Choosing a Contractor
We offer the following resources from Labor & Industries about Choosing a Contractor:
The Contractor Registration Act requires general and specialty contractors to register and file a bond with the Department of Labor and Industries.
Terms you should know when working with a contractor.
When you are choosing a contractor you want to look the company up and ascertain that their contractor registration is current, i.e. not expired and/or suspended, and that their bond and insurance are up to date. If you hire an unregistered contractor, you may have little or no recourse against him/her if something goes wrong on the job.
Labor and Industries has a great pamphlet for consumers to assist them when choosing a contractor.
A contractor by law must provide you with a Disclosure Statement for any project over $1,000.
Labor & Industries posts quarterly reports of infractions issued to unregistered contractors
Did you know that that under Washington State law, you may be liable for the unpaid workers' compensation (industrial insurance) premiums of any business you hire or contract with? (*See RCW 51.12.070) When you have found your contractor’s registration information at Labor & Industries, there is a link to click to the right of the UBI number. That will open a new page that will tell you whether the contractor is in good standing with their employee compensation premiums. Also, it will state approximately how many employees the company has. I.e. if it states that the contractor is an individual and he/she shows up with 10 employees, that should raise a red flag.
Before issuing a building permit, the city, county, or town must verify the registration of the contractor applying for the permit. Obtaining proper permits is one way to help protect the consumer, but often times consumers do not get permits and will use unregistered contractors.
Another resource to research your contractor and the principal owner is via Washington Courts. You can choose the Name Search option and key in the principal owner’s name and see what legal history he/she has.
Check for warning signs of a scam.