5 Things to Know About Bail Agents and Starting a Bail Bond Business

South Carolina once had one of the highest rates of incarceration in the US. Since then, multiple attempts have been made to ensure consistency and fairness in the justice system, while freeing up space in prisons. But do you know where bonds come into this legal system?

If not, then you need to know about how this can provide a lucrative career. Read on as we give our essential guide on bail agents and how to set up as one.

Five Things to Know About Bail Bonds

Becoming a bail agent is no easy task, though it is rewarding. Before starting the process, you should know the five points below to help you understand the occupation.

1. How Does Bail Work?

When a person is arrested, there is a period between the arrest and appearing in front of a judge for a trial. Instead of having the person incarcerated, they can apply for bail. This is an amount of money that acts as an assurance that if allowed to resume their normal life, they will turn up for the hearing on the given day.

2. A Judge Sets Bail

For minor crimes, a standard amount is usually set. When the crime is more serious then bail is not automatically granted. A defendant must stand in front of a judge.

The judge can set the bail amount depending on the severity of the crime and if the person poses a flight risk. In serious cases, they may deny bail entirely.

3. What Is a Bail Bondsman or Agent?

Not everyone has the cash available to put down on bail. In these instances, they will contact a bondsman or agent who will pay it for them. This will be in return for a percentage fee, usually between 10% and 15%.

4. What Is a Surety Bond?

Surety is a term often used in bail and bonds terms. It is a person that guarantees the defendant will turn up to their trial, and often puts up the money for them. Thus, the bondsman or agent becomes the surety.

Larger companies are also involved in the process. They will provide the surety money to the agent or bondsman to put up on behalf of the defendant.

5. Do I Need Bounty Hunters?

Bounty hunters, also known as bond enforcers, will help find clients for the bondsman should they jump bail. In some states, this is illegal. While allowed in South Carolina, it does have specific stipulations.

Firstly, the term bounty hunter is prohibited. Bail bond runners are the correct title for the occupation. All bail bond runners must be registered with the state and or you may find your company reputation in tatters if you use ones that are not.

Becoming a Bail Agent

Luckily, becoming a bail bond agent is easier than you may think. In just a few short steps, you can have your own bail bond business up and running.

1. Do Your Research

The first step is to do some market research. As with any new business, you need to check the demand for the business in your area.

Check how many other bail bond agents are in the vicinity. A lot means that there is a demand, but too many may mean a lot of competition. In these instances, you will need to offer more value to get the business you need.

Start by reaching out to law enforcement and defense attorneys. They may be able to give you an overview of how in-demand your services might be.

2. Register Your Business

As a new business, it is recommended that you concentrate on one state, to begin with. It not you can end up spreading yourself thinly. Additionally, each state you set up shop in will require a new registration.

Costs can vary depending on the state you are registering in. In South Carolina, the current fee for registering is around $400 but this depends on the company structure. Register your EIN with the IRS straight away.

3. Find a Surety Company

Unless you have a large amount of capital from your own pocket, you will need a surety company. They will act as an insurance broker and will foot the bond if your client skips bail conditions or does not arrive for trial. When you decide to do this yourself, you will need to budget around 15k.

4. Apply for the State License

To apply for the state licence you will need to have had a clean criminal record in the last five years. A high school diploma is needed, you must be over 18 years old and must be a legal resident of the US.

Sitting an exam is unavoidable, so you will need to do your homework beforehand. There are courses that can get you through everything you need to know. Courses should cost around $80 to take and require you to get a score of 70% or over to pass.

After this, you will need to visit the State Department of Insurance and hand them your exam scores. You can pay for the license here, and you will need proof that you are backed by a surety company. Licenses will need renewal in the future.

5. Set Your Fees

Now all the legal requirements are in place for becoming a bail agent, you can get to work. The first thing to do is to create your bail bond fees. Most people choose to charge a percentage of the overall bail amount.

Other than this, you just need to market your company. Register on local forums and Google My Business. Take out advertising space and begin a digital marketing strategy.

New Bail Agents

Bail agents are always in demand, so don’t hesitate when getting started. Brush up for the exams and find a surety company. Before you know it you could have a promising new career.

Amistad Bail Bonds and associates should be your first stop. We can guide you through the whole process in North and South Carolina. Click here to start your journey.

6 Myths About Being a Bail Agent

Many people do not have any experience with the bail bond industry. For the most part that is a good thing. The downside is that some people form their opinions about the industry or being a bail agent based on what they see in the movies.

It’s full of people that are rough, ready, raw, and easily confused with being a bounty hunter. Every industry has its share of shady characters but it seems the bail bond industry is especially misunderstood.

In this article, you’ll learn more about how the bail bond industry works by busting 6 common myths about being a bail bond agent. Reading this information will not only open your eyes to a rewarding industry but it will serve you well should you ever need bail bond services yourself.

1. All Braun and No Brains

This is a classic stereotype of people working in the industry. However, the truth is far different. The industry has changed a lot and the workforce is made up of intelligent and responsible people.

When you look through the specialist terminology used within the industry you can see that a bail bondsman has to understand many aspects of the law. Those that are successful in the industry are good communicators, and they are patient. People who need these services are often confused and stressed.

Rather than relying on muscle power, they rely on experience, good judgment, and full use of the law. For many people, this is a rewarding career as they see how the system effectively works to protect people and deliver justice.

2. Agents Pay Bail

It is common to confuse bail and bond as being the same thing. Bail agents do not pay the bail. This is paid for by the client.

