How to Start a Bail Bonding Company

by Steve Smith ; Updated September 26, 2017

A bail bonding business can be a profitable business in any community. It is not an easy one to run, but some people just seem to have a knack for it. You have to be familiar with criminal process procedures, and be a good judge of character, writing bail bonds for those people who are less of a flight risk. You also need to have the financial backing to cover any losses if one of your bonds skips town. Insurance companies will cover you once, but might not take that risk again.

Learn your state criminal process procedures and get some training or education in criminal justice. A law enforcement background will be a good way to start.

Contact your state's Department of Insurance and ask them what classes and exams you have to take to get your bail bond license.

Take the required exams for your state's bail bond license, and be sure you pass all the qualifications. In addition, most states require a bail bondsmen be free of criminal convictions for a set number of years, and have no felonies that display an immoral character. You can research your state's laws by logging on to your state government website and searching for criminal procedure laws, or call the state house directly.

Submit your application for a bail bond license, this is called an Initial Producer Application. This can be found at the NIPR website or on your own state's governmental website. Remember, a bail bondsmen is actually writing an insurance note that someone will return to face their charges.

Set up your shop. Market your services in the phone book, create a website online and advertise as you see fit. Yellow page ads, billboards, benches and buses are some places bail bondsmen advertise. It would help to connect with a few of the right people in the jail system to, so they can recommend your services.


  • Bail bondsmen typically do well in areas where there is a lot of crime, and where defendants may face jail time. Setting up your shop in a rural suburb won't bring in much business. So, be prepared to move to a city to be where the action is, so to speak. A bail bondsmen needs to get their own insurance against losing a bonded fugitive. It is not a glamorous career, but it can be lucrative if done correctly.

About the Author

Steve Smith has published articles on a wide range of topics including cars, travel, lifestyle, business, golf, weddings and careers. His articles, features and news stories have appeared in newspapers, consumer magazines and on various websites. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from University of New Hampshire Durham.

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