Iowa Surety Bonds Overview

The state of Iowa frequently requires that applicants for a business or professional license obtain a surety bond during the licensing process. Construction contractors in the state also frequently need to get bonded, in particular when performing work on state or federal projects.

Why do I need a bond?

Surety bonds guarantee that the bonded party (the bond principal) will comply with the conditions of the bond agreement. These conditions typically require the principal to adhere to state laws that govern their type of business and generally to conduct business in an honest manner.

If the principal violates the bond agreement, the party that requires the bond and is protected by it (the bond obligee) may file a claim against the bond. Claims are usually filed when a loss or damages occur as a result of such a violation. In this case the bond serves as a guarantee that financial compensation will be extended to claimants.

You can learn more about surety bonds from our detailed ‘What is a surety bond’ guide!

If you are ready to apply for your bond, find it in the table below and follow the application link.

If you are in doubt about the type of bond you need, continue to the sections below for more information about the different types of surety bonds in Iowa, how much they cost, and how you can get yours.

Find the Bond You Need

The table below contains a list of only the most popular surety bonds. If you can't find yours, fill out our online application and select "Not in the list".

Contractor License (No P&P Language) Bond City of Bettendorf, Building Inspection Services City of Bettendorf Contractor License Bond Apply Now
Contractor License Performance & Payment (Local) Bond City of Davenport, Iowa License and Permit Bond (Davenport, IA) Apply Now
Contractor License Performance & Payment (Local) Bond City of Fort Dodge, IA; City Treasurer's Office General Contractor Bond (Fort Dodge, IA) Apply Now
Contractor License Performance & Payment (Local) Bond City Treasurer's Office Right of Way Permit Bond (Fort Dodge, IA) Apply Now
Contractor License Performance & Payment (State) Bond Iowa division of labor contractor registration Division of Labor Out of State Contractor Apply Now
Contractor License Performance & Payment (State) Bond Iowa Division of Labor Contractor License Performance & Payment (State) B Apply Now
Contractor License Performance & Payment (State) Bond Plumbing & Mechanical Systems Board Commercial Refrigeration Bond Apply Now
Debt Consolidators Bond Secretary of State Credit Services Organization Apply Now
Insurance Adjusters Bond Iowa Insurance Division Insurance Adjuster Bond Apply Now
Insurance 3rd Party Administrator Bond Insurance Division Third Party Administrator Apply Now
Mortgage Broker (1st & 2nd Mortgages) Bond Superintendent of Banking, Dept of Commerce Mortgage Surety Apply Now
Mortgage Broker (1st & 2nd Mortgages) Bond Superintendent of Banking, Dept of Commerce Mortgage Broker Apply Now
Mortgage Broker (1st & 2nd Mortgages) Bond Superintendent of Banking REGULATED LOAN LICENSE (IOWA) Apply Now
Mortgage Lender/Banker (1st & 2nd Mort.) Bond Superintendant of Banking, Iowa Dept of Commerce Mortgage Banker Apply Now
Title Insurance Agents & Escrow Officers Bond Superintendent of Banking Iowa Department Closing Agent Apply Now
Auto & Mobile Home Dealers (New & Used) Bond Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Dealer Apply Now
Auto & Mobile Home Dealers (Used Only, No New) Bond Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Dealer Apply Now
Sport Permits Bond State of Iowa Athletic Commission Iowa Division of Athletic Commissioner Boxing/Wrestling/Mixed Marti Apply Now
Detectives Bond Iowa Department of Public Safety Detectives Bond Apply Now
Employment Agencies Bond Workforce Developmetn Division of Labor Services Employment Agency Bond Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond DNR - FORESTRY BUREAU Purchase of Timber from Timber Growers by a Timber Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond Insurance Commissioner of Iowa Licensed Service Company's Bond Apply Now
Schools (All) Bond State of Iowa Instructional School Apply Now
Travel Agencies Bond Secretary of State TRAVEL AGENCY BOND FORM Apply Now
Alcohol (Retailers) Bond Iowa Alcohlic Beverages division Commerical Liquor License Apply Now
Utility Deposit Bond Alliant Energy Alliant Energy Utiltiy Bond Apply Now
Money Transmitter Bond State of Iowa Money Transmitter Bond Apply Now