Bail is a percentage of the bond that the court demands in exchange for being released from custody. The bond is paid for in full by the bail agent to the court.

When the client appears for their court hearing and proceedings can continue, then the bail agent receives a refund of their bond. The Bail agent keeps the bail as a charge for their services. It’s typical for bail to be about 10 percent of the bond with a minimum fee.

3. Bail Agent Must Be Armed

Not everyone in the bail industry has the same role. At some point, it may become clear that someone has violated the terms of their bail. In which case that person must be found and brought back to face their accusations in court.

Someone who performs this type of role may carry a firearm. They are called bail enforcers.  They may use appropriate force to bring someone back to face the court.

However, a normal bail bondsman who is not involved in this aspect of the work need not be concerned with carrying a firearm. Especially if that is an aspect of the work that frightens them or with which they disagree.

4. Bail Agents Help Criminals

This all depends on your perspective. It is easy to take a limited view on the matter. The important thing to focus on is that the bail system is an important part of the established justice system which serves everybody.

This is a basic human right and is etched into the fabric of the U.S constitution. The timing of when someone qualifies for bail means that they have not yet been tried for anything. Therefore they are still innocent until proven guilty.

5. Bail Bond Agent Will Negotiate

As the bail agent appears to be involved in the bail transaction it could be misunderstood that they have some influence over the cost of the bond. The bottom line is that this is set by the court based on many circumstantial factors. The subsequent bail is a percentage of the bond.

There is nothing to be gained by trying to negotiate with the bail bondsman over the cost of the bail. When you realize that the bail is a small fraction of the bond, that helps you to appreciate the bail bond services. If you have questions about the bail bond and the cost, then the provider you use will be glad to help you understand the details.

6. Anyone Can Be a Bail Bondsman

Another common misconception is that anyone who fancies a go can be a bail bondsman. The industry is protected by the necessity of obtaining a license. To receive a license you must pass the mandatory exams.

Besides getting your license you will also need to pass all the legal checks that relate to your criminal history or previous offenses. These arrangements protect the industry and help to maintain its ethical standards.

Many bail agents choose to become part of a professional body that has its own professional standards. These professional bodies represent their members, help educate them and further develop their professional practice.

Always Get the Facts

In this article, you’ve read 6 myths about being a bail agent. As you’ve read the details in this article, no doubt your confidence and trust in the justice system have increased to some degree. Bail bond services improve the situation for all involved.

It avoids unnecessary incarceration, motivates the accused to attend court, and provides satisfying work for many people. Perhaps this is an industry you’d like to learn more about, especially how to get started working in a bail bond business. If so, you can check out this great advice here.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Bail Bond Agent in NC

Bail agents have existed since the medieval period when bail was first implemented. Since then, generations of bail agents in one form or another have made lucrative careers in the bail industry. By becoming a bail bond agent in NC, you can be one of them.

Read on to learn more about how to become a bail bond agent in North Carolina.

What a Bail Bond Agent NC Does

When the police arrest someone for a crime, an amount of money is set (bail) that must be paid to get them out of jail before their trial. This amount of money can be many thousands of dollars, and difficult for most people to come up with.

A North Carolina bail bond agent charges someone a small fee to put up the money for a defendant’s bail. They then monitor the defendants who are out on bail and make sure they meet their court obligations.

Becoming a North Carolina Bail Bond Agent

Getting into the bail bond industry isn’t a difficult thing to do. However, you do need to meet certain requirements and follow a few steps to get licensed.

Meeting the Requirements

To meet the requirements, you need to be at least 21-years-old and have lived in NC for no less than six months before applying. You must have a valid NC ID or driver’s license, and possess the training and skills necessary to be a competent licensee.

You cannot have any outstanding bail obligations yourself. Additionally, you cannot have any prior or current violations of North Carolina General Statutes Article 71 Chapter 58 and Article 26 of Chapter 15A.

Finally, you cannot have been formerly disqualified under any state law (NC or others) to engage in the industry.

Disqualified Professions

There are several jobs one can have that will pre-disqualify you from becoming a bail agent. These include:

  • Sheriff or deputy
  • Other law enforcement (including police)
  • Working for the General Court of Justice
  • Judge
  • Attorney
  • Probation or parole officer
  • Jailer or assistant jailer
  • Any other public employee involved with criminal justice
  • The partner of any of the above

In addition to these professions, anyone who has a felony conviction is considered disqualified. Those who have convictions on misdemeanor drug offenses within the last 24 months are also disqualified.

Complete Pre-Licensing Course

Next, sign up for and attend training in the bail agent pre-licensing course. The NCBAA offers the course, which includes a class that spans two days and a test at the end.

Submit an Electronic Application

Once you have finished your pre-licensing requirements through the North Carolina Bail Agents Association, you can apply for your license.

Submit an electronic application along with all of the required documents to the North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI). You will access the NCDOI through the North Carolina License Management System.

Take the Exam

You will receive a letter once the NCDOI accepts your application. The letter will inform you of your permission to schedule and take the state licensing exam.

After completing the exam, you’ll be given your grade. The NCDOI will be notified and you will have your photograph taken for your bail agent license.

Receive Your License

You should receive your license between 10 and 12 days after having passed the exam. If you don’t get your license in the mail, call the Bail Bond Regulatory Division at the NCDOI at 919-807-6850 during normal business hours.

