What you need to know about cryptocurrency bonds

If you are one of the countless people captivated by cryptocurrency, this is an exciting time. The number of different cryptocurrencies is expanding; the amount of money flowing into various coins increased every day; major investment houses are starting to take cryptocurrency seriously; and the groundwork is being laid for a robust cryptocurrency marketplace. This looks like the start of an economic revolution. Cryptocurrency has already cleared some early hurdles and proved many initial detractors wrong. Much remains unknown. However, there appears to be tremendous upside for people willing to take an early bet on this booming industry. 

As cryptocurrency moves further into the mainstream, it’s attracting more attention from regulators. They are not, in most cases, moving to shut crypto markets down. But they are taking a serious look at the effect those markets have on various economic instruments and on the public good more generally. 

One concrete step regulators in some states have taken is to require cryptocurrency traders to have a type of surety bond known as a money transmitter bond but colloquially called a cryptocurrency bond. This bond requirement is new, meaning this type of bond is too. Cryptocurrency traders understandably have a lot of questions about how the bond works and what it means for their business. Viking Bond Service leads the emerging cryptocurrency bonds industry, and we’re here to provide straightforward information. Here’s what you need to know about cryptocurrency bonds. 

Cryptocurrency Bond Basics

Money transmitter bonds (eg. crypto bonds) hold a money transmitter responsible when they don’t follow state rules relevant to how people offer money transfer services. Bonds are a way to make the bond holder accountable for illegal behavior and provide their victims with a path to justice. When a cryptocurrency trader breaks the law, the state agency that regulates money transmitters may file a claim against the bond for compensation equal to the damages caused. The surety agency that backs the bond guarantees payment for all valid claims, ensuring that anyone wronged by a crypto trader can seek and receive a settlement. After the surety settles a claim, the bond holder must pay that debt back. Cryptocurrency bonds hold traders accountable by making them financially liable for paying all valid claims. 

Who Needs a Cryptocurrency Bond?

At the time of writing, fewer than 10 states required cryptocurrency traders to get a money transmitter license or the surety bond required for that license. But this industry is changing as fast as it’s growing. Like surety bonds requirements that exist in other industries, the states that adopt early set a standard for the rest to follow until all 50 make surety bonds mandatory. This is likely to happen with cryptocurrency bonds too, especially if the industry continues on its current trajectory. All traders should check if they need a bond now and prepare to need one soon. Contact Viking Bond Service for free advice about whether your state requires a bond.

Planning for the Cost of Crypto Bonds

If you’re not used to paying for a surety bond, the announcement of cryptocurrency surety bond requirements comes as unwelcome news. Likewise, if you’re new to trading you want to put every penny into the hottest coins, not into surety bond premiums. Good news: Cryptocurrency bonds aren’t that expensive. Every state that requires this type of surety bond dictates the amount of the bond, meaning the maximum amount the surety will pay to settle claims. The bond cost, called the premium, is a small percentage of the total bond amount. Your credit determines the exact amount. Bad credit leads to higher bond premiums, and depending on your credit score, financial history, and the surety agency you work with, it could lead to being denied for a bond. If you’re worried about credit affecting your ability to get an affordable bond, work with Viking Bond Service. 

Next Steps – Get a Crypto Bond

If you’re in one of the states that requires crypto traders to have a bond, don’t wait to get one. You will first need to find a surety agency that issues cryptocurrency bonds. There aren’t many since this is an emerging new type of surety bond. Then, you will need to complete a bond application, submit to a credit check, and provide the surety with whatever else it asks for. You will next get a quote for the cost of the bond premium. Pay the premium to activate the bond, and the surety will provide a document proving you’ve met the bond requirement. 

Viking Bond Service – A Friend to Cryptocurrency Traders

Viking Bond Service is one of the few surety agencies that issues this type of bond in every state that requires them. We make it easy for crypto traders across the country to meet whatever surety bond requirements they face. Request a quote at your convenience. Contact us for more information. Or call us at 1-888-278-7389 to speak with a bond expert directly. 

What is the difference between an Alcohol Tax Bond and a TBB Bond?

The alcohol industry in the US employs over 4 million people and pays nearly $70 billion in taxes every year. Businesses across the country make all, most, or some of their money from the production, distribution, or sale or alcoholic beverages. Many of these businesses need a surety bond to operate legally – and in some cases they need several bonds – and it can get confusing keeping track of all these surety bond requirements. In this blog post, we wanted to address a common question we hear: what is the difference between an alcohol tax bond and a TBB bond? The answer is worth knowing for anyone in the alcohol industry. 

A Note About Terminology

You may hear these terms used interchangeably. Some people will refer to a TBB bond as an alcohol tax bond, but not vice versa. Though related in some ways (which we will address later), these are two different types of surety bonds. It’s important not to confuse one for the other. 

What is an Alcohol Tax Bond?

