Washington contractors must be licensed and registered and provide Washington Continuous Contractor’s Surety Bonds. Learn about what these bonds guarantee, what they cost and how to easily obtain one.
What is a Washington Continuous Contractor Surety Bond?
The Washington Continuous Contractor Surety Bond is a type of contractor License Bond. It is also called a Washington Contractor’s License Bond. It guarantees that in accordance with 18.27 Revised Code of Washington that a contractor will pay:
Labor and Material to those supplying the contractor including equipment rental
Amount adjudged the contractor for negligent work
Wages and Benefits to those working for the contractor
Taxes and contributions due to The State of Washington
What is the Amount of The Washington Continuous Contractor’s Surety Bond?
The amount of the surety bond required for Washington contractors depends on the type of work the contractor performs. For the purposes of licensing a contractor is either a General Contractor or a Specialty Contractor.
General Contractor Bond Amount
The amount of a Washington General Contractor Bond is $12,000.
General Contractors can perform most types of work and hire subcontractors.
Specialty Contractors Bond Amount
The amount of a Washington Specialty Contractor Bond is $6,000.
Specialty Contractors can only perform work for which they are registered. They cannot hire subcontractors. There are 63 specialists for which a contractor must register with the state. Those can be found here.
How to Obtain a Washington Contractor License Bond
Washington Contractor’s License Bonds are easy to obtain. Both the General Contractor License Bond and the Specialty Contractor License Bond can be purchased instantly without a credit check. Contractors can print their bond in minutes.
Better pricing may be available for Washington Contractors that want to fill out an application and have a credit check completed.
Cost of a Washington Continuous Contractor’s Surety Bond
The cost of a Washington Continuous Contractor’s Surety Bond depends on the financial strength of the contractor. These Surety bonds range between 1% – 3% per year.
Many surety bond companies provide discounts if Contractor’s purchase multiple years up front.
Instant Purchase Cost
Washington contractors can instantly purchase these bonds through our site with no credit check. The cost for these instant bonds is $240 a year for General Contractors and $175 a year for Specialty Contractors.
Parties to a Washington Continuous Contractor’s Surety Bond
The State of Washington is required to be the Obligee on the Surety Bond. This is the party requiring the bond and receiving the guarantee. The Washington contractor is the Principal on the bond. This is the party promising to uphold the conditions of licensing. The Surety is the third Party Bond company that is guaranteeing the contractor’s obligations to the state.
Length of the Washington Continuous Contractor’s Surety Bond
The surety bond must be continuous until canceled or revoked. The license bond must remain in place as long as the contractor works in the state.
Canceling the Washington Contractor’s License Bond
The Surety Bond Company or Contractor can cancel the bond by giving notice to the state. The Contractor’s registration will be suspended until a replacement Bond is filed and approved.
Claims Against the Contractor Bond
Any person, or company that has been affected by the Washington Contractor’s failure to operate in accordance with code can make a claim against the bond. The surety bond company must be named as part of the suit.
The surety bond company liability is limited to the amount of the bond only. Liability does not increase even if the same surety bond company writes the Contractor Bond for multiple years.
Claims will be satisfied in the following order of priority:
Employee labor and claims of laborers, including employee benefits;
Claims for breach of contract by a party to the construction contract;
Registered or licensed subcontractors, material, and equipment;
Taxes and contributions due the state of Washington;
Any court costs, interest, and attorneys’ fees the plaintiff may be entitled to recover. The surety is not liable for any amount in excess of the penal limit of its bond.
Time Requirements for Claims
Action upon the bond or deposit brought by any other authorized party shall be commenced by filing the summons and complaint with the clerk of the appropriate superior court within one year from the date the claimed labor was performed and benefits accrued, taxes and contributions owing the state of Washington became due, materials and equipment were furnished, or the claimed contract work was substantially completed or abandoned, whichever occurred first.
Limits to a Bond Claim
Except for claims involving residential homeowners, a claim against a General Contractor’s License Bond cannot exceed 50% of the bond amount.
Except for claims involving residential homeowners, a claim against a Specialty Contractor’s License Bond cannot exceed 50% of the bond amount, or $4,000, whichever is greater.
Disciplinary Bond Amount
If a contractor has a judgment against them under the bond involving a residential single family home in the previous five years, The Director may require a Continuous Contractor Surety Bond to be up to three times the normal bond amount.
Other Surety Bonds Required
Washington Contractors may need additional bonds in addition to their license bond. Contract Bonds such as Performance Bonds, Payment Bonds, Bid Bonds, and Maintenance Bonds are often required on commercial construction projects. The cost and process to get these Surety bonds is different from that of Contractor License Bonds. Contractors must go through underwriting referred to as the 3Cs.
Washington Continuous Contractor’s Surety Bonds required Indemnity from the contractor. That means if the surety bond company pays a valid claim against the bond, they will seek to be reimbursed from the contractor. Contractors should understand this important distinction. Contractors can read more about indemnity here.
Washington Continuous Contractor’s Surety Bonds are required for contractors doing business in Washington. These license bonds are inexpensive and can be purchased without a credit check, so there is no reason not to obtain one. Contact our surety experts anytime for help with these and other surety bonds.