Michigan Contractor License Bond Guide

What is a Michigan Contractor License Bond?

In Michigan, county-level authorities often require contractors to obtain a Contractor License Bond as part of the licensing process. This bond guarantees that contractors will fulfill their construction obligations and abide by state laws. A contractor license bond is a form of financial protection for Michigan's state and the public. A contractor license bond is required in the following Michigan counties: Bloomfield, Clinton, Detroit, Eastpointe, Genesee, Lansing, Roseville, Shelby, Southfield, St. Clair, Walker, Warren 

Who Regulates Licensing for Contractors in Michigan?

The licensing for contractors in Michigan is regulated by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). LARA oversees various occupational and professional licensing programs, including contractor licensing, to ensure contractors comply with state laws and regulations. Within LARA, the Bureau of Professional Licensing typically handles the responsibility for contractor licensing. 

Contact Information

Monday - Friday 8:00 am-5:00 pm


The bond amount in Michigan varies depending on the contractor’s license type and the work being done. 

Bond Type  Bond Amount + Pricing
Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Security Alarm Contractor Bond $25,000, starting at $225
Bloomfield Township Sewer Contractor Bond $10,000, starting at $90
City of Detroit Fire Repair Contract Solicitor Bond $5,000, starting at $90
City of Detroit Right of Way Bond $2,500, starting at $90
City of Detroit Wrecking Contractor Bond $50,000, starting at $225
City of Eastpointe Sewer Contractor Bond $25,000, starting at $113
Genesee Resident Sewage Disposal Contractor Bond $35,000, starting at $473
City of Lansing Demolition Contractor Registration Bond $10,000, starting at $90
City of Roseville Cement Contractor Bond $2,000, starting at $90
City of Southfield Contractor Bond $5,000, starting at $90
City of St. Clair Shores Marine Contractor Bond $1,000, starting at $90
City of Walker Highway Contractor Bond $2,000, starting at $90
City of Warren Sidewalk Contractor Bond $1,500, starting at $90
Clinton Township Contractor Bond $5,000, starting at $90
Livingston County Sewage Disposal Contractor Bond $25,000, starting at $225
Shelby Township General Contractor Bond $1,000-$50,000, starting at $90


What contractors are required to be licensed in Michigan?

In Michigan, several types of contractors are required to obtain a contractor license to conduct their business legally. This includes the following category of contractors:

  • Residential Builders
  • Maintenance and Alteration Contractors
  • Electrical Contractors
  • Mechanical Contractors
  • Plumbing Contractors

Keep in mind that general contracting businesses, such as residential builders and maintenance and alteration contractors, do not need a license for projects valued at less than $600. However, this exemption won't apply if the construction work is part of a larger or significant project, regardless of whether it's done by the same or a different contractor. Moreover, dividing the project into smaller contracts under $600 each to evade the act would also invalidate the exemption.

Need help with your surety bond?
Call 1 (888) 236-8589 to talk to one of our surety experts today.
Request a free quote online
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

How do I Know what Category of Contractor Applies to Me?

Determining the contractor category that applies to you in Michigan depends on the nature of your construction work. Here’s a description of each contractor to help you identify what category you fall into:

Residential Builders

Involved in constructing, repairing, altering, adding, or improving residential structures such as single-family homes, multiunit residential buildings, and townhouses. 

Note that a residential builder can construct a new home from the foundation or perform various repairs. While the builder can take on the entire project, they must subcontract specific tasks like plumbing, electrical, and mechanical work (heating, ventilation, air conditioning).

Maintenance and Alteration Contractors 

Involved in performing repair, maintenance, renovation, or remodeling work on existing residential or commercial structures like carpentry and electrical work. This includes:

  • Carpentry
  • Concrete
  • Excavation
  • insulation work
  • Masonry
  • Siding
  • Roofing
  • Screens and storm ash
  • Gutters
  • Tile and marble
  • House wrecking
  • Swimming pools
  • Basement waterproofing.

Note that maintenance and alteration contractors are limited to providing specific trades and services, and they are allowed to take contracts solely within the scope of their licensing, regardless of whether the project involves new construction or remodeling.

Electrical Contractors

Engaged in electrical work, including installation, repair, or alteration of electrical systems

Mechanical Contractors

Specializes in installing, repairing, or altering mechanical systems such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC)

Plumbing Contractors

Responsible for the installation, repair, or alteration of plumbing systems, including pipes, fixtures, and related components

How to Get a Michigan Contractor’s License

Michigan has different contractor license requirements depending on the type of license needed. 

Residential Builder 

Residential builders working on projects over $600 must get a license. The general requirements are:

Maintenance Alteration Contractor License

Maintenance alteration contractors working on projects over $600 must also get a license. The general requirements are the same as the residential builder contractor:

Electrical Contractor License

In the state of Michigan, there are two types of electrical contractor licenses: 

  • Master Electrician license  
  • Electrical contractor license

The key difference between the two licenses is that a Master Electrician license is for individual electricians, while an Electrical Contractor license is for businesses or individuals who wish to undertake electrical projects and may hire Master Electricians to perform the actual electrical work.