The term alcohol tax bond can refer to any bond used to make the bond holder liable for unpaid alcohol tax bills. In practice, however, the term primarily refers to bonds required by state and local governments to help them recoup taxes related to alcohol and sometimes tobacco. All 50 states require businesses throughout the alcohol industry to obtain an alcohol tax bond before the state will grant them a license. 

What is a TBB Bond?

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TBB) charges an excise tax on most breweries, wineries, and distilleries. A TTB bond holds these businesses accountable when they don’t pay the federal excise tax. Any alcohol producer that owed more than $50,000 in excise taxes in the previous year must have a TTB bond before the Bureau will grant it a permit to operate legally. 

What is the difference? 

There are two main differences between an alcohol tax bond and a TTB bond. First, the alcohol tax bond applies to taxes levied at the state and local level while the TTB bond applies to federal taxes. Second, only producers need a TTB bond, whereas businesses involved with transporting, warehousing, selling, and serving alcohol often need an alcohol tax bond. Many producers need an alcohol tax bond in addition to a TTB bond. 

What Do These Bonds Have in Common?

The bonds work in the same way even if they apply to different bond holders. Both bonds make the bond holder liable for unpaid taxes. The bond allows the agency that regulates the bond holder (whether at the local, state, or national level) to file a claim against the surety bond for damages equal to the unpaid tax bill. The surety agency that backs the bond investigates all claims and settles any valid claim. This is an example of how bonds ensure that the government can collect taxes owed even if the taxpayer can’t or won’t pay. The bond guarantees payment, but the surety that backs the bond does not accept financial liability. Liability always rests with the bond holder – who must pay the surety back for any claims settled, in full, plus interest and fees. 

How Do I Get a Bond?

Whether you need an alcohol tax bond or a TTB bond, it’s important to fulfill the bond requirement sooner rather than later. It can only cause problems for your business if you wait. 

Applying for either bond requires you to complete a bond application and submit to a credit check. The surety will then quote you a price for the bond premium. Expect to pay a small percentage of the bond’s total size. Different people will pay different prices for the same bond because the exact price depends on your credit. Bad credit will increase the premium price, and at some surety agencies, it will be harder to get a bond. But not at Viking Bond Service. We have resources to help more people get approved for surety bonds, including people with bad credit

Viking Bond Service – A Partner to Your Business

Perhaps you need one of these bonds or both. Either way, you will need a surety bond for as long as you’re in business. Failing to get one or letting the bond lapse makes your business license invalid and any business you do thereafter illegal. That’s why you don’t just want a surety bond – you want a partner who can handle all aspects of bonding for your business. 

Viking Bond Service serves as that partner for businesses across the country, including many in the alcohol industry. It’s an industry we understand well. Since we issue both TTB bonds and alcohol tax bonds in all 50 states, we have plenty of experience with these types of bond, and processes in place to make obtaining them easy. 
Request a quote for either bond at your convenience. For more information, please contact us or call 1-888-278-7389.

5 things you should know when applying for an alcohol tax bond

Every state in the country places tight regulations on the alcohol industry. If you plan to open a business in this industry, one involved with producing, distributing, selling, or serving alcohol, you should be prepared to meet numerous requirements before you open your doors, and just as many for as long as you’re in operation. One requirement everyone in this industry needs to be aware of is the alcohol tax bond requirement. 

There are many different types of alcohol tax bonds applicable to different types of businesses – producers, warehousers etc. Every state also has different alcohol tax bond requirements. The details of the bonds may be different, but they all work in fundamentally the same way: When a business owner fails to pay the alcohol (and sometimes tobacco) taxes they owe the state, the bond holds them accountable. 

The state may file a claim against an alcohol tax bond for an amount equal to the unpaid tax bill. The surety agency that issues and backs the bond will pay for all valid claims. Alcohol tax bonds guarantee the state can recoup tax revenues owed to it even if the taxpayer can’t or won’t pay. When the surety pays a claim, the business owner who holds the bond must pay the surety back in full with interest and fees included. Bonds hold business owners accountable for unpaid tax bills, which creates an incentive to pay on time. All states enforce surety bond requirements on alcohol-related businesses because surety bonds are an effective regulatory tool. 

If these requirements apply to you and your business, you will want to obtain an alcohol tax bond ASAP. You gain nothing by waiting. Satisfying the bond requirement gets your business one step closer to being in full compliance with that law and ready to serve customers. Before you apply for your alcohol tax bond, here are five things you should know: 

Come Prepared

To apply for an alcohol tax bond, you will need to complete a standard bond application with details about your business, business partners, and background. You will also need to submit to a credit check, provide a copy of the exact bond requirements, and possibly turn over other documentation like a financial statement. Try to collect as much of this information and documentation as possible in advance so that the application process runs smoothly and you get a quote quickly. 

