If you want to become a bail bond agent, you need to know what bail bond agent mistakes you are likely to make! Understanding money law and managing a business is never easy.
There are over 600,000 people in the United States that enter prison each year. So it is safe to say bail agents aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
It would be best to talk to your local professionals about learning to be a bail agent. They can help you the most!
If you want to become a bail agent, you need to know what to avoid! Keep reading this guide to understand what you need to know about becoming a bail agent, and seven common mistakes to avoid!
1. Not Doing Your Research
The very first thing you need to do is research, research, and then research some more. You want to be sure the bail bonds industry is suitable for your lifestyle.
Remember, you will be dealing with people that have been arrested and charged with crimes. These can be difficult situations. Making sure this is a career you can make a long-term commitment to is essential.
Different types of bail agents deal with various kinds of bonds. These can include property bonds, immigration bail bonds, federal bail bonds, and cash bail.
The next thing you need to do is get a sense of the industry and how the market is. You can talk to police officers, attorneys, or a judge to learn more about their experiences. Also, research your competition. Find out what they’re doing and not doing to see how you can compete.
2. Not Registered Your Business
You must register your bail bond business within your state. Once you choose a business name, you can visit the South Carolina Business One Stop site to get started.
To register, you will need:
- A tax identification number
- A bank account for your new business
- Help from a business lawyer
Suppose you do not have an office address yet. So set up a P.O. Box and use Google Voice phone number. It’s best to avoid using your home address due to the nature of your business!
3. Not Finding a Dependable Surety Company
You need to find a dependable, surety company! A surety company is essential when you’re starting this business!
When you post bail for a client, the money is returned once they go to court. However, when they take off, you are left with nothing! These are the situations where surety companies will step in.
A surety company provides you with insurance and additional money needed to pay off this amount.
You can apply for bail insurance with a surety company by filling out the required application forms in your state. Be sure to look at all the terms in the contract before you sign!
4. Not Taking Classes or Licensing Exam
You need to have a license! Every state requires you to obtain a bail bond agent license. Each state also has different requirements on its application, testing, and licensure process.
In South Carolina, you need to:
- Complete a 30-hour licensing course for bail bondsmen
- Pass the Bondsman test
- Once you pass, apply to NIPR for your license
- Have your fingerprints taken by IndentoGO
- Complete and email the additional questionnaires
Renewal periods start from June 1 annually. You need to complete 8 hours of continuing education and apply for licensure renewal on the NIPR site. The exam has 100 multiple choice questions on different criminal justice topics.
5. Not Getting an Education
At a minimum, you should have your high school diploma or GED if you’re interested in becoming a bail agent.
Next, consider taking college courses. Many community colleges around the United States offer training programs for bail agents. This will provide you with the minimum education you need about the law and operate your business safely.
If you can, think about attending a four-year program to get a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. This will not only expand your understanding of why people behave as they do, but you will also seem more legitimate to people thinking about using your services.
6. Not Getting Experience
If you’re studying to become a bail agent, then it will help to get a job in the field to gain experience.
Try to find summer work in your local bail bond office. You can get invaluable experience working with professionals in the industry as well as clients.
If you can’t find anything at your local bail bond office, try a police station or even court. Even an entry-level job will get you accustomed to how the court system works.
Keep in touch with your supervisors and work to establish genuine relationships so you can use them as references down the road.
7. Not Advertising
Even if you have the only bail bond agency in your town, you should still advertise your services.
Develop and maintain a website that includes a profile of yourself and the services you offer. Make sure you highlight your experience, education, and any personal history you feel comfortable sharing.
Start a blog talking about your industry and give facts and tips. Then take your blog content to your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram social media accounts. Be human and be funny. If you want people to hire you, then you need to be relatable.
If you do have competition in your area, then it’s time to think about how you can set yourself apart. Consider a particular niche or targeting a certain set of people. Knowing and researching your industry will set you apart from the rest.
Bail Bond Agent Mistakes
Amistad Bailbonds & Associates can help you from making Bail Bond Agent Mistakes.
We are qualified professionals with years of experience in the bail agent industry. We are looking to help like-minded people start a bail bond business of their own.
Amistad & Associates provides services in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. Make sure you contact us today!