Washington Contractor FAQs

General and Specialty contractors do not require a license from the state of Washington.  Electricians and Plumbers must be licensed by the state.

However, if you construct, remodel, alter, repair, develop residential property, “flip” homes, move, wreck or demolish for someone else you must register with the Washington Department of Labor and Industries.  This also applies to related work such as painting or floor covering.

Check local city/county requirements and regulations.

To register as a General contractor you must:

  1. Register with the Washington Secretary of State (360) 725-0377 at:  http://www.sos.wa.gov/corps/
  2. Complete a Business License Application to get your UBI# at:  http://bls.dor.wa.gov/
  3. Get your IRS Employer ID# if you plan to employ workers (800) 829-4933 at:  http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fss4.pdf
  4. Fill out the Application for Contractor Registration (and get it notarized) at:  http://www.lni.wa.gov/FormPub/Detail.asp?DocID=1872
  5. Purchase a surety bond or assignment of account – http://www.lni.wa.gov/TradesLicensing/Contractors/HowReg/default.asp#6
  6. Submit registration fee with application

Submit by mail to:  Department of Labor & Industries
Contractor Registration Section
P.O. Box 44450
Olympia, WA  98504-4450
Submit in person at local L&I office – http://www.lni.wa.gov/Main/ContactInfo/OfficeLocations/

For Electrical licensing, go to:  http://www.lni.wa.gov/TradesLicensing/Electrical/LicenseExamEd/
For Plumbing licensing, go to:  http://www.lni.wa.gov/TradesLicensing/Plumbing/Certification/default.asp

No, not for General contractor registration.   Education, experience and exams are required for Electrical and Plumbing license.

No, not for General contractor registration.  Your registration expires when your insurance expires or two years after you register or renew, whichever comes first.  Electrical and plumbing licenses require continued education


No, however they must register.  Also check local city/county requirements and regulations.

Out of state contractors/corporations should go to Washington state website for requirements and regulations.

Labor & Industries is required to levy a minimum penalty of $1,000 for a first offense, and the job you are working on could be shut down.

  • Information Last Updated: 02/2020
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