When starting a bail bond company you will need to conduct thorough research on the applicable laws. In many parts of the world outside the US there isn’t demand for this business since the bail amounts are more affordable.
Starting a bail bond company can be a good business for someone retiring from a criminal justice profession. It is one way of using your background in criminal justice to set up and run a private business. You will be acting as an appointed representative of a licensed surety insurance company. The bail bond business can be lucrative, but it is a challenging business to start. The Professional Bail Agents organization was reported in a 2006 Toledo Blade story to claim that some bond companies can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, but most make 25 to 50 thousand dollars per year. When starting a bail bond company be prepared to do business anytime of the day on any day.
A person may want to be bailed out of jail to prevent having to serve jail time before he or she is proven to be guilty. The amount of money needed to bail someone out of jail will vary depending on the crime committed. Not everyone can afford bail since it can be in the thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands to millions so that’s where a bail bondsman comes in. The bail bondsman will put up a bail bond in return for a percentage (usually ranging from10%-15%) of the total bail. The person then is released temporarily while awaiting their court date. A bail bondsman guarantees an accused person will show up to court for arraignment, and trial. If an accused doesn’t show up for trial then you will want to hire a bounty hunter (also known as bail enforcement agent) to find them.
When starting a bail bond business you will first need to complete the class for getting a state licence, and then pass the exam. You will also need to make sure you have all the necessary licenses and permits. You will need to set up relationships with licensed surety insurance companies. You will need to make sure your clients show up on time. You will need to handle the forfeitures, hire bail enforcement agents (bounty hunters), do the skip tracing, and keep up on the workings of court systems, BUF accounts, jail procedures, and all the other issues related to the bail bond business. You will also have to carry out all the other duties of running a business, such as marketing, bookkeeping, and handling staff. It is especially important that your staff is properly trained, and have the right character and background for the job. Most important of all, you must keep track of your clients and make sure they show up for the court dates on time.
Where will you work?
When starting a bail bond company you will first need to check the laws in your state to see if they allow the operation of a bail bond business. An office near the county courthouse can be a good location. You could look up bail bond information by county to compare the bail bond rules and procedures in each of the counties you are considering setting up shop. You could also survey the defense attorneys in each county to see where they are most needed.
When starting a bail bond company there is the cost of taking the licensing course and test. There is also the costs of the required permits and other licenses. You will have to become bonded and insured before you begin business. There is the cost of the surety bond. There is also all the normal costs of running an office. You will need to set aside a part of your profits from each case into a special fund. Even though you are securing insurance against each bond, you still will have to cover a part of the loses, depending on the laws and the agreement. You will need to hire a good lawyer to advise you, and you will also need a good accountant to audit your books.
Starting a Bail Bond Company Tips
Do not throw caution to the wind – this can be a profitable business, but you need to make sure you know all the law and rules and be good at handling those accused of crime.
Beware the competition – it has been a fast growing business, and some companies have been known to do unscrupulous things to get their business. This is not a business for the faint of heart.
Be careful – even though, most of the time the business is more routine than what is represented on the bounty hunter shows – there is always that desperate client who may be looking to harm you or your bounty agent in order to avoid court.
Advertising a Bail Bond Company
When advertising a bail bond company test various forms of advertising to see which are the most effective for your business in your location. Keep the advertising methods that are paying off and dump the ones that are not. Focus on advertisement methods that will more likely be seen by your target market.
- Bail Bonds Business Cards-Create business cards and hand them whenever an opportunity appears. Network as much as possible.
- Network– Network with attorneys in your area. Criminal defendants may be supplied with a list of bail bondsmen in the local area. Check with your local court system to see if there is a way for your business to be added to the list.
- Flyers– Determine if you can put up flyers in local grocery stores, community centers, and more. It is best to ask the owner of these businesses for permission first.
- Yahoo Local Searches– If you include your business in the Yahoo Local Searches, when people search for your service in your local area your business will appear in the list. To add your business to Yahoo local search, enter the term “add business to yahoo local search” in Yahoo.com and click on the first link.
- Google Local Searches– Google has a local search as well. To add your business to Google local search, enter the term “add business to google search” in Google.com and click on the first link.
- Yellow Pages– Consider buying an advertisement in the yellow pages of your local phone book. You can also include your business in the online version: YellowPages.com.
- Website– You can decide to develop a website to provide clients with access to general information about your business. Be sure to include information such as rates and directions on your website.