How to Become a Freight Broker in 6 Steps

The freight industry is the backbone of America’s economy. Without the ability to ship goods from one point to another – safely, quickly, and consistently – everything else would fall apart. Freight brokers (also known as truck brokers) connect people who want to ship goods with people who transport goods. They’re an essential intermediary.

Their services are also in high demand: The American Trucking Association estimates that freight volumes will grow by 36% by the early 2030s. Successful freight brokers can expect rising demand for their services and generous compensation as well, making this an attractive employment option. If you’re considering getting a freight broker license and bond, follow the steps outlined below to kickstart your career.

Step 1: Understand the Freight Broker Bond

Before embarking on a career as a truck broker, you must know what’s involved. Do extensive research into the daily responsibilities, speak to a working (or retired) professional if possible, and consider the long-term prospects.

You should also familiarize yourself with some of the requirements you will encounter in later steps. Specifically, you need to understand how broker bonds and freight broker licenses work before applying for one and committing to a surety bond agreement.

Here’s the basic rundown of how freight broker bonds work:

  • Unlike insurance, which protects a policyholder, this and all other types of surety bonds hold one party accountable for damages caused to another party. 
  • If a freight broker fails to follow applicable rules and regulations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) may file a claim against the bond seeking damages equivalent to the harm caused by the carrier. 
  • The surety agency that backs the freight broker bond guarantees a settlement payment for all valid claims, after which they will collect that same amount from the freight broker who has the financial liability under a bond agreement. 
  • The bonds create a powerful disincentive to break the law, which is why the FMCSA requires a freight broker to have one before granting them a license to operate legally.

Step 2: Set Up Your Business Structure 

Every business owner, freight broker or otherwise, needs to decide how they will structure their business at the outset. Different structures have different pros and cons. It can be very helpful to consult with a lawyer or accountant at this phase to ensure the structure aligns with the long-term business goals.

The three most common business structures are:

  • A sole proprietorship.
  • A partnership.
  • A corporation.

Eager as you might be to get down to business, don’t rush through this step. Take the time and use whatever resources are necessary to structure the business advantageously. 

Step 3: File an OP-1 Form

Before proceeding with the freight broker license application process, you will need to submit an OP-1 form. This is an application form for a motor carrier number that is submitted to the FMCSA. This number is required and will distinguish you from other carriers.

You can submit the form online and receive the number immediately or mail in the form and wait (usually 4-6 weeks) to get a number. The form requires basic information about your business and background, along with an application fee ($300 at the time of writing). 

Step 4: Obtain a Freight Broker Bond

A freight broker bond must be issued by a qualified surety in the amount required by the FMCSA. Currently, freight brokers need a $75,000 surety bond, meaning the surety that backs the bond agrees to settle claims up to but not exceeding that amount. 

There are many surety agencies able to write these bonds, but the cost and service quality can vary widely, so it’s important to find a quality agency upfront – one like Viking Bond Service.

You will need to apply for the surety bond by:

  • Submitting a completed application.
  • Agreeing to a credit check.
  • Supplying any other documentation the surety requests.

After reviewing your documents and estimating your risk (e.g. how likely you are to cause claims), the surety will quote you the cost of the surety bond. Expect it to be a small percentage of the bond total – less or more depending on your credit.

Bad credit – a low credit score or a spotty financial history – makes it harder to get a bond. Fortunately, Viking Bond Service created a unique bad credit surety bond program designed to help more people get the surety bonds they need at a fair price. 

Step 5: Pick a Process Agent

A process agent is someone who receives court documents on behalf of the freight broker. Under law, freight brokers must have a process agent in every state where they have an office or write contracts.

Some freight brokers have different agents in each state, while others rely on service providers that can supply nationwide coverage. Either way, you must pick the agent(s) and designate who they are on Form BOC-3 before submitting it to the FMCSA. 

Step 6: Register the Business and Obtain Your Freight Broker License

For the final step, every freight broker must register with the Unified Carrier Registration: A national database of registration and financial liability information. The FMCSA will not issue a freight broker license until a broker can demonstrate registration. Once registered, you may finally achieve your goal of becoming a freight broker.

Viking Bond Service – Serving Freight Brokers Everywhere

Now that you know how to get a freight broker license and freight broker bond, you also understand that they can be harder to obtain than other types of surety bonds. It can be confusing to make sense of everything the agreement entails. That’s why freight brokers across the country choose Viking Bond Service as their long-term bonding partner.