To get a master electrician license, one must:

  • Be 22 or older
  • Have held an electrical journeyman’s license for not less than two years
  • At least 12,000 hours of experience in electrical construction, building maintenance, or electrical wiring and equipment, acquired over at least six years. This experience must be gained under the supervision of a master electrician. 
  • Take and pass an examination (Cost is $100)
  • Submit a Master Electrician License Application

To get an electrical contractor license:

Mechanical Contractor License

In the state of Michigan, an applicant applying as a mechanical contractor must have a minimum experience of three years in one of the following work classifications:

  • Hydronic heating and cooling and process piping
  • HVAC equipment
  • Ductwork
  • Refrigeration
  • Limited heating service
  • Unlimited heating service
  • Limited refrigeration and air conditioning service
  • Unlimited refrigeration and air conditioning service
  • Fire Suppression
  • Solar Heating and Cooling
  • Solid Fuel and Vented Decorative Gas Appliances
  • LP Distribution Piping
  • Fuel Gas Piping and Venting

To get a mechanical contractor license: 

There is a list of mechanical contractor licensing exam reference materials that is available.

Plumbing Contractor License

In the state of Michigan, there are two types of plumbing contractor licenses: 

  • Master plumbing license
  • Plumbing Contractor license

To get a master plumbing license, one must:

To get a plumbing contractor license:

  • The applicant must either have a master plumber license or a representative with a master plumber license.
  • Must be an owner of a sole proprietorship or be the officer of a corporation or LLC
  • Pay the required fee of $300
  • Submit a Plumbing Contractor License Application

What is Tested in the Master Electrician License Examination?

In Michigan, electrical exams are administered by PSI. Topics covered on the exam includes:

  • Electrical Administrative Act (ACT)
  • Current electrical code rules
  • Grounding and bonding
  • Overcurrent protection
  • Wiring methods and installations
  • Boxes and cabinets
  • Feeders
  • Motors and motor controls
  • Load calculations
  • Special occupancies
  • Appliances
  • Lighting
  • Box and raceway fill
  • Power-limited Circuits,
  • Electrical theory
  • General electrical trade knowledge.

The tests are open-book and allow you to consult the National Electrical Code (NEC) and the Michigan Electrical Code Rules Part 8 for reference.

What is Tested in the Electrical Contractor License Examination?

Topics covered in the electrical contractor license examination includes: 

  • The National Electrical Code (NEC) Rules, 
  • Electrical Administrative Board Rules
  • Electrical Administrative Act 217 of 1956
  • Act 230 of 1972
  • Act 497 of 1980- Construction Lien Act.


How to Get a Michigan Contractor License Bond

The general process of getting a Michigan Contractor License bond can be condensed into these four steps:

Step 1: Find a reputable surety broker
Step 2: Contact the surety broker and provide them with the necessary information. This includes SSN, contact information, and business name/address
Step 3: Receive a quote from the surety broker, and if you find a suitable price, make payment on the bond.
Step 4: Receive the bond in the mail and file it with the local authority

Feel free to contact us with any questions

Can I get the bond with bad credit?

A credit score under 650 is considered “bad credit.” However, we have several insurance partners specializing in helping people with bad credit so that we can help. Give us a call or fill out our form, and we’ll shop around to get you the lowest possible quote.

How can I avoid claims on my Michigan Contractor License Bond?

If a business/bondholder fails to fulfill its obligations, its customers can make a claim against the bond. To avoid claims on your Michigan Contractor License bond, you must operate to the guidelines set forth on your license and make good promises to customers.  

For ways to prevent claims on your Michigan contractor’s license bond, let’s examine the most frequent reasons for such explains:

  • Abandoning an unfinished project 
  • Neglecting to address faulty workmanship
  • Delayed payment to employees or vendors

To steer clear of claims on your Michigan contractor license bond, we advise contractors to follow these guidelines:

  • Ensure all jobs are completed under the contract specifications, prioritizing customer satisfaction. One practical approach is to withhold a portion of payment until the project is fully completed, which can serve as proof of project fulfillment.
  • Address any issues that arise from previous jobs. 
  • Always make timely payments to vendors and employees, as employees or subcontractors can make claims on your contractor bond if they experience payment delays.

Will I get Proof of My Bond?

For SuretyNow customers, we will send you via email a PDF bond certificate as proof of bonding. Depending on the type of bond issued, we may also mail you a physical copy of the bond if it’s needed. This is dependent on the requirements of the state or obligee. If the bond is required to be filed, we will handle any filing that needs to be done. For the state of Michigan, the original bond must accompany the license contractor application.

How do I Change Information on my Contractor Bond?

To change any information on your current contractor bond, give us a call or email us. We will file a bond rider form on your behalf to the surety company to make changes to the bond.

Additional Resources

Clinton Township Building Department and Permits
Detroit: Apply or Renew License
Detroit: Online Bond Application
Genesee: Sewage Licensing Contractor
Lansing: Demolition Contractors
Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs: Security Alarm Contractors
Roseville Building Department
Roseville Engineering Department: Concrete Permit
Shelby Township Building Department
Southfield County Building Department Site

St. Clair Shores Building Department

Warren City Building Department

Warren City Clerk: Cement Contractor 

Walker Contractor License and Permit

Walker: Contractor Application