The Process Moves Fast

Once you submit your application documents, underwriters (risk evaluators) at the surety agency evaluate everything to quote you a price for the bond. You might expect this to be a slow and drawn out process, but it’s just the opposite. When you apply with a surety like Viking Bond Service you can expect to receive a quote in as little as 24 hours after you apply. Fitting bonding into whatever timeline your business is operating on may be easier than you expect. You also aren’t obligated to act on a quote immediately – you have a grace period to consider your options during which the quote remains valid.

Choice of Surety Agency Matters

It’s important to feel confident about your choice of surety agency before you apply. There are lots of options out there. Some are better than others. You will need to have an active alcohol tax bond in good standing for as long as you’re in business, meaning bonds will be something you deal with for years to come. Ideally, the company you’re applying with now can become your long-term bonding partner. Find someone that can handle all your bonding needs, now and later, while making bonding a stress-free experience. Viking Bond Service is eager to earn your confidence. 

Your Credit Affects Your Bond Premium

When underwriters evaluate your application, they are mostly trying to determine how risky you are to bond – eg. how likely you are to trigger bond claims and pay the surety back for those claims. Underwriters evaluate riskiness based largely on your credit score and financial history and calculate your bond cost accordingly. You will pay less if you have a score above 700 and no record of bankruptcy or past bond claims. However, your bond premium will go up if you have spotty credit. Rely on Viking Bond Service to help you get approved for an alcohol tax bond at an affordable rate even if you have bad credit. We run a special program for applicants just like you. 

Renewal Follows Application

After you apply for and obtain an alcohol tax bond, you will need to renew it on an annual basis. Failure to renew the bond invalidates your state business license and makes it illegal to operate your business. You will receive a renewal application in advance of the deadline. To renew, you will need to submit a new bond application and agree to another credit check. Underwriters will use this information to recalculate your bond premium. The price may go up or down annually depending on changes to your credit score. Make the renewal a part of your yearly business plans and budget. 
Viking Bond Service is here to make the alcohol tax bond application process easy for all. We issue bonds in all 50 states, including the bond you need. Start the application at any time. Or get more information first – contact us with questions or call 1-888-278-7389.

What’s the difference between a bail bond and a surety bond?

Bonds come in many forms. Two you may have heard of are bail bonds and surety bonds. There is some overlap between the two, but also important differences. Most important of all, these two bonds ARE NOT interchangeable – you will need a bail bond in some situations and a surety bond in others. This blog explores the difference. 

What is a Bail Bond?

When a judge sets a bail amount, the defendant in a criminal or civil trial may use a bail bond to pay what the judge requires. The defendant will pay around 10% of the bail amount, then provide enough collateral (property, real estate etc) to cover the remainder of the bond amount. If the defendant then fails to appear in court as required, they will forfeit the collateral provided to pay the full amount of the bail required. However, if the defendant appears in court as required, the bail bond dissolves at the conclusion of the trial and the defendant gets their collateral back. The bail bondsman keeps the 10% upfront fee.

What is a Surety Bond?

A surety bond is a broad category of bonds designed to compel the bonded party to act in certain ways by holding them financially accountable when they don’t. Surety bonds work like this: An obligee requires a principal to obtain a specific type of surety bond worth a specific amount. Then, if the principal does anything illegal under the law or prohibited under contract, the obligee may file a claim against the surety bond for damages. The surety agency that issues and backs the bond will automatically settle all valid claims in full. However, the principal must pay the surety back the amount of the settlement, plus interest and fees. 

What is the Difference? 

A bail bond is a form of surety bond that specifically addresses someone’s bail obligation to the courts. There are many other types of surety bonds covering everything from a licensed professional’s obligations under state law to a contractor’s requirements under the terms of a contract. In all cases, the bond protects one party (the obligee) from the actions of another (the principal) using an intermediary (the surety) to ensure that victims are compensated and perpetrators are held accountable. In the case of bail bonds, the victim is the court and the perpetrator is the person who fails to show up in court. Other types of surety bonds work differently, but the underlying process remains the same. If there is a meaningful difference between bail bonds and surety bonds it’s this: Not all surety bonds require the person seeking the bond to put up collateral. Some bonds require it, including bail bonds, but for many other surety bonds, you only need to pay a premium to activate bond coverage. 

How to get a bond

If you need a bail bond for court or a surety bond for some other reasons, your first step is the same: seek out a trusted surety agency. Your choice of a surety agency (or a bond bondsman for a bail bond) is the single most important decision you will make in this entire process, so be sure to move forward with one you trust. When you’re ready to get a bond, you will submit an application, agree to a credit check, provide any other documentation the surety asks for, and, in the case of bail bonds, provide collateral. Your credit will affect your ability to secure a bond and the cost of said bond. However, don’t let credit be an obstacle – take advantage of a special program offered through Viking Bond Service designed to help more people get the bond they need regardless of their credit score or financial history. 

