What Is a California Seller of Travel Bond?
If you want to run a travel agency in California that provides travel bookings, you need to provide a safety instrument in the form of a trust account or a seller of travel surety bond. This is one of the main prerequisites to obtaining your California seller of travel license.
Seller of travel surety bonds are a security mechanism that protects your customers against any potential fraudulent activities on your side. As for your agency, the bond shows that you operate a trustworthy business.
Your bond is a three-party contract, similarly to all other surety bonds. The principal that has to get bonded is your travel company. The obligee is the California Department of Justice that requires the bond. The surety is the third entity, which provides you with a bond and backs your agency.
Questions about Seller Travel Bonds in California
Who needs to obtain it?
You need a California seller of travel bond if you want to sell travel bookings in the state. The licensing authority is the Department of Justice. After you have registered, you need to display your registration number on all your advertising materials.
To get licensed, you have to provide the official bond form with your signature. The bond is continuous. It guarantees your compliance with the Business and Professions Code of California, Division 7, Part 3, Chapter 1, Art. 2.6.
How much does the bond cost?
The bond amount that you will have to provide is set by the Department of Justice.
Your bond premium is a small part of this amount. If your finances are in good shape, you can expect to pay about 1%-3% of the bond amount. Thus, for a $20,000 bond, your surety bond cost may be between $200 and $600.
The most important factors that affect your bond price are your personal credit score, as well as your business finances, and any assets and liquidity. When you apply with a surety, it will examine them to assess the level of risk involved in the bonding. Your bond premium will be lower if your finances are stable.
Can I get bonded with bad credit?
Yes, with Lance Surety Bonds you can get bonded even if your finances are problematic. Our Bad Credit Surety Bonds program is designed for applicants with low credit scores, tax liens, bankruptcies, and civil judgements.
The bonding rates are typically between 5% and 10% to compensate for the increased bonding risk. You can still get a great bonding rate with us, though. We foster close relations with a number of A-rated, T-listed surety companies, so we can shop around for you.
How do I get my California seller of travel bond?
Do you need more details about the way bonding works? Make sure to check out our How to Get Bonded page, or call us at (877) 514-5146 to get help from our bonding specialists.
How are bond claims handled for travel agencies?
Your California seller of travel surety bond serves as an extra layer of protection for your customers. It is not insurance for your business. If you transgress from your obligations set in the state’s Business and Professions Code, you may get a claim against your bond. More specifically, a claim can be made if you knowingly work with an unregistered travel agency, if you provide false advertising, or if you misguide your customers in full knowledge.
If the bond claim is proven, you have to compensate the harmed party. The maximum reimbursement that can be demanded is up to the penal sum of your bond. You are liable to cover this amount, even if the surety steps up initially to pay the claimant.