Residential contractors must offer a South Carolina contractor's license bond in order to obtain and maintain a residential contractor privilege in the state. There are three different "general" license classes, each with its own bond requirement. Licensing and clearer definitions of the specific scope of work that each class includes are found in Chapter 106 (SC Laws). In brief, the three classes and their surety bond requirements:
Residential Specialty Contractor Bond ~ classifications must be licensed after examination satisfactorily demonstrating that an applicant is qualified to engage in a residential specialty contractor classification. When the cost of an undertaking to be performed by a licensed residential specialty contractor exceeds five thousand dollars, the licensee must obtain a licensed residential specialty contractor bond in an amount approved by the Commission not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Residential Builder Bond ~ Upon the commission's finding that the applicant is qualified to engage in residential building in South Carolina, the applicant must submit a surety bond in the form and with a surety approved by the commission in the sum of not less than fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).
Registered Residential Specialty Contractor Bond ~ Per SC LLR, "The specialty contractor contracts with a licensed residential builder, general contractor, or individual property owner to do construction work, repairs, improvements, or re-improvements requiring special skills and involving the use of specialized construction trades or crafts, when the undertakings exceed $200. A registered contractor must provide a $5,000 surety bond.
All three of these surety contractor license bonds are statutory compliance obligations however there are court decisions that have caused modifications of the bond's warranties of which an applicant should be aware. You may review the Commission's commentary about these changes here. Further inquiries and document submissions may be directed to:
South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
Residential Contractor Licensing Division
110 Centerview Drive
Columbia, SC 29210
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