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Contractor License Bonds: California

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How Many Bonds Do You Need?

There are bonds required by the state of California for you to perform contracting work which protect the public. There are also bonds that can protect your business or customers which are not required by the state.

CA Contractor's License Bond Requirements

Contractors who want to get their license in California will need to get a contractor license bond. A qualifying individual bond can also be required if the licensed contractor who is responsible for the construction operations does not own at least 10% of the corporation.

If you want to work on public projects, you will need contract bonds such as bid and performance bonds. They guarantee work will be done according to the contract and that subcontractors and suppliers will be paid; these surety bond requirements are not state dependent. For more information on contract bonds, please visit our contract bond catalog.

Protect Your Business With Fidelity Bonds

If you want to protect your customers or your business from employee dishonesty such as theft, you are looking for fidelity bonds. A business services fidelity bond will protect your customers from dishonest employees, while an employee dishonesty bond will protect your business from your own employees. For additional information visit our fidelity bond center.

What Is The CSLB Bond Process?

Each state department has their own applications and process. Please follow the steps below to ensure you meet all requirements to operate your business legally:


For detailed information on getting licensed, use our California contractor license guide.


Apply for a contractor license bond online and get an instant quote.


Sign the indemnity agreement, provide payment and we will ship your bond to you.

What's The Purpose of A California Contractor License Bond?

A California contractor license bond protects the public. It guarantees you will follow the terms of your license, that your work will be defect free and that all employees will be paid. Contractor license bonds do not protect you or your business.

If you have other general questions about contractor license bonds, please visit our general contractors license bond page.

Can I Get A Bond With Bad Credit?

Yes, you can get a contract license bond with credit issues. Apply online to get an instant approval.

However, if you need contract bonds such as bid and performance bonds, you likely will not be able to get them with bad credit. Contract bonds for smaller contractors are based on personal credit alone, and there are currently no high risk markets available for anyone with credit issues. A larger contractor can get approved with credit issues, but must have strong CPA business financials and suitable industry experience.

California Contractors State License Board Resources

The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) offers much of the information contractors need online. On the CSLB website you can find exam study guides for many different types of contractors to prepare for getting your license. If you have already submitted a license application, you can use their application tool to check your application status. If you want to stay up to date with the latest contractor news in California, visit the CSLB newsroom. You can also subscribe to the CSLB newsletter.

Pricing is a percentage of the $12,500 bond amount, which is based on personal credit of the contractor. You can apply to get an instant approval.

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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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