Guide to Starting a Construction Company in Washington State

If you’re planning on starting a construction company in Washington state, prepare yourself for a long process. This is because you need the Washington contractor’s license in order to do any work legally. Needless to say, getting a contractor’s license is a long and complicated process which you need to prepare for. In order to help you out, we’ve put together a guide to starting a construction company in Washington state.

When do you need a contractor’s license

In Washington, any business dealing in constructing, altering, remodeling or repairing buildings including roads and roads, demolishing, wrecking or moving structures and developing property or flipping houses needs a contractor’s license. If your business falls into any of these categories, you’ll need one before starting a construction company in Washington state. In addition to this, you might want to consider some tips for starting a business before starting the process. After all, every little bit of knowledge helps you prepare when starting a business. And in today’s world, any advantage you can get is very important.

Before you can do any construction work, you’ll need a contractor’s license.

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Register the business with the Washington secretary of state

The first thing you need for a contractor’s license registration form is a UBI number. In order to get one, you need to start a company through registering with the Washington secretary of state. In order to do this, you need to submit Articles of Incorporation if you want to start a corporation. Alternatively, you can submit a Certificate of Formation, if you want to start an LLC. However, if you’re registering a business you formed out of state, you will need to submit Certificate of Authority if it’s a corporation or a Certificate of Registration for an LLC, as well as a certificate of good standing (or the equivalent) from your home state. You can easily submit these documents online (via SOS) or by mail. When your get a confirmation that your business is officially formed, a UBI number will be will be assigned to your business.

Register with the Department of Revenue

Any business which makes more than $12,000 annually, or has employees needs to be registered with the department of revenue. A construction company fits the bill for both, so you will need to register your business with the department of revenue in Washington. Additionally, you’ll have to register with the Employment Security Department and the Department of Labor and Industries. This involves a 4-page application which needs to be filled out, called the Master Business License Application. At this point, you should also consider where exactly you want to start your business. Every business needs a physical office, and you should plan ahead for finding one and moving into it. Experts from Hansen Bros. Moving & Storage note that you should only trust experts with fragile office equipment, however.

Pretty much every business needs to be registered with the Department of Revenue.

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Get an EIN number

When filling out a contractor’s license application, you will also need an EIN number. This number is acquired from the IRS, if you have any employees, and you’ll need to get this federal tax ID. Applying for this is quick, easy and most importantly free. However, this is a good time to consider some money-saving ideas for your business. After all, knowing how to maximize your profits is always a good thing.

Get bonded

In order to get a contractor’s license, you will need a surety bond. As a general contractor, you’ll need a $12,000 surety bond. On other hand, as a specialty contractor, you’ll only need a $6000 surety bond. This is needed when registering with the Department of Labor & Industries, as they require an original of the bond to be submitted. Of course, make sure to keep a few copies of the bond for your own records. Additionally, make sure your company name is listed exactly the same as on the proof of insurance and contractor’s application (which we’ll talk about next). Additionally, as a construction company, you’ll have to consider how you can move your heavy equipment. You can always consider hiring heavy equipment movers, as experts should handle transfer of specialized equipment.

Before you can apply for a contractor’s license, you will need a surety bond.

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Get proof of insurance

Another very important document which you’ll need is proof of insurance. The Washington state needs you to submit a certificate showing that you have $50,000 in property damage insurance policy, as well as $200,000 public liability coverage. You will have to submit the original of the certificate to the Department of Labor & Industries, as they have to be the certificate holder. As with the bond, make sure you keep a few copies of the document for yourself. Also, you should consider software engineering solutions which can help your business grow in the long-run.

Submit your application

From the L&I website, you can download the Application for Construction Contractor Registration. When filling out the application, be very careful as L&I doesn’t accept documents which have been altered. This includes something as simple as white out. Once you’re done filling everything in, you can either mail the application or walk it over to your local Department of Labor and Industries. Either way, the application has to be signed in front a notary and stamped. Additionally, if your business has multiple owners, each of them will have to sign on the application and have the signature notarized. Once this is done, all you have to do is wait for your application to be approved.

Guide to starting a construction company in Washington state – wrap up

If you want to start a construction company in Washington state, prepare yourself for a long and complicated process. There is a lot of documentation you will have to acquire in order to submit your application and get registered. However, this process is extremely important if you want to avoid any legal issues with your business. Take your time and do everything properly and you be should be fine. In the long-run, you will be thankful for approaching this entire process thoroughly. We hope this guide to starting a construction company in Washington state helps you get through the registration process without any issues, and we wish you a good day.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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