Where to get your bond

You have lots of options when it comes to getting a bail bond or surety bond, but that’s not a good thing. Most of these agencies you will want to avoid with something as important as a bond. Don’t waste your time searching for a surety agency you can trust to put your best interests first. Contact Viking Bond instead. We are a nationwide surety agency that goes above and beyond to distinguish itself though service, commitment, and excellence. We do that by making the bonding process fast and easy, by doing everything possible to keep bonds affordable, and by forming a true partnership with everyone we serve. You’re in good hands with Viking Bond Service. Let us take the hassle, confusion, and uncertainty out of bonding – it’s our speciality. 

Viking Bond Service – Your Bond Partner

You are free to request a quote for a bond – surety or bail – at any time. It costs you nothing to get a quote, and it doesn’t obligate you to purchase the bond either. It’s just to give you good information about bonding. Get more good information by contacting Viking Bond Service, either through our contact form or by calling 1-888-278-7389.

How to determine which Commercial Cannabis Surety Bond You Need

If you run a business involved with the booming commercial cannabis industry – as a grower, producer, distributor, seller, or in another role – you may need a type of surety bond broadly known as commercial cannabis surety bonds. 

In this blog, we will explain how these bonds work and why you need one. Then, we will wrap up by showing you how to determine which commercial cannabis surety bond(s) you need. Get all the important information in one place!

What is a Commercial Cannabis Surety Bond?

A commercial cannabis surety bond holds the bonded party (eg. the cannabis business) financially accountable if it violates state and local laws that apply to the cannabis industry. States that have legalized cannabis for either medical or recreational use have also taken steps to regulate the cannabis industry carefully. Businesses will often need a commercial cannabis surety bond as part of licensure requirements, but they may be required for other reasons at both the state and local levels. 

How does a Commercial Cannabis Surety Bond work?

If a consumer or regulator believes that a cannabis business has violated applicable laws and codes of conduct, they may file a claim against the commercial cannabis surety bond seeking financial compensation equal to the damages caused. Provide that the claim has merit, the surety agency that backs the bond will settle the claim in full. The bonded party must then pay the surety back the amount of the claim, with interest and fees added. It is the surety’s right to use whatever legal means necessary to collect the debt, which the bonded party agrees to accept liability for when they sign the surety bond agreement. 

What is the purpose of a Commercial Cannabis Surety Bond?

Surety bonds hold a business accountable, financially, when it breaks the rules, which then creates an incentive to follow the rules. Surety bonds also provide a path for anyone, whether an individual or the public at large, harmed by a cannabis business to seek out a settlement and see justice served. Surety bonds are an effective way to regulate industries and encourage ethical/lawful behavior.

Who needs a Commercial Cannabis Surety Bond?

That depends on many factors: The state you operate in, the type of business you run etc. Some cannabis businesses won’t need any bonds, others will need just one, and there are some who will need multiple. In all cases, however, it’s illegal to operate without the required bonds, and it may be impossible to open a business either. That’s why it’s vital to determine which commercial cannabis surety bonds you need and obtain them immediately. Get help with both from Viking Bond Service – a nationwide surety agency serving cannabis-based businesses across the country. We can help you understand exactly which commercial cannabis surety bonds you need. Next, you can obtain those bonds from us, quickly, easily, and affordably, so that your bonding needs are fully met moving forward. 

Who are the parties involved in a Commercial Cannabis Surety Bond?

  • Principal – The cannabis business that obtains the bond, keeps it renewed, and pays for any and all claims. 
  • Obligee – The party being protected by the surety bond. Often, the party that creates cannabis bond requirements and has the right to file claims against the bond. 
  • Surety – The company that bonds the principal and settles claims with the obligee. The principal must pay the surety back for any amount paid to the obligee, plus interest and fees. 

How to get a Commercial Cannabis Surety Bond?

No matter what kind of cannabis bond you need, the application process will include: filling out a standard bond application with information about your business and background; agreeing to undergo a credit check; and giving the surety any other documents it asks for. With the right surety agency, one like Viking Bond Service, applying for a cannabis bond couldn’t be easier. And we strive to keep them affordable too. Expect to pay a small percentage of the bond’s total value, less or more depending on your credit. If you are concerned that your credit score or history could make it hard to get the cannabis bonds your business needs, we can help. Take advantage of a special program from Viking Bond Service designed to get more people approved regardless of credit. 

Why you should get your Commercial Cannabis Surety Bond from Viking Bond Service

Surety bonds build trust in a business and an industry as a whole – so they’re very important to a marijuana industry that’s trying to grow, gain legitimacy, and fulfill its complete potential. Since most businesses in the cannabis industry will need bonds, most will need a bond partner as well. And many have chosen Viking Bond Service as that partner already. We take the confusion, hassle, and unnecessary expense out of bonding, forming true partnerships with the businesses we serve. Get your cannabis bond needs covered once and for all. Viking Bond Service has everything you need. 

Get a Commercial Cannabis Surety Bond from Viking Bond Service

You can request a quote at any time. It costs nothing to explore how much a bond might cost, and you’re not obligated to move forward with bonding. Either way, expect to get a full quote for a cannabis bond in as little as 24 hours. Please contact us with your questions, or call us at 1-888-278-7389. 