All newly-licensed bail agents must work under a supervising bail agent for a year. Subsequent licensure will not require additional supervision.

The Cost of Licensure

There are three separate types of licenses you can obtain to work with North Carolina bail bonds. They are surety bail bondsman license, bail bond runner license, and professional bail bondsman license.

Surety Bail Bondsman License

Surety bondsmen execute or countersign a bail bond once an insurer appoints them. “Powers” are given by an insurance company for a surety bondsman to do their job. This is the most common bail license in the state.

The surety bondsman application cost is $263.00, and the processing fee is $48.00, totaling $311.00. An additional testing fee of $51.50 will be issued when you take the test.

Bail Runner License

A bail runner license will allow you to work under a licensed, professional bail bondsman. A bail runner license has the same powers as the surety bail bondsman, with one difference. Instead of executing bail bonds under the power of an insurer, a bail runner does so using the professional bondsman’s security (more on this below).

The bail bond runner application costs $183.00, along with the $48.00 processing fee, totaling $231.00. Again, the $51.50 test fee will be issued when you take the exam.

Professional Bail Bondsman License

To obtain a professional bail bondsman license requires more financial capital than the previous options. Once you pass the exam, you must make a security deposit of $15,000 in an American bank that is authorized by the commissioner. You need to make the deposit before you can get your license.

Once the bank confirms that the $15,000 deposit is complete, you will receive your license. If you wait longer than six months to make the deposit, they’ll cancel your application.

The license application is $263.00, and the processing fee is $48.00, totaling $31.00. As with the other licensing options, a testing fee of $51.50 will be issued when you take the exam.

When to Renew Your License

You need to renew your bail agent’s license on June 30th of every odd-numbered year (2021, 2023, 2025, etc.). To renew your license, you need to submit a fee of $40, a license renewal application, and then prove you’ve attended at least three hours of continued education.

Continued Education

The North Carolina Bail Agents Association offers a three-hour continuing education course. You have to complete the course before June 30th, and it requires a fee of $40.

Is the Bail Bond Industry Right for You?

To become a bail bond agent NC, you need to meet the qualifications, get the required education, and take the state exam. You’ll need to renew your license every odd-numbered year and continue your education in the meantime.

If you’d like to know more about how to become a bail bond agent, contact us today.

6 Tips on Becoming a Bail Agent in Virginia

There are a lot of essential technologies that help our society to run. Many people do not realize that those technologies include specialized services like those that bail agents provide. Bail agents create so much value that the industry is worth more than $2 billion every single year just in the United States!

Of course, not everybody is familiar with what a career as a bail agent looks like. On top of that, even if they were interested in becoming a bail agent, they might not know where to start.

So why might becoming a bail agent be the right choice for you? And how can you do so? Read on to learn all about the best tips on becoming a bail agent and why it might be the best option for you!

Why Should You Become a Bail Agent?

Virginia bail agents perform a number of important functions that help our society to run smoothly. Among other things, they help make sure that defendants show up to court on their scheduled dates.

They are also the ones who promised to cover the bail for a defendant. Many people consider working with Virginia Bail Bonds to be working for the public good as well as making a living.

On top of that, working as a bail agent in Virginia can make for an excellent career. If you do end up having to cover the bail for a defendant, you will generally only have to pay a small percentage of the total bail amount. Of course, you also get to charge a fee for providing bail, so the bigger the bail, the bigger the fee.

There are a number of other benefits that come with choosing to be a bail agent as a career. Among other things, the job security is excellent. Providing bail is an essential part of our society, so it persists in demand even if the economy goes down.

In fact, when the economy goes bad, bail agents might do better than most. Some people start to commit more crimes when the economy isn’t doing so well. That can actually mean an increased demand for a bail agent.

Bail agents also enjoy flexible hours. The work that needs to be done by bail agents does not come with a deadline of just a few hours. It is okay if you wait somewhat longer than that to perform it.

The end result is that you can work when you want to and fit your career work around the rest of your schedule. That alone can provide a quality of life that very few other careers do.

What Do You Need to Become a Bail Bond Agent?

If you want to be a bail bond agent in Virginia, then you will have to meet certain basic requirements.

First of all, you will need to be 18 years old or older. You will also need to have a high school diploma or an equivalent.

Bail bond agents have to be legal residents or citizens of the United States. And lastly, you must have no major violations of the law on your record. In particular, you must have committed no felonies in the last 10 years.

The First Steps for How to Become a Bail Agent

There is a lot that you have to learn in order to be a successful bail bond agent in Virginia. You will need a course on the particular tasks that bail bond agents need to be able to perform. A typical course might include 40 hours of coursework and should be certified so that people who hire you will accept it.

On top of that, bail bond agents are required to take firearms training in some cases. If you want firearms endorsement, then you will need at least entry-level firearms training.

You will also have to prove that you understand what you learned in your bail bond agent training courses. To do so, you will take a licensing exam, similar to a bar exam for lawyers.

If you pass the exam, then you are eligible to fill out a license application on the website for the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.

Before they will issue a license, you have to pay several fees.  This includes a basic licensing fee, a fingerprint fee, a category fee, and potentially some others. Together, the fees might cost you a little more than $1,000.

You’ll also have to provide a variety of documents, which you should receive from your training courses. Your training courses will also lay out any other documents that you will need to apply for a license.

It is important to remember that your license has to be renewed every two years. You can run into legal problems if you do not renew your license.

