North Carolina Contractor License Bonds
North Carolina Contractor License Bond Information
North Carolina contractors are often required to post a surety bond as a condition of a license or permit by local municipalities, counties, or the state government. Bond amounts are based on the type and volume of work performed. The bond conditions vary and apply to a wide range of contractors from general contractors engaged in large construction projects to those licensed for small residential landscape and irrigation work. Among others, Cabarrus County, High Point, Rocky Mount, Rowan County, and Winston-Salem all have bonding requirements in place for contractors.
See our Spotlight article for more on Contractor License Bonds. If this bond is for a job that you are bidding or a contract that has been awarded to you, the surety bond you need is a Contract/Construction Bond rather than a Contractor License Bond.
How Much Does a Contractor Bond Cost in North Carolina?
Most Common Bonds
Bonds up to $10,000
Bonds up to $25,000
1-Year Bond Starts at $100.00
1% of the Bond Amount
2-Year Bond Starts at $175.00
1.75% of the Bond Amount
Getting Your North Carolina Business License or Registration
Licensing Information for General Contractors
- A North Carolina General Contractors License is required by those who bid upon, construct, superintend or manage the construction of any building, highway, public utilities, grading or improvement of a structure costing $30,000 or more.
- General contractors licenses can be issued to an individual, sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, LLC, or LLP. The license is only valid for the entity to which the license is granted. A licensed entity cannot allow an unlicensed contractor to use their license.
- Companies applying for a license must be properly registered with the North Carolina Secretary of State to conduct business in North Carolina. Copies of the Articles of Organization, Articles of Incorporation, or Certificate of Authority are required.
- Contractor Licenses have a limitation and a classification. The limitation is based on the financial information demonstrated and determines the dollar size of the projects for which the license is valid. Classifications are based on the exams completed and determines the type of work for which the license is valid.
- Qualifiers are the individuals who pass the exams on behalf of a license. Qualifiers are not license holders unless the license is applied for and granted to the individual.
- All licenses expire on January 1 each year and go invalid 60 days after expiration. The license renewal process begins in October of each year.
Limitations for General Contractor Licenses
Limited License: Valid for individual projects up to $500,000 each. Requires $17,000 Working Capital, or $80,000 Net Worth, or a $350,000 Surety Bond
Intermediate License: Valid for individual projects up to $1,000,000 each. Requires $75,000 Working Capital demonstrated by an AUDITED Financial statement or a $1,000,000 Surety Bond
Unlimited License: Valid for individual projects of any size. Requires $150,000 Working capital demonstrated by an AUDITED financial statement or a $2,000,000
Other Helpful Information and Links
In lieu of demonstrating the level of working capital as required, an applicant for the North Carolina General Contracting License may obtain a surety bond. All surety bonds issued by Surety Bonds Direct meet the required state guidelines outlined below;
- Be provided by a surety authorized to transact surety business North Carolina.
- The surety provider shall maintain an AM Best rating of Superior (A++ or A+) or Excellent (A or A-)
- The bond is continuous and maintained for as long as the applicant maintains the license. If the bond is cancelled, the license will go invalid after 30 days unless an audit or a bond is submitted.
- List the State of North Carolina as the obligee.
- Be for the Benefit of any person who is damaged by an act or omission of the applicant constituting a breach
of construction contract, breach of a contract for the furnishing of labor, materials, or professional services to
be undertaken by the applicant, or by an unlawful act or omission of the applicant in the performance of a
- Be for the following amounts based on limitation. Limited: $350,000, Intermediate: $1,000,000 or Unlimited: $2,000,000