What is an Iowa Farm Labor Bond?

Also known as an Iowa farm labor contractor bond, this specific type of surety bond is required of anyone who supplies farm labor to agricultural concerns in Iowa. State regulators require this surety bond, and it’s illegal to work without one. 

The Iowa farm labor bond ensures that anyone hired by a farm labor contractor receives the compensation owed to them. If they aren’t paid as promised, they may file a claim against the bond, and as long as the claim is true, it’s guaranteed to be paid. 

This type of surety bond, like all types, holds the bonded party (the farm labor contractor) accountable for unethical or illegal behavior. At the same time, it provides a path to justice (in the form of financial compensation) for anyone wronged by a farm labor contractor. 

How does an Iowa Farm Labor Bond work?

If someone feels that the actions of a farm labor contractor are in violation of applicable state laws and codes of conduct, they may file a claim for damages against the farm labor bond. The surety that issues and backs the bond will launch an investigation to determine whether the claim has merit. Provided it does, the surety automatically settles the claim in full. In the final part of the process, the surety uses whatever legal means necessary to collect that amount of the claim, plus interest and fees, from the bonded party – eg. the party that accepts financial liability for all claims when they sign the surrey bond agreement. The surety will always render payment for valid claims, but they will never accept financial liability for those claims; that always rests on the farm labor contractor. 

What is the purpose of an Iowa Farm Labor Bond?

Surety bonds help to regulate industries by discouraging negative behaviors. Since a farm labor contractor will be held liable for anything he does in conflict with state laws and ethics requirements, he has a financial incentive to follow all applicable rules. Surety bonds also provide a pathway for victims of malfescant farm labor contractors to seek justice and recover from their losses. 

Who needs an Iowa Farm Labor Bond?

The rules vary, and it’s ultimately up to the State of Iowa to determine who needs a bond. That being said, anyone who works or plans to work as a farm labor contractor should expect to need one of these bonds. When necessary, the Iowa farm labor bond requirements will be quite clear. The state won’t authorize anyone to work as a farm labor contractor without a bond, therefore, it’s important to seek one out as soon as it’s required. Viking Bond Service can get you a quote in just 24 hours!

Who are the parties involved in an Iowa Farm Labor Bond?

The bonded party is one of three parties:

  • Principal – The farm labor contractor who is required to get the bond and required to pay for all claims. 
  • Obligee – Anyone harmed by a farm labor contractor. The obligee has the right to file claims against the bond seeking damages. 
  • Surety –  The company that issues the bond to the principal and settles claims with the obligee. When the surety settles, the principal must pay that debt back with interest and fees added on. 

How to get an Iowa Farm Labor Bond?

It starts with an application process. You will complete a bond application, agree to a credit check, provide a copy of the bond requirements, and give the surety anything else it asks for. Underwriters will use that information to evaluate your credit risk and calculate a corresponding bond quote (typically a small percentage of the total bond amount). Bad credit results in higher bond costs – but it doesn’t have to result in denial thanks to a special program from Viking Bond Service. Once you pay the quoted price, the bond becomes active, and you receive a document proving you’ve met the Iowa farm labor bond requirements. 

Why you should get your Iowa Farm Labor Bond from Viking Bond Service

Because we make it easy, affordable, fast, and straightforward. You don’t want bonding to be a bigger hassle than necessary, and you want to keep your costs as low as possible. We understand, and we can help. Let us show you how simple bonds can be. With Viking Bond Service, you’ve got a surety bond partner for all the bonds you need as long as you’re in business. 

Get an Iowa Farm Labor Bond from Viking Bond Service

The sooner you get a surety bond, the sooner you can focus on something else. Request a quote from Viking Bond Service at any time 24/7. It costs you nothing and commits you to nothing, so don’t hesitate to explore what a surety bond might cost you. And don’t hesitate to get more information either. We are happy to answer your questions – contact us or call 1-888-278-7389.

What is a Business Service Bond?

Does your business rely on employees to provide a service to customers? If so, you may benefit from having a business service bond. This blog post will cover how this type of surety bond works, and why many small businesses consider it an important asset. 

What is a Business Service Bond?

Not to be confused with an employee dishonesty bond, a business service surety bond protects your company in the event that one or your employees steals money, securities, or personal property from a customer of your company. The easiest way to explain these surety bonds is with an example. Imagine you run a cleaning company. While one of your cleaners is inside a customer’s home, they steal some jewelry. After reporting the crime and going through the proper normal legal process, the customer may seek recompense from the cleaning company whose employee committed the crime. The cleaning company can claim on their business service surety bond to recoup the value of that jewelry and cover themselves for the loss caused by their employee’s crime. 

How does a Business Service Bond work?

