What is a Washington Continuous Contractor’s License Bond?
The Washington Continuous Contractor’s License Bond is a surety bond required by the state of Washington that guarantees licensed contractors will comply with all applicable laws and regulations relating to their trade. A surety bond is a three-party contract between 1) the principal, or the party who has to get the bond(the contractor, in this case), 2) the obligee, or the entity that requires the bond (the State of Washington, in this case), and 3) the surety company that issues the bond.
Who needs a Washington Contractor License Bond?
Washington has two main classifications of construction contractors: general contractors and specialty contractors. General contractors are contractors that can perform most contracting work and can hire subcontractors. Specialty contractors, however, cannot hire subcontractors and can only perform work within their registered trade. There are 63 specialty contractor classifications in the state of Washington. You can find more information on all of them here.
Getting bonded is a prerequisite for registering as a contractor with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). And because all contractors must register with the Washington L&I, it’s therefore necessary for all contractors to also obtain a contractor license surety bond, in order to operate within the law.
What does a contractor license bond do?
A contractor license bond is a surety bond that protects the public from damages resulting from fraudulent or illegal activities conducted by licensed/registered contractors. This bond is a registration requirement established by the Washington L&I. But how does a surety bond work?
Well, if an individual (e.g., a homeowner) suffers damages due to a registered contractor’s failure to adhere to the regulations of their trade, the injured individual can file a claim against the contractor’s bond. The surety company is responsible for investigating claims and determining which claims are valid. If a claim is deemed valid, the surety will pay the claimant (the individual that filed the claim) an amount up to the bond’s limit. Unlike insurance, the principal (the contractor) is financially responsible for reimbursing the surety for the total amount of the claim, plus any additional fees and expenses incurred by the surety.
A contractor license surety bond does not protect the contractor from the repercussions of their actions like some insurance policies may. The contractor is ultimately financially responsible for all valid claims the surety pays out.
How much does a Washington Continuous Contractor License Bond cost?
The cost of a surety bond depends on several factors, including (but not limited to) the type of bond, the bond amount (or bond limit), the credit of the individual applying, and even the experience the applicant has within their industry.
Bond amounts for the Washington Continuous Contractor’s License Bond vary according to the type of contractor in question. Here is a quick look at some of the bond amounts for different types of Washington-state contractors:
- $4,000 for Electrical/Telecommunication Contractors
- $6,000 for Specialty Contractors
- $10,000 for Fire Sprinkler System Contractors
- $12,000 for General Contractors
Please note that those amounts are not the total for what you will pay for your bond. The amount you will pay for your bond will be a percentage of that bond amount, called your premium rate. Your premium rate will primarily depend on your credit score. Applicants with excellent credit may see quotes with premiums starting as low as 1-3% of the bond amount.
The obligee for the WA Continuous Contractor’s License Bond is the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. Their contact information is as follows:
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
P.O. BOX 44450
Olympia, WA 98504-4450
Phone: 360-902-5226 (Option 2)
How to get your Washington Contractor License Bond
EZ Surety Bonds takes the headache out of surety bonding. Simply fill out the short application for your bond, and you’ll hear back from our surety experts within 24 hours regarding your quote. If you have more questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-866-546-4605.
Frequently asked questions
The cost of a surety bond depends on several factors, including the type of bond, the bond amount, and the applicant’s credit. The bond amount required for a Washington Continuous Contractor’s License varies depending on the contractor’s classification; however, the bond amounts typically range from $4,000 to $12,000. Depending on the type of classification you fall in, your experience in that trade, and your credit, you may see quotes with premiums as low as 1-3% of the bond amount.
If you’re looking to get your Washington Construction Contractor License/Registration, here’s what you need to do:
1. Decide on your business structure and register with the Department of Revenue.
2. Complete the application for Contractor Registration.
3. Obtain a surety bond of either $6,000 for Specialty Contractors or $12,000 for General Contractors.
4. Acquire a Certificate of Liability Insurance.
5. Pay the registration fee of $124.70.
6. Create copies of the required documents and take them to the L&I office.
After purchasing your WA contractor license bond from our site, you will receive the original document in the mail. The Washington L&I requires you to file the original bond with them. To ensure that your contractor registration application is processed efficiently, include original notarized signatures. Once you submit your completed application to the Washington L&I, it may take 3-4 weeks to be approved.