We make things easy from beginning to end and offer competitive rates to all applicants. To get the process started, complete our online application at your convenience. You can also get more information from our team before applying. Call us at 1-888-278-7389 or contact us in writing. 

How to Get a Bonded Title in Texas: 6 Simple Steps

If you intend to sell a vehicle in the state of Texas without a title, you need to obtain what’s known as a title bond or lost title bond. Without one, the sale can’t proceed until you provide proof of having one of these surety bonds.

Therefore, it’s important to understand how the Texas bonded title process works and what it means for you. The experts at Viking Bond Service are here to make the process easy. Simply follow the six steps below detailing how to get a bonded title in Texas. 

Step 1: Understand the Title Bond

Before entering into a title bond agreement, you should understand exactly how these agreements work. There are three parties involved: the principal (the title applicant), the obligee (the DMV), and the surety (the bonding agency).

A bonded title in Texas allows the DMV to confirm who is the valid owner of a vehicle. If you get a bonded title before selling the vehicle and later the original title reappears with another owner, it could call into question whether you were the rightful owner and seller of the vehicle. 

In that case, the obligee may file a claim against the bond seeking damages equal to the value of the vehicle. Provided that the claim holds up under an investigation into who actually owns the vehicle, the surety will pay out damages to the obligee immediately. 

Afterward, the bond titleholder must repay the settlement costs (plus interest and fees) to the surety agency. The bondholder always has the financial obligation for claims. Texas and all other states require title bonds to discourage people from seeking fraudulent titles by holding them accountable for any and all damages that result from their illegal actions. 

Step 2: Contact the DMV

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) regulates and oversees all vehicle sales in the Lonestar State. If your vehicle does not have a title and you plan to sell or transfer ownership to someone else, you will need to ask the DMV to issue a new title first.

If the DMV determines that you are the rightful owner of the vehicle and issues a replacement title, you will not need to obtain a bonded title in Texas. However, if the DMV cannot definitively establish ownership, you may be required to get a bonded title. If that’s the case, you will need to show proof of having the bond before the DMV issues the title.

Step 3: Complete the Documents

The next step to get a bonded title in Texas is to submit the documents for your application. That process involves gathering paperwork, paying a $15 filing fee, and providing proof of vehicle ownership.

Paperwork includes:

  • A copy of a photo ID.
  • A document known as a Statement of Fact for Bonded Title.
  • Proof that you are the rightful owner of the vehicle. 

Proof of rightful ownership can include:

  • A bill of sale for the vehicle.
  • An invoice for the vehicle cost.
  • A copy of a check used to purchase the vehicle. 

Lastly, if the vehicle was registered in another state, you will need to also take it to a registered Texas Vehicle Inspection Station for them to confirm the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). 

Step 4: Receive Approval

The Texas DMV will review the application documents from the previous step. How long this takes can vary. The DMV also has the right to deny your application for a bonded title. FOr example, vehicles with liens on them often get rejected for bonded titles because of the high likelihood that ownership disputes will result in bond claims. 

Step 5: Procure a Title Bond in Texas

Once approved by the Texas DMV for a bonded title, the next step is to acquire the required bond.

To procure a title bond, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Find a surety agency that issues title bonds in Texas.
  • Apply for the bond. (In most cases, the application process involves a credit check and a standard bond application. )
  • Wait for underwriters at the surety agency to evaluate the application materials and quote a bond price. 
  • Pay for the title bond.

When it comes to how much a Texas title bond costs, the DMV will determine how large the bond must be in terms of dollars. This amount represents the maximum total the surety agrees to pay in settlements and typically reflects the value of the vehicle. 

To answer the question how much is a bonded title in Texas, the cost is a small percentage of the bond’s total value. Exact amounts depend on the applicant’s credit, financial record, and bonding history (where applicable).

If you have bad credit, you can expect to pay more. However, with the right surety agency, you won’t necessarily be denied a bond. To keep the application process quick, easy, affordable, and accessible to all, work with a leading surety agency like Viking Bond Service

Step 6: Apply for a Bonded Title

Once you have paid for the Texas title bond, you will receive a document proving you’ve met the DMV’s bond requirement. You will need to supply that document along with several others to the county tax office, which handles title-related issues. By this step in the process, you likely have most of the necessary documents on hand.

