In Virginia, a contractor doing work valued at $1,000 or more must be licensed. See Virginia contractor licensing for more information. A license is issued to a company rather than an individual and may be viewed online – along with any disciplinary actions taken against the contractor – on the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulations website at http://www.dpor.virginia.gov/LicenseLookup/.
What does it mean when a contractor is “bonded”?
A contractors’ license bond is taken from a Virginia surety bond company and “guarantees that the contractor will use funds towards the project and in an ethical manner. The bond also ensures that the project is performed according to established rules and guidelines.”
A surety bond protects the consumer. Should a contractor make an unethical decision or violate any applicable rules or regulations that has a negative impact on someone, that party can file against the bond for financial compensation. However, a bond does not necessarily cover defects in workmanship if no ethical or regulatory violation is found to have occurred.
Contractor surety bonds are not required by the state but are often required by localities, and may be required by government or business entities before a contractor is hired.
What kind of insurance is a Virginia licensed contractor required to have?
In addition to state license requirements, general contractors must maintain several types of insurance, depending on the state and their local jurisdictions. These may include:
- Workers’ Compensation insurance – This is the only insurance contractors with three or more employees are required by the state of Virginia to carry. It protects the employees in case of injury on the job.
- General Liability insurance – General liability insurance covers property loss and bodily injury to those not employed by the contractor. While it is not required by the state, most local building departments require it.
- Automotive insurance – Like all vehicle owners in Virginia, contractors must have minimum liability insurance coverage on their vehicles.