Maryland Contractor License Bond

In Maryland, individuals seeking a contractor license must obtain a Maryland Contractor License Bond as an integral component of the license application procedure. This bond guarantees that contractors will meet their obligations in construction work, abide by state regulations, and offer restitution to the public if they fail to adhere to Maryland's licensing requirements, thereby causing financial harm.

Sample Payment and Performance Bond Form
Maryland Contractor License Bond

Required In: Calvert, Frederick, Hagerstown, or if you're a home improvement contractor

Bond Amount: Varies, ranges from $1,000 for Calbvvert to $30,000 for home improvement contractors

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What Contractors are Required to be Bonded in Maryland?

In Maryland, individuals engaged in home improvement activities must secure a Maryland contractor license bond to operate within the state legally. Under the Maryland Home Improvement Law, home improvement encompasses a wide range of activities, such as:

  • Addition to or Alteration
  • Conversion
  • Improvement
  • Modernization
  • Remodeling
  • Repair
  • Replacement

These activities pertain to any building or part of a building intended for residential use or as a dwelling place, as well as any structure adjacent to that building. Additionally, it covers improvements made to land adjoining the building. In addition to home improvement contractors, contractors working within Calvert county, City of Frederick, Hagerstown and Frederick County are also required to be bonded.

Who Regulates Licensing for Contractors in Maryland?

The Maryland Home Improvement Commission, under the Maryland Department of Labor, is responsible for licensing and overseeing contractors in the state of Maryland.


Phone: (410) 230-6231

Mailing address:

Maryland Home Improvement Commission
1100 N Eutaw Street, Room 121
Baltimore, MD 21201

Is Registration as a Contracting Business Mandatory in Maryland?

Yes, all businesses need to register before they can operate in Maryland. Contractors must complete online application with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation to ensure legal operation within the state. Additionally, contractors must:

  • Acquire a federal tax identification number from the IRS.
  • Apply for Maryland Tax Accounts and Insurance.
  • Secure a trade license.
  • Procure business insurance.

Following approval, the Department of Assessments and Taxation will provide you with an SDAT (State Department of Assessment and Taxation) Identification Number, which initiates with one of the following letters: "D," "F," "W," "L," "T," or "Z." This number serves as Maryland’s unique identifier for your business.

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How Can I Get a Home Improvement Contractor License in Maryland?

Before applying for a home improvement contractor license in Maryland, contractors must pass the licensing exam conducted by the testing organization PSI, which comes with a $63 fee.

Afterward, to apply for a Home Improvement Contractors license in Maryland, contractors must do the following:

  • Name the business (a step that contractors typically complete during state registration).
  • Purchase a Maryland Contractor license bond worth $30,000
  • Submit documentation such as real estate assessments, bank statements, and credit reports.
  • Obtain a certificate of liability insurance with a minimum value of $50,000, listing the Maryland Home Improvement Commission as the Certificate Holder.
  • Provide records of felony convictions, drug offenses, and all misdemeanors committed after January 1, 1991.
  • Pay the application fee of $370

Mail the completed application package to the following address:

Maryland Home Improvement Commission 
PO Box 17409 
Baltimore, Maryland 21297-1409

How Can I Get an Electrical Contractor License in Maryland?

Individuals interested in becoming electrical contractors in Maryland must obtain a  Master's Electrician license. To qualify for this license in Maryland, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Accumulate seven years of experience in electrical work, encompassing all types of electrical equipment.
  • Applicants can substitute up to three years of experience if they have completed a formal course of study or received professional training in electrical installation.

To initiate the application process, prospective contractors must take and pass an examination administered by PSI.

Afterward, the application can be filled out through this portal

How Can I Get a Plumbing Contractor License in Maryland?

In Maryland, plumbing licensing is overseen by the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. The state mandates that plumbing contractors possess one of the following to engage in plumbing contracts:

  • Journeyman Plumbing License
  • Master Plumber's License

To qualify for a journey-level license, applicants must have held an apprentice license for a minimum of four years and completed 7,500 hours of training under the guidance of a master plumber. Additionally, they are required to complete a 32-hour course in backflow prevention and successfully pass a written examination.

As for master plumber applicants, they should have held a journey-level license for at least two years and completed a minimum of 3,750 training hours under the supervision of a licensed master plumber. They are also required to pass a written examination.

Do Subcontractors in Maryland Need to Obtain a Maryland Contractor License?

In Maryland, a subcontractor specializes in a particular trade or service within the construction or home improvement industry and is hired by a home improvement contractor to perform a specific portion of a construction project. 

As of July 1, 2016, Maryland removed the subcontractor license category, meaning all application, examination, and renewal requirements related to subcontractor licenses were abolished. Home improvement subcontractors can work without a license as long as they perform home improvements for a contractor with a valid Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) license in Maryland.

However, it's important to note that according to the law, only contractors with MHIC licenses can enter into contracts with homeowners to carry out home improvement projects. Therefore, the Maryland Home Improvement Commission encourages anyone aspiring to work as a contractor to apply for the official MHIC contractor license.

Are There Consequences for Working as an Unlicensed Contractor in Maryland?

Yes, there are consequences if you operate as an unlicensed contractor in Maryland. Individuals who operate as contractors without the required license can face legal repercussions in Maryland. A first offense is regarded as a misdemeanor, resulting in a fine of up to $1,000 and a potential 30-day jail sentence. For repeat offenses, the penalties become more severe, with fines of up to $5,000 and the possibility of up to two years of imprisonment.

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