South Carolina Contractor Bonding Requirements
Not every contractor in South Carolina needs to obtain a surety bond. Several cities in the state, however, mandate that licensed contractors should post a surety bond as additional security for the city and people who work with the contractor. Some residential builders are also required to post a bond.
Like other surety bonds, contractor license bonds are an agreement between 3 parties:
- The contractor (principal)
- The city (obligee)
- A surety company (surety)
The role of surety companies is to back the agreement, and provide quick compensation to claimants who have suffered losses as a result of contractor’s non-compliance with relevant laws and regulations. Non-compliance can mean anything from fraud, to not respecting local building codes, or failure to declare or pay taxes on time.
To find out which cities require a bond and how to calculate your expenses upfront, keep reading. If you need any assistance, don’t hesitate to call us at (877)-514-5146.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which locations have bonding requirements for contractors?
Currently, contractors are required to get bonded in the following locations:
- Forest Acres
- North Augusta
- Richland County
- Rock Hill
The bonding requirement for residential builders is for the whole state, if they work on projects valued at $5,000 or more.
What’s the cost of getting bonded as a contractor in South Carolina?
The cost of your bond will depend on local requirements and, ultimately, personal credit score. First, you need to know the required total amount for your bond. In North Augusta the amount is $1,000, while it’s $2,000 in Forest Acres and $5,000 in Rock Hill. Richland County and Columbia decide bond amounts on a case-by-case basis.
These amounts refer to the bond’s penal sums. In other words, if a Rock Hill contractor breaches their bond’s terms, the maximum compensation a claimant can ask for is $5,000.
The actual cost of getting bonded is simply a premium, based mainly on your personal credit score. Applicants with a FICO of above 700 often pay just 1% of the total amount, while those with scores below 650 typically see premiums between 3% and 10%.
You can learn more about premiums on our surety bond cost page.
To do work valued over $5,000 in the city of Rock Hill you will need a Residential Business License, a General Contractors’ License, or a Residential Specialty Contractor License.
Residential specialty contractors must also file a bond with the Residential Builders Commission. Keep in mind that you are only allowed to do work that you were licensed for and you cannot supervise other contractors.
To be issued a building permit for any job in Richland County, contractors will need to provide proof of relevant trade qualifications, as well as have a valid license and bond.
To be eligible to do work on city premises you must apply for a license at the Department of
Building Standards and post a $1,000 surety bond.
The bond ensures your compliance with the International Residential Code as well as the Code of Ordinances and Laws of the City.
Contractors performing work on residential building projects need to comply with Title 40 Chapter 59 of the South Carolina Code of Laws and post a bond if the work they perform exceeds $5,000.
The bond’s amounts can be $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000, depending on whether the contractor is respectively a registered specialty contractor, licensed specialty contractor, or a residential builder.