It is hard to know at a glance which bond providers are reputable or not. Finding out how to find a legit surety bind service is not as difficult as you may think.
To start with, you should talk to other contractors. To start your own contracting company you must have had a few years of experience in the field that you work in, and so must have working relationships with other contractors or tradespeople. If other contractors that you know have found issues with bond providers in the past, they will be more than happy to share this information with you.
Most bond providers are licensed through a larger insurance company. If you ask the broker if they are independent or licensed by a big firm, they will gladly share this information. You may wish to check with the company that has given the broker license to issue bonds to see if they have a good performance record and experience in dealing with your bond type before. If the large corporation are not comfortable with the broker assisting you, they should be able to direct you to a broker from their company with more experience in your field.
There is also an organisation known as the Surety and Fidelity Association of America, or the SFAA. The SFAA provide resources about how to obtain bonds, legal requirements, and many other resources for bond providers and the general public alike. If you are unsure of any of the terms of your bond, you may wish to contact one of the bond providers that are listed on their web site to verify that all the information in your bond is accurate and that your provider holds all the correct licenses and permits to be able to sell you the policy.
Getting a bond from a reputable company should not be a complete assurance to your employer or client that nothing at all will go wrong. You cannot see into the future of your business, and changes in circumstances may mean that you are not able to complete your contract, or an employee may decide to act in an unethical manner or to break a law. The bond policy does not guarantee an employer completion, but rather financial stability should anything happen to prevent the contract being fulfilled.
While most companies that issue bonds are above board and honest, there are other issuers that will try to take advantage of those new to being bonded to be able to work. When you find yourself in any position like this, whether it be getting bonded, buying insurance or any other detail that is new to you, you should always check with an expert before committing yourself to any kind of agreement that is important to the smooth operation of your business. There are many different organisations available to help you with any questions you may have about documentation or policy providers that you require to run your business.