Contractor Beware: Design-Build Firms Must Review Washington’s Licensing Requirements

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Ultimately, new and established contractors offering design-build services in Washington State must plan ahead and consider whether they need to structure or restructure their business in order to avoid costly technical violations of the local statute.

October 16, 2018
John Krawczyk - Ahlers Cressman & Sleight PLLC

Design-build contracting is a method of project delivery where the contractor provides both architectural/design and building services to the owner. Yet rarely do firms perform both design and building work in equal measure. Rather, in many instances, firms perform the vast majority of their work on the building side while advertising and providing design services for smaller projects using in-house architects.

Regardless of the volume of design-build contracting a firm performs, any firms practicing this method of project delivery must be aware of Washington State’s registration requirement under RCW 18.08.420(1), and specifically the condition that a “designated architect” must serve as a partner, manager or director of the firm’s governing structure.

Mr. Krawczyk may be contacted at


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