In an effort to protect consumers, Washington requires all contractors to have a Washington State Contractors License before they begin working in the state. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to obtain your Washington State Contractors License:
Short on time? Check out our Contractor’s License FAQ page.
How to get Your Washington State Contractors License
(Step by Step Instructions)
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 (the full list is here)
- General contractors can supervise or perform multiple crafts or trades.
Step #2: Obtain an employer identification number from the federal government.
Do this by contacting the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-4933. There is no charge for getting an EIN.
Step #3: If your business is structured as a corporation, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability company, contact the office of the Washington Secretary of State to Register Your Business.
Step #4: Complete a Business License Application online to receive a Uniform Business Identification number. Go here to the state's business licensing service to begin. The cost is between $15 and $20.
This form 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 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.
Getting a Washington Contractor License Bond can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be. At Surety Solutions, we let you view quotes for your bond so you can compare prices before you buy. The best part? You can apply online for your bond and be approved that same day.
You might only need to pay $120 for your bond! Learn more here.
Step #7: Obtain general liability 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 contractor registration fee.
It costs $113.60 to register as for a Washington State Contractors License for a two-year period in Washington.
Checks, money orders, Visa, or MasterCard are accepted.
Step #9: Submit all of your documents and applications to the WA State Department of Labor & Industries. You can either bring this documentation to an L&I office or mail it to:
Department of Labor & Industries Contractor Registration Section
P.O. Box 44450
Olympia, WA 98504-4450
After Submitting Your Paperwork
After evaluating your application information, the Department of Labor and Industries will do one of the following:
- If approved, mail your registration within 2-4 weeks
- If rejected, contact you about missing documentation within 2-4 weeks so you can supply the proper documentation and get approved
If you are waiting for a response for longer than 2-4 weeks, call the Department at 1-800-647-0982 to verify your paperwork was received.