Buffalo Contractor License Bond: A Comprehensive Guide

April 5, 2021

Buffalo Contractor License Bond

This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a Buffalo Contractor License Bond

At a Glance:

  • Average Cost: $100 per year
  • Bond Amount: $5,000
  • Who Needs it: All contractors operating in Buffalo, Wyoming
  • Purpose: To ensure the public will receive compensation for any damages should the contractor violate licensing law
  • Who Regulates Contractors in Buffalo: The Buffalo Building Inspector

Background

Buffalo Municipal Code 5.2 requires all contractors operating in the city to obtain a business license. The Buffalo city council enacted the license requirement to ensure that contractors engage in ethical business practices. To provide financial security for the enforcement of the licensing law, contractors must purchase and maintain a $5,000 surety bond to be eligible for licensure.

What is the Purpose of the Buffalo Contractor License Bond?

Buffalo requires contractors to purchase a surety bond as part of the application process to obtain a business license. The bond ensures that the public will receive compensation for financial harm if the contractor fails to comply with the regulations set forth in Buffalo Municipal Code 5.2. Specifically, the bond protects the public in the event that the contractor engages in any acts of fraud or breaches consumer contracts. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the contractor violates licensing law.

Buffalo Contractor License Bond Form

Buffalo Contractor License Bond Form

How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a Buffalo Contractor License Surety Bond?

BondExchange makes obtaining a Buffalo Contractor License Bond easy. Simply login to your account and use our keyword search to find the “license/permit” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Enroll now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone (800) 438-1162, email or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.

At BondExchange, our 40 years of experience, leading technology, and access to markets ensures that we have the knowledge and resources to provide your clients with fast and friendly service whether obtaining quotes or issuing bonds.

Not an agent? Then let us pair you with one!

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Is a Credit Check Required for the Buffalo Contractor License Bond?

No, a credit check is not required for the Buffalo Contractor License bond. Because the bond is considered relatively low risk, the same low rate is offered to all contractors operating in the city, regardless of their credit history.

How Much Does the Buffalo Contractor License Bond Cost?

The Buffalo Contractor License bond costs just $100 per year.

Who is Required to Purchase the Bond?

Buffalo requires contractors to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a business license. To paraphrase Buffalo Municipal Code 5.2.1, a contractor is a person that provides construction services as an independent business.

Homeowners performing work on their own properties are exempt from this definition. However, homeowners may only build one accessory to their residence/building once every two years.

How do Contractors Apply for a License in Buffalo?

Contractors in Buffalo must navigate several steps to secure a business license. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants should refer to the application form for details on the process.

License Period – All Buffalo Contractor Licenses expire on January 1 of each year and must be renewed before the expiration date

Step 1 – Determine the License Classification

Buffalo requires contractors to obtain specific licenses corresponding to the type of work they perform. Below are the different classifications of the Buffalo Contractor License:

    • Class A: General – Constructs, alters, or repairs a structure of any size
    • Class B: Residential – Constructs, alters, or repairs one or two-family residences as well as all accessory structures
    • Class C: Sub Contractor – Provides construction services in one or more of the following fields (3 or more requires a Class B License):
      • Blacktop
      • Concrete
      • Doors
      • Drywall
      • Excavation
      • Fire Suppression
      • Framing
      • Handyman Services
      • Home Repair Services
      • Roofing
      • Siding
      • Sprinkler Systems
      • Tape and Texture
      • Windows
      • Woodstoves
      • Miscellaneous
    • Class D: Specialty Contractor – Specializes in one of the following trades
      • Master Plumber
      • Master Mechanical/HVAC
    • Tree Trimmer – Cuts or removes trees, bushes, or shrubbery

Specialty contractors must be ICC or WAM certified and have accumulated at least 1 year of journeyman and 4 years of apprentice experience. However, the experience requirements are waived if the applicant has been licensed for at least 4 years.

Additionally, electrical contractors must obtain a state license from the Electrical Licensing Board of Wyoming prior to applying for a local business license.

Step 2 – Purchase a Surety Bond

Contractors must purchase and maintain a $5,000 surety bond

Step 3 – Purchase Insurance

All contractors are required to purchase liability insurance. Limits are based on the contractor’s license classification, as referenced below:

    • Class A:
      • $1 million per occurrence
      • $2 million aggregate
    • Classes B and D:
      • $500,000 per occurrence
      • $1 million aggregate
    • Class C and Tree Trimmers:
      • $300,000 per occurrence
      • $600,000 aggregate

Additionally, contractors with employees must purchase workers’ compensation insurance.

Step 4 – Complete the Application

All Buffalo Contractor License applications should be completed online here. Contractors must complete the application in its entirety, and pay all applicable fees (see application).

How do Buffalo Contractors Renew Their Business Licenses?

Contractors should mail or deliver their completed renewal applications should be completed online here. All Buffalo Contractor Licenses expire on January 1 of each year and must be renewed before the expiration date.

What are the Insurance Requirements for Contractors in Buffalo?

Buffalo requires contractors to purchase liability insurance with the following minimum limits (based on the contractor’s license classification):

  • Class A:
    • $1 million per occurrence
    • $2 million aggregate
  • Classes B and D:
    • $500,000 per occurrence
    • $1 million aggregate
  • Class C and Tree Trimmers:
    • $300,000 per occurrence
    • $600,000 aggregate

Additionally, contractors with employees must purchase workers’ compensation insurance. All contractors must purchase and maintain a $5,000 surety bond.

How Do Buffalo Contractors File Their Bonds?

Contractors should mail or deliver their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney, online here. The surety bond requires signatures from both the surety company that issues the bond and from the contractor. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:

  • Legal name and license classification of the entity/individual(s) buying the bond
  • Surety company’s name and state of incorporation
  • Entity requiring the bond
  • Date the bond goes into effect
  • Date the bond is signed

What Can Buffalo Contractors do to Avoid Claims Against Their Bonds?

To avoid claims against their bonds, contractors in Buffalo must adhere to all licensing regulations in the city, including some of the most important issues below that tend to cause claims:

  • Do not engage in any acts of fraud
  • Do not breach any contracts made with consumers
  • Return all public utilities altered through the course of a project to their original conditions

What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Contractors in Buffalo?

Buffalo requires contractors to purchase liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a business license. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue any other types of insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.

How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for Buffalo Contractor Customers?

Buffalo unfortunately does not provide a public database of active contractors in the city. We suggest contacting the city directly to obtain this information. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.

2022-06-09T17:56:38-04:00