How to register as a contractor for the first time

So you’ve decided to start a construction company…

It took time to perfect your craft.  You want to start making a living working for yourself and sharing your skills with others. That’s WONDERFUL.  Now that the dream has taken root, what’s your next step?

Choose your business structure

Check with your lawyer to see what business structure makes the most sense for your new adventure.

Options include;

  1. Sole Proprietor
  2. General Partership
  3. Corporation
  4. Limited Liability Partnership or Limited Liability Company

Register with the Washington Secretary of State

Register online or by phone (360-725-0377).  The cost to register is approximately $180. You can pay an additional fee for expedited service

Complete a Business License Application Online

Complete the application in order to obtain your Uniform Business Identifier number or UBI#.  These forms can be picked up at your local Department of Labor and Industries office if you prefer to complete a paper copy.

Get your IRS Employer ID#

If you plan on hiring employees you will need an EIN#.

Fill out the application for contractor registration

This form will need to be notarized. We can notarize the form for you at Guide Insurance Services or your local L&I office should offer notary service.  Paper copies of this form are available at your local L&I office as well.

Purchase a Contractors License Bond and Liability Insurance

A bond in the amount of $12,000 is required for general contractors licenses and $6,000 for specialty contractor licenses.  Bonds are rated based upon your individual or business credit.  Preferred bond annual premiums are typically $185 – $300 per year.

General Liability Insurance protects your business in the event you cause bodily injury or property damage during the course of your work.  Our agents at Guide Insurance Services can review your operations and discuss insurance company and coverage limit options with you.  Contractor insurance policies are complex contracts with many different exclusions coverage options. It’s important to work with an agent who understands these contracts and your specific unique business.    We enjoy watching new small businesses thrive and grow!   Contact us today for a quote.

Proof of liability insurance in the form of an insurance certificate and the original contractors license bond will be required to complete your registration.  All applications, business licenses, insurance and bonds must have the same EXACT business name in order to complete the registration process.

Submit your application and required documents to the Department of Labor and Industries

  1. complete and notarized application for contractors registration
  2. original contractors license bond – provided by your agent
  3. certificate of general liability insurance – provided by your agent
  4. registration fee

Tips and Tricks

  • follow these instructions in order. It’s important to have your EXACT business name prior to completing any other forms.  An exact match is required to complete the process.
  • Contact an agent with experience working with contractors insurance.  The coverage forms are complex and differ from carrier to carrier.  Our agents at Guide Insurance Services have an average of 20 years experience working with contractors.  We are dedicated to educating ourselves and our clients regarding changing forms.
  • DO NOT FORGET TO SUBMIT YOUR FORMS TO L&I – to complete the registration process you must deliver your documents to your local L&I office or send them by mail within 30 days of issuance of your contractors license bond.
  • Let your agent know ASAP if you have a change in your business operations or employees! Changes of this nature can cause significant changes to your insurance coverage.


Enjoy the ADVENTURE!

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