In Georgia, general contractors and residential contractors must purchase a surety bond worth $25,000 before working on a project. What is a surety bond? The surety bond, sometimes called the payment bond, ensures that you, the contractor, will fulfill your obligation in compliance with local and state laws. From the customer's perspective, a bonded contractor can easily compensate the client, referred to as the obligee, in case of a mishap.
Bonding Requirements for Georgia Contractors
Not every Georgia contractor needs to obtain a surety bond, nor are all bonding requirements the same statewide. There are statewide requirements for general, residential, and water well contractors. In addition, a number of locations require that some contractors obtain additional bonding.
The purpose of contractor license bonds is to make sure that contractors know and perform their work in accordance with local regulations, such as building codes. These bonds also protect project owners and people who work directly with contractors.
An affected party which suffers losses because of a contractor’s non-compliance or fraudulent actions is entitled to compensation via the bond. If the contractor cannot make good on the claim, the surety bonds company that issues the bond is responsible for providing compensation within a given timeframe.
Read on to find out more about the cost of getting bonded in different locations. If you need our assistance, call us at 866.450.3412.
Georgia Contractor License Bond Cost
The following table explains different Georgia locations and their contractor classifications. We have also provided estimated premiums based on credit score. If you want to get an exact quote, simply submit our quick online application. You can learn more about bonding costs on our surety bond cost guide.
|Location||Bond Type||Surety Bond Amount||Above 700||Between 650-699||Between 600-649||Below 599|
|Statewide||Water Well Contractors and Drillers Performance Bond||$20,000||$200-$400||$300-$600||$400-$800||$600-$1,000|
|Residential and General Contractors Bond||$25,000||$250-$500||$375-$750||$500-$1,000||$750-$1,250|
|Bibb County||Contractor Bond||Varies||Varies||Varies||Varies||Varies|
|Cobb County||Code Compliance Bond||$10,000||$100-$200||$150-$300||$200-$400||$300-$500|
|Columbia County||Commercial General Contractor Bond||$20,000||$200-$400||$300-$600||$400-$800||$600-$1,000|
|Residential Contractor Bond||$15,000||$150-$300||$225-$450||$300-$600||$450-$750|
|Specialty Contractor Bond||$5,000||$100||$100-$150||$100-$200||$150-$250|
|Dekalb County||Residential Maintenance Bond||Varies||Varies||Varies||Varies||Varies|
|Douglasville||Commercial Development Contractor's Code Compliance Bond||Varies||Varies||Varies||Varies||Varies|
|Residential Development Contractor's Code Compliance Bond||$10,000||$100-$200||$150-$300||$200-$400||$300-$500|
|City of East Point||General Contractors Bond||$25,000||$250-$500||$375-$750||$500-$1,000||$750-$1,250|
|Newton County||Residential Maintenance Bond||Varies||Varies||Varies||Varies||Varies|
|Richmond County||Contractor Bond||$20,000||$200-$400||$300-$600||$400-$800||$600-$1,000|
|Smyrna||Code Compliance Bond||$15,000||$150-$300||$225-$450||$300-$600||$450-$750|
|City of Valdosta||Contractor Bond||$2,000||$100||$100||$100||$100|
You can supplement your credit score, by submitting additional details that may strengthen your application. Here are some examples:
- Liquid assets
- Strong financial statements
- Industry experience
Types of Contractors and Their Bond Requirements
The Georgia state licensing board classifies contractors into three main categories: general contractors, residential contractors, and residential-light commercial contractors.
In some cases, the amount of the surety bond may differ based on the license classification; therefore, it's important to understand the difference in classification.
Here are the three main classifications:
- Residential Contractors: Residential contractors undertake contractual work for detached one- and two-family residences and one-family townhouses no more than three stories in height.
- Residential-Light Commercial Contractors: Besides residential contractor's work, this license lets contractors work on multi-family and multi-use light commercial buildings and structures.
- General Contractors: General contractors can work on almost any type of residential or commercial project, except work that falls under Chapter 14 of this title.
General and Specialty Contractors
A specialty contractor is a kind of subcontractor that does specialized work on a construction site for a general contractor. Hence, the surety bond requirements for general contractors and specialty contractors may differ based on the nature of the work.
Certain public projects also require contractors to hold a performance bond and a bid bond. When bidding on such contracts, it's advisable to ask relevant authorities about additional requirements.
Here are some examples of specialty contractors and the respective surety bond requirements in Georgia:
- Georgia Water Well Contractor: Georgia requires all water well contractors and drillers to post a $30,000 surety bond before working on a project.
- Pump Contractor: The Director of the Environmental Protection Division of the State of Georgia requires pump contractors to purchase a $20,000 performance bond before getting certified.
- Columbia County: The Development Services Division requires all specialty contractors to hold a minimum of a $5,000 surety bond before applying for certification in the county.
- Lincoln County Contractor Bond: To become licensed in the county, the Lincoln County Public Works Department asks all general contractors to purchase a $15,000 surety bond.
