Many companies operating in the city of Atlanta, Georgia, must post various types of surety bonds. The particular type of bond that might be required will vary based on the type of business you want to conduct. As a business owner, you must understand your bonding requirements and ensure you comply with the city and county ordinances and the state laws of Georgia.
A surety bond might be a condition of obtaining a license to work as a motor vehicle dealer, freight broker, mortgage broker, insurance agent, insurance broker, auctioneer, or travel agent. You might also be required to post a bond as an ERISA plan administrator, public official, or fiduciary to ensure you'll work in the best interests of those you serve.
There are many types of bonds you might come across during your career that typically fall into the following main categories:
- License bonds – These bonds are required in order to obtain a license (auto dealer bond, freight broker bond, contractor license bond, Medicare bond, sales tax bond for establishments that serve any type of alcoholic beverage, etc.).
- Contract bonds/construction bonds - Bonds that could be required to perform work on public projects or might be required by public or private project owners (supply bonds, subdivision bonds, bid bonds, performance bonds, and payment bonds that protect the public or private project owner, suppliers, and subcontractors)
- Court bonds - Courts require these bonds for appeals or for probate (judicial bonds, probate bonds, fiduciary bonds, etc.).
Whether you need a license bond to get a license and operate your business legally in Atlanta or simply need to post a title bond to sell a motor vehicle when the title is missing or lost, you'll likely encounter bonds throughout your career.
How to Get Bonded in Atlanta
In Atlanta, the process of getting bonded typically involves a few key requirements to ensure that your business is operating ethically and with financial responsibility.
First, credit checks are conducted for all applicants, regardless of whether they are individuals or businesses. This step helps the surety company assess the creditworthiness of the applicant and identify any potential financial risks or red flags. While there may be instances where business or personal financial documents are requested, such cases are relatively less common compared to the mandatory credit check.
Finally, you may need to provide information about your industry experience, qualifications, and any licenses or permits required to operate legally in Atlanta. This helps establish credibility and expertise, giving the surety provider confidence that you can fulfill the terms of your bond agreement.
Here are a few common bonds Atlanta:
- Construction and Contractor Bonds: Atlanta's authorities often require contractors and builders to obtain surety bonds before bidding on projects.
- License & Permit Bonds: Certain professionals in Atlanta, such as mortgage brokers, auto dealers, notaries, and insurance agents, must obtain surety bonds as a condition for obtaining or renewing their licenses.
Find Your Surety Bond
When it comes to finding the right surety bond in Atlanta, there are several avenues you can explore.
- Reach out to your obligee, who can provide valuable guidance on the specific surety bond and bond amount required for your industry. They have the expertise to point you in the right direction, making this the most reliable method to obtain the correct surety bond.
- Try our user-friendly Find Your Bond tool. Simply input basic information on your situation and the tool will identify the appropriate surety bond for your needs.
- Give JW Surety Bonds a call toll-free at 1-888-592-6631 or reach out through our contact page. Our knowledgeable bond experts are always available to help you find the perfect surety bond for your requirements.
With these options at your disposal, navigating the process of finding the right surety bond in Atlanta is easy and convenient.
Most Popular Surety Bond Types
Getting an Auto Dealer Bond
If you want to sell cars or other types of motor vehicles in Atlanta, you'll need to post an auto dealer bond as a requirement for getting your license. Dealer bonds are required by the state and vary based on the types of motor vehicles you plan to sell. You'll need to have an established place of business and provide your business phone number and physical address (including its suite number, if applicable) and meet other conditions for obtaining your auto dealer license in addition to posting a bond.
Getting a Freight Broker Bond
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires freight brokers to either deposit $75,000 in a freight broker trust or post a $75,000 freight broker bond as a licensing condition. Since posting bonds allows brokers to free up money to use for other purposes, most people opt to purchase a broker bond rather than tying up funds in trust accounts.
Getting a Contractor License Bond
If you want to get a contractor license, you'll need to post a contractor's license bond. Contractor licenses and contractor license bonds might vary based on the specific type of work you intend to perform, so you'll need to check to find out your requirements.
After you obtain your contractor license bond and your license, you will likely encounter other bonds if you bid on construction projects. Many public and private project owners require a contract bond before they will agree to engage a contractor.
A few types of construction or contractor bonds you might need during your career include the following:
- Bid bonds - Bonds required to bid on projects and guarantee you will follow through if you win the bid.
- Performance bonds - Bonds that guarantee you will perform your contractual obligations.
- Payment bonds - Bonds that protect the project owner, suppliers, and subcontractors against nonpayment.
How Much Does an Atlanta Surety Bond Cost?
As previously explained, the bond cost will not be the total bond amount and will instead be a percentage. How much you might have to pay to purchase a bond will depend on the type of bond, the required bond amount, and your underwriting factors, including your credit score.
People with excellent credit scores receive the best rates and might not have to pay more than 1%. Those who have bad credit, however, might receive a surety bond quote for a higher percentage of 10% or more.
Can You Get Bonded With Bad Credit?
If you have bad credit, all hope is not lost. You can still get bonded by going through a bad credit bond program. Surety bond experts can work with you to help you secure a bad credit surety bond. While you can anticipate paying a higher rate, you can secure a better rate in the future by improving your credit and avoiding bond claims.
Business owners operating businesses structured as sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations might all need to meet surety bond requirements regardless of how they structure their companies. If you must get a surety bond, make sure you do not incur bond claims and maintain good credit. Doing so can help you build a strong reputation and facilitate the success of your business.