There are many types of surety bonds required in California, and the three main categories are:
- License bonds needed for various professions such as contractors and tax preparers to operate legally.
- Contractor bonds for public construction projects.
- Court bonds required by California courts for various purposes.
Some of the most common surety bond types required include:
- Contractor license bonds: allow you to legally perform contracting work such as general contracting, electrical contracting, etc.
- Auto dealer bonds: allow you to obtain a license and legally operate your dealership/sell vehicles.
- Freight broker bonds: allow you to legally operate as a freight broker and obtain your authority form the FMCSA.
- Bid bonds: allows you to bid on bonded jobs and protects the public.
- Performance & payment bonds: allows you to perform work on a project once you are awarded the job.
Find Your Surety Bond
What Do California Surety Bonds Cost?
Surety bonds generally cost 1-15% of the required bond amount. Surety bond costs vary drastically depending on the bond amount required of you and your rate (which is the percentage of the full bond amount you must pay). You can get a ballpark estimate by using our bond premium calculator, or you can apply online to get a firm bond quote.
Getting License and Permit Bonds
California requires license and permit bonds in order to obtain and file licenses/permits for various professions such as a California tax preparer bond (sometimes referred to as a CTEC bond), a contractor’s license bond, a seller of travel surety bond or an auto dealer bond. You can find the full list of license and permit bonds that are required by using our bond requirement search tool.
California Contractors Bond for Your License
The most commonly needed license bond is the California contractor bond required by the CSLB (Contractors State License Board) for contractors to get their license. If you're a contractor, it's possible that you need both a California contractor’s license bond and contractor bonds for public jobs depending on the type of work and where you're performing it.
Getting a Contractor's Bond in California for Public Jobs
Construction bonds such as bid bonds and performance bonds are required to bid bonds and work on public construction jobs. However, they're usually required by cities or municipalities rather than the state. Learn more about how you can get bonded for projects by reading our construction bond guide. As mentioned above, contractors who want to get their license also need contractor’s license bonds in California.
Can You Get Bonded with Bad Credit?
It's possible to get surety bonds in California with bad credit, but it will depend on the bond type that you need and how severe your credit issues are. You can get approved for most license and permit bonds regardless of your credit issues.
Getting Court Bonds in California
Lastly, court bonds are less commonly needed, but can be required by California courts if you need to appeal a court decision, become a legal guardian of a minor or operate as a fiduciary of an estate. You can also read the most frequently asked surety bond related questions.