- City of Harlem Contractor Bond: The Community Development Department in the city has different requirements for each specialty contractor working in the municipality. For example, electric, mechanical, and plumbing contractors require a $1,000 bond. In contrast, pool contractors, landscapers, and roofers must purchase a $5,000 bond.
As evident from the examples, the bond requirement can differ based on your certification. Some counties, such as DeKalb County, Bibb County, and Newton County, have variable bond requirements that can range between $1,000 and $30,000.
Georgia will not grant a license without an electrical contractor bond. If you design, develop, test, or install electrical systems, you will need to purchase a bond that complies with state and local requirements.
In Georgia, the number of surety bonds can differ depending on the county. For instance, electrical contractors in Thomas County require a $5,000 surety bond for most types of electrical work. Similarly, the City of Harlem requires you to post a $1,000 bond.
For existing rates, you can either contact the local authorities or consult an underwriter of a surety bond provider.
Telecommunication contractors and specialty contractors working in the sector must hold a surety bond before they can offer services to the general public. The amount of bond varies depending on the type of license and the jurisdiction.
As a precondition to receiving a telecommunication contractor's license, the license holder must keep the bond in full force and effect. The client can claim damages within one year of the completion or suspension of the designated project.
Fire Protection Sprinkler System Contractors
A fire protection sprinkler system contractor lays out, fabricates, and installs a sprinkler system. Depending on the type of license, building structure, layout, and local laws, the total cost of the surety bond in Georgia ranges from $2,000 to $25,000.
If needed, you can get relevant information from the Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner office. However, it's important to note that a surety bond may not cover all your possible liabilities. When working on such hazardous projects, you must also have the relevant general liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance coverage.
Farm Labor Contractors
The United States Division of Labor, Wage and Hour Division requires all farm labor contractors to purchase a surety bond. The H-2A farm labor contractor bond lets contractors hire citizens of other countries to meet the demand of harvest season.
Depending on the number of employees, you will need to purchase a bond from $5,000 to $75,000. If the contractor has fewer than 25 workers, the bond may cost only $5,000.
Georgia doesn't require a contractor license for painters. However, it's practical to purchase a bond when working on a high-value project. The surety bond will protect you from liabilities and surety bond claims arising from unexpected damage.
Painter contractors can decide the amount of surety bond they require based on the value of the project. If you get regular profitable projects per month, paying a few dollars to cover a liability is a good business practice.
Georgia HVAC contractors must secure a $10,000 surety bond before working on HVAC-related issues. If you install, repair, or maintain such systems, you must purchase an HVAC bond. It will assure customers that you are a professional worker who will work ethically.
If you do rough carpentry or finish carpentry jobs in Georgia, you may not fall under the category of a licensed contractor. Basic carpentry jobs do not require a bond. If you're not sure, consult a professional because local laws may require you to purchase a bond for specific high-profile construction jobs.
If you use drywall in your construction projects, you need to purchase a surety bond to protect yourself from financial liability. Accordingly, most counties in Georgia require drywaller contractors to post a $25,000 bond before starting a project or bidding on a public project.
Just like drywaller contractors, steelworkers in Georgia need a $25,000 bond. All individuals and businesses that act as residential or general contractors must have a surety bond. The bond ensures that the public receives compensation for any damage should the contractor fail to comply with state and local laws.
Floor Laying Contractor
All general and residential construction contractors in Georgia require a license from the State Licensing Board. It means that purchasing a bond is necessary before you're cleared to work on a project. In most cases, general and specialty contractors must hold bonds worth at least $25,000. Some cities and counties may require a different amount. You need to check with a surety bond provider or the local government representative before proceeding with the work.
Sewer and Sewer Service Contractors
If you work on force mains, sewer pump stations, and storm sewer systems, you will require the bond before bidding on public projects. The bond premium depends on the size of the project, the credit history, and the business financials.
Getting These Bonds With Bad Credit
Some Georgia contractor bonds don’t require a credit check, while others do. In most cases, your credit score will raise the premium you pay, but won’t be an obstacle to getting bonded.
Our Bad Credit Program can help almost all applicants get bonded, thanks to the relationships we have forged over the years with more than 20 A-rated and T-listed bonding companies. Our surety bonds experts look at each case individually, to provide valuable advice on how you can reduce your premium– either immediately, or over time.
Start Your Georgia Contractor License Bond Application Today
Now that you have the facts, you’re ready to proceed with your application. We offer all types of contractor bonds in Georgia and will help you complete all the paperwork. All you need is five minutes to submit our one-page online application.
Georgia Contractor License Application and Requirements
There are a number of different requirements for Georgia contractors, and they mostly depend on the contractor classifications. Residential and general contractors can read our blog post on the licensing process.
Keep in mind that requirements can be subject to change, so make sure you are up-to-date with all of them by contacting the relevant authority prior to applying.
If you want to learn more about surety bonds in the state, check out our page dedicated to Georgia surety bonds.
Renewal Process of Georgia Contractor License Bond
If you hold an active license that is nearing expiration, you can renew it online at the website of the State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors. Apply for the renewal, and pay the renewal application fee before June 30 to avoid extra charges.
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