How to Get a General Contractor’s License in Washington State

  • Home
  • How to Get a General Contractor’s License in Washington State

Surety Bond Professionals is a family-owned and operated bonding agency with over 30 years of experience. With access to a broad range of surety markets, our expert agents are ready to assist with all of your Washington general contractor license bond needs. Learn how to get a general contractor’s license in Washington State, below.

What Contractor Licenses Are Issued in Washington?

The state of Washington issues dozens of different specialty licenses to contractors in various construction trades. However, general contractors go through a registration process rather than licensing.

What Are the Steps in the Registration Process?

To register with the Washington Department of Labor and Industry, general contractors must:

  • Be properly registered with the Washington Secretary of State as a business entity if operating as an LLC or corporation
  • Purchase a $12,000 surety bond (specialty contractors must purchase a $6,000 bond)
  • Be insured for the required amount of general liability coverage and worker’s compensation insurance if the business has employees
  • Complete an Application for Construction Contractor Registration and have all signatures notarized
  • Pay the required application fee

The surety bond must remain in force continuously to maintain valid registration.

Why is a General Contractors Bond Required?

A Washington State general contractor’s bond is a contractor’s pledge to abide by all applicable laws and regulations while doing business in the state. The bond provides financial protection for the state of Washington in the event that a registered contractor defaults on a job. It also indemnifies the state against liability for damages incurred by consumers due to the actions of a registered general contractor.

How Are Washington General Contractor Bond Claims Paid?

The three parties to a Washington general contractor’s bond, which is a legally binding contract, are referred to as:

  • The “obligee” requiring the bond (the state of Washington)
  • The “principal” required to purchase the bond (the general contractor)
  • The “surety” authorizing the bond (the surety company)

The surety bond agreement legally obligates the principal to pay all valid claims against the bond. But typically, the surety will pay a claim on behalf of the principal and then be repaid by the principal. This practice ensures that the claimant receives prompt payment and gives the principal some time to come up with the necessary funds.

How Much Does a Washington General Contractor Bond Cost?

The last thing the surety wants is to take legal action against the principal to obtain reimbursement for money paid out on a claim. That said, the main concern in setting the premium rate for a Washington general contractor bond is the principal’s creditworthiness, as measured by the principal’s personal credit score.

With good credit, your premium rate could be as low as 1%, which means you would pay $120 per year for a $12,000 Washington general contractor bond.

Get A Quote

Our surety bond professionals will get you the Washington State general contractor bond you need at a competitive rate.