Know the Best Tips on Becoming a Bail Agent

We hope that you were able to take away something helpful from this brief article on some of the most important tips on becoming a bail agent. Choosing which career to pursue is an important choice that will affect your quality of life, potentially for years and decades to come. Most people do not do nearly the due diligence that a decision of this magnitude deserves.

In other words, learning everything you can about becoming a bail agent before actually becoming one is an investment. It will more than pay for itself if you put some extra time and effort into researching it properly.

To learn more about how to become a bail agent and why it might be the right choice for you, feel free to reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!

7 Compelling Reasons to Become a Bail Agent in North Carolina

The bail bond industry makes about $2 billion each year. Because many people in the prison system are unable to post bail while they await trial, bond companies offer a way out.

As a bail agent, you provide those in prison with hope and encouragement. It is a rewarding job that comes with many additional benefits. Do you want to learn more about the bail agent job and why you should become a bail agent?

Keep reading these seven reasons to choose to become a bail agent in North Carolina over other career options.

1. You Are Your Own Boss

One of the biggest benefits of choosing a bail agent over other career choices is that you can be your own boss. When you are licensed as a bail bond agent, you can post bail for a criminally accused defendant.

While many bail bonds agents start out working for an established company, they can set up their own bond agency. As your own boss, you can control every part of your business and choose which bonds you want to keep or reject.

Creating your own bonds agency also provides you with a long-term career opportunity. As you build your company from scratch, you will learn the ins and outs of being a bail agent and learn to help your business thrive.

2. Good Pay

Another reason why many people choose to become a bail agent in North Carolina is that it has great pay. Even if you do not start out with a large salary, you have increased earning potential when you choose to become a bail agent.

You can also make more money while working fewer hours than other jobs. For example, a bail agent that works part-time can replace a full-time income. Depending on how much you want to work, you can essentially determine how much you will make each year.

3. Job Security

Next, working as a bail agent guarantees that you will have job security for your lifetime, regardless of any recessions or changes in the economy. Because bail agents help those who have been criminally accused, there will always be a demand for your work.

In fact, some studies even show that recession periods have an increase in criminal activity, which gives you even more job security.

To stay protected during a downturn in the economy, you can become a bail agent and be sure that you will never lose your job.

4. You Make a Difference

Regardless of the good pay and the ability to work for yourself, working as a bail bond agent allows you to make a difference in the world. This is one reason why many bail agents love their jobs.

When someone has been arrested, their entire lives are turned upside down. It is a hectic experience and it may feel impossible for them to turn things around. However, as a bail agent, you provide these people with hope that they can turn their lives around.

Most bail agents create strong relationships with their clients by helping them through this crazy time of life. Even if you only change one person’s life, you will find that it is very rewarding.

5. Daily Change of Pace

One of the biggest complaints of employees in any industry is that the work is monotonous and gets boring after a time. However, bail agents have a daily change of pace that keeps their jobs feeling energetic and enjoyable for years.

First, you will work during odd hours rather than having to stick to a nine to five job. This will give you the freedom to do other things during the day rather than being stuck behind a desk.

Your work also changes each day. One day you may be going to local courthouses and jails, and others you may pursue a fugitive. Working as a bail agent is never boring!

6. Flexible Schedule

When you are a bail agent working for yourself, you also have a flexible schedule that allows you to pursue your other interests. As a bail bondsman, you can set your own schedule and determine when you want to work.

As was mentioned before, you can essentially work as much or little as you want to when you are a bail agent.

Whether you want to work full-time as a bail agent or just work a few hours a week, you can choose whatever works for your schedule.

7. Working Toward Freedom

Finally, you get to help people secure their constitutional right to freedom. This country was founded to give people freedom, and you get to offer this same thing to your clients.

As a bail agent, you can post bail for a criminal defendant, help them get out of jail, and help them prepare for their court proceedings.

If this sounds like something you would enjoy,  you may want to learn how to get started to become a bail agent.

Want to Become a Bail Agent In North Carolina?

Becoming a bail agent is a great career opportunity. It allows you to make a difference all while working for yourself with great job security. If you are looking to become a bail bondsman in North Carolina, Amistad Bailbonds and Associates can help.

We can help you find a unique career opportunity as a bail bondsmen where you can make a difference in society.

Contact our team today to learn more about the compelling reasons to become a bail agent and to apply now to become a bondsman in North Carolina.

The Rewarding Benefits of Becoming a Bail Agent in Virginia

Are you wondering if you should become a bail agent?

In the criminal justice system, bounty hunting can be a unique and rewarding career. You’re probably wondering how a job that deals with criminals could be rewarding. There’s only one way for you to find out.

Read on to find out how you can become a bail agent in Virginia and the benefits it offers.

How to Become a Bail Agent in Virginia?

If you would like to become a bail bondsman within the state of Virginia first, you’ll have to meet specific requirements. Below are the requirements you must meet:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Be a citizen or a legal resident alien of the United States
  • An education equivalent to a high school diploma or GED
  • Ensure the training requirements are met by the state of Virginia
  • A bail bond agent must pass the exam for licenses

A college degree is not required to become a Virginia bail bondsman, but it is highly desired. A degree can increase your knowledge and help you pass the exam.

You’ll be more qualified to receive more than one license within Virginia. Bail bond agents in Virginia have three types of permits issued by the Department of Criminal Justice Services:

  • Property Bail Bondsman
  • Agent Bail Bondsman
  • Surety Bail Bondsman

The requirements for obtaining a bail bondsman license in Virginia may vary depending on your licensed areas. Obtaining a license in more than one area is possible, but it will require additional steps.

