What is a Washington Contractor License Bond?
Construction contractors working in Washington state must hold a valid license to do business on residential or commercial projects. Part of the licensing process for contractors is obtaining a Washington contractor license bond, which is a type of surety 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.
How Does a WashingtonContractor License Bond Work?
A Washington contractor license bond works like any other surety bond, contractually obligating three parties.
The obligee, which is represented by a department of the state, is the licensing authority that requires a bond to be posted.
The licensed contractor is known as the principal of the bond and must obtain the bond to be licensed in the state.
The surety provides the bond to the contractor and initially pays claims made on the bond. The contractor must then pay back the surety.
Washington Contractor License Bond Obligee Details
Washington contractor license bonds have the following obligee information:
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
7273 Linderson Way SW
Tumwater, Washington 98501
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 and post a bond, and the same is true for electrical contractors and general contractors.
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.
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 and type, as well as your credit history.
Once payment is submitted and details about the contractor business are provided, the surety company finalizes the bond information.
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 one to 10 percent. Licensed contractors with a strong credit history pay a lower percentage, as they present a lesser risk to the surety company providing the bond.
Can I Get a Washington Contractor License Bond with Bad Credit?
Washington contractor license bonds are available to those with less than ideal credit histories, but the cost of the bond is higher. The bond premium is higher when you have bad credit because you are considered to be higher risk to the surety.
How Do I Renew My Washington Contractor License Bond?
You can renew your contractor license bond by mail, online, or in person. You’ll need to renew your license and your contractor license bond every two years. If you miss the renewal deadline, you may end up with an invalid license and bond, which can negatively affect your business.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.