How to Get a Travel Agency License in 2023
Are you thinking about launching a travel agency? In many states, you need to obtain a travel agency license before you can start your operations. Among them are California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington.
By requiring a licensing procedure, state authorities ensure that applicants meet the most important criteria for running a travel business. This guarantees the industry is in good shape, offering high-quality services to the general public.
In the sections below, you can find out the most common steps for becoming a licensed travel agent in the U.S.
You can also consult our infographic on how to start a travel agency.
Get to Know Your State’s Travel Agent License Requirements
How to get a travel agency license in the USA? First of all, you have to check the precise criteria that your state has imposed regarding the activities of sellers of travel.
You can find out the details by consulting the website of your state’s regulatory body which is in charge of monitoring travel agents.
The requirements for some specific states can be found below
Meet the Licensing Criteria
The requirements that you have to fulfill to apply for a travel agency license vary between the different states. However, there are some that are similar, and they are outlined below.
All applicants have to register a business entity in the state in which they wish to operate. In addition, you may need a trade name registration if you want to work under an assumed name. You are likely to also need a sales tax license from your state’s financial authority.
In case you will be hiring employees, you need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.
Typically, in the application forms you have to fill in information about the contact persons – owners, partners and officers, as well as the history of the business. In case any of the key people have a criminal history, you will usually have to disclose it.
In some states, you are required to have a physical location for conducting your activities as a travel agent. You may also be allowed to operate from home in certain places.
You may also have to meet specific criteria regarding the vacation certificates that you issue, as well as other operational documents.
Post a Seller of Travel Bond
In many states, you have to obtain a surety bond as a part of the licensing process. It functions as a safety net that protects your customers. The bond guarantees that you will follow the law in your operations as a travel agent.
The exact amount of seller of travel bonds that you have to post varies between states, often ranging between $20,000 and $50,000.
You have to pay a small fraction of the required amount, which is called your premium. It is formulated on the basis of factors like your personal credit score and business finances.
In case your overall finances are strong, you can expect rates between 0.75% and 5%.
Want to see the exact price of your travel agency bond? Fill in the short form below!
Complete Your State’s Travel Agency License Application
How can I get a travel agency license? Naturally, you have to apply for it with the relevant state authorities.
When you have compiled all the necessary paperwork, you need to fill in your state’s application form for a travel agency license.
Have more questions about getting a travel agency license and bonding? You can reach us at 877.514.5146.
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