Steps for Contractors to get bonded in California

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If you’re unfamiliar with surety bonds for contractors, the process can seem a little daunting. But in reality, it’s quite easy, especially with the help of a professional, like one of our talented agents, to help you along the way. The main bond that you will need is a Contractors License Bond.

1. Make sure your license is up to date.

Before you begin, make sure that your license is paid up and is active. You will need a copy (or two) to show to the bonding company.

2. Know the bond amount required in California.

In California, if you’re looking for a Contractors license bond, then the bond amount will be for $12,500 (as of the time of this writing. Be sure to check the CSLB website for current information for the most up-to-date information.) However, if your license has been revoked, suspended or you have had any disciplinary action, then your bond amount will be greater. If you do not have the paperwork that shows the bond amount required, you can contact the Contractors State License Board (CSLB).


Effective January 1, 2016, the required amount of a contractor’s bond or cash deposit with CSLB in lieu of a contractor’s bond is $15,000.

The bond for a qualifying individual is $12,500.


3. Talk to a bond professional licensed through the California Department of Insurance.

You will need to get a bond from a licensed professional. The amount of the bond will be based upon industry standards as well as your credit history. The better the credit, the lower the premium. If you have bad credit, don’t worry. There are options available.

4. Provide all documentation.

Before the bond can be written, you will need to provide documentation, such as a copy of your contractor’s license, driver’s license, business license, and other personal information. You will need to complete a bond application and will need to fill out a questionnaire regarding your business.

5. Send a copy of your bond to the CSLB.

Once you receive your bond, you will need to send a copy to the CSLB within 90 days of the effective date of the license surety bond.


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