Types of Surety Bonds

The type of bond you require depends on what you need it for:

  • For business licensing purposes, you will need to get a license and permit bond

  • For construction-related purposes, such as participating in a bid or performing on a project, you will need a contract bond

  • To appeal a court ruling or if you will be appointed as someone’s fiduciary or guardian, you will need a court bond

License & Permit Bonds

License and permit bonds are relevant for those businesses that are required by state regulations to get bonded when getting licensed. They guarantee that Iowa businesses that are licensed and bonded will adhere to Iowa state and industry regulations for their license. This means that they will only conduct business lawfully and legally.

License bonds protect bond obligees (the state and clients) by securing compensation for them, should a business act dishonestly, commit fraud or else.

Start your surety bond application today! Why us?
  • Quick turnaround - just 1-2 business days
  • Tailor-made advice on building a strong application
  • Exclusive bad credit programs

Contract Bonds

Contract bonds, such as performance and payment bonds, are required of contractors. Licensed and bonded Iowa contractors must obtain these bonds when they decide to bid on or participate on a construction project.

Usually these bonds are required for state or federal construction projects but many private construction project owners will also have a surety bond requirement for the contractors they hire. The point of contract bonds is to protect the obligees, which are the owners or the state, against contractor malpractices and bad performance.

Court Bonds

Court bonds are often required of individuals by a variety of Iowa courts, depending on each particular case. They are relevant for instances when court judgements are being appealed or fiduciaries are being appointed.

If you have any questions about these types of bonds, give us a call at (866) 450-3412!

What is The Cost of a Bond in Iowa

The cost - or premium - of your surety bond is derived from the amount of your surety bond as well as by your own financial standing. A surety bond’s amount or penal sum is the amount of coverage that it provides to the ones it protects - the obligees. A bond’s obligees are usually the public (the state) or individual consumers. Your surety bond's cost is, in most cases, a percentage of that amount.

How is my bond premium determined?

To determine the appropriate amount of an applicant’s premium, sureties assess the applicant’s financial status. The most important indicator which they consider in doing so is personal credit score. To get a fuller picture, sureties may also want to review your:

  • Personal financial statements
  • Business financial statements
  • Industry experience and knowledge
  • Business and its health

If a surety deems an applicant reliable, based on their credit score and other factors, they will usually offer them a premium that is between 1%-4% of the total bond amount. This is called a standard market rate and it is usually offered to applicants with high credit scores.

Can I get bonded if I have a low credit score?

Applicants with low, bad, or no credit altogether can also apply for a bond and be approved. Rates for such applicants are higher, usually 5%-15% of the total amount, because of the greater risk that sureties take on in bonding bad credit applicants. Yet, by improving your credit score over time, you can become eligible for standard market rates.

If you’re curious how much your bond may cost, try our surety bond cost calculator below to get an estimate.

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If you find you need more information about premiums, our Surety Bond Cost page has plenty of useful information.

How to Get Bonded in Iowa

To apply for your bond, you simply need to complete the initial bond application form after which we’ll get in touch with you to provide you with a free quote, and more information about getting bonded.

License bond application

To get started with your license bond application, complete our 1-page online bond form.

Start your surety bond application today! Why us?
  • The lowest possible rates
  • A 100% money-back guarantee
  • Access to specialty programs, not available to small agencies

Contract Bond Application

If you require a contract bond, download and complete the correct online form. Send the completed form to us and we will get in touch with you shortly.

Do you require any assistance with your application or more information about the bonding requirements in Iowa? Don’t hesitate to call us at (866)-450-3412!

Further Reading


About the author:
Todd Bryant
Todd Bryant is a graduate of Germantown Academy and the University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration Honors College. He has been President of Bryant Surety Bonds, Inc., an A+ rated Business with the Better Business Bureau, since 2007. Licensed as a producer with the Department of Insurance, he has