general contractor
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How to Become a General Contractor in Washington State

Starting a business as a general contractor in Washington State can be a great way to earn a living and achieve success. However, there are certain requirements that you must meet in order to become a licensed general contractor in the state. This article will provide an overview of the requirements for becoming a general contractor in Washington State and provide some tips on how to get started.

Qualifications and Licensing

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) regulates the licensing of general contractors in the state. To become a licensed general contractor in Washington State, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have at least four years of experience in the construction trade.
  • Pass the general contractor exam.
  • Provide proof of financial responsibility.
  • Submit a bond.
  • Provide proof of workers’ compensation insurance.

You must also pay a licensing fee and submit to a background check. Additionally, you must have a valid Washington State driver’s license and a valid Social Security number.

Exam Preparation

The general contractor exam is an important part of the licensing process. The exam covers a wide range of topics, including construction law, business management, and safety regulations. In order to prepare for the exam, you can take a prep course offered by a local community college or trade school. Additionally, you can find study materials online or through bookstores.

Finding Work

Once you have obtained your license, you will need to start looking for work. Networking is one of the best ways to find potential clients. You can get in touch with other contractors in the area and develop relationships with them. Additionally, you can join local trade organizations and attend networking events to meet potential clients.

You can also use online job boards and social media to advertise your services. It is important to create an online portfolio that showcases your skills and experience. You can also create a website to list your services and contact information.

Staying Up-To-Date

In order to stay competitive in the industry, it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technology. You can attend seminars and workshops to learn new skills and keep up with changes in the industry. Additionally, you can read industry publications and attend trade shows to stay informed.


Becoming a general contractor in Washington State can be a great way to earn a living and achieve success. However, it is important to understand the qualifications and licensing requirements for the state. Additionally, you must prepare for the general contractor exam and find potential clients. Finally, it is important to stay up-to-date on changes in the industry in order to remain competitive. With the proper planning and preparation, you can become a successful general contractor in Washington State.