Washington D.C. Contractor License Bonds Explained
A number of contractors in Washington D.C. need to get state licensure before being allowed to operate their profession legally. In many cases, this process involves obtaining a contractor license bond.
The purpose of your contractor bond is to protect the interests of your customers by ensuring that you will adhere to all applicable legislation. The bond serves as a security mechanism in case you transgress from your legal obligations.
Your bond works as a three-party contract between your business as the principal, the relevant state authority as the obligee that requires it, and the surety as the bond provider.
Questions about Contractor License Bonds in District Of Columbia
Who has to obtain this bond?
Different categories of contractors in Washington D.C. may need to post a contractor license bond in order to obtain state licensing.
Home improvement contractors have to provide a $25,000 surety bond as part of their licensing process with the district's Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.
Electricians (regular voltage) have to obtain a $4,000 bond, while electricians (low voltage) - a $2,000.
Elevator contractors need to obtain a $4,000 bond.
Plumbers, Gasfitters, and HVAC contractors need a $5,000 bond. The licensing body is the state Board of Industrial Trades.
How much does it cost to get bonded?
The surety bond amount that you have to provide for your Washington D.C. contractor license varies depending on your specialty. You don't have to cover the whole amount, but only a fraction of it which is called your bond premium. It is based on the strength of your personal and business finances.
When determining your exact surety bond cost, the surety that you apply with considers your personal credit score, business finances, and liquidity and assets. This is how it can assess the level of bonding risk involved. The stronger your finances are, the lower your bond cost would be. Applicants with stable profiles usually get rates between 1% and 3%.
|Washington D.C. Contractor License Bond Cost Based on Credit Score|
|Surety bond name||Bond amount||Credit Score|
|Above 700||Between 650-699||Between 600-649||Below 599|
|Electrical contractors (low voltage)||$2,000||$100||$100||$100||$100-$200|
|Electrical (regular voltage) and elevator contractors||$4,000||$100||$100||$100-$200||$200-$400|
|Plumbers, gasfitters, and HVAC contractors||$5,000||$100||$100-$125||$125-$250||$250-$500|
|Home improvement contractors||$25,000||$187.5-$375||$250-$625||$625-$1,250||$1,250-$2,500|
Can I get bonded with bad credit?
It is more difficult to get bonded if your finances are not in good shape. However, with our Bad Credit Surety Bonds program, applicants struggling with low credit scores, tax liens, bankruptcies, and civil judgments, can still get bonded.
For these kinds of cases, the bonding rates are a bit higher, in the range of 5%-10%. This is needed due to the higher bonding risk. Nevertheless, you can still get a peak bonding option due to our close partnerships with the top A-rated, T-listed surety companies.
How do I get bonded?
In order to obtain a Washington D.C. contractor license bond, you need to follow these steps:
You will get a free, no-obligation quote
You can then easily then buy the bond online
We will send you a digital and a hard copy of your bond
Would you like to learn more about the details of the bonding process? You can refer to our in-depth How to Get Bonded page.
Lance Surety Bonds' experts are here to help. For further questions, you can reach us at (877) 514-5146.
What happens if I receive a bond claim?
The purpose of your contractor license bond is to safeguard the interests of your customers. If a party suffers damages as a result of your illegal activities as a bonded contractor in Washington D.C., they can file a claim against your surety bond. The maximum compensation they can seek is the full bond amount that you have posted.
As per the bond indemnity language, all costs on proven claims are ultimately your responsibility. Initially, your surety will cover the payments to the claimants, but you have to fully reimburse it afterward. Thus, it is best to avoid situations that can create any claims.