What Are the Benefits of Becoming a Bail Agent?

There are plenty of benefits of becoming a bail bondsman in Virginia. Below are some of the rewards you’ll receive when you decide to become one.

The Duties of a Bail Bondsman Vary Daily

Your day is always different in a bail bonds career since you never know who will get arrested or need your assistance. However, you may enjoy this career path if you dislike sitting behind a desk all day or doing the same things every day.

Among your duties as a bail agent is often assisting those in need at local jails and courthouses. There may be clients who fail to appear in court, and you will have to track them down. How fun can that be to do in a profession!

The Ability to Schedule Flexible Hours

You usually follow a set schedule at your job, and the only time you get a break is on your vacation. However, when you are a bail bondsman, you may have to work irregular hours because people need you whenever they need you. Setting specific hours for your services is possible, but making them available 24/7 gives you the greatest business potential.

The number of hours you work is also up to you. Working part-time is an option if you don’t require a full-time income or if you want to start the business part-time while working another job full-time.

You can increase your earnings by working more than 40 hours a week. You have the option of taking a break if you need to take a vacation or deal with a family emergency.

A Chance to Help People

It is not just criminals who need bail bonds services – many people who require bail bonds services are generally good folks facing difficult circumstances or have made poor decisions. You are allowing them to take a break from jail and wait for their court date.

Furthermore, you serve as a source of support for those who might not otherwise have much. Moreover, you increase the odds of them returning to court to resolve the charges and possibly get their lives back on track afterward.

High Potential for Pay

The more connections you make, the more likely you are to be paid for the help you provide. You can increase your earning potential even more by owning your own bail bonds business.

Are There Cons to Becoming a Bail Agent?

Every profession has cons, and bail agents should be aware of the risks associated with their careers. Here are some of the cons of becoming a bail agent.

Bail Agents Take Large Risks

Being in the business of dealing with criminals involves a significant amount of risk for bail bond agents. Therefore, there is a transfer of risk involved in the industry. However, the services of bail bond agencies are not mandatory.

Bond dealers charge them fees since they don’t have the money to cover the bond independently. In exchange for the bail fee, bail bondsmen assume the risk of paying bail. The average bail bonds fee is around 20%.

Bail bond agencies sometimes lose their investment when the person who is paying for their services jumps bail. In many cases, the agency loses its entire investment to bail jumpers. So there’s a chance that millions of dollars could be lost in a severe bail jumping case.

Consequently, bond dealers must be comfortable with risk and the possibility of huge losses. An individual cannot shirk away from risks like these or take on clients who may bailout.

Working With Potentially Dangerous Clients

People who work as bails bondsmen spend most of their time dealing with criminals. In some cases, they may encounter violent and unpredictable criminals. Unfortunately, bondsmen are often the target of these violent criminals.

Instances have arisen where bail bond agents have been injured by defendants whose complaints were unrelated to the bail bondsman’s job. Therefore, bail bondsmen face more dangers than most other business owners.

In order to deal with this threat, they employ guards and employ security systems. But they cannot eliminate it. Nevertheless, bail bondsmen can take steps to protect their property and keep themselves safe from dangerous clients.

Where Can You Find Bail Agent Jobs in Virginia?

There are plenty of bail bondsman companies that are looking for employees. Consider working for other companies as an alternative to starting your own business if you’re not yet ready to go it alone. If you choose this option, you can have a starting salary of $41,142.

As soon as you’re ready, you can begin setting up your own bail bondsman company. Of course, we can help you during your training of becoming a bail agent on how you can start your own business!

Are You Ready to Become a Virginia Bail Agent Today?

If you’re interested in becoming a Virginia bail bondsman, you’ll need the proper training to succeed. Amistad Bailbonds & Associates provides you with the right training and tools to help you become a bail agent. We can help you succeed in starting your business and enjoy a lucrative career.

Become a bail bondsman with our help. Come apply today!

Surety And Other Concepts For Bail Bond Agent Success In South Carolina

Are you interested in becoming a bail bondsman? Do you need more information on what a surety bond is? Are you looking for other information for bail bond agent success in South Carolina?

Knowing the proper terms to be a successful bail bond agent is extremely important. If you are looking for more information on the terms and concepts that you will face as a bail bond agent, then you came to the right place! We will go over pertinent information you will need to know in order to be successful and who you can contact for additional help!

What Is a Bail Bond?

If you are looking into becoming a bail bond agent in South Carolina, you must understand what a bail bond is. A bail bond is the money defendants pay to either a bail agent or the court in exchange for the defendant’s release. This bail amount depends on the severity of the defendant’s criminal charges.

A judge may set a defendant’s bail at around $500 for a non-violent misdemeanor. If the defendant faces a felony criminal charge, the court may set that person’s bail at approximately $20,000. The money paid to the court or the bail agent acts as collateral to ensure that the defendant appears in court.

What Is a Surety Bail Bond?

surety bond is another name for a bail bond. Surety bail bonds in South Carolina are agreements signed by a person and a bail bond business. This agreement allows the defendant to pay a portion of the total amount of the bail money owed.

Once the court receives the bail, the defendant can stay out of jail until their upcoming court date. Most defendants pay about 10% of their total bail amount.

