Surety Bond Professionals is a family-owned and operated bonding agency with over 30 years of experience. With access to a broad range of surety markets, our expert agents are ready to assist with all of your Louisiana contractor license bond needs. Learn how to get a contractor’s license in Louisiana, below.
What Contractor Licenses Are Issued in Louisiana?
The Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors (LSLBC) issues contractor licenses in three main classifications and a host of specialty trades. The main license classifications are:
- Residential contractor, for residential jobs valued in excess of $75,000.
- Commercial contractor, for commercial projects valued in excess of $50,000 including labor and materials.
- Home improvement contractor, for any type of home improvement projects valued between $7,500 and $75,000.
Education, experience, financial, and insurance requirements differ by license type.
What Are the Steps in the Licensing Process?
In general, getting licensed as a contractor in Louisiana involves the following steps, though the details vary depending on the specific type of license you’re seeking:
- Create a business structure and register your business with the Louisiana Secretary of State.
- Complete the Louisiana contractor’s license application. The same application form is used for residential and commercial licenses, but if you’re applying for both licenses, you’ll need to complete two separate applications. There is a different application form for home improvement contractors.
- Have an accountant prepare a financial statement affidavit documenting that your net worth is $10,000 or more. Alternatively, you may purchase a $10,000 Louisiana contractor license bond to meet the net worth requirement.
- Provide proof of general liability insurance and, if you have employees, workers’ compensation insurance.
- Pay the appropriate application and exam fees.
- Pass the required exams.
- Submit the completed application package and supporting documentation to LSLBC.
Why is a Contractor License Bond Required?
Purchasing a Louisiana contractor license bond is an option for contractors who can’t prove a minimum net worth of $10,000. The terms of the bond, a legally binding contract between the state of Louisiana, the contractor, and a surety bond company, obligate the contractor to:
- Comply with all applicable laws governing the construction and home improvement industries in Louisiana.
- Pay damages to any party with a valid claim against the bond for a financial loss caused by the contractor’s unlawful or unethical business conduct.
The bond indemnifies both the state of Louisiana and the surety company against liability for such damages.
How Are Contractor License Bond Claims Paid?
Although the legal responsibility for paying valid claims rests entirely with the contractor, if the bonding company (known often as the “surety”) finds a claim to be valid but the contractor (the bond’s “principal”) doesn’t pay it promptly, the surety will pay it on the principal’s behalf. That payment will create a debt that the principal must subsequently reimburse to the surety.
How Much Does a Louisiana Contractor License Bond Cost?
A Louisiana contractor license bond is sold for an annual premium that’s only a small percentage of the $10,000 required bond amount established by the state (the bond’s “obligee”). The surety sets that percentage, the premium rate, based on its assessment of the risk involved in paying claims on behalf of the principal. The main indicator of that risk is the principal’s personal credit score.
If your credit score is good, your premium rate should be in the range of 1% to 3%, which would make the annual premium for your Louisiana contractor license bond somewhere between $100 and $300.
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