A company may file a claim for damages against their business services policy if one of their employees has stolen from their customer. If the company’s employee has been found guilty of the theft, the surety company that issues the bond will pay a settlement to cover the full value of the stolen goods, up to the coverage amount to cover the company’s liability. In contrast to normal surety bonds, Business Services bonds are insurance policies. The protection provided is for the benefit of the policy holder.

If My License Requires a Bond, Is a Business Services Bond Right For Me?

Business services bonds ARE NOT license bonds. If your business needs a license and needs a surety bond as part of the license requirements, a business services bond WILL NOT suffice. It will not affect your licensure in any way whether you do or don’t have a business services bond. However, for businesses that need licenses and therefore need to hold themselves to a high standard, it may be worthwhile to obtain a business services bond in addition to the licensure bond. Viking Bond Service can help with either, or both. 

What is the purpose of a Business Service Surety Bond?

Unlike many other types of surety bonds, bonds for business services aren’t required. Businesses obtain them voluntarily as a way to establish trust with customers. People feel more comfortable working with a bonded business because the surety bond protects the customer from the risk of loss due to employee theft. Businesses with one of these bonds often mention that fact in advertisements and marketing materials as a way to set themselves apart from the competition and put new customers at ease. 

Who needs a Business Service Surety Bond?

Business service bonds aren’t required for any business in any state. That being said, they are common for businesses in a number of industries: appliance repair, security, pest control, pool cleaning, painting, landscaping, elder and child care, and many more. Almost any business whose employees work directly with or on their business customers property or assets could potentially benefit from having a business service bond. When trust matters, surety bonds help a lot. 

Who are the parties involved in a Business Service Bond?

The bonded business is one of the two parties involved:

  • PrincipalThe business that obtains the surety bond is known as the principal. The principal may claim on the policy to cover losses caused by their emplyee’s criminal action against a customer of the business.
  • SuretyThe company that issues and backs the surety bond. The surety guarantees payment for valid claims to the principal. 

How to get a Business Service Surety Bond?

If you’ve decided a business service bond could help your business build trust and attract customers, you’re committing to a sound small business strategy. The good news is that one of these bonds doesn’t have to be confusing to obtain or expensive to pay for. 

The first step is to apply with a quality surety agency like Viking Bond Service. You will need to supply some basic information about your business, including the type of work you perform and the number of people you employ. 

Based on your application information, the surety will quote you a price for the premium. Expect to pay a small percentage of the bond’s total value based on how much coverage you select on your application.

Business services policies expire typically after 12 months but longer coverage terms may be available. To keep your policy active, you will need to renew the coverage by updating the surety about your current employee count and any known relevant legal issues your employees may be involved in. Your bond premium may go up or down annually based on changes to your business size.

How to become a California licensed contractor

More than seven million people work in construction nationwide, including a large portion based out of California. As one of the biggest, most populated, and most heavily-built states in the country, California has a massive construction industry. It’s also a heavily regulated industry, which is why the hundreds of thousands of contractors working throughout California need a license issued by the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB).

Contractors who operate without a license could be subject to fines and fees, as well as the risk that California prohibits them from ever obtaining a license, making it impossible for them to work legally. Failure to get a license has deep penalties that no contractor wants to face. Plus, statewide enforcement efforts make it likely that anyone operating without a license will be found out and penalized. Therefore, it’s vital that anyone who requires a CSLB license follow the steps to get one, and keep the license in good standing. Here’s what the CSLB requires before granting a license:

  • You must be 18 years of age or older.
  • You must have a valid social security number.
  • You need at least four years verifiable experience in the construction industry working as a Journeyman, Foreperson, or Supervising Employee. Classes taken at an accredited technical school can count towards this requirement – eg. two years schooling can replace two years experience. 
  • You must pass an exam about California business and law requirements, and may have to pass another exam relevant to the specific type of contractor license you’re pursuing.
  • You must show proof of a CSLB license bond, otherwise known as a California contractor license bond. 
  • You must show proof you have worker’s compensation insurance unless you have no employees. 
  • You must submit all application documents and pay the related fees. 

Why does CSLB require bonding

Contractors have to jump through many hoops to obtain a CSLB contractor license, but most of the requirements are fairly straightforward. One that isn’t so simple (and that we get questions about all the time) is the CSLB license bond requirement. 

To begin with, California requires contractors to have a surety bond as a way to protect the public from unscrupulous contractors who don’t follow legal or ethical business practices. If someone feels they have suffered damages caused by the contractor they hired, they may file a claim against the CSLB license bond seeking compensation. The surety company that backs the bond guarantees payment for valid claims. The surety also guarantees that the contractor will be held financially responsible – the contractor must pay the surety back for any claims it settles, and pay for interest and fees. 

In that way, California contractor bonds discourage contractors from breaking the rules and provide a path to justice for anyone their rule breaking hurts. That’s why getting a CSLR license also requires getting a contractor bond. Specifically, contractors need a $15,000 surety bond to fulfill the license requirement. They may also need additional bonds, such as a contractors disciplinary bond or a LLC Employee/Worker Bond. 

