California Talent Agency Bond

A $50,000 California talent agency bond is a legal requirement for all talent agencies operating in California. The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) requires all talent agents to get a California talent agency license—and one of the main requirements to get this is a talent agency surety bond.

What is a California Talent Agency Bond?

A talent agency bond is a type of license surety bond required to get a talent agency license issued by the California Labor Commissioner's Office, also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).

This surety bond is a legally binding agreement between three parties.

Principal - the talent agency or talent agent that needs the bond.

Obligee - the one requiring the principal to get the bond (State of California).

Surety - the bonding company or insurance company that issues and underwrites the bond.

A talent agency bond is in place to compensate any person who incurs losses and damages due to a talent agent's misconduct. This includes operating unethically or unlawfully, specifically violating the California Labor Code, Division 2, Part 6.

This includes, but isn't limited to:

  • Charging an artist for an audition.
  • Charging a fee for creating or providing photographs, filmstrips, brochures, or other promotional materials for the artist (as a condition of using the agency).
  • Failing to remove information about or photographs of the artist displayed on the talent service's website within 10 days of delivery of a removal request.

In the event that the principal operates in a manner that goes against the Labor Code, the affected party can make a bond claim against their talent agency bond. This claim can be up to the full penal sum of the bond (full bond amount: $50,000). If the claim is found valid, the surety initially covers the cost to reimburse the claimant. However, the principal is then on the hook to pay them back in full, plus any incurred legal fees.

Who Needs a California Talent Agency Bond?

All talent agencies and those offering fee-related talent services in California must get a CA talent agency bond.

According to the California Labor Code, a talent agency is defined as "a person or corporation who engages in the occupation of procuring, offering, promising, or attempting to procure employment or engagements for an artist or artists. Talent agencies may, in addition, counsel or direct artists in the development of their professional careers." This talent agency may operate as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or any other business structure.

How to Obtain a California Talent Agency Bond?

Step 1: Pick a Surety Company

You need to find a surety company that is not only reputable, but that fits your specific bond needs.

  • Must be a surety permitted to do business in California. 
  • Must offer California talent agency bonds.

Looking for the best price? Larger surety providers, such as JW Surety, offer the most competitive rates thanks to the large number of bonds they underwrite. 

Read How to Choose the Right Surety for more money-saving tips and information. 

Step 2: Apply for the Talent Agency Bond

You can apply for a talent agency bond online or on the phone. Some sureties also offer mail-in services. 

However, an online application is the way to go if you want to get bonded quickly and easily. It takes only minutes to fill out requiring basic information such as contact information, the type of surety bond, and bond amount. Once you submit the form, a real-time quote will be generated in minutes.

Step 3: Sign the Bond Agreement 

If you accept your quote, a bond agreement will be sent your way to sign. Email or fax it back to your bond company, along with the agreed-upon bond premium. The original copy of the bond will be sent by mail. However, you can get a copy through email for your personal records (the original needs to be sent to the obligee once you receive it—see Step 4).

Step 4: Submit Your Bond & Filing Fee

Submit your original bond form (DLSE 306) and $25 filing fee with your application, along with your other licensing requirements. Additional application requirements include an affidavit of character, personal record, certificate of workers' compensation insurance, live scan fingerprinting, premise certification, photo ID such as a driver's license or passport, and license fees. 

State of California Department of Industrial Relations 
Division of Labor Standards Enforcement 
Licensing & Registration Unit 
P.O. Box 420603 
San Francisco, CA 94142-0603

See Talent Agency Documents on the DIR website for more information.

How Much Does a CA Talent Agency Bond Cost?

A California talent agency bond costs as little as $375.

While the total bond amount for a CA talent agency bond is $50,000, this is not how much the bond costs. Instead, the surety bond cost (known as the bond premium) is a small fraction of this amount determined by an underwriting process. In the case of this bond, the percentage that you pay is primarily based on your personal credit score. Therefore, applicants with good credit will pay less (0.75% - 5%), whereas applicants with credit issues will pay more (up to 10%).

Bond Name: California Talent Agency Bond

Bond Amount: $50,000

Bond Premium Estimate Based on Credit Score

Above 700 Between 650-699 Between 600-649 Below 599
$375 - $750 $500 - $1,500 $1,250 - $2,500 $2,500-$5,000


The table above provides a rough bond premium estimate. Note that if you have lower credit but strong business financials and lots of industry experience, this can lower your premium. The best way to find your personal bond premium is to get a free bond quote.


Yes, you can get a CA talent agency bond with bad credit.

Bad credit does not prevent most people from getting approved for a talent agency bond. However, the bond premium they pay will be higher (up to 10%) since they are considered higher risk. 

Contact one of our bond experts to discuss your specific situation and bonding needs. We work diligently with all our customers to get them the best rate possible.

You need to renew a California Talent agency bond yearly.

Bond renewals are imperative. This surety bond must be active to keep your license active (California Labor Code section 1700.15).

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