What Is a Florida Contractor License Bond?
Many construction contractors in Florida need to obtain a contractor license bond in order to get licensed.
The purpose of license bonds is to protect the state and the contractors’ clients from any fraudulent actions during the execution of construction jobs. For construction specialists, being bonded is also a sign of trustworthiness.
Your Florida contractor license bond functions just like other surety bonds. In practical terms, it’s a contract between three entities. Your contractor business is the principal that needs to get bonded. The state authority that is licensing you– in this case the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation– is the obligee. Finally, the surety is the entity providing the bond.
Questions about Contractor License Bonds
Who needs to obtain a Florida contractor license bond?
Contractors in the state need to get a Florida contractor license from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. During this process, they might be required to post a contractor license bond as well.
The condition for bonding for contractors is that if their FICO derived credit score is above 660, they do not need another proof of financial security such as a bond. However, if it’s lower than that, they need to post a surety bond or an irrevocable letter of credit.
The purpose of the bond is to protect the interests of contractors’ clients. It guarantees that the construction services offered by the contractors will follow the highest possible standards and that the work will be completed in full as per the contract.
How much does a Florida contractor license bond cost?
Since there are two types of Florida contractor licenses, the required surety bonds amount differ. For Division I contractors, the bond is $20,000, while Division II contractors need to post a $10,000 bond.
Additionally, if contractors undergo a special Financial Responsibility Course, they can reduce the required bond amounts to $10,000 for Division I and $5,000 for Division II.
Your bond premium is only a fraction of the surety bond amount you need to post. For standard bonding market applicants, the typical bonding rates are between 1% and 5% of the bond amount. Thus for a $10,000 bond, you can expect to pay a premium of $100 to $500.
|Bond Type||Surety Bond Amount||Above 700||Between 650-699||Between 600-649||Below 599|
|Division I contractor license bond||$20,000||$150-$200||$200-$600||$600-$1,000||$1,000-$1,500|
|Division II contractor license bond
Division I reduced contractor license bond
|Division II reduced contractor license bond||$5,000||$100||$100 - $125||$125-$250||$250-$500|
When you apply for your Florida contractor license bond, your surety provider will carefully assess your bond application. It will consider your personal credit score, as well as at your personal and business finances, assets and liquidity and professional experience. Your bond price will be lower if your overall finances are in good shape.
For a complete overview of how your Florida contractor license bond price is determined, our surety bond cost page is an excellent resource.
Can I get a Florida contractor license bond with bad credit?
Financial problems can be difficult to tackle for construction contractors. That’s why we at Lance Surety Bonds operate our Bad Credit Surety Bonds program. It’s here to help contractors with low credit scores, tax liens, bankruptcies, or civil judgements.
The typical bad credit bonding premiums vary between 5% and 10%. The bond cost is slightly higher, but with us you’re guaranteed a top bonding rate whatever your credit score is. We have close connections with a number of A-rated, T-listed surety companies, so we are able to select the best bonding option for your situation.
How do I get my Florida contractor license bond?
You can apply online today for your free Florida contractor license bond quote! Once you’ve completed the application form and attached all paperwork, we will deliver your exact bond price in no time.
You can always consult our extensive How to Get Bonded page for all the facts about bonding.
For any questions, just call us at (877) 514-5146 and our bonding experts will happily help you out.
How are bond claims handled for contractors?
Unlike insurance, contractor license bonds are a safety net for your clients, not for you. They guarantee that you will abide by all state regulations when executing your work.
If you transgress from applicable rules, a harmed party can file a claim against your bond. On proven cases, the surety will reimburse the claimant up to the penal sum of the bond. Afterwards, you will be liable to repay it in full.
As this illustrates, proven claims are a serious financial threat for your contractor business. The best course of action is to avoid them as much as possible, and in case of a claim, to seek an agreement as early as possible.