Applications for bonded titles must be received within 30 days of you obtaining the title bond. Once the DMV issues a bonded title, it remains in effect for three years, after which the DMV issues a traditional title for the same vehicle. 

And with that, you now know how to get a bonded title in Texas. 

Viking Bond Service – Serving All of Texas

The steps to get a bonded title in Texas can seem like a hassle, especially if you’re eager to get rid of a vehicle. Count on Viking Bond Service to make things simple and seamless. You can complete our online application at any time and expect to receive a bond quote in as little as 24 hours. You can also contact us or call 1-888-278-7389 to have all your questions answered.

When Should a General Contractor Require Subcontractor Surety Bonds?

Subcontractors are a critical tool for general contractors. When a general contractor doesn’t have the time, people, or skills to complete a component of a project, they hire a subcontractor to do it for them. Enlisting subcontractors makes it easier to complete projects on time, on budget, and up to quality standards. 

However, there’s also a risk in relying on someone else to do the job, which is why subcontractor surety bonds are used to guard against that risk. So when should general contractors require subcontractor bonds? That’s what we’ll cover in this blog.

What is a Subcontractor Surety Bond?

General contractors need to obtain a number of different types of surety bonds before finalizing most construction contracts. Those bonds hold the general contractor financially liable if he doesn’t meet the standards for speed, cost, quality, or conduct. Subcontractor bonds (also called subcontractor performance bonds) work much the same way. If a subcontractor fails to perform as expected, the subcontractor surety bond holds them financially liable for damages caused to the general contractor. 

Why are Subcontractor Surety Bonds Required? 

General contractors use these surety bonds as protection against risk. Specifically, the risk that a subcontractor causes financial damages by, for example, going over budget or missing deadlines. Surety bond agreements hold the bonded principal (in this case the subcontractor) financially liable, which creates a strong incentive to meet the performance standards required by the general contractor.

And since the surety agency that backs the bond guarantees payment for valid claims against the bond, the general contractor knows he has a way to seek and receive compensation for damages. Surety bonds create trust between two parties – a general contractor and subcontractor – by making one accountable to the other. 

When are Subcontractor Surety Bonds Required?

The general contractor decides when they’re required, how large they must be, and what performance standards they hold a subcontractor accountable for. However, subcontractor surety bonds aren’t always necessary. Some general contractors waive the bond requirement on small, quick, or minor jobs. When they are required, it’s important to seek out a subcontractor surety bond ASAP. Work can’t move forward without one. Partner with Viking Bond Service to fulfill surety bond requirements fast and hassle-free. 

What’s the Difference Between a Performance and Payment Bond

A subcontractor performance bond isn’t the same as a subcontractor payment bond, which is another common kind of construction bond. The differences between the two are as follows:

  • Performance bonds hold the principal (the bonded subcontractor) liable for damages caused to the obligee (the general contractor) by performance issues. 
  • A payment bond holds the subcontractor liable for payments they owe to their own subcontractors and suppliers. Many subcontractors need both bonds. 

When Should General Contractors Require a Subcontract Surety Bond?

Subcontractor bond requirements guard against a common kind of risk. But they also make it harder to hire a subcontractor. Here are some instances when it’s smart to make subcontractors get surety bonds:

  • When state and local laws require bonds.
  • When working on a public project for a federal, state, or local government.
  • When a subcontractor plays a critical role in completing a project.
  • When a subcontractor offers specialized expertise that isn’t replaceable.
  • When a subcontractor poses a large liability.
  • When a subcontractor is new or unknown.
  • When a general contractor wants to expand and manage risk along the way.

How to Obtain a Subcontractor Surety Bond?

Anyone required to get a surety bond will need to:

  • Find a surety agency.
  • Complete a bond application.
  • Agree to a credit check.
  • Supply the bond requirements.
  • Provide additional info (as necessary).

Underwriters will quote the bond cost based on the size of the bond and the applicant’s credit. It will be a small percentage of the bond total – more or less depending on the risk posed by the subcontractor. For those with credit concerns, Viking Bond Service has created a special program to help more people acquire bonds even with a low credit score or spotty financial history. 

Viking Bond Service Complete Source for Subcontractor Surety Bonds

For subcontractors, getting surety bonds is just part of doing as because most construction jobs include bond requirements. And that means they need a surety bond partner to rely on to make bonding easy, budget-friendly, and fast – the first time and every time after.

