Portsmouth City Council on Monday discussed the idea after several residents recently have complained of problems when hiring someone to do work.
Engineering office manager Bill Beaumont will present City Council with a list of details for the potential plan at the Feb. 12 Council meeting.
The possibilities include requiring contractors to carry $300,000 in liability insurance and a $15,000 bond against shoddy work.
“Some of the contractors who have ripped people off and are not that good may go away,” Beaumont said. “Maybe they'll go across the river or someplace.”
The city is looking at how other cities license contractors, including Columbus and Chillicothe.
City Council President Howard Baughman said the Columbus regulations say the city is not responsible for poor work even if the contractor's licensed.
Beaumont said the city should implement the plan in several steps instead of all at once.
City Council would have to pass an ordinance before requiring the contractors to get a license.
In other business, City Council passed an ordinance directing Auditor Trent Williams to distribute all city income taxes for the current year.
Second reading was given to ordinances: