Construction Bonds In Washington

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What is a bond?

A bond is essentially a guarantee of performance. A surety essentially makes a guarantee to the owner that the contractor will perform under the contract or the surety will step in and perform for it. Insurance, on the other hand, indemnifies the contractor for loss or damages incurred.

Do I need a bond?

If you are a registered contractor in WashingtonState, you are required to have a proper bond. The bond amount for a general contractor is $12,000.00 and for a specialty contractor the amount is $6,000.00. WAC 296-200A-030 and RCW 18.27.060.

Are there different types of bonds?

Generally, there are four types of bonds: performance bonds, payment bonds, bid bonds, and retainage bonds. A performance bond protects the owner from the contractor’s failure to do the work under the contact. A payment bond protects the owner from the contractor’s failure to pay its subcontractors and suppliers. A bid bond protects the owner from a contractor’s refusal to honor its bid for a project. A retainage bond protects contractors on a public works project where they do not have rights to place liens on real property.

Useful Links

Here’s a sample bond:

Here’s an overview on bond claims:


Legal Disclaimer: The information on this page does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as each situation is fact specific and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. The information on this page is solely for the purpose of legal education and is intended to only provide general information about the matters stated therein. The information on this page should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area of the matters stated therein. No attorney-client relationship is formed without an actual agreement confirmed in writing. I am licensed only in Washington and Oregon.