Wisconsin Contractor License Bond

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What is a Wisconsin Contractor License Bond?

Many different types of contractors require a license to work legally in the state of Wisconsin, from specialists in plumbing and heating to dwelling contractors. Although the licensing process varies slightly from one county or city to the next, it is common to need a Wisconsin contractor license bond. This type of surety bond is meant to protect customers you interact with against business practices or construction work that may lead to them suffering financial losses.

A Wisconsin contractor license bond involves three specific parties. You are the principal, or the one needing to post the bond. The obligee is the county or city authority requiring a bond be obtained, and the surety is the company providing the bond on your behalf. If a successful claim is made against your Wisconsin contractor license bond, this can negatively impact your business. Claims must be repaid to the surety, and renewing a bond may be a challenge if you have a lengthy history of claims.

Who is Required to Get a Wisconsin Contractor License Bond?

Under the statewide licensing requirement, a dwelling contractor is anyone who requests permits for contractor work on one- to two-family dwellings located in Wisconsin. Contractors who fall under this description are required to secure a Wisconsin contractor license bond.

Additionally, some cities and counties in the state include a Wisconsin contractor license bond as part of licensing requirements for contractors who perform:

  • Electrical or plumbing work
  • Roofing or siding
  • Heating and air conditioning work
  • Mechanical work
  • Carpentry, masonry, or structural work

Wisconsin License Contractor Bond Obligee Details

In the state of Wisconsin, a statewide requirement for dwelling contractors exists. This means that contractors must complete a licensing process and secure a Wisconsin contractor license bond in order to stay compliant with current laws. The obligee of the statewide surety bond requirement is the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, and the contact information is as follows:

State of Wisconsin

Department of Safety and Professional Services

Trades Credentialing Unit

PO Box 78780

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53293

Phone: 608-266-2112

Additional Wisconsin contractor license bond requirements may be imposed by local city or county offices. The obligee in these instances would be the licensing authority for the specific jurisdiction.

What Does a Wisconsin Contractor License Bond Cost?

The bond amount you need to post depends on where you plan to do business, but it typically ranges from $1,000 to $25,000. Fortunately, you are not required to pay the full amount of your bond requirement. A Wisconsin contractor license bond is priced as a small percent of the total, often between 1 and 5%.

Licensed contractors in Wisconsin pay a lower bond premium when they have a high credit score and a minimal history of bond claims. The surety company providing the bond wants to feel confident that you are able to repay any successful claims in the future, so bad credit will lead to a higher bond cost. You can still secure your Wisconsin contractor license bond if credit is an issue, but the price you pay may be closer to 10% of the bond amount.

How Do I Get a Wisconsin Contractor License Bond?

If you are ready to get your Wisconsin contractor license bond, you can submit a quick form online to begin the process.

Expiration Date and Renewal of Wisconsin Contractor License Bond

The Wisconsin contractor license bond for dwelling contractors expires one year from the date of issue, in line with the expiration date and term of the dwelling contractor license. Other jurisdictions enforcing Wisconsin contractor license bond requirements may have different expiration dates and bond terms. Renewal information is provided by your surety company prior to the expiration of your Wisconsin contractor license bond.

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Frequently Asked 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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