Bonds, also known as "surety bonds," are a type of insurance provided to business owners, professionals and government officials for an established premium. In turn, these bonds protect clients, consumers and citizens from financial loss due to unethical actions of the person bonded. Each state has established rules and guidelines regulating the use of these surety bonds. If you operate a business or plan on opening a business in California, you must understand the correct process for becoming bonded there.
Review the California bonding laws and regulations for your industry. You can find these laws can by contacting the California Department of Consumer Affairs (see the link in the References section). Ask whether any corresponding licensing requirements exist for your industry.
Look up the bond and amount for your industry. Your bond amount can range from $3,000 to $200,000 depending on the type of service you are providing. Revoked business licenses in California will require a disciplinary bond for a greater value.
Talk to a surety bonding company licensed through the California Department of Insurance. Inquire how much the company will charge for the bond. Pay the amount set by your type of industry and credit history.
Meet with the bonding company of your choice. Bring along your driver's license, business license, other important personal information and a check for payment. Complete the bond application and background questionnaire provided by the bonding company. Check to ensure your bond is written on the correct form provided by the State of California. Return a copy of your surety bond to the correct California state department regulating your industry.
Hiring an attorney can prove helpful when seeking a surety bond.
Bonds help protect your clients but do not remove your potential liability.
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