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Performance Bonds

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What is a Performance Bond?

A Performance bond, also known as a contract bond, is a type of surety bond which guarantees that a job will be completed in accordance with the conditions set forth in the contract for that job.

Performance bonds are usually obtained by construction contractors to guarantee that if a job is not completed or the contractor defaults, the owner of the project will be compensated. Because they are mostly used in the construction industry, these bonds could also be referred to as construction bonds.

Such bonds are required on all federal projects above $100,000 and on many state projects. Some private projects also require contractors to obtain contract bonds.

There are a number of different performance bonds. The most common are bid and payment bonds. Additional types include maintenance bonds, subdivision and supply bonds. Different bonds are required for the different stages that a construction project goes through.

For example, bid bonds are needed at the initial stage when contractors participate in a bid. Bid bonds guarantee that contractors will commence work on the project if they are awarded a bid, and that they will enter at the bid amount. They usually also guarantee that the contractor will post a performance bond when they are awarded the contract.

  • Required for work on public projects
  • Protect taxpayers and project owners
  • Bond agreement violations can lead to claims
  • May be required by private project owners

Questions About Performance Bonds

Do I need a license to get a performance bond?

Yes, in order to obtain a performance bond, you need to be licensed as a contractor in the state that you are working in. In order to get licensed, you will also need to obtain a contractor license bond which you will need to renew along with your license every time it runs out.

What is a bonded contractor?

A bonded contractor is a contractor who is licensed and bonded as a contractor in the state that they are operating in, and who has obtained the relevant contractor bond or bonds for the project they are currently working on.

How can I become a bonded contractor?

Once you know what type of contract bond you need and you’ve fulfilled all contractor bonding requirements, you can go ahead and apply online. We will then contact you with a free quote on your bond.

How much does a contractor surety bond cost?

Contractor bond cost depends on the type of bond you need to obtain. Some bonds, like bid bonds, cost much less than most other bonds. The cost of your contractor bond will also depend on the amount that you need to get bonded for.

When determining your contractor surety bond rate your personal credit score will mostly be taken into account, especially for smaller bond amounts. Higher bond amounts usually require greater care and scrutiny on the side of the surety due to the higher risk involved.

You may therefore need to provide further financial documentation before your bond is underwritten. This includes personal and business financials, your cash on hand and even your industry experience.

In general, it costs about 3% of the contract price for small bonds, and then can decline to 1% or less for large bonds.

Can I apply for a performance bond with bad credit?

If you have slight credit issues, you may still qualify for a bond. If your personal and business financial records are well-kept and you have good industry experience, you may still be able to obtain a performance bond with less than perfect credit. 

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