What is a Washington contractor license bond?
Individuals and businesses acting as general or specialty contractors in Washington must obtain a contractor license bond. The bond amount is $12,000 for general contractors and $6,000 for specialty contractors. The Washington Department of Labor and Industries (DOLI) regulates these bonds.
Specialty contractors include those working in plumbing, electrical, elevators, mobile home installation, boilers, and asbestos. All 63 specialty categories are listed here with other contractor-specific requirements.
All general and specialty construction contractors must also:
- Register with the Department of Revenue
- Purchase a general liability insurance policy
- Pay the $124.70 required application fee
Some municipalities have separate license and bonding requirements from the state, including Seattle, Redmond, and Lakehaven. Contact your local licensing authority to ensure you meet all necessary regulations. More detailed contractor registration steps, listed in the recommended order, are posted by the state.
If you’re unsure if this bond applies to you, call us at (888) 435-4191 and one of our agents will be more than happy to help.
Get Your Washington Contractor License Bond:
Washington Fire Sprinkler System Contractor Bonds
All fire protection sprinkler system contractors working in the State of Washington must submit a surety bond. The bond amount varies by contractor level:
- Level 1, 2, and “I&T” contractors: $6,000 bond
- Level 3 and Level “U” contractors: $10,000 bond
- You must have at least one full-time employee certified as a Certificate of Competency Holder.
- Register with the Labor and Industries agency, Department of Licensing, Department of Revenue, Secretary of State, and/or Department of Social Health Services.
- Submit a contractor application.
How does a contractor license bond work?
The contractor license bond guarantees that the public receives compensation for damages if you, as the contractor, fail to comply with contractor registration law. If you’re bonded and don’t fulfill your obligations, someone may file a claim against your bond. The bond amount represents the maximum liability, meaning that you cannot be held liable for more than $12,000 as a general contractor, $10,000 as a fire sprinkler contractor, or $6,000 as a specialty contractor.
Learn more about how contractor license bonds work in our complete guide.
Washington Contractor License Bond Costs
You will pay a small percentage of the bond amount to obtain your contractor license bond. This is known as the bond premium. In Washington, your personal credit score is the main factor underwriters consider when setting your bond premium. Your surety may also consider your business finances, liquid and fixed assets, and industry experience.
You may pay as little as 1% of the bond amount for your premium if you have excellent credit. The premium could be higher if your credit score is poor, sometimes up to 5%.
Frequently Asked Questions
Follow these steps to apply for your contractor’s license in WA:
- Register your business with the Washington Secretary of State.
- Complete an online Business License Application.
- Obtain your Employer ID number.
- Fill out a Contractor Registration Application and get it notarized.
- Provide original proof of a surety bond or liability insurance.
- Submit your application and all relevant documents to the Labor and Industries Headquarters.
You can obtain a license bond with poor credit in many cases. However, you may pay a higher premium rate, given the increased risk.
Get Your Contractor License Bond in Washington
ZipBonds offers the fastest and most secure option for getting bonded. Our all-digital platform is intuitive and straightforward. Apply online, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888.435.4191 to speak with an agent directly.
Founders Ryan Swalve and Zach Mefferd formed the vision for ZipBonds.com 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.