Bail bond companies are an integral part of the United States justice system. Putting up cash bail for pre-trial release helps defendants stay with their families. Unfortunately, with the median bail amount around $10,000 nationally, many defendants can not afford to post bail without a bail bonds company stepping up.
Starting a bail bonds company can be complicated, but it pays off in the end. Bondmen help the justice system run smoothly and protect defendants’ rights. Bail bond companies also help defendants navigate the justice system. If interested in providing this service, you should learn how to start a bail bonds company in Texas.
Requirements for a Bail Bonds Company in Texas
There are strict requirements for becoming a bondsman. Texas law requires every bondsman to take at least 8 hours of in-person classes approved by the state bar of Texas. Bondmen must also be age 18 or older. Further, any conviction for a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or a felony will disqualify someone from being a bondsman.
Bail bond companies must be registered to do business in Texas. They must also be qualified to write bonds under the Texas Insurance Code.
Steps to Starting a Bail Bonds Company in Texas
Starting a company in a competitive market like the bail bonds industry involves research and planning. A framework for the steps you will need to take can help you get started.
1. Do Your Research
The bail bonds industry in the United States is massive. It is also highly competitive. No one company has a dominant share of the market.
The competitiveness of the bail bonds industry makes market research essential. A couple questions to answer through your research include:
- What market is best to target first?
- What is the size of the market?
- Who is the competition?
- Who are the key players in the local courts?
It is also essential to understand the everyday work of a bondsman. Being a bondsman is hard work, and you will likely be working with some people who have committed a crime. Knowing precisely what the job entails will prepare you to handle challenging situations.
One of the best ways to get this information is by talking to players in the local justice system. Judges, defense attorneys, police, and sheriffs will know much about the local bail bonds market.
2. Meet All Requirements
You must meet all the legal requirements to operate a bail bonds company. Take the required classes and ensure they are approved by the state bar of Texas. You will also need to pass the national bail bond agent exam.
Next, you’ll need to work on registering your bail bonds business in Texas. Register your business name online and pay the required fees. After this, you can get your business’s formation documents and tax identification number. This step is necessary to operate your business legally in Texas.
3. Submit an Application
Complete the application to become a licensed bondsman in Texas. The application process will require a background check and fingerprinting.
You will also need to get the surety bond required by the Texas licensing board. A surety bond is a three-party contract in which you will guarantee that your company will operate legally.
4. Find a Reputable Insurance Company
Unless you want to risk your own money if one of your customers skips bail, working with a good insurance company is essential. An insurance company will pay the bail bond if your customer does not attend court. They can also help insure your business against other catastrophic losses.
5. Find a Location and Advertise
Many bail bond companies obtain a competitive advantage by finding an office near the jail. People get arrested at all hours. Further, many people in jail have just had one of the worst days of their lives. They will want to find the closest bondsman so they can go home.
Advertising online in your local community is also critical. Many families look for competitive companies online when a family member gets arrested.
6. Run Your Business
Once you set up your business, you must operate it according to Texas law. A bail bonds company needs a way to intake customers and track them through to the end of their case. You will need legal procedures to deal with clients who skip bail. It is also helpful to have a realistic growth plan for your company.
The Curley Law Firm Can Help
If you are starting a bail bonds company in Texas, The Curley Law Firm knows how to help. We know that crafting an airtight business plan and complying with all laws and regulations is the best path toward success. Our client-oriented, results-driven approach will help get your business up and running in no time. Contact the Curley Law Firm now so we can help you with your business needs.