If you have questions about whether you need a surety bond, what kind, and in what amount, make sure you get the right answers. You don’t want bond problems to jeopardize your business. The team at Viking Bond Service is here to help you understand your exact bond requirements, and meet those requirements quickly, easily, and at low cost. 

How to get a CSLB license bond

With a partner like Viking Bond Service, getting a contractor bond in California or any other state couldn’t be easier. Or faster – you can expect to get a quote back within 24 hours in most instances. Here’s how it works: You will need to complete a standard bond application, submit to a credit check, and provide any additional documentation (like a financial statement) the surety agency asks for. 

Underwriters at the surety agency will evaluate your application documents, gauge your credit risk, and quote you a bond price. Expect the bond to cost a small percentage of the full value. Bad credit will lead to high premiums, but Viking Bond Service has a special bad credit surety bond program to help more California contractors obtain the surety bond they need regardless of their credit score or history. 

Once you have an active bond, you receive a document proving you’ve met the CSLB license bond requirement. You will need to keep that bond active and in good standing for as long as you remain licensed. Plan to renew the bond every 12 months. To renew, you will submit to a new credit check and pay the premium, which could be higher or lower than the previous premium based on changes to your credit. That’s how to keep the bond active. Keep it in good standing (and do the same for your business) by abstaining from any behavior that could cause claims against the surety bond. 

Viking Bond Service – serving all California contractors 

We serve contractors across California, and we issue all the surety bonds a contractor may need to get a license, win a contract, or comply with state laws and courts. Make Viking Bond Service your bond partner from the start. Contact us here with any questions, or call us at 1-888-278-7389 to speak directly with a bond expert. You can request a quote at your convenience.

How to become a Texas licensed contractor

In a big, booming state like Texas, there’s no shortage of construction projects happening at any given time. And with those projects comes a large need for qualified contractors. If you’re eager to join the construction industry in Texas, you likely need a license that applies to your specialized trade. 

For example, If you intend to become a plumber, you will need a license issued by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE). If you intend to become an Electrician, HVAC specialist, or Water Well Driller, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) handles the licensing process. Finally, if you’re going into the biggest trade, general contracting including contractors involved with home building and home improvement, there are licensing requirements at the country and municipal level.

No matter what part of the Texas construction industry you intend to join, you will need to meet all the requirements at the state and local level to work legally. Failure to get a license before starting work could expose you to fines, penalties, and permanent loss of license. 

As part of the TDLR license requirement or others, you may need a Texas contractor license bond to satisfy all the requirements. And even when you don’t require a Texas contractor license bond, you may need other types of surety bonds – bid bonds, performance bonds, payment bonds, and others – to finalize work contracts. Surety bonds play a big role in the life of a contractor, so it’s important to understand how they work alongside the TDLR license requirements. 

Why does TDLR require a license?

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation exists to protect the people of Texas from the actions of unscrupulous contractors and other professionals. License requirements mandate someone to fulfill a series of requirements designed to test their skill and seriousness before allowing them to conduct business legally. Professionals who aren’t qualified to be working on HVAC equipment, electrical systems, or water wells won’t be able to obtain a license. Likewise, anyone who isn’t capable of running a stable business, especially when it comes to providing necessary insurance coverage, won’t have access to a license either. 

What are the TDLR license requirements?

The requirements for getting a TDLR contractor license vary depending on the trade the license applies to. For instance, to get an HVAC contractor license you need either 48 months of practical experience in the field or 36 months plus a technical certification. You will also need to obtain liability insurance, pass an exam, and submit fees along with your license application form. 

The requirements are similar (though the details are different) for electrical contractors and water well drillers. Licensure depends on having a required amount of on-the-job experience, along with passing an exam, submitting the correct forms, and paying any required fees. It’s important to follow the requirements closely, but it’s also not hard to meet the requirements if you’re committed to a trade and going through a formal training or apprenticeship program. Most of these programs design the curriculum with the intention to fulfill licensure requirements.

At the time of writing, Texas contractor license bond requirements did not apply to any of the contractors licensed by the TDLR. Local governments may require surety bonds for these contractors, but the state does not. Other surety bond requirements may also apply to HVAC, electrical, or water well driller contractors, but they will be contact bonds (surety bonds required by a contract) rather than license bonds (surety bonds required by the government). 

General contractors are more likely to need a Texas contractor license bond. As noted earlier, they’re not subject to the TDLR license requirement, but they are heavily regulated at the local level – municipalities want to maintain consistent building codes and standards in their area. If you plan to work in home building or home improvement, you may need a Texas contractor license surety bond for as long as you’re in business. Pick a great bond partner from the start; Viking Bond Service has all the resources to make contractor license bonds in Texas accessible and affordable for more people in the Lone Star State. 

How to get a Contractor License Bond in Texas

The best way to apply for a Texas contractor license bond is through the right surety agency. A great agency will make the process simple and seamless, just as some less-than-stellar agencies will make it confusing and costly. Spend some time looking for a surety agency you trust to partner with – or save that time by connecting with Viking Bond Service.

