Article Index

General and Specialty Contractor Licenses

All construction contractors must be registered with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. Chapter 296-200A of the Washington Administrative Code provides all the information and regulations on registering as a contractor.

The Department of Labor & Industries distinguishes between two main contractor registration classifications: general and specialty contractors. General contractors can perform almost all types of construction work and can hire subcontractors of different specialties. Specialty contractors can only perform work specific to the specialty registered in and are not allowed to subcontract for work.

Washington General and Specialty Official Classification List

  • Appliances, Equipment
  • Asbestos and Lead
  • Awnings, Canopies, Patio Covers and Exterior Screens
  • Boiler, Steam Fitting, Process Piping
  • Cabinets, Millwork and Finish Carpentry
  • Central Vacuum Systems
  • Closets
  • Commercial/Industrial Refrigeration
  • Concrete
  • Construction Clean-Up
  • Demolitions and Salvage
  • Doors, Gates and Activating Devices
  • Drain Cleaning and Snaking
  • Drilling, Blasting and Soil Sampling
  • Drywall
  • Electrical
  • Elevator
  • Excavation, Grading and Land Clearing
  • Fencing
  • Fire Protection
  • Fireproofing and Coating
  • Floor Covering and Counter Tops
  • Framing and Rough Carpentry
  • Glass and Glazing
  • Gutters and Downspouts
  • Handyman
  • Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC/R)
  • House Moving
  • Industrial Equipment/Machines
  • Institutional Equipment, Stationary Furniture, Lab Tables, Lockers
  • Insulation and Acoustical
  • Irrigation Sprinkler Systems
  • Landscaping
  • Lathing and Plastering
  • Locks, Security Alarms and Warning Systems
  • Manufactured/Mobile Home Set Up
  • Masonry
  • Metal Fabrication/Sheet Metal
  • Overhead/Garage Doors
  • Painting and Wall Covering
  • Paving/Striping/Seal Coating
  • Plumbing
  • Pressure Washing
  • Roofing
  • Sandblasting
  • Sanitation Systems and/or Side Sewers
  • Scaffolding and Safety Railings
  • Service Station Equipment and Maintenance
  • Siding
  • Signs
  • Steel Erectors
  • Structural Pest Control
  • Suspended Ceilings and Acoustical Tile
  • Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs
  • Tanks and Tank Removal
  • Tile, Ceramic, Mosaic and Natural and Manufactured Stone
  • Tree Removal
  • Utilities and Telecommunications
  • Water Conditioning Equipment
  • Welding and Ornamental Metal
  • Well Drilling
  • Window Coverings
  • Wood/Pellet and Gas Stove

How to Apply for a General/Specialty License in Washington?

  1. Determine the business type and register with the Department of Revenue:
    • If setting up a sole proprietor or partnership, determine the business name
    • If starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a Corporation, refer to the Secretary of State for information on how to incorporate the business
  2. Complete and get a Washington Continuous Contractor Surety Bond for the required amount
  3. Purchase a general liability insurance policy for the required amount
  4. Fill out an Application for Contractor Registration with notarized signatures. If unsure of how to correctly fill out the application form, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries offers help with the application and business registration to those who visit their local offices
  5. Gather all the previous documents and send them with the registration fee to:
    Washington State Department of Labor & Industries
    Contractor Registration
    P.O. BOX 44450
    Olympia, WA 98504-4450
    It is also possible to visit a local office to deliver all the documents and fees
  6. Expect a registration card from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries after the application is processed
  7. Note that once the business has been registered, it will be listed in the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries Verify a Contractor, Tradesperson, or Business website

General & Specialty Contractor License Contact Information and Useful Links

Useful Links for General & Specialty Contractors in Washington

Contact Information for General & Specialty Contractors in Washington

Washington State Department of Labor & Industries

Department of Labor & Industries
7273 Linderson Way SW
Tumwater, WA 98501-5414

Toll-free: 1-800-647-0982
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