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For Surety Companies and Agents

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Prior Approval surety companies must comply with all requirements contained in 13 CFR Part 115, Subparts A and B. Preferred surety companies must comply with all requirements contained in 13 CFR Part 115, Subparts A and C.

Among other requirements, a surety company must: (1) be a corporation approved by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to issue bonds in connection with Federal contracts (13 CFR 115.11); (2) not sell or transfer its files or accounts unless it has obtained SBA’s prior, written approval [this provision does not apply to the sale of an entire business division, subsidiary or operation of the surety (13 CFR 115.12(f))]; (3) the Surety must agree to use standards generally accepted by the surety industry in underwriting bond applications [these standards must be used on both SBA and non-SBA guaranteed bonds (13 CFR 115.15(a))]; and (4) not charge a bond premium in excess of that authorized by the applicable State insurance department, nor impose any non-premium fee unless such a fee is permitted by applicable State law and approved by SBA (13 CFR 115.32(a) and 13 CFR 115.60(a)(2)).

Additional requirements for Preferred Surety companies include, among others: (1) the Surety must have an underwriting limitation of at least $2 million, as cited on the U.S. Treasury Department list of acceptable surety companies (13 CFR 115.60(a)(1)); (2) the Surety may have premium income from contract bonds guaranteed by any government agency (Federal, state or local) of no more than one quarter of the total contract bond premium income of the Surety (13 CFR 115.60(a)(3)); (3) the vesting of underwriting authority for SBA guaranteed bonds is limited to employees of the Surety (13 CFR 115.60(4)); and (4) the vesting of final settlement authority for claims and recovery under the program is limited to employees of the Surety’s permanent claims department. (13 CFR 115.60(5))

Application Requirements and Procedures to Become a Participating Surety

Applications for SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program must include the following information:

1.  Identification of the corporate entity that is applying for participation in the SBG Program, names and titles of key executives, and points of contact responsible for the management and administration of its programs. 

2.  A summary statement describing any ongoing or planned mergers, acquisitions or other changes in organizational structure or key management positions that may influence participation and performance in the program. Include a company organizational chart.

3.  A narrative summary addressing the following:

  • Summary of why the applicant wants to participate in the SBG Program.
  • Projected annual SBA bond activity, to include the number of bonds and total dollar value for each of the first three years of program participation.

4.  Applicant performance over each of the past three years to include:                                                                                                                                                                                                  

  • Number of bonds issued and total dollar value.
  • Number of contract defaults and the total dollar value.
  • Total dollar value of recoveries for each year.

5. Narrative summary of the standards, processes, and procedures for underwriting. Include a copy of manual(s) with applications.

6. Narrative summary of standards, processes and procedures for administering and paying claims, and submitting claim reimbursement requests to the Small Business Administration. Include a copy of manual(s) with application.

Please submit all application information to the following address: 

Small Business Administration

Office of Surety Guarantees

Attn: Ms. Tesha Williams

409 Third Street S.W.

Suite 8600

Washington, D.C. 20416

How Prior Approval Surety Companies and Agents Submit Bond Guarantee Applications through the E-App System

Prior Approval sureties or their agents can submit applications electronically through the E-App System by following the steps below:

1. To use the E-App, you must have an account for SBA’s General Login System (GLS), which is the single login point for all SBA services. To obtain an account, you must first be authorized by a surety company to obligate the company in the E-app system and issue bonds on its behalf. SBA’s Office of Surety Guarantees needs written confirmation from each surety company for which you have been authorized to write bonds. (E-App Access Application) 

Please send confirmation letters to the following address:

Small Business Administration

Office of Surety Guarantees

409 Third Street S.W.

Suite 8600

Washington, D.C. 20416

After we receive confirmation, we will send you an Electronic Data Certification, which must be signed, notarized and returned to the address above.

2. You will then be contacted by the OSG Security Administrator to complete the setup of your account. Once the profile information has been submitted and approved, you will receive an e-mail with your ID and a default password.

3. The first time you log into the General Login System – “Choose Function” screen using the default password, the Change Password screen will appear. Use this screen to select a user password of your choice.

4. On the General Login System – Choose Function screen, select the Surety Bond Guarantee applications to begin using the system to enter and/or submit Surety Bond Applications.

Required Surety Forms for Prior Approval Program

In addition to the required contractor forms, the following Prior Approval Surety Company forms are required:

  • Form 990 – Surety Bond Guarantee Agreement
    The Surety Company or agent is required to print, sign and mail the original 990, Surety Bond Guarantee Agreement, to the Denver or Seattle Area Office. If it is for a final bond, it must be accompanied by the contractor’s fee check or the contractor’s fee must be paid electronically using Pay.gov.
  • Form 944B – Surety Bond Guarantee Underwriting Review
    If a Prior Approval application is submitted through the E-App system, a paper copy of the 994B is not required.

Surety Bond Guarantee Reference Guide (Prior Approval)

Download and read the Surety Bond Guarantee Reference Guide to learn more about how to apply for SBA bond guarantees. The guide is customized for surety agents.

Agent User’s Manual for E-App

Download and read the Agent’s User’s Manual to learn more about the E-App system, which enables surety agents to enter surety bond guarantee applications, complete required forms and forward information to SBA.

How Preferred Sureties Submit Bond Guarantee Applications

In the Preferred Program, prior SBA approval of bond guarantees is not required. Preferred sureties, however, must notify SBA electronically of all bonds issued. For all final bonds, Preferred Program sureties report and submit to SBA all contractor and surety fees due via a monthly invoice.

Required Forms for the Preferred Program Only

Additional Help

For more information, contact SBA’s Office of Surety Guarantees in Washington, D.C. at (202) 205-6540 or 800-877-8339.

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