That’s why subcontractors choose Viking Bond Service. We offer the bonds that subcontractors need (most types and sizes) and deliver the service everyone hopes for. Don’t let bond requirements be a bigger burden than they need to. Work with Viking Bond Service instead!
Contact us or call 1-888-278-7389 for more information or request a bond quote online to receive a price within 24 hours.

Surety Bonds, Are They Worth It?

For the businesses, professionals, and average individuals who are required to get surety bonds, it can feel like an unwanted expense and an extra hoop to jump through. That’s understandable. But surety bonds are also an important regulatory tool that are good for all. In fact, there are even benefits for the people who must pay for bonds and pay for claims. So yes, surety bonds are worth it. In this blog, we’ll explain why.

What is the Purpose of a Surety Bond?


A surety bond has two purposes. 

  1. To hold someone accountable for misconduct that causes damage to another person resulting in financial losses. 
  2. To ensure the party hurt by misconduct can seek and receive justice in the form of financial compensation. 

Why Do I Need a Surety Bond?

The short answer is that you need a surety bond because it’s required by law, by a court, or by a contract. Surety bond requirements are a common feature or many official agreements because they incentivize upstanding behavior. They do that by holding the principal – the party required to get a surety bond – financially liable for misconduct. 

Some people need to obtain a surety bond before getting a professional or business license. For example, most construction contractors will need to get multiple surety bonds before finalizing project contracts.Others may even need surety bonds to get utilities turned on. 

In all cases, the main reason people need surety bonds is to minimize and mitigate the risk that the principal will fail to meet their contractual obligations or pay any obligated debt in the event of that failure.

When is a Surety Bond Required?

There are many instances (see previous paragraph) where surety bonds are required. In all instances, someone must prove they have the required bond before a process – i.e. granting a license, finalizing a contract, proceeding with a civil trial – can move forward. In all of these instances, it’s important to meet the surety bond requirements as quickly as possible to avoid unnecessary delays. 

Fidelity bonds are the one example of bonds that are not required but are voluntary instead. Businesses get these bonds as they see fit. There are different types of fidelity bonds, but most protect a business and its customers/clients from losses caused by employee misconduct. 

What Do Surety Bonds Cover?

One reason people may think that surety bonds are not worth it is because, unlike insurance, surety bonds don’t protect the bonded party, the principal. They protect the obligee who sets the bond requirements and files claims for damages when those requirements aren’t met. More plainly, surety bonds cover someone besides the person that pays for them. Nonetheless, they’re worth it for reasons we will explore below. 

What Does a Surety Bond Cost?

Bond costs are personalized to the applicant. They are based on four factors:

  • The type of bond 
  • The state where the bond will be issued
  • The size of the bond
  • The applicant’s credit standing. 

In most cases, bonds cost a small percentage of the total size. People with challenged credit will pay more, but thanks to a special program from Viking Bond Service they won’t be automatically denied. If you decide that surety bonds are worth it, you can depend on Viking Bond Service to meet all your bonding needs. 

Benefits and Drawbacks of Surety Bonds

As with anything, there are pros and cons to surety bonds:

Pros

  • Meet surety bond requirements helps advance important processes
  • Help keep unscrupulous operators out of sensitive industries
  • Build trust with customers and the public at large

Cons

  • Bonded parties must pay for bonds and any valid claims
  • Lapse in bond coverage can invalidate a license or contract
  • Required bonds renewals can add ongoing costs and hassle

Conclusion: Are Surety Bonds Worth It?

When you do a simple cost-benefit comparison, it’s clear why surety bonds are worth it. By getting a required bond, someone becomes eligible to start a business, begin a career, formalize an important agreement, or secure the trust of another party. All of these things have important and lasting benefits and positive implications.

In addition, costs are relatively small and manageable, especially when working with a quality surety agency like Viking Bond Service. And as long as a bonded party avoids anything that could result in claims, surety bonds aren’t much of a burden at all.

Viking Bond Service Your Surety Bond Partner

At Viking Bond Service, we take the confusion, stress, and general burden of obtaining a surety bond off of your shoulders. We are a nationwide surety agency offering service in all 50 states. We connect bond seekers with hundreds of different bond types, including all the most common varieties. And with our experienced team on your side, you have all the information and assistance you could ever need.

Discover why so many others rely on us for all their bonding needs. Request a quote for a bond to begin exploring costs. Or get more information about anything bond related – contact us or call 1-888-278-7389. 

