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Washington Contractor License Bond

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What is a Washington Contractor License Bond?

Construction contractors working in Washington state are required to hold a valid license in order to do business on either residential or commercial projects. Part of the licensing requirements for contractors is obtaining a surety bond, known as a Washington contractor license bond. This bonding requirement helps ensure the vendors, suppliers, and customers who engage in business with a licensed contractor are protected in case things do not go as planned.

A Washington contractor license bond protects individuals and businesses when a licensed contractor fails to complete a project or does not complete work in line with state regulations or code.

Who Needs a Washington Contractor License Bond?

In Washington, only certain construction contractors are required to get a license and a Washington contractor license bond. Specialty contractors must have a valid license as well as post a bond, and the same is true for electrical contractors. General contractors must also have a license in order to perform work legally, and a bond is required for these contractors as well.

In some cases, other contractors may be required to secure a Washington contractor license bond, depending on the work they perform and whether it is commercial or residential. For instance, structural pest inspectors, side sewer, and fire sprinkler contractors must have a license and a bond when working in the state.

Washington Contractor License Bond Obligee Details

A Washington contractor license bond works like any other surety bond, contractually obligating three parties. The licensed contractor is known as the principal of the bond, while the surety company is the provider of the bond. The obligee, which is represented by a department of the state, is the licensing authority requiring a bond to be posted.

Washington contractor license bonds have the following obligee information:

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries

7273 Linderson Way SW

Tumwater, Washington 98501

Phone: 1-800-833-6388

How Much Does a Washington Contractor License Bond Cost?

The cost of a Washington contractor license bond depends on the total amount of the bond required by the state. The bond amount is based on the type of contractor license an individual holds. A general contractor performing work in Washington must have a bond of at least $12,000 in place, while a specialty contractor is required to post a $6,000 bond. Electrical contractors must have at least a $4,000 bond to meet licensing requirements. However, as a contractor, you do not pay the full amount of the bond upfront.

Bond prices are calculated as a percentage of the bond amount, typically ranging from 1 to 10%. Licensed contractors with a strong credit history pay a lower percentage, as they present a lesser risk to the surety company providing the bond. Washington contractor license bonds are still available to those with less than ideal credit histories, but the cost of the bond is higher.

How do You Get a Washington Contractor License Bond?

You can start the easy process of getting a Washington contractor license bond by submitting a brief quote form online. The surety company provides the price for your bond, depending on the bond amount, type, and credit history. Once payment is submitted and details about the contractor business are provided, the surety company finalizes the bond information.


Frequent Questions

How much does a bond cost?

Pricing is a percentage of the contractor license bond amount that’s required of you, which is based on your personal credit. Use our bond pricing tool to to get a quick ballpark estimate.

Can I get bonded with bad credit?

Yes. You can apply and get bonded with bad credit. Our agency is the largest writer of bonds in the county, which allows us to approve contractors for bonds when other agencies cannot.

Are these the same as contract bonds?

No. Contractor license bonds ensure you will abide by the laws of your state, city or municipality when performing contracting work. Contract bonds guarantee public projects will be completed properly and are a separate bond type. You can learn more about contract surety bonds by visiting the contractor bond center.

Do I need a state or local bond?

It depends on who is requiring the bond of you, the local municipality, county or state. Depending on your location, it is possible you may need both a local and state bond, as contractor license bond requirements can vary drastically. You can select your state to see a full list of contractor license bond requirements.


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Our company has been with JW Surety for several years now so when we needed to obtain a bond for a new company, we immediately went to them for help. Our rep, Melissa, was extremely helpful and prompt which made the process extremely easy for me.
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Trying to get a local Surety Bond was like driving a car on three tires. I searched Surety Bonds and found JW Surety Bonds. I got online and filled out the information and with in 30 minutes received a response from Melissa. She was informative, friendly and helpful. One more super satisfied customer.

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About JW Surety Bonds
We are a family owned and operated agency established in 2003. We started with just two people, and grew to become the largest volume bond producer in the nation with 50+ employees. Since day one, our team focus has been on providing real-time online quotes, an easy process, and the best in claims defense. Learn more about our company.