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How much does a contractor license bond cost in South Carolina?
The cost of a contractor license bond in South Carolina depends on the type of bond needed by the applicant. Mechanical and general contractor bonds are subject to underwriting, meaning the applicant’s qualifications must be reviewed before the cost of the bond can be determined. Highly qualified applicants are typically approved for their mechanical or general contractor bond at 1-3% of the required bond amount.
If the applicant needs a contractor bond to comply with a municipal or county-specific requirement, it will most likely be instantly approved for 1% of the total bond amount.
For information about South Carolina residential builder and specialty contractor bonds, click here.
Purchasing your South Carolina contractor bond is easy when you work with the experts at SuretyBonds.com! Call 1 (800) 308-4358 or click here to get started.
Why is a contractor license bond required?
Contractor license bonds in South Carolina are put in place to ensure that principals (contractors) complete construction work in accordance with the laws of the city/state. This includes adhering to all building codes, and paying all taxes as they are due. Typically, these bonds protect the city/state and/or any individual who is harmed as a result of the principal’s noncompliance from financial loss up to the full amount of the bond. The principal must reimburse the surety for all damages paid out.
South Carolina contractor license bonds have unique terms, so applicants should be sure they understand the fine print of their surety bond contracts during the bonding and licensing processes.
South Carolina General and Mechanical Contractor License Bonds
The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation requires general and mechanical contractors to obtain a surety bond in order to obtain a contractor license if they are doing commercial work. General contractors are responsible for managing and supervising construction projects. Mechanical contractors are specialty contractors that are typically in charge of anything mechanized, ranging from heating or cooling systems to refrigeration to piping and plumbing.
General and Mechanical contractor license bonds are continuous, which means they will remain in effect until the bond is canceled by the obligee or the surety. If the surety decides to cancel the bond, they will give the obligee and the principal (contractor) 30 days notice. The bond must remain effective to maintain the contractor’s license, so if it is canceled, the contractor must obtain a replacement bond as soon as possible.
General contractor bond amount requirements
- Group 1 General Contractor - $20,000 surety bond
- Group 2 General Contractor - $80,000 surety bond
- Group 3 General Contractor - $200,000 surety bond
- Group 4 General Contractor - $350,000 surety bond
- Group 5 General Contractor - $500,000 surety bond
Mechanical contractor bond amount requirements
- Group 1 Mechanical Contractor - $7,000 surety bond
- Group 2 Mechanical Contractor - $20,000 surety bond
- Group 3 Mechanical Contractor - $40,000 surety bond
- Group 4 Mechanical Contractor - $80,000 surety bond
- Group 5 Mechanical Contractor - $400,000 surety bond
How to get a general or mechanical contractor license in South Carolina
Follow the steps outlined below to obtain either a general or mechanical South Carolina contractor license through the SC Contractor Licensing Board.
Step 1: Complete the initial application/reinstatement application/waiver application and include the required license fee payable to the SC Contractor Licensing Board
- The amount of the fee is can be found on page 3 of the application
Step 2: Register online via the SC Secretary of State website or by calling (803)734-2158 and indicate if you are applying as a business corporation, nonprofit corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership, or limited liability partnership
- Sole proprietors and general partnerships do not have to register
Step 3: Apply using one of the three examination options:
- Pass the technical and S.C. Business Management and Law for Commercial Contractor’s examinations
- Apply with a waiver or reciprocity/waiver agreement; filling out a waiver will eliminate the need to pass the technical exam. The SC Business Management and Law for Commercial Contractor’s exam must still be completed.
- Classifications with no technical exam. Submit at least 2 years of experience for the classification you are applying for. Information and the required form can be found on page 7 of the contractor application. The SC Business Management and Law for Commercial Contractor’s exam must still be completed
Step 4: Obtain either a general contractor bond or a mechanical contractor bond in the required amount
A full list of application requirements, how to change license information, and how to obtain a license for other contractor license classifications can be found on the SC Applications/Forms page.
Mail all completed contractor license applications to the CLB at the following address:
South Carolina Contractor’s Licensing Board
PO Box 11329
Columbia SC 29211-1329
To renew a general or mechanical contractor license applicants must use the SC online license portal. General contractor licenses expire October 31st of every even-numbered year and mechanical contractor licenses expire October 31st of every odd-numbered year.
Applicants can check the status of their license application using the South Carolina online application status look-up.
Contractor License Bonds Required by Counties and Municipalities
Various municipalities in South Carolina, such as Columbia, Forest Acres, and Richland County, have their own specific surety bond requirements for contractors. These bonds are typically required before a contractor can get licensed or obtain a work permit.
Some cities or counties may require contractors to hold a state license along with local licenses or permits, meaning it is important for applicants to verify with the municipality to determine what requirements apply to specific contractors.