Oregon Public Works Bond

Most contractors performing work on public property in Oregon need an Oregon Public Works Bond. These bonds are inexpensive and can be purchased instantly. Learn more about what they guarantee and how to get one.



Who Needs an Oregon Public Works Bond?


Contractors working on Oregon public works projects of $100,000 in value or more must post an Oregon Public Works Bond with few exceptions. Oregon code 174.109 states that a Public Body means: 


“State government bodies, local government bodies and special government bodies.”


Therefore, construction projects or improvements for any Oregon government entity exceeding $100,000 will require an Oregon Public Works Bond that must be filed with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB). The $100,000 threshold includes the combined value of work performed by every person paid by a contractor or subcontractor in any manner for the person’s work on the project. This includes both General Contractors and Subcontractors on public works projects. Donated labor and material are excluded from the $100,000 threshold. The full requirements can be found here.




Companies other than construction companies also need an Oregon Public Works Bond if the value of their contract exceeds the $100,000 threshold. The companies need to file this form with the CCB.


Exception to Needing a Public Works Bond


There are certain contractors that are exempt from providing an Oregon Public Works Bond. These include the following:


  • A contractor is not required to pay prevailing wage under ORS 279C.800 to 279C.870
  • Emergency contracting under ORS 279A.065. Specifically,In cases of emergency, or if the interest or property of the public agency for whose benefit the contract was awarded probably would suffer material injury by delay or other cause, the requirement for filing a public works bond may be excused, if a declaration of the emergency is made in accordance with rules adopted under ORS 279A.065.”
  • Qualified disadvantaged, minority, woman, service-disabled veteran or emerging small business. 


What Does an Oregon Public Works Bond Guarantee?


This shows on Oregon highway sign with two excavators under it. A text box shows what Oregon Public Works Bonds guarantee.


An Oregon Public Works Bond guarantees that the contractor or subcontractor will pay claims ordered by the Bureau of Labor and Industries to workers performing labor upon public works projects. In other words, the bond protects workers on prevailing wage projects. If workers are not paid, they can file a claim with the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) against the Oregon Public Works Bond.


What is the Required Amount of an Oregon Public Works Bond?


An Oregon Public Works Bond must be in the amount of $30,000. Regardless of the amount of claims, a surety bond company’s liability under the bond is limited to the $30,000 amount.


How to Obtain an Oregon Public Works Bond


Oregon Public Works Bonds are easy to obtain. They can be purchased online in minutes with a simple credit check. Contractors can submit, purchase and print their bond quickly and easily.



Can You Obtain an Oregon Public Works Bond with Bad Credit?


Generally, yes. Most contractors can obtain Oregon Public Works Bonds, even with bad credit or bankruptcies. The contractor may have to provide additional information or pay more but there are options available for contractors in most situations.


What Does an Oregon Public Works Bond Cost?


Oregon Public Works Bonds cost 0.5% – 1.0% for most contractors. This depends on the bond company. The Public Works Bonds will renew annually for each year that is needed and the premium will be due yearly.


A public construction project in the background. An Oregon state flag to the right. A blue box shows the cost of Oregon Public Works Bond.


Duration and Cancellation


An Oregon Public Works Bond must be continuous in nature. The liability stays open until the bond limits are depleted, or the surety bond company cancels the bond. The surety may cancel the bond by giving 30 days written notice to the Bureau of Labor and Industries. However, the surety’s liability for any claims that occurred while the bond was in force are still the surety’s responsibility. A contractor will need to replace the bond with another or risk getting suspended from the project.


Other Bond Requirements


  • An original Oregon Public Works Bond is required before beginning work. Copies or faxes are not accepted.
  • The Public Works Bond must be written by a surety bond company approved to do business in Oregon. 


A Public Works Bond is Not Insurance


Contractors should understand that an Oregon Public Works Bond is not insurance. If the surety bond company pays a claim against the bond, they will seek to be reimbursed by the contractor under the indemnity agreement. Therefore, claims should be avoided at all costs.


Other Bonds May be Necessary


Contractors working in Oregon may need other bonds in addition to the Public Works Bond. Most Oregon contractors will also need an Oregon Contractor License Bond. The Oregon Public Works Bond does not replace the Oregon Contractor License Bond.  Other license bonds may also be needed and many of them can also be purchased online at the Oregon Surety Bond page. 


Commercial contractors often need Contract Bonds as well such as Bid Bonds, Performance Bonds, and Payment Bonds. Some of these bonds can also be purchased online, but larger bonds generally require financial statements.


A copy of an Oregon Public Works Bond can be seen by clicking here or by clicking the image below:


This is an image of an Oregon Public Works Bond.


Vice President at Axcess Surety
Vice President of Axcess Surety. Surety Bond and financial expert dedicated to helping contractors, businesses and individuals understand and obtain surety bond credit.
Josh Carson, AFSB
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