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Duke Revard By Duke Revard • March 31, 2017

Steps To Obtaining A Washington State Contractors License

washington contractors license 

Individuals and companies that perform general contracting work in the state of Washington must first get a Washington State Contractors License from the Washington Department of Labor & Industries.

You must get licensed if you do, or offer to do, any of the following activities for someone else:

  • Construct, remodel, alter, or repair
  • Develop residential property
  • "Flip" homes
  • Move, wreck, or demolish

Contractor licensing in Washington is similar to other states' licensing processes, except Washington doesn't require general contractors to take exams. Applicants also don't have to submit proof of education or work experience. 

Short on time? Check out our Contractor License FAQ page.

 

 

How to get a Washington State Contractors License

 

Step #1: Determine if you are a general contractor or a specialty contractor

  • Specialty contractors are eligible to perform one building craft or trade, such as plumbing, concrete, or HVAC
  • General contractors can supervise or perform multiple crafts or trades

View the full definition of each Washington Contractor License.

 

Step #2: Obtain an employer identification number from the federal government

Do this by contacting the Internal Revenue Service at 800-829-4933. There is no charge for getting an EIN.

 

Step #3: Register your business with the Washington Secretary of State

You only need to do this if your business is structured as a corporation, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability company.

You can do this online or by calling 360-725-0377. The cost is about $180. If you are not registering as this entity, skip to Step #4.

 

Step #4: Complete a Business License Application online

After completing, you will receive a Uniform Business Identification number.

To begin your Business License application, start here.

The cost is between $15 and $20.

 

Step #5: Complete an Application for Contractor Registration

View application and instructions.

Your WA Contractor License registration must be notarized before it is submitted, and this can be done at any Washington State Department of Labor & Industries office. Cost: up to $10.

 

Step #6: Obtain a WA Contractor License Bond

Purchase a bond from a licensed bond provider.

You must have a bond amount of at least $6,000 if you're a specialty contractor, and $12,000 if you're a general contractor.

This is just the bond amount. You do not have to pay the full bond amount to get bonded.

To see what you'd pay for your bond, get a free quote below:

 

Get Free WA General Contractor Bond Quotes

- OR -

Get Free WA Specialty Contractor Bond Quotes


Step #7: Obtain general liability insurance 

Purchase insurance from a licensed insurance agent.

Your policy must be written for at least $200,000 in public liability coverage and $50,000 for property damage coverage, or a minimum of $250,000 as a combined single-limit policy.

 

Step #8: Pay the WA Contractor License registration fee

It costs $113.60 to register for a Washington State Contractors License for a two-year period.

Checks, money orders, Visa, or MasterCard are accepted.

 

Step #9: Submit paperwork

Department of Labor & Industries
Contractor Registration Section
P.O. Box 44450
Olympia, Wash. 98504-4450

 

The customer service representative at the L&I office will ensure all documentation is complete. Upon approval, you'll receive a receipt with a temporary registration number.

  • If approved, the Department of Labor & Industries will mail your WA Contractors License registration to you within 2 to 4 weeks.
  • If your application is rejected, you will be contacted about why within 2 to 4 weeks.

 

If you don't hear from L&I within 4 weeks, call 1-800-647-0982 to verify whether your application was received.

 

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