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small business general liability insurance
Getting Bonded and Insured to Protect Your Business
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By: Arlette Measures
Does My Business Need a Surety Bond?

If your business is a contractor on any Federal construction project valued at $100,000 or more, you will be required to have a surety bond. Most state and municipal governments, as well as many private entities, have similar requirements. Having a surety bond can be vital to your business. Whether you are a service provider or a supplier, you may encounter prospective clients who refuse to work with your business unless it is bonded and insured.

How Do I Obtain a Surety Bond?
You can acquire a surety bond through an independent agent or a surety company. As a small business owner, you can work with the Office of Surety Guarantees to guarantee your surety bond. The SBA recommends the following steps when purchasing a surety bond:


Find an agent or surety company. You can work directly with a surety company or with an approved agent. An agent has power of attorney to issue
bonds on behalf of a surety.

Submit required forms. If you are acquiring a bond through the SBA, you will need to complete a couple of forms about your personal and business
financial status, bank information, and business plan, among others. You can file electronically or by paper application.


Wait for SBA processing. After you submit your forms, the SBA will conduct a process to decide whether to approve your application. Generally, it takes only three to five days for an SBA Area Office to process a properly completed application for an SBA guarantee. Your ability to fulfill the contract and your performance capacity are important criteria for winning approval.

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