q) to apply for jobs within each province.

Building a career as a contractor in Ontario requires applying for a provincial working license and insurance cover for your business and clients. You will also need a building permit for certain projects.

As a contractor, you will be saddled with planning, monitoring, procuring construction equipment, allocating supplies, and managing various projects, such as residential, commercial, recreational, religious, or public construction projects. In addition, construction contractors are always on their feet, in constant transit, and sometimes work under unfavorable climatic conditions. 

How To Become a Contractor in Ontario

In this field, emphasis isn’t on a college degree but your expertise and working certification level.

On average, a high school diploma is the required level of education for a contractor, but getting a relevant college degree may play a vital role in ensuring your skills become marketable to attract more clients and succeed as a contractor. 

Short-term courses that focus on the business aspect of construction implementation are beneficial.

These courses will teach you finance and bookkeeping, tax laws and regulation, and knowledge about provincial laws that will boost your opportunities as a contractor. 

Taking a course that will teach you the core basics of fine-tuning your cost management process, drafting proposals, price estimates, design process, work safety, and business management is integral to your learning process. 

Do I Need a Licence To Be a General Contractor in Ontario?

You will need to obtain a Certificate of Qualification (C of Q) to apply for jobs within each province. This certificate requires you to complete an apprenticeship program and pass the provincial qualification examination.

The apprenticeship will help you obtain and build a client base through contacts in previous jobs or work with a contraction management company.

Owning a practicing license also makes it easy to join the Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA), where you can stay up-to-date on current market trends, new industrial developments, access to new job pools, and premium design aesthetics.

How Do I Register As a Contractor in Ontario?

You already have the core foundation about construction contraction, with solid work experience, and now it’s time to go solo.

The world is continually fast-paced, so many people prefer freelancer services due to the accessibility, flexibility, convenience, and affordability of their services to have more business offers to consider.

You can also decide to be a freelancer or free agent contractor; by setting up your business.

There are several processes involved in the formation of your private practice: 

  1. Calculating the cost of setting-up 
  2. Finding out about the rules and regulations for self-owned businesses in Ontario
  3. Register your business name. At this point, you also need to obtain a valid business number.
  4. Get your business license.
  5. Complying with tax laws and regulations for new businesses.
  6. Make sure your business is insured, which will reduce the losses you might incur when running your newly set-up establishment.
  7. Adhering to workplace safety practices
  8. You will have to consider and utilize the advertisement channels available to you.

How Do I Become An Independent Contractor in Ontario?

In Ontario, the business of contracting construction work is a high-powered, vital, and competitive sector that can offer opportunities and challenges to both budding and aspiring contractors.

The work of a contractor isn’t as easy as it looks. Generally, you will oversee the employment of different construction workers, propose business agreements, secure the delivery of equipment and tools to fit the project’s scope, delivery, schedule, budget, and the client’s expectations.

 You have access to many construction businesses, from general contracting to highly specialized restoration. Some of which are:

1. Design-Building Contraction – This addresses the design and construction costs simultaneously.

2. Cost-Plus Contraction: Contractors are paid in full for the costs incurred during the construction process. The prices are (but are not limited to) labor, materials, supplies, insurance, mileage, and office rent.

3. Maximum Price Contraction: This limits the total amount paid to the contractor by the client. The contractor will be the sole facilitator of any additional expenses incurred during the project.

4. Incentive Construction Contraction: This provides the contractor with a bulk sum of the project is delivered by a certain date and at a specific point. As a contractor, you will receive extra payment If the project is provided at a lower cost and by the target project due date. 

5. Integrated Project Delivery Contraction: This plan must have a standing agreement between the design firm, the contractor, and the client.

This project is carried out using a single contract for design and construction. There is an agreed-upon formula for risk and reward sharing, costs, and liability waivers between the concerned parties.

6. Lump-Sum Contraction: In this model, the client will set an estimated price for the project’s completion. Therefore, the contractor does not have to bid on the deliverables.

7. Time and Materials Contraction: In this model, the client will pay you an agreed-upon price based on the time spent on the project, the required supplies, and the nature of the business.

 Your net profit is also included in the plan.

8. Unit Price Contraction – Here, the client pays you – the contractor, based on the price per unit included in your business proposal or estimate. 


How Much Can I Earn As a Contractor in Ontario?

In the construction business, you get paid according to your expertise and years of experience.

In Ontario, Canada, the average pay for a contractor is $127,908 per year and $61 an hour. An entry-level position will earn you CAD 89,265 per year, which can go up to CAD 159,012 per year if you have more than four years of cumulative work experience.

The construction sector experiences a major boom yearly, and it is expected that the average salary of a contractor will be CAD 149,002 by 2027.

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