When you apply, you will need to complete a surety bond application, submit to a credit check, and turn over any additional documentation the surety asks for. The cost of the bond depends on your application documents and the size of the bond. Expect to pay a small percentage of the bond total, and to pay more if you have bad credit. Viking Bond Service has a bad credit surety bond program designed to get more applicants approved. We also have abundant resources and connections that help everyone get a bond at a competitive rate. 

Viking Bond Service for Texas Contractor License Bonds

Texas contractor bond requirements shouldn’t get in the way of your business. Make the bond process fast and stress-free with the help of Viking Bond Service. Complete a bond application at any time. Or, if you have questions, contact us here or call us at 1-888-278-7389.

How Do Utility Bonds Work?

If a utility company has told you to get a surety bond before they will turn on electricity, gas, water or another utility at your home or business, you’re probably wondering: How do utility bonds work? The better you understand the answer, the easier it will be to meet the surety bond requirement and get utilities turned on ASAP. This blog post walks you through everything you need to know. 

Surety Bond Basics

Before we dive into the specifics of utility bonds, let’s cover the basics of surety bonds. Each type of surety bonds works a little differently, but the basics of every surety bond agreement are the same. 

There are three parties involved: the principal, the obligee, and the surety. The obligee has the right to file a claim with the surety for damages caused by the principal. Provided that the claim holds up under investigation, the surety guarantees the obligee immediate payment in full. After paying the obligee, the surety has the right to collect that same amount, plus interest and fees, from the principal using whatever legal recourse necessary. 

Basically, a surety bond protects one party from the misbehavior of another. The “victim” in that scenario has a way to seek damages, and the “perpetrator” is held accountable for their actions. The surety acts as an intermediary. The surety agrees to pay the obligee, but they don’t accept financial liability. That responsibility always rests on the principal – eg. the person who obtains the surety bond. 

Utility Bond Basics

In a utility bond agreement, the person seeking utilities is the principal, and the utility company is the obligee. If the principal does not pay their utility bill for an extended amount of time, the obligee has the right to seek compensation equal to the unpaid bill from the surety. The surety will compensate the obligee for the unpaid bill, but then the principal (who left the bill unpaid in the first place) must pay the surety back. 

Utility companies require surety bonds from some people to guard against the risk and financial consequences of unpaid bills. If enough bills went unpaid, it could put the utility company and the essential service it provides in jeopardy. That’s why almost all of them use surety bonds to manage this risk. You may also hear this type of surety bond referred to as a utility deposit bond

Why Do I Need a Utility Bond?

Utility companies use their own discretion when deciding who needs a surety bond and for what reason. That being said, most people need a utility bond for one of these two reasons:

  • Payment History – If someone has a history of unpaid utility bills or unpaid debts in general, it’s a red flag for utility companies. Utility bonds protect the utility company in case the payment issues continue. 
  • Consumption Expectations – If someone (usually a business) plans to consume a large amount of utilities, they will have large bills. For instance, a factory may consume tens of thousands of dollars worth of electricity each month. Utility bonds help keep a utility company financially solvent if those huge bills go unpaid. 

What Do Utility Bonds Mean for Me?

Let’s get right down to business. If you need a utility bond, your next step is to find a surety agency who will issue you a surety bond. Look for one that issues bonds for your state, creates quotes quickly, and goes above and beyond for bond seekers. You can spend time searching – or you could find everything you’re looking for through Viking Bond Service.

The next step is to apply for the utility bond. You will need to fill out a standard bond application, which asks for basic information about your background and finances. You will also need to supply a copy of the utility bond requirements, which you should have gotten from the utility company. Finally, you need to agree to a credit check.

After reviewing the application materials, the surety agency will offer you a quote for the surety bond cost. How much you pay depends on the size of the bond you need (which is up to the utility company) and how much risk you pose (which is up to the surety agency). The lower your credit score the higher your premium. That being said, bad credit doesn’t inflate premium prices significantly, and with the right surety agency partner, obtaining a bond with bad credit isn’t impossible either. 

Once you pay the premium and activate the bond, you will need to keep it active for as long as the utility company requires. That may involve renewing the bond on an annual basis. At renewal, the surety agency reevaluates your credit and quotes a new premium price – which could be lower or higher than before based on recent credit history. Failure to renew or keep a bond may lead the utility company to suspend service. 

Viking Bond Service – Your First Call for Utility Bonds

Don’t let the search for a surety agency leave you without utilities. Viking Bond Service issues utility bonds in all 50 states, and we have the experience and resources to make the bonding process fast, easy, and affordable. We can even quote you a price within 24 hours so that you can fulfill the surety bond requirement faster. 

Get started now by completing this online application. Or get more information first. Our team is here to answer all your questions at 1-888-278-7389 or by contacting us through the form on this page.