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Why do I need a contractor bond in Hawaii?
General and specialty subcontractors and contractors who conduct business within the state of Hawaii are required to post a contractor license bond. Obtaining this surety bond is a required step to becoming a licensed contractor in Hawaii.
By posting the bond, a contractor (the principal) guarantees to carry out business in full compliance with the provisions of Chapter 444 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes. This includes faithfully and promptly accounting for and paying all wages to employees. Specifically, this bond offers indemnity to protect all persons financially harmed by wrongful acts of the principal.
Apply here to receive your complimentary quote.
How much does a contractor license bond cost in Hawaii?
Bond amounts vary from applicant to applicant, with a minimum of $5,000. Bond premiums are subject to underwriting, which means the price you pay will be based on your personal credit report.
Knowing your given bond amount is a must when beginning the bonding process. To receive the bond amount you are required to post, contact the Contractor License Board at:
Contractor License Board
DCCA, PVL Licensing Branch
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801
1 (801) 586-3000
Contacting the license board prior to working with a surety expert will help speed up the bonding process.
*Applicants can qualify to pay as low as 1.5% of their bond amount, depending on their credit. Fill out a bond request or call us at 1 (800) 308-4358 to speak with a contractor surety expert and get your free quote today!
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How to become a licensed contractor in Hawaii
Applicants should follow these steps to become licensed:
1. Determine which license you need to apply for.
- If you will be performing contract work requiring specialized engineering skills, you will need to apply for a General Engineering Contracting License (Type A).
- If you will be performing contract work relating to structures built or being built and requiring the use of more than two unrelated trades, you will need to apply for a General Building Contracting License (Type B).
- If you will be performing contract work requiring a specific skill such as landscaping, electrical, or drywall, you will need to apply for a Specialty Contracting License (Type C).
A full description of contractor license classifications, including specialty contractor trades, can be found here.
2. Meet the minimum requirements, designate a Responsible Managing Employee (RME), and purchase insurance.
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have a strong reputation, and have at least four years of experience over the past 10 years to become licensed.
Additionally, applicants should:
- have a designated Responsible Managing Employee (RME) if they are not qualified to oversee day-to-day business operations.
- have workers’ compensation and liability insurance.
3. Complete the application.
Contractors must complete the correct application and attach all required documents, including experience certificates, a history of projects, financial statements, credit reports, and tax clearance:
- Sole Proprietor
- Business Entity: Corporation, partnership, joint venture, LLP, or LLC
RME Designation Form
RME Application Form
4. Pay the fees and pass the exam.
After paying the $50 fee when submitting your application, you will be sent materials to register for a two-part exam, which must be passed before your license can be issued.
Additional considerations for Hawaii contractors
Bonds will remain continuous unless canceled by the surety. If the surety decides to cancel a bond, it must mail a cancellation notice to the State of Hawaii 30 days prior to the deemed cancellation date.
The license application deadline is on or before the first Tuesday of the month two months prior to the scheduled meeting date of the Contractor License Board. License applications must be submitted and filed by the 20th day of the month in which the application is sent.
All licenses must be renewed by September 30 on even-numbered years. The renewal period begins approximately eight weeks prior to the license expiration date, with many license types eligible for online renewal.