California requires contractors within the state to obtain a California Contractor License (NO Roofer or Pool License) Bond as part of its contractor license application process. The state requires these contractor license surety bonds to protect consumers from fraudulent or illegal acts committed by licensed contractors.
If a licensed contractor fails to uphold the regulations of their license and someone suffers injury or damages, the injured party can file a claim against the contractor’s bond. If the surety company investigates the claim and deems it valid, the injured party will receive compensation (up to the bond amount) from the surety. Surety isn’t the same as insurance though. The contractor is ultimately responsible for reimbursing the surety for all valid claims paid out, plus any additional expenses incurred.
**Effective January 1st, 2023, the CA Contractor License Bond, Bond of Qualifying Individual, and Contractors Disciplinary Bond will increase to a $25,000 bond amount as a result of Senate Bill 607. This page has been updated to reflect that.**
The California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) requires any contractor that applies for a contractor license to obtain a surety bond as a part of the licensing process. The $25,000 Contractor License Bond is a requirement for most contractor classifications in California.
Please note that surety bonds issued for the C-53 (swimming pool contractor) and C-39 (roofing contractor) license classifications have a higher number of claims made against them than other classifications. As a result, surety companies have established more strict underwriting parameters for those bonds. If you are a pool or roofing contractor, you can apply for your $25,000 Contractor License Bond here.
Additionally, if you operate as a limited liability company (LLC), you will need to supplement your contractor license bond with the $100,000 California LLC Employee Bond.
$25,000 isn’t the cost of the bond. That number refers to the maximum claim amount your bond will cover. The bond’s cost to you will be lower, with the final cost depending on several factors, including (but not limited to) the bond amount, the relevant experience you have within the industry, and your credit. The surety will analyze these factors and assign you a premium rate, which will calculate the percentage of the bond amount you will pay. Applicants with excellent credit and several years of experience in the industry can see quotes for their $25,000 Contractor License Bond starting at around 1% of the bond amount.
The California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is the obligee for the California Contractor License Bond. Their contact info is listed below.
Contractors State License Board – Headquarters Office
9821 Business Park Drive
Sacramento, CA 95827
Phone: (800) 321-CSLB (2752)
Outside California: (916) 255-3900
EZ Surety Bonds aims to make surety bonding as quick and easy as possible. Simply fill out the application form on our website for the bond you need and receive your free quote within 24 hours. We encourage you to contact our surety experts at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-361-1720 if you ever have any questions.
How do I become a licensed contractor in California?
To become a licensed contractor in the state of California, you must:
A more in-depth guide to getting a California contractor’s license is available here.
How much is a $25,000 California Contractor License Bond?
The California Contractor License (No Roofer or Pool License) Bond may have a required bond amount of $25,000; however, the cost of most surety bonds is typically only a percentage of that bond amount. Surety companies calculate a premium quote for applicants based on the analysis of several factors, including credit. Individuals with excellent credit and significant experience in the industry may see their premium for a CA Contractor License Bond starting at around 1% of the bond amount. Fill out the application form on our site to receive your free quote within 24 hours.
What do I do after I purchase my California Contractor License Bond?
In most cases, the original bond will be mailed to you, so you can then file it with the obligee (the CSLB). Fortunately, the California CSLB will accept the original document or an electronically filed version. Whether or not you can file electronically will depend on the surety company that writes your bond. Make sure to file your bond with the CSLB within 90 days of the bond’s effective date to complete your contractor’s license application.
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South Coast Surety has been proudly providing surety support to all fifty U.S. states for twenty years. Starting out as a small agency with a dream in San Clemente, California, we have steadily grown into one of the largest bond-only agencies in the nation. We write all commercial bonds and contract bonds for every American business and industry. Our greatest achievement is helping our clients grow their business alongside our own through coaching and obtaining larger bonding limits at the best rates. We work hard for our clients and take pride in bonding businesses that have been declined by our competitors.