The type of contractor licenses or registrations you need depend on your roles and responsibilities on a project. Contractor Licenses issued by the City of Aspen Building Department are valid in both in the City of Aspen and Pitkin County. These are issued separately from your Business License, both of which are required.
You must posses at least one of the certifications listed in our requirements checklist (PDF).
If you do not hold a proper certification you are required to take a B.E.S.T Test to obtain a B.E.S.T Card Certification.
Board of Examiners for Standardized Testing (B.E.S.T) is a program coordinated between the City of Aspen, Pitkin County, and regional jurisdictions in the Roaring Fork Valley and along the I-70 corridor to test contractor and job supervisor knowledge of the International Code Council (ICC) codes. Those who pass the B.E.S.T Test receive a B.E.S.T Card that validates their knowledge of the ICC code.
B.E.S.T Cards are not contractor licenses, nor are they business licenses. After receiving a B.E.S.T Card or State License, contractors are required to obtain a contractor license through the City of Aspen in order to work in Aspen or Pitkin County. A BEST Card is attached to the test taker, not to the company. When a cardholder leaves a company, the card goes with them.
Who is Required to have a B.E.S.T Card?
- All licensed general contractors must have a B.E.S.T Card or ICC Certification.
- Specialty contractors must have a B.E.S.T Card specific to their trade.
- Job supervisors working within Aspen and Pitkin County.
The City of Aspen will honor B.E.S.T Cards issued from other jurisdictions with approval from the City Chief Building Official.
Prepare for the B.E.S.T Test
BEST Tests are open-book tests, and you are responsible for acquiring a book for the test. The tests are a random selection of questions, which are true/false or multiple choice questions.
The Historic Preservation Test is based on specific study materials and is also an open-book test.
Spanish B.E.S.T test and Spanish Code Books Available
International Residential Code (IRC) and ICC books are available in Spanish through Community Development at no cost. Books are available on loan for those studying for the B.E.S.T Test. Books are for the 2018 International Code Council (ICC) codes but can be used for testing purposes even though the Building Department is still using the 2015 ICC Code.
B.E.S.T Testing Fee Schedule
|Type of Test||Total Questions||Price|
|Light Commercial||50 Questions||$50.00|
|Residential/Owner Builder||25 Questions||$25.00|
|Specialty Tests: HPC, Roofing, Mechanical||25 Questions||$25.00|
Schedule a B.E.S.T Test
- Log in to your Salesforce account and start a Certification Application.
- After your application is submitted, staff will review it and contact you within two business days to arrange payment for the testing fees.
- You will receive a link to the B.E.S.T Test.
- Staff will receive a notification when you complete the test and will score it.
- If you pass, a new B.E.S.T Card will be mailed to you within three business days. In the meantime, you will receive a digital copy of your card.
The City of Aspen offers B.E.S.T testing online for contractors that work in Pitkin County. A customer portal account is required. If you already have access to Salesforce, you do not need to register for the test. All tests are administered on the 2015 ICC Codes.
Other local jurisdictions that provide testing and issue B.E.S.T Cards include:
- Town of Basalt
- The Town of Carbondale
- City of Glenwood Springs
- Town of Silt
- The Town of Snowmass Village
Then identify the type of license you'll require to match the scope of work referencing our Contractor License Descriptions.
- If you already registered, please go to the login page of the Customer Portal to access your account. .
If you don’t receive the email or have any issues logging into the system, please contact SF Support or call 970.920.5065
Next, you can start your Contractor License application by following the referenced instructions on here.
You must attach and submit the below documents along with your Contractor License application via the Customer Portal to be deemed complete.
- Every contractor must maintain at all times, employee and public liability insurance with a minimum limit of not less than $500,000 for one person and $1,000,000 for any one accident, and property damage insurance with a minimum limit of not less than $300,000 for any one accident.
- If this insurance expires, the contractor license is null and void.
The City of Aspen no longer accepts certificates of insurance, please submit the correct notarized affidavit listed above.
2. Picture Identification (e.g. driver’s license).
3. Photocopy of both sides of your B.E.S.T Card or proper certification for your license.
Prior to renewing your Contractor License please identify one of the following:
- If you have never received a Contractor License from our new permitting system, please start a new License Application. Follow the steps listed above under Start Your License Application tab.
- If you have a Contractor License issued from our current permitting system (prior to 7/24/2018), please follow our License Renewal Instructions (PDF).
Contractor licenses are processed within 2 business days. Once your license application is approved, you will receive an email notification to make a payment (if needed).
What If I'm an Owner wanting to build/remodel my house?
Homeowners that are undertaking their own contractor work are exempt from the licensing process, but they still must adhere to the Homeowner/Builder Requirements.
What if I'm working on a Historic Property?
All contractors working on a historic preservation project within the City of Aspen must have an active Historic Preservation Certification.
All contractors must have an active General Contractor BEST card prior to scheduling the Historic Preservation Certification test.