The term “bond” can be applied to many different financial products, but what is “business bonding”? To be bonded means that an insurance carrier is guaranteeing the performance of your business. This is not be confused with a corporate bond, which is a financial instrument used to raise capital. When a business gets bonded it does not raise capital, but does bring security to any work performed by said business.
How does business bonding work?
When a company is bonded, there are three parties involved. The first one is the company itself, referred to as the principal. The second party is the bonding company, also referred to as the surety or carrier. The third party is called the obligee. The obligee is the party that requires the business to be bonded. Here are two examples…
Example #1: The Contractor – A contractor wants to do work for a local school. The Miller Act is a law that requires the contractor to post a bond to guarantee the work. If the contractor defaults, the surety would pay another contractor to finish the work.
Example #2: The Auto Dealer – An auto dealer wants to obtain a license to sell vehicles in the state that he resides. The state licensing department requires that the auto dealer post a bond to guarantee that he will follow the states rules and regulations for selling vehicles. If the dealer were to be fraudulent, the victim could make a complaint to the state and the state could then file a claim on the bond to help the victim re-coop any moneys lost.
Some common bonding misconceptions
Getting your business bonded helps protect it – Not true, getting your business bonded actually protects your clients! If a claim arises, the surety will look to your company for repayment.
Everyone qualifies for bonding – Not everyone qualifies for surety bonding. True surety underwriting makes it so that only the most financially sound and responsible companies qualify for bonding (However, most do these days with the variety of programs available).
Everyone gets the same rate – Rates can vary greatly and can be changed due to your credit score, company’s financial strength, or what the bond is actually guaranteeing.
If you are in need of a bond, you may want to read our last article, How To Become Bonded. It highlights some of our best articles to tell you how to get the best rate for your bond and what you need to do to ensure you qualify.