Cleveland Contractor License Bond

The City of Cleveland, Ohio requires potential contractors to apply for the specific classification they wish to work in. They must register their license through the Building and Housing Department. To be eligible for an approved license, the applicant may be required to obtain a $25,000 contractor bond. 

There are four different trades you can register for. The respective bond forms and registration packages are linked below:

For additional resources and information, visit the “Building & Housing Forms & Publications” webpage. 

What is a Contractor Bond?

A contractor bond is a form of surety bond that serves as a guarantee ensuring that the contractor will fulfill their legal and regulatory obligations within the jurisdiction, while also meeting their professional and contractual responsibilities towards their clients. 

A surety bond is a contractual agreement involving three parties: the principal, the surety, and the obligee. Let's delve into the definition of each term:

  • Principal: The principal refers to the applicant or the applicant's company. As the principal, it is your responsibility to acquire the contractor bond.
  • Surety: The surety is the entity from which you purchase the contractor bond. This may be a specialized surety agency or an insurance company.
  • Obligee: The obligee is the party that requires the bond from the principal. In this particular case, the City of Cleveland is requesting contractors to obtain the surety bond.

Where to get a Cleveland Contractor Bond

There are two primary methods for procuring a surety bond:

The initial approach involves purchasing bonds from a specialized surety company through a convenient online application process. During this procedure, you will be required to furnish pertinent information regarding your financial background, personal credit score, and other relevant personal details. Once the application has been submitted, the surety company will reach out to you to communicate whether your bond has been approved and to provide you with the associated cost.

Alternatively, you may consider reaching out to your insurance company or local insurance agent for assistance. However, it is important to note that insurance companies and agents typically do not specialize in surety bonds. Consequently, it is advisable to initially contact a specialized surety agency for better guidance and support.

For a more comprehensive evaluation of these various options, you can consult our comprehensive article titled "Where to get a Surety Bond." This resource provides detailed analyses and insights into the different approaches available to obtain a surety bond.

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Cleveland Contractor Bond Cost

The cost of a Cleveland contractor bond is subject to variation based on the applicant's personal credit score. A favorable credit score may result in the bond being priced at 1-3% of the bond amount. However, an unfavorable credit score has the potential to elevate this cost significantly, reaching as high as 10% of the total bond amount. It is worth noting that the bond expense is influenced by the creditworthiness of the applicant, and a poor credit score can lead to a substantial increase in the bond's overall cost.

Cleveland’s Licensing Procedure

The Contractor License Bond as well as the rest of your license paperwork and application should be filed to the Building and Housing Department at the following mailing address:

City of Cleveland

Building and Housing Department

601 Lakeside Avenue, Room 505

Cleveland, OH 44114

For license and permit applications and forms, visit the “Building & Housing Forms & Publications” webpage. 

The Contractor License Bond is required to give assurance to the City of Cleveland, Ohio that the licensee will abide by local regulations. The bond also assures clients that the contractor will fulfill their professional obligations. 

The following requirements are necessary to complete the registration process:

1. Sign and notarize complete registration application.

2. Seal and sign $25,000 contractor bond. 

3.Present Certificate of Insurance for a minimum coverage of $200,000:

  • Bodily injury: $50,000 and $100,000
  • Property damages: $50,000

4. Proof of Ohio State License, if applicable.

Ohio Contractor State License

To qualify as an applicant for the Ohio State License, individuals must satisfy the following criteria:

  1. Age Requirement: Candidates must be a minimum of 18 years old.
  2. Citizenship or Residency: Applicants must either be United States citizens or provide documented proof of residency.
  3. Experience in Construction: There are two options for meeting the experience requirement: a. Possess a minimum of 5 years of licensed experience in the construction industry. b. Hold registration as an engineer in Ohio and have at least 3 years of experience in the specific construction trade for which the engineer is applying.
  4. Clean Criminal Record: Prospective license holders must have no previous convictions for criminal offenses, as defined in H.B.263.
  5. Examination: Successful completion of the OCILB exam for the particular trade in question is mandatory.
  6. Contractor Liability Coverage: Applicants are required to maintain a minimum contractor liability coverage of $500,000.
  7. Fee Payment: The payment of applicable fees is a prerequisite for consideration.

These requirements have been established to ensure that applicants for the Ohio State License meet specific standards of age, citizenship/residency, industry experience, legal record, examination performance, insurance coverage, and financial obligations.