California Contractor License Bonds: Efficient E-filing with Merchants

Merchants Bonding Company is an excellent market for California contractor license bonds (CLBs). The award-winning Merchants Bonding Company Hub™ is an intuitive online bonding solution with simple tools and stellar results that makes issuing CA CLBs easy.

Why Choose Merchants?

- No indemnity signatures required on bonds $75,000 or less
- Bonds issued on the Hub will be electronically filed with the California State License Board
- License lookup tool integrated with California State License Board to autofill accurate contractor information
- Competitive rates for qualified applicants
- Automated credit pull for quicker approval
- Instant price quotes
- Three easy billing options: Agency Bill, Direct Bill, First Year Direct Bill

What are Contractor License Bonds?

In most states across the U.S., contractors are required to have a surety bond as a condition of licensing. The bonds may be required at the local, county or state level – the party who requires the bond is called the obligee. Contractor License Bonds (CLBs) guarantee that the contractor will comply with certain regulations and licensing requirements. They are meant to protect consumers and government entities from financial losses.

Who Needs Contractor License Bonds?

Several contractor types may need bonds. There could be different requirements for residential and commercial contractors. If a contractor performs multiple types of work, they may need multiple bonds, depending on obligee requirements. 

What is Needed to Get a Bond?

When required by a county, city or town, CLBs can often be instantly issued on the Merchants Bonding Company Hub, Merchants’ secure and efficient online bonding website with just a name and address. For CLBs required by a federal or state agency, qualifying personal credit may be needed.

What if There's a Claim on the Bond?

All CLBs work in the same basic way. If a bonded and licensed contractor breaks the bond’s terms, a claim can be made against the bond for compensation. The surety will pay out the claim, if warranted, but the contractor is responsible for paying back the surety in full.

How do I get a Surety Bond?

Surety bonds are issued by Merchants Bonding Company (Mutual) through insurance agents. Contact your local insurance agent or use our Find an Agent tool. They will guide you through the process, informing you of what documents and information are needed by the surety (Merchants Bonding Company (Mutual)) to underwrite your bond.

What is a Surety Bond?

A surety bond is a three-party agreement that ensures the fulfillment of a commitment or contract. For instance, the surety (Merchants Bonding Company (Mutual)) may provide a surety bond to a construction company (the principal) which is required by the state (the obligee), ensuring the construction company will perform the duties as outlined in the contract. In bonding the construction company, Merchants assumes the risk should the company default or not fulfill their contract. A surety bond is different from traditional insurance in that the principal is obligated to pay back the surety company on any claims paid out.


All information provided is subject to change.