Starting a bail bond company can not only be a lucrative way to make a living but also serves an important function within our society giving everyone an equal opportunity to avoid prolonged detainment. While the requirements can vary by location, there is typically a universal path to fulfilling the requirements needed to become a licensed bail bondsman and officially opening for business. Here is a guide to get started.
Meet the Minimum Requirements
The many laws and regulations for becoming a bail bondsman vary state-by-state so first and foremost it is important to research what the exact specifications are for your particular area. With that said, there are typically some standard provisions that are relevant across the board. These are things like the need to become licensed and having enough assets to create bonds. Beyond this, there are some more fundamental basic qualifications:
- Must be at least 18 years of age
- Have a valid Driver’s license or ID
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Must not have a felony on record for any type of crime that is considered moral turpitude
In regards to having a previous record, not all charges are created equal. Moral turpitude reflects acts that are considered morally detrimental or ones where there is intent to harm. These include charges like murder, abuse, perjury, robbery, and fraud. While a good many charges would fall into the realm of what is considered “moral turpitude” some examples of what falls outside that definition would be accidents, like a fatal accident that was not malicious or possibly a bad judgment call where maybe the person was coerced into committing a crime rather than choosing to do so on their own free will. It is also important to note that if charges can be expunged from a record then that person would be eligible to become a bail bondsman.
One of the most important factors to becoming a bail bondsman is the ability to pass the state’s bail bond licensing board exam. Pre-classes are available and can take around 20 or so hours to complete. In these courses, they will discuss law, the rules and regulations that have to be followed to be a bail bondsman as well as how to write a bond. These classes will give you all the tools and information needed for passing the test with flying colors.
Find an Insurance Company
When opening a bail bond company, you are going to need the resources to bail people out and even if you have enough resources on your own to start with, to register for your license, you will be asked to supply the name of the insurance company that is sponsoring you. This is because it provides security that your company will be able to pay the forfeited bond in the occurrence that the defendant skips out on their bail. When looking for a company that offers surety insurance, there are a few things to keep in mind. For information about how to choose the right bail surety company, check out our blog post all about it! There are some exceptions around the country with regards to cash, property, or self-insured agents/agencies that allow you to skip the surety company, so be sure to check your local regulations.
Once you can pass the state test and have your insurance all lined up, you are eligible for registering and applying for a state license. This usually requires filling out a form on your state’s department of insurance page. It will require proof that you have passed the state’s bail bonds licensing exam, documents showing insurance sponsorship, proof of resources as well as a check for the licensing fee. Once that is completed, you just have to wait for everything to process and then congratulations, you can now call yourself a bail bondsman!
Set Yourself Up for Success
You need a marketing plan set in place to ensure you get clients. Work with a bail marketing agency to set up ads and do search engine optimization so people can find you when looking for a bail agent in their area. Bing/Yelp ads, organic search, social media marketing and ads, a great website, and a bail bond software will allow you to get clients and present yourself well as you first get started.
How EBAIL Can Help Your New Bail Bonds Business
Now that you have gone through the process and are all set to open your company, you may be looking for ways to simplify all the various tasks that come with running a bail bonds business and that is where we come in! With the EBAIL app, you can make bonds, send contracts, collect a payment, track defendants, manage business finances and so much more all in one place. We make it easy to have your business run like a well-oiled machine so that you have more time for marketing, taking calls, and closing more clients. Still exploring options for how to automate your new agency? Take a look at our comparison chart to learn how we’re unlike anything else on the market.