Qualifying for a Surety Bond

Surety bond requirements are more common than you think. Many businesses and professionals have to obtain surety bonds to operate legally, and many individuals need them to establish trust and ensure accountability.

Here’s a quick review of how surety bonds work: A principal must obtain a surety bond and follow the terms required by the obligee. If those terms aren’t met, the obligee may file a claim for damages against the bond. The surety agency that backs the bond will settle valid claims immediately, then collect the settlement amount from the principal – who has financial liability for all claims. All surety bonds work to hold one party accountable for misconduct that affects another party.

Whenever surety bond requirements exist (also known as financial bond requirements), it’s important to obtain the necessary bond ASAP. Any delay will only keep an important process from proceeding. Fortunately, qualifying for a surety bond doesn’t take much time or effort in most cases – especially when you work with a surety agency like Viking Bond Service that simplifies and streamlines the process for you. Below we have outlined this process along with some insider advice to help you qualify for whatever surety bond you need.

How to Qualify for a Surety Bond

There are dozens of different kinds of surety bonds, each with different rules and requirements depending on the state where the bond seeker lives or works. Surety bond requirements will vary. However, the process to qualify for a bond works largely the same across the board:

  • Explore the Surety Bond Requirements Before you can qualify for a surety bond, you need to know precisely what type of surety bond you need, e.g. what type of bond and in what amount. You also need to understand the bond requirements to avoid violating them later and causing expensive claims. Viking Bond Service can help you make sense of any surety bond requirements.
  • Find a Surety Agency The choice of a surety agency matters. They’re not all created equal. Service, selection, and costs can be exceptional at one agency and atrocious at another, and it’s important to pick the right agency the first time. Be sure to vet any option carefully before requesting a quote. Consider how long they’ve been in business, what they can offer, and how accommodating they are. To speed up the selection process, connect with a leading surety agency from the get-go: contact Viking Bond Service.
  • Complete a Bond Application Most bonds require a complete application that asks for information about your background, finances, and business interests. Completing an application may only take a few minutes with much of the information required being easy to recall or track down. Leading surety agencies like Viking Bond Service allow applicants to handle the entire process online at any time. 
  • Submit to a Credit Check – Bond prices reflect the bond seeker’s credit standing. People with a low credit score or financial blemish (like a bankruptcy) will pay higher rates, just as people with stellar credit will pay lower rates. Smaller bonds may not require a credit check, but most do. Typically, the credit check is what’s known as a “soft hit,” meaning it has a minimal and temporary impact on credit scores. 
  • Provide Surety Bond Requirements Before the surety agency can determine if you qualify for a surety bond, it needs to explore the details of the bond. Many applicants will need to supply a copy of the surety bond requirements written by the obligee. 
  • Meet Additional Requirements In general, the larger the surety bond, the more documentation the surety will ask for during the application process – but anyone may be asked to supply additional information. That could include a financial statement to prove assets, a list of past clients to evaluate business history, a certificate of insurance, and others. 

How to Obtain a Surety Bond

If you qualify for a surety bond, the surety agency will quote you a price for the bond premium. Factors that affect the cost of the bond include:

  • The type of bond
  • The size of the bond
  • The applicant’s credit standing

In most cases, bonds cost a small percentage of the total size, more or less depending on credit. There are exceptions, however, such as surety bonds that require collateral or a larger premium. Paying the premium activates the bond, at which point the surety will supply documentation proving you’ve met the surety bond requirements. Be aware that some bonds also require renewal, usually annually. 

What to Do If You Do Not Qualify?

If you have been told by another bond supplier that you do not qualify, don’t panic. You may be able to qualify elsewhere. Viking Bond Service specializes in working with people who have credit issues that make it harder to qualify for a bond. 

We created a bad credit surety bond program to help these bond seekers in particular, and it has helped countless people meet surety bond requirements – even people who have been denied elsewhere. We do not guarantee approval to anyone. What we do guarantee is to evaluate everyone fairly and use our vast resources to explore every bonding option available. 

Qualify for a Bond With Viking Bond Service

We make it fast, easy, and simple to see if you qualify for a bond. At Viking Bond Service, we go above and beyond to take the hassle out of bonding. Businesses, professionals, and people in all 50 states make us their faithful bond partner. If you’re facing surety bond requirements, we can most likely meet them. Do you qualify? Find out by submitting an online application at your convenience. If you have additional questions, our team has the answers. Contact us online or call 1-888-278-7389. 

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.