How to register as a contractor for the first time
If this is a new business, you must:
- Choose your business structure
If you are going to operate as a Sole-Proprietor or General Partnership, skip to step #3. If you are going to operate as a Corporation, Limited Partnership (LP), Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) or a Limited Liability Company (LLC) continue to step #2.
- Register with WA Secretary of State or you can call 360-725-0377. Cost: Approximately $180. You can pay an additional fee for expedited service.
- Complete a Business License Application online to get your Uniform Business Identifier number (UBI#)
... or you can go into a Department of Revenue, Employment Security, or Labor & Industries office to pick up the form and get your business license. Cost: $15 – $20.
- Get your IRS Employer ID# if you plan to employ workers.
Call the IRS at 800-829-4933 to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN). (Free.)
- Fill out the Application for Contractor Registration and have it notarized.
Your local L&I office will notarize it for you.
- Purchase bond and liability insurance
Get a surety bond or assignment of account from your insurance agent.
Get proof of general liability insurance coverage from your insurance agent.
- $12,000 for a general contractor.
- $6,000 for a specialty contractor (one trade only).
- $50,000 property damage policy and $200,000 public liability policy,
- $250,000 combined single limit policy.
NOTE: Originals of your bond and insurance will be required to complete your registration.
- Prepare to pay the registration fee
Go to Contractor Registration Fees page for the correct amount.
- Submit your application and required documents to L&I
The easiest and quickest way to complete this process is to:
local L&I office
Be sure to bring:
The local customer service representative will make sure all information is complete and answer any questions you may have. You will receive your temporary registration number (your receipt) at that time if all your paperwork is in order.
Be sure to mail all of the following:
Mail all originals to:
Department of Labor & Industries
Contractor Registration Section
P.O. Box 44450
Olympia, Wash. 98504-4450
Note: Be sure to make copies of all the above for yourself.
After evaluating your application information, L&I will do one of the following:
- If approved, mail your registration within 2 – 4 weeks.
- If rejected, contact you about missing documentation within 2 – 4 weeks.
NOTE: If you do not receive a response within 2 – 4 weeks, please call 1-800-647-0982 to verify we received your application.
Additional information to help you register as a contractor.