California Contractor License Bond

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What is a California contractor license bond?

In California, contractors must carry a contractor license bond. California’s Contractors State License Board (CSLB) regulates over 285,000 contractors each year and receives around 4,000 new or revised applications every month. They also receive notices of unlicensed contractors – a crime that may result in fines and a prison sentence – amounting to 20,000 complaints annually. (Learn more in California’s state code.)

Contractor license bonds hold contractors accountable in multiple ways. A California contractor license bond benefits the customer and the public who may be harmed or financially impacted by illegal construction practices or other license law violations. The bond also helps protect employees by ensuring their wages are paid.

Learn more about how contractor license bonds work in our complete guide.

Get Your California Contractor License Bond:

California Contractor License Bond Requirements

You may need a surety bond to operate your business in California. The California contractor license bond sets a $25,000 aggregate limit (as of January 1, 2023), provides a standard 30-day cancellation provision, and doesn’t contain any forfeiture clause.

The better your credit score is, the lower your premium may be. You can expect to pay as little as 1-3% of the total bond amount. The cost of your bond may be as low as $150. A surety company licensed through the California Department of Insurance must write your bond, which ZipBonds proudly is.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contractor license bonds are contracts between three parties: 1) the State of California, 2) the surety company, and 3) the contractor. The agreement guarantees the contractor will uphold the Contractors License Law (B&P Code Section 7000), or action may be taken against their license. A customer, supplier, or employee may file a complaint with the surety company.

The CSLB is a division of the California Department of Consumer Affairs that regulates contractors. Customers can check licenses, file complaints, find a licensed contractor, and more on its website. It also provides various resources, tips, and guidance for hiring contractors for new home or business projects.

In addition to the $25,000 contractor license bond requirement, you may need the following surety bonds to continue operating your business in California: 

  • $25,000 bond of qualifying individual: If your license is qualified by a Responsibly Managing Employee
  • $100,000 LLC employee/worker bond: For any contractor business registered as an LLC
  • $25,000 disciplinary bond: To reinstate or reissue a license that has been revoked for a violation of the contractor’s license law

See the CSLB website for more information. These amounts account for the recent increases, as of January 1, 2023.

Get Your Contractor License Bond in California

ZipBonds is the fastest and most secure option for getting bonded. Our all-digital platform is intuitive and straightforward. Apply for your contractor license bond online, email, or call 888.435.4191 to speak with an agent directly.



Founders Ryan Swalve and Zach Mefferd formed the vision for when they realized how overly complicated it was to help clients place surety. The frustration of being unable to incorporate the technology they’d used in other insurance-focused projects left them thinking “there has to be a better way.”

Fast forward a couple of years, and that better way is the impetus of everything we do at ZipBonds. We constantly look for innovative ways to improve the bonding process for our clients and agents. Our team comprises individuals who understand all angles of surety – for companies, agencies, and individuals. Incorporating everyone’s point of view to improve the process while simultaneously integrating cutting-edge technology is what sets our business apart.