To operate as a collection agency, a collector, or a solicitor in the state of Wisconsin, you need to have a collection agency license from the state Department of Financial Institutions.
To obtain a Wisconsin collection agency license, you will need to complete a number of licensing requirements. These involve submitting financial statements and a Wisconsin collection agency bond, as well as passing a criminal background check, and several others.
Keep reading to get a full overview of all the licensing requirements you need to pass!
1. Obtain Business Registration in Wisconsin
Prior to applying for your collection agency license, you need to register your business on a state level. You cannot get licensed without this registration.
For the purpose, visit the Wisconsin One Stop Business Registration Portal. The portal will guide you through the registration with multiple state agencies, such as the Department of Financial Institutions, the Department of Revenue, and the Department of Workforce Development.
After you finish the registration, you can proceed with applying for your license.
2. Apply for Your Wisconsin Collection Agency License
As a first step of the application process, download and complete the collection agency license instructions and application form. As you will see, the form includes a detailed list of all the information and documents you need to submit. These include:
- Wisconsin collection agency bond
- Internally prepared balance sheet and income statement, as well as financial statements audited by a certified public accountant (if available)
- Applications for any solicitors and collectors who will be working outside of your office
- List of all solicitors and collectors who will not be working outside of the office but will be using an alias during the course of work
- A business plan that includes a description of all products and services, the management team, and records, if not yet in operation; or a detailed description of the mode of operations, if already in operation
- Certificate of Good Standing / Authority
- Criminal history reports for all individuals who own 10% or more of the agency as well as for all key officers, members, and partners of the applicant
- Resumes of all individuals who own 10% or more of the company as well as for every key officer, director, member, or partner of the applicant
- Copies of all contracts between the applicant and any independent contractors they have hired (if applicable)
- Completed and signed affidavit
These are all the application requirements you need to cover for your collection agency license application. See the next section for more information about the purpose of the surety bond, its amount, and how to apply for one.
3. Get a Wisconsin Collection Agency Bond
All applicants for a license must submit a Wisconsin collection agency bond. The purpose of this surety bond is to guarantee licensees’ compliance with Section 218.04 of the Wisconsin Statutes. The amount of the bond you need to post varies depending on whether you maintain records in the state or not.
Applicants who maintain records in Wisconsin must post a $25,000 bond, whereas applicants who maintain records outside of Wisconsin must post a $35,000 bond.
If you’d like to know how much your bond will cost, you can get a free quote by completing the bond form below!
4. Submit Your Application Packet and Pay Fees
To submit your application and supporting documents, mail them to the Department at the following address:
Department of Financial Institutions
Division of Banking
PO Box 7876
Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7876
You must also include a $1,200 license fee, as well as a $15 annual license fee for every solicitor or collector who will be working outside of your office. Mail these in the form of a check made payable to the Department of Financial Institutions.
The Division will then review your application, and unless it determines that you do not meet its criteria, it will issue your Wisconsin collection agency license.
If you have any questions about the application process for this license, make sure to contact the Division at (608) 261-7578.