Cash Bond vs. Surety Bond

Cash bonds and surety bonds may sound the same, but they are both two different things. A cash bond is when someone bails the defendant out of jail by paying the entire bail amount. If someone wants to bail someone out using a cash bond, they will have to pay the total face value before the defendant is released.

South Carolina bail bond businesses offer surety bonds to those who cannot afford to front the entire amount of the posted bail. As mentioned earlier, most people put up about 10% of the total bond amount to release the arrested party.

This money is held as collateral until the final verdict of the defendant’s case. Most people opt to go through with surety bonds because they are unaware of how long their money will be tied up if they put up a cash bond.

What Is a Bail Bond Agent in South Carolina?

Bail bond agents, also known as bail bondsmen, provide written agreements to the courts to pay the entirety of the defendant’s bail if they fail to appear in court. Before drafting up these agreements, most bail bond agents will ask for a statement of creditworthiness. These agents may also accept cars, houses, bonds, or jewelry in place of that statement.

What Is an Indemnitor?

An Indemnitor is someone who would be held responsible for the entire bail amount in the event that the defendant does not show up. The defendant must find a co-signer to act as the Indemnitor for the bail bond agent to release the bail. This guarantees that if the defendant does not show up, the bail bond agent has the right to go after the Indemnitor for the cost of the bail and any other fees.

What Is Forfeiture?

As we now know, if a defendant does not show up for court, someone else will be held responsible for the bail. When defendants miss their court date, they forfeit their bail, and the court will not return the bail. To ensure that a bail bond company receives their money, they may hire a fugitive recovery agent. These recovery agents are also known as bounty hunters.

Bounty Hunters

Bounty hunters are skilled professionals who many bail bond agents hire to find and capture fugitives in exchange for a reward. Many bail bond agents will offer between 10% to 20% of the bail amount as a reward for capturing these fugitives. Not everyone can just sign up to be a bounty hunter; you must meet specific state requirements.

Bounty hunters must be a South Carolina resident and at least 18 years old. In addition to that, they must also not have any felony convictions or other convictions within the last ten years.

How to Become a Bail Bondsman

In the state of South Carolina, you will need to complete a 30-hour pre-licensing course explicitly created for bail bond agents. Once you complete this course, you will need to pass the state bondsman test administered by the PSI. Almost immediately after passing your exam, you will need to go to IdentoGo to record your bondsman fingerprints before you are officially a bondsman.

It is essential to know that you will need to renew your bail bonds license once a year in June to keep your license up to date. Before you can renew your license, you will need eight hours of continuing education.

Successful Surety Bondsman

Now that you know more about what a surety bond is and the process of handling bail bonds, it is time to get started on your bail bondsman journey. Once you complete the steps needed for licensure, you just need to familiarize yourself with the standard concepts of bail bonds.

If you are looking for more information about becoming a bail bondsman, contact us now. We also have a fantastic group of bail bond agents, and we are looking to bring more to our team!

7 Bail Bond Terms Every Agent Should Know

Did you know that bail agents are an integral part of the criminal justice system? While their work may not be glamorous, they can make a tremendous difference in someone’s life. However, if you’re looking to get into the bail industry, it’s important that you know all the bail bond terms.

You’ve been in the business for a while now, but you still find yourself asking clients what “per diem” means. How about your latest client who asked for a bail agent’s license?

It’s time to brush up on these seven terms that every bail agent should know!

What Is a Bail Bond?

A bail bond is insurance that allows an arrested individual to be released from custody until their court date. All 50 states have a commercial bail bond system where private companies guarantee the accused’s appearance at trial.

There’s no upfront payment necessary from the bail bond agency or agent in most cases. Yet, if the defendant doesn’t appear in court on their scheduled date, they owe the bondsman a fee for this service.

The vast majority of state laws governing bails and bonds follow this pattern closely, with only minor variations among each state’s statutes. There are three primary types of bail bonds:

Signature Bail Bonds

This is the most common type of bond issued in most states. If you have enough money during the arrest, the court can release you on your recognizance. You can also write a promissory note to appear at trial.

With this option, there’s no collateral required to ensure you return for all future court dates. Though this method doesn’t need collateral, they can only use collectibles through personal checks or cashier’s checks. By requiring an appearance guarantee instead of cash upfront, the bonding agency gets some flexibility where the defendant doesn’t have enough money.

Signature bonds don’t need you or your business and assets to be available for seizure.

“Surety” Bail Bonds

This type of bond is frequently used in complex criminal cases like murder, drug trafficking, and organized crime. These cases may involve sizeable sums of cash. More importantly, the outcome of the case could trigger either a federal or state forfeiture action.

Once you’re served with a complaint by the District Attorney’s office, you’ll have less time to act. All personal property subject to forfeiture may be taken from the defendant or third-party guarantors of the bail obligation.

Cash Bail Bonds

Sometimes, a judge may release a person arrested on bail. They can also impose a cash amount to ensure that the defendant appears for all their future court dates.

If individuals set free on their recognizance or third-party guarantors don’t appear in court, they’re responsible for the bail amount. The required cash amount can vary widely from state to state and even within different jurisdictions in a state.

For instance, one county may need $500 to meet its standard for releasing an accused person on personal recognizance without requiring supervision. Yet, another county might need $5,000 upfront before it agrees to release someone without other conditions of release.

Now that you know what’s bail bond and the types of bail bonds, here are common terms that bail bond agents should know:

1. Bail

This is the amount of money set by a judge to secure the release of an arrested person from custody.

