How to get licensed and bonded

When someone says they want to "get bonded", they are referring to obtaining different types of bonds, and are usually referring to license bonds or fidelity bonds. The bond you need will vary by:

  • Who is requiring the bond
  • Your occupation

Unsure of whether you need fidelity insurance or surety bonds? Please continue reading or see our guide to determine which bond you need.

License bonds are needed in order to get a license and become "licensed and bonded". They are required by many different government departments, and the license bond you need will vary by your occupation and location. However, they all guarantee you will follow the regulations set by the department requiring the bond. License bonds are insurance for the public, not you.

Fidelity bonds are needed to get bonded and insured, but are usually not required by another entity such as the government. However, many want the protection fidelity bonds provide, as they are insurance products that protect your business or clients from employee dishonesty like theft.

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How to become bonded

Transcript: How To Become Licensed And Bonded

Woman: I am starting my own business selling used cars and would like to learn how to get licensed and bonded.

Man: I'm starting a new security business and want to learn about getting bonded too!

JW: Ok, I can help you both determine if you need a bond and if so, how to become bonded. Let's talk about each of your scenarios one at a time...Auto dealers are required by state governments throughout the country to apply for a license and post a surety bond in order to sell cars. The license is your formal permission to sell cars in your state and the bond guarantees you will do so following the state rules. Hence the phrase "Licensed and Bonded".

Woman: Great! So what's the first step?

JW: You can start by contacting the government department that regulates your industry to ensure you meet their licensing requirements and obtain an application. In your case, the DMV. Once you're sure you meet the state requirements, you'll want to apply for a surety bond, as they won't let you start your business without it.

Woman: Thanks! That's pretty straightforward.

JW: No problem.

Man: So how do I get bonded?

JW: Most state and local governments do not require security businesses to post a license or become bonded. Did you check to see if there are any government requirements where you plan on operating?

Man: I checked into it and there is no license to obtain and no bond requirement. However, I think it will be good to list on my marketing materials. I want to provide my clients peace of mind.

JW: Ahhh, I see. In that case, you cannot be licensed and bonded. However, if you want to provide your clients some peace of mind, you can purchase an employee theft insurance policy. It's called a fidelity bond and it is the business bonding that many people are referring to when they say that they are bonded and insured. However, they work differently than surety bonds and should not be confused as the same product.

Man: That's exactly what I am looking for! But why is it so different than the surety bond that she is required to post?

JW: To put it simply, a surety bond is a form of credit to you, not insurance. It is insurance for the government and its citizens. There is quite a bit to it, so if you are in need of surety bond, you need to join me for our next video "What Is A Surety Bond?". It is important that you know what you are getting into.

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