How to get a Surety Bond

Who needs a Surety Bond?

Surety bonds are required of many businesses especially those industries regulated by a local, state, or federal government.  If your business requires a license to operate on the state or federal level, there’s a good chance you may need a bond.  Additionally, if you’re a contractor performing large public or private projects, you will also need bonds prior to the contracting being awarded to your firm.

What types of Surety Bonds are there?

There are thousands of different bonds required for various licenses and projects.  The most common are car dealer bonds for auto dealers, performance and payment bonds for contractors, seller of travel bonds for travel agents, and many others.  However, surety bonds fall into four main categories which are license bonds, contract bonds, court bonds, and everything else.  You can find more information on each class of bond by visiting our surety bond type page.

How do I get a Surety Bond?

Obtaining a surety bond is relatively easy depending on the bond type, amount, and your personal credit history.  Most license bonds can be obtained based on your personal credit score.  The contractor bond application process is a little more intensive as the bond amounts are usually large.  They require an application, credit report, business and personal financials, and additional information related to the construction company and its experience.  Court bonds such as probate surety bonds required an application, credit check, and appointing court documentation.  The information required for miscellaneous bonds varies but is typically limited to a credit check depending on the bond amount and type.

How do I apply for a Surety Bond?

Applying for a surety bond today has never been easier.  There are multiple ways to apply including an online surety bond application or a .pdf application which can be printed and completed at your convenience.  These applications require basic information about the business, bond type, and ownership structure.  Once the application is complete, it will need to be submitted to your surety bond agency who will then approve your surety bond via email or phone.

How long will it take for my Surety Bond approval?

Most bonds can be approved within minutes of receiving your completed application.  This is because surety bond agencies have developed special programs and acquired in-house underwriting authority which allows them to approve your bond without waiting for a response from the surety insurance company.  Other bonds which are larger in amount or higher in risk may require additional information such as business financial statements may take longer.  Performance and payment bonds are generally not approved the same day due to the complexity of the request.

What happens after my bond is approved?

You will receive a surety bond quote along with an indemnity agreement.  Once you’re ready to proceed, the indemnity agreement will need to be signed by each business/individual listed.  It will then need to be emailed, faxed, or mailed to your bond agent.  Additionally, an invoice will then be issued and be paid online via credit card for immediate issuance.  Once both items are received, your bond will be issued immediately.

When will I receive my Surety Bond?

You will receive a copy of your surety bond via email once it has been processed.  The original bond will then be sent to the address listed on your surety bond application.  Most surety bonds will be sent via US Mail unless expedited service is requested.

What should I do when I receive my original bond?

Most entities who require a bond will need the original bond with a “wet” signature, power-of-attorney, and a raised/digital seal.  Your original surety bond will contain all of these requirements after it’s processed by your surety bond agency.  The original bond will need to be signed by the individual listed on the bond and may need witnessed and/or notarized.  You must then submit the original bond to whomever is requiring it along with any additional documentation they require.  However, some entities are now accepting scanned, signed copies and you will want to confirm whether a scanned copy is acceptable to them.

What will my Surety Bond cost?

Your bond cost will largely be determined by the personal credit score of the business owners.  Most surety bond premiums will fall in between 1-3% of the total bond amount needed for those applicants with good credit.  However, if credit issues exist, applicants should expect to pay between 4-10% of the bond amount needed with few exceptions.

What Surety Bond amount do I need?

Your surety bond amount is determined by the department or obligee who is requesting it.  In many cases, the amount of your bond will be static and the same amount required of all other businesses in your industry.  However, some bond amounts vary depending on the annual revenue or your business, number of locations, or other factors.  It’s best to verify the bond amount needed with the entity requiring the bond to avoid any delays in receiving your license or contract.

What if I have bad credit?

Previously, bad credit surety bonds were unobtainable for applicants with credit issues as they were reserved for those applicants with a good credit history.  This has changed over the past few years with many surety insurance companies offering bond approvals regardless of credit score.  However, bad credit surety bonds generally cost more than those written for individuals with good credit.  You can read more by visiting our bad credit surety bond page.

If you have any questions, please email us at or call 3863162547 and one of our surety bond representatives will be glad to assist you.