The security, which includes cash or property, ensures the defendants appear in court as stated in the pretrial release. It assures the accused person does not flee before trial. Besides, it’s proof that the accused will show up in all necessary court appearances once released from jail.

2. Bail Schedule

A bail schedule is an organized list of all crimes and corresponding bail amounts for a particular court. It’s what you’ll want to give your client when they ask how much it’s going to cost to get out of jail.

3. Capias

This is the process that begins when a defendant fails to appear in court for their assigned hearings. During this time, an agency will try working with the defendant’s family and friends on finding them.

If nothing works, the next step is issuing a warrant for their arrest. It can lead to additional fees on top of their bond.

 4. Pretrial release

This is the defendant’s release from jail without posting money bail or after depositing a small percentage of the total amount needed to secure their release.

People with previous accusations of serious crimes don’t qualify for pretrial releases. This is unless they can prove they’re not a flight risk and will show up in court when needed.

Most defendants released on their recognizance must meet with pretrial agents before going home. Here, they’ll be fitted with electronic monitoring devices that track their whereabouts. Pretrial services officers also work to determine whether defendants will pose a threat to victims.

5. Premium

The amount initially agreed upon between the defendant and the bail agent is referred to as the premium. It’s non-refundable, even if a defendant fails to appear in court or violates any condition of release.

6. Bail Bondsman

This term refers to the person who writes a bail bond, pledging to the court that you’ll appear in all future proceedings. This is if you’re released from jail within 24 hours of your arrest.

If you fail to show up for any hearing or trial, the bail bondsman will forfeit the money they paid out to get you out of jail. Unless you pay them back before that time, the bail will remain forfeited.

Once this happens, they’ll hire a bounty hunter to track down and return them for their money.

7. Bail Bond Surrender

This is the process of turning yourself into authorities after you have been released from jail on bond. If you don’t show up to court, they’ll forfeit the amount submitted. They’ll also seek court permission to pick you up so they can get their money back.

Become a Bail Bond Agent Now!

Bail bonds are a necessary but often overlooked service. Knowing the right terms and understanding how bail bond agents help clients can make all the difference when you or someone close to you needs out of jail fast.

Want to become a bail bond agent but don’t know where to start? At Amistad & Associates, we’re not only a bail bonds agency but can help you get your bail bond license. Apply with us today to get started.

Managing a Business: What is a Business Development Manager?

Did you know that 20% of businesses fail within the first year? After five years, that number rises to 50%, and it rises even higher to 75% after ten years.

It’s hard to talk about the businesses that don’t make it. However, it’s important to recognize the reasons why those businesses don’t make it.

One of the most common reasons is a lack of adaptation.

Businesses fail because they can’t think of the next idea or grow with a changing market. Luckily, a business development manager can change this.

With their expertise in managing a business, a business development manager can turn a failing company around quickly. To learn more about how they do that, keep reading.

What Is a Business Development Manager?

Business development managers can help businesses grow through a few different means:

  • Finding new business opportunities
  • Researching potential leads
  • Establishing relationships with potential customers
  • Arranging appointments with important personnel

By handling all of these tasks, a business manager can take care of a failing business and even turn it completely around.

Businesses often hire these experts when things aren’t going well. However, businesses should be hiring business development managers before this happens.

Even though a great business manager can turn a failing business around, it’s better to have one before that happens. Every successful business needs a manager to keep things fresh. Without at least one development manager, the business isn’t likely to grow or expand at all.

What Does a Business Manager Do?

Business managers have a lot of responsibilities. After all, they’re managing a business and keeping it from going under.

That’s a lot of pressure.

In addition to all of the researching and communicating that they do, they hold a few more responsibilities:

  • Research prospective clients that align with the company’s future goals
  • Follow potential clients through to successful agreements
  • Understand the target markets that your business will benefit the most from
  • Collaborate with the design and sales team to create a cohesive branding experience
  • Cultivate relationships with current clients
  • Identify new prospects as they arise
  • Know about the company’s products, competition, market, and positioning
  • Keep up with the most current industry developments and competitors within the market

Keep in mind that this is a condensed list. The actual roles and responsibilities of a business manager depend on where that individual is working. They also depend on what the company needs at the time.

Overall, the role of a business manager is the care for the business as a whole. By taking care of relationships, acquisitions, and the like, a business manager can set up a business for success or failure.

What Skills Do Business Development Managers Need?

The average business development manager has a BA or BS degree. Although, larger companies tend to hire individuals with MBAs.

On top of a degree, an established company will require about five years of experience in business, sales, or a related market. Even if you haven’t been a business development manager before, you may be able to use your skills from a similar position.

Although there aren’t any set certifications or other standardization procedures for business managers, there are a couple of skills that they should have:

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint
  • The ability to use and understand statistical analysis software
  • Organizational skills
  • Goal-setting competency
  • Prioritization skills
  • Clear and concise written and verbal communication, including technical communication
  • The ability to present complicated ideas clearly and concisely
  • Technical skills required for understand and selling products

Not all of the skills are requirements for every business manager position. However, it’s best to rack up as many of them as you can.

If you can prove that you’re prepared for the job, you’re going to be more likely to get the position and excel at it.

If you don’t have the degree or the skills that you need, you have two options. You can go back and retrain yourself or you can sell your abilities from another angle.

The first option may involve getting another degree or taking a few specialized classes.

The second option involves using creativity to determine how your unrelated degree and experiences can still apply to a business manager role. To do this, you just have to get creative about how you used leadership, communication, and other business skills in the past.

How to Become a Business Development Manager

If you’re starting from scratch, there are five steps to becoming a business development manager.

First, you have to get the necessary education. You may go to school for a business degree, apply for an advanced degree, or take a few specialized classes on the subject of business.

Getting some kind of business education under your belt is going to put you in the best position to get the job of your dreams.

Second, you should find a mentor. Creating and expanding your professional network is one of the most important things to do as a businessman or businesswoman. A mentor can help you navigate the business world and meet important figures.

Third, you should get the technical skills that you need. You may learn these in your business courses. However, if not, there are plenty of YouTube business tutorials that are relevant to managing a business.

Fourth, you need to build soft skills. These include communication and leadership skills that can only come with time and experience.

Lastly, you need to consider what your final career goal is. Based on that goal, you can determine what positions and companies you should be applying to.

Get Started Managing a Business

If you’re reading to get started managing a business, you should apply to become a bail bondsman agent. We hire individuals in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

This is a perfect opportunity for those of you who don’t have the necessary training. We’ll provide all of the training that you need to get your license.

To get started, apply to become a bail bondsman. You’ll have the ability to start your own business and make a difference.

Small Business Cashflow: How to Manage Your Bail Bond Business

On average, bail bond agents in Virginia earn $39,418 annually. So, on top of helping others, you earn a decent income when you pursue a career in this field. The reason is that many people cannot afford to raise bail bond money and will rely on your help.

However, when venturing into this industry, seek tips on how to manage your bail bond business. You want to learn how to handle the small business cash flow. The reason is that cash flow problems can lead to the collapse of your business.

To help you out, here is how to handle small business cash flow when managing a bail bond business.

Find Out More About Working Capital

When starting a bail bond business, many people have no idea what working capital is. These people assume the only hard thing about managing this business is finding clients. These entrepreneurs later face difficulties managing their current expenses.

So, to overcome this obstacle, you need to find out more about how working capital affects your company’s performance. First, working capital is your business’s current assets minus the current liabilities. Your business is in trouble if you have negative working capital, as this shows you cannot pay for current liabilities.

To mitigate this problem, look for ideas on how to improve your working capital. You want to ensure that your bail bond business has money to cater for the day-to-day expenses.

Learn to Manage Bail Bond Business Risks

You need to learn about the bail bond business risks that threaten your cash flow. These are things that make it hard to get payments from your clients. Or forces you to incur more liabilities than the budgeted ones.

Here are some of the risks you’ll face when running a bail bond business and how to overcome them:

Clients Skipping Court

When running a bail bond business, the biggest risk you face is a client failing to appear in court. When this happens, you bear the responsibility of hunting for this client. You’ll therefore be forced to incur an additional cost of hiring a bounty hunter.

Understand the court will give you a limited period for retrieving the runaway client. If you fail to present him/her within this period, you risk losing all the bail money. This will create a huge hole in the company’s cash flow, and you’ll struggle to recover.

So, look for professionals who’ll guide you on how to mitigate this business risk. You want to learn how to screen your clients before bailing them out. Also, you want tips on how to track the clients who run away.

False or Unknown Identities

As a bail bond agent, you’ll deal with many suspicious people who, in many instances, will lie to you. Some may give you fake identification cards, and you only realize this after they skip bail. So, you need to look for ways to verify the identity of your clients.

That’s why you must demand the client to provide social security number or mortgage papers. Also, to manage this business risk, ask your clients to provide a co-signer. So, you’ll know who to contact if you can’t reach the client after bailing him/her.

Calculate Your Monthly Expenses

Once you start a bail bond business, you’ll struggle to know your monthly expenses. So, you’re uncertain about how much money you need to cater for these expenses. That’s why you should look for professionals who’ll help you know more about these expenses.

You want to get help creating a budget for your bail bond business. You also need insights on how you can lower your expenses to boost your profits. Also, you need tips on how you can accurately forecast your future expense to avoid cash flow problems.

Have a Cash Reserve

The other cash flow management tip to follow is to have a cash reserve. Although you have a budget, unplanned expenses may pop up, and you have to pay for them. So, to ensure you’re prepared for this situation, you need to have an emergency funds account.

That’s why you should avoid withdrawing all the profits you earn from your bail bonds business. You need to open a bank account where you’ll be saving a portion of the profits you make. So, by having a cash reserve, you’ll ensure that you have positive working capital.

Consider Working Capital Financing

Despite adopting the best cash flow management practices, you may still face working capital problems. So, when this happens, you need to look for alternative ways to raise cash and fast. That’s why you need to learn how working capital financing works.

The idea is to take out a loan to cater to the pressing current liabilities. So, you need to find out the eligibility requirements for this financing. Also, you need to know the fees and the interest you’ll pay once you take out this loan.

To ease your work, look for the leading lenders who offer working capital loans. You want to find lenders with competitive interest rates. Also, you’re looking for a lender who’ll quickly disburse the money.

Boost the Odds of Success by Learning Small Business Cash Flow Management

Proper small business cash flow management will increase the odds of success of your bail bond business. You want to see things to do to increase your working capital. You also need to find out how to access financing to boost your working capital.

The other thing is to learn the risk you’ll encounter when operating a bail bond business. You want to know how you can mitigate this risk and improve your cash flow.

Call us today for insights on how to become a bail bond agent in Virginia.