Iowa Contractor License Bond

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What is an Iowa contractor license bond?

Iowa defines “contractors” as individuals who complete residential or commercial construction projects such as:

  • Electrical work
  • Mechanical work
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) service or installation
  • Residential construction
  • Commercial construction
  • Plumbing work
  • Roofing work

Businesses in these lines of work are often required to obtain a surety bond. Iowa contractor license bonds ensure contractors act as legally compliant professionals, following all rules and regulations regarding building codes, taxes, and more. If the contractor breaks the law, the surety bond may help protect parties that suffer harm or experience devastating financial effects.

How Contractor License Bonds Work

Iowa contractor license bonds are contracts between three entities: 

  • The contracted company (the principal)
  • The city requiring the bond for the work taking place in their area (the obligee)
  • An organization taking on the responsibility for incidents that may occur (the surety)

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

Get Your Iowa Contractor License Bond:

Iowa Contractor License Bond Requirements

Contractors and businesses working in “construction” in Iowa must register with the Iowa Division of Labor. The registration requires getting an Iowa unemployment insurance number, even without employees. If your business has employees, you may also need a Certificate of Workers’ Compensation. The application fee is $50.

Out-of-State Contractors Working in Iowa

Out-of-state businesses working in Iowa must secure a surety bond of at least $25,000. You must include proof of bonding in your license application.

In-State Contractors

In-state contractors working in certain cities (listed below) may also need Iowa contractor license bonds. These bonds often range from $5,000 and $10,000. Check with your local governing organization or contact ZipBonds if you’re not sure which bond you need.

  • Bettendorf
  • Davenport
  • Eldridge
  • Johnston
  • Sioux City
  • Waterloo

Frequently Asked Questions

Each contractor or business that performs “construction” work and earns at least $2,000 a year in Iowa must register with the Iowa Division of Labor.

The Iowa Department of Revenue provides the Iowa Contractors Guide – with a complete overview of applicable laws and registration requirements.

There is no set expiration date for Iowa contractor licenses. Be sure to note the date of issuance and read the fine print to ensure coverage doesn’t lapse. Surety companies often send renewal information ahead of the expiration date to ensure bonds remain active.

Yes, anyone can search the current contractor registration database for Iowa to find a contractor.

Get Your Contractor License Bond in Iowa

ZipBonds offers the fastest and most secure option for getting bonded. Our all-digital platform is intuitive and straightforward. Apply 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.