Select and complete the appropriate form – see below.
Send completed form and accompanying documentation to BGA. Incomplete documentation will delay the application process. Application fees need to be paid upfront, irrespective of the outcome.
BGA will review the information provided and carry out the necessary credit checks
Subject to meeting the Underwriter's criteria, the Applicant will be advised if a bond will be issued or declined. A Deed of Indemnity (or any other securities called for) must be executed and the premium paid in full, prior to the issuance of a Bond.
An application form and full details of your business (company) are required. This may appear time consuming but the insurer needs to know a lot about the Applicant - as you would if someone asked you to guarantee them. The Applicant needs a sound financial and resource basis together with an appropriate business track record, expertise, and reputation.
- Corporate Questionnaire - gives us the much needed background on your company
- Specific Bond Application - covers the particulars of your application.
- Statement of Position - provides financial information.
- Checklist - helps you make sure you've covered all the requirements for your surety bond application to proceed.
Note the additional attachments required to accompany the abovementioned forms are listed in the section The Basics of a Contract Surety Bond Submission below.
Click on the form header to download a copy or you can find all the forms appended below. Upon completion, you can either print and post the forms to us or alternatively, you can scan the completed forms and email to us (note the original forms have to be sent to BGA when a Surety Bond is executed and issued).
Contractors need to get their bonding requirements in order early. There’s not much point in asking for one off bonds the day before the first progress payment is due! BGA recommends that Applicants have us arrange a bond well in advance so that when a bond is required it can be issued with a minimum of delay.
Considerable information will be asked for and the process can be time consuming, depending on how organised the Applicant is. But consider that the bond provider is being asked to guarantee the Applicants work – put yourself in the bond provider’s shoes and ask what you would want if you were asked to guarantee someone previously unknown to you.
The quality of that information and the manner in which it is presented will dramatically influence whether or not surety credit (bond) is granted and to what dollar amount. With proper preparation and guidance, Applicants can do a great deal to maximize the prospects of their surety bond credit application. BGA will provide guidance where required.
Once all the information has been submitted and the bond issued, all that is required is updating the information from time to time.
To start, the Applicant needs to assemble the following information:
a) Reputation and experience - Any documentation, including industry and credit referees, quality assurance and past projects, to establish reputation and/or experience will enhance the presentation. A picture is worth a thousand words, and photographs or brochures documenting where you have been and what you have done are a significant enhancement.
b) Completed and current contracts - Information containing a portfolio of your past completed and current projects speak volumes of your capabilities and experience. This coupled with clients testimonies (if available) helps underwriter get a better understanding of your company, your abilities and competencies in completing a project on a timely basis and in accordance to the contract agreement.
c) Applicant's Financials -the most important information relates to the Applicant's balance sheet and working capital situation as it relates to the work program (contract) to be undertaken. The Application's net worth and working capital requirements will vary depending on the work program being covered. For example, if you are looking at a $5,000,000 project then the bond provider will be looking for at least $500,000 in working capital or three times of the Bond size required, whichever is higher (The bond provider will calculate working capital by taking into consideration cash, accounts receivable, other current assets (which are often discounted), less all current liabilities).
d) Personal Financial Statements and Guarantees- the bond provider will also require personal financial statements of the individual owner(s). Additional assets outside the Applicant's business entity (whether a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship) will be given due consideration, as the personal guarantees of all owners and spouses will be required, at least initially, to guarantee the obligations of the contracting company. Personal net worth notwithstanding, the bond provider will seek to be sure its business Applicant has a financial statement considered adequate to support the cash flow and funding needs of the business in pursuing its work program.
e) Business Plan - In addition to reputation, experience, and adequate capitalisation, the Applicant must have a sound and realistic business plan and vision for the business. This may take the form of a special relationship with certain project owners, proven abilities in value engineering, or expertise in certain construction methods. The bond provider, in its subjective evaluation, will be trying to understand your business strategy, i.e., your attitude toward bidding and obtaining work. It will be looking for a sensible, conservative point of view toward taking risks and evidence of your contracting history.
The creation and submission of a formal business plan will most favorably assist the bond provider's evaluation of the Applicant's strategy and vision. This plan should help the bond provider follow where the Applicant wants to go and how it proposes to get there. In evaluating the stability and capabilities of the company, the bond provider will want to see an organization chart.
Not enough can be said about the importance of the financial information provided to the bond provider. It is critical and must be prepared in the correct form by a chartered accountant (or equivalent) with a sound reputation within the industry. Ideally the past three year-end financial statements should be supplied. A continuing flow of financial reports during the course of the year, ideally quarterly, is usually asked for and should be planned for in advance.
This information allows the bond provider to track the progress of the work and the company. Over time this will further demonstrate the Applicant's capabilities in forecasting and in identifying problems early, therefore avoiding disappointing surprises to the bond provider which can shake the bond provider's confidence and level of bond provider support.
Good financial progress and reporting will also enhance the Applicants ability to obtain additional bond limits.
- Contractor's questionnaire, including credit and performance references [part of Bond Application Form]
- Audited or Externally prepared Financial accounts and reports for 3 years.
- Up to date management accounts.
- Bank reference letter (setting out current bank facilities including bonding).
- Work-in-progress spreadsheet information.
- Personal financial statements on owners and spouses. [part of Bond Application Form]
- Bond format. This is usually specified by the project owner (beneficiary)