If you run a small business, this guide will give you protection from the sharks in the corporate world.
Step 1: Locate a company Talk to other business owners, check the phone book, or go online to locate a bonding company. Contact several companies to be sure you get the best bond available.
Step 2: Choose a bond type Choose the best bond type for your situation based on the work you do and the location of your business.
TIP: Some businesses are required by law to be bonded, such as cleaning and pet sitting companies, so check with your state office.
Step 3: Have a clean record Have a clean criminal record -- most bond companies will not do business with an individual who has a criminal history or a business that has been sued several times.
Step 4: Clean up finances Clean up your finances and be sure everything is up to code and looks presentable. The bonding company will investigate everything thoroughly.
Step 5: Complete paperwork Complete the required forms and application to start the bonding process.
Step 6: Determine amount Determine the amount you want to be bonded for. Most bonds are available in increments of $5,000 up to $25,000. Some companies will offer bonds up to $2 million if necessary, but this is rare. Advertise on your company's vehicles that you are bonded and insured.
FACT: A 2009 study found that 1 in 4 U.S. employees did some or all of their work out of their homes.