How to Start a Bail Bond Business
Are you interested in starting a bail bonds company? What will be required of you in order to achieve this?
Becoming the owner of a bail bonding business entails an understanding and knowledge of the criminal court system and criminal processing procedures. A bail bond company provides imprisoned suspects with the collateral or bail amount they need in order to be freed until their scheduled trial in court. If the defendant skips bail, the bail amount you put up will be forfeited to the court, unless you find and recapture the defendant. As a bail agent, you earn an income by charging a percentage of the total bail amount.
- Determine your state’s licensing requirements by contacting the state’s insurance regulation and licensing department. While the requirements may vary by state, these generally include the completion of a pre-licensing course. Contact your state department of insurance to get a list of approved bail bond courses in your area of residence.
- Apply for a license to operate. You will need to get in touch with your city or county government’s business licensing department and confirm whether your bail bond company will require a business or occupational license. If the application forms can’t be found online, you can request for these, completely fill them out and submit them to the appropriate governing body.
- Gain knowledge and an understanding of the bail and bond laws in your state. Every state has a different set of bail laws that have authority over the bail bond agencies operating in their jurisdiction. Keep up-to-date so that you will always have first-hand knowledge of these laws even in the event that the state imposes changes.
- Initiate a working relationship with the various law enforcement agencies in your state, as well as with the courts. You can glean valuable bail bonding information, such as how bonds are received and processed, by forming a relationship with the court’s bail bonding department. In addition, the court may provide criminal defendants with a list of active and reputable bail bonds companies in your area so you need to check with your local court system to see if you can add your business to that list.
- While you may have sufficient money of your own to fund your business, you may need to obtain a contract with a surety company which will provide financial support and backing. This will certify that you have funds available if the defendant doesn’t show up for his court proceedings.
- Advertise your bail bonds company through print media, such as in the local yellow pages, newspapers and billboards. You might consider the benefits of creating a website for your business.
Remember that some states require bail bondsmen to renew their business and occupational licenses periodically. This usually entails the completion of continuing education courses. In case you fail to renew your license, you may face penalties and incur fees.