Many service-related occupations require employees to become bonded, and business owners with only a few employees are also often bonded. The process of getting bonded involves background checks as part of a larger approval process. A bond is essentially insurance coverage, and getting bonded is a very important part of doing business for many service professionals.
The first step in getting bonded is to locate a bonding company in a local directory or other source, and communicate to them why it is that you need a bond. You will need to give them certain personal information, as well as that of your spouse, in most cases. The bonding company will give you, the applicant, an application form, stating what a bond does and does not cover, and all other relevant terms. If there is anything in the terms that is difficult to understand, consider consulting an attorney in order to be fully aware of the extent of your bond coverage.
Once such an application is completed, a very thorough background check will be performed by the bonding company. These background checks typically include a search for any criminal records, as well as the checking of personal and business references to establish the trustworthiness of the applicant. If the bonding company is satisfied with what they are able to find, they then offer to bond the applicant, meaning essentially that the applicant was approved for coverage.
Getting bonded is an important process for small business owners. What it means is that if, for example, a small business employee commits a dishonest act such as stealing from a client, the business itself is not liable to pay for damages. Instead, if the offender is caught and convicted, the bond holder pays for the loss. There are various specific types of bonds available, depending on the individual needs of the business. However, all of them constitute a financial guarantee that the client will not have to suffer the loss if a business does not carry out the work it promised to do under contract.
Even if a business is operated by just one person with no employees, that person may want to look into getting bonded. The purpose of this may not be so much to insure against theft or other dishonesty, but rather to reassure potential clients that, even if such were to occur, they would be covered. An upstanding business owner knows he will treat a client fairly, but one who goes the extra mile of getting bonded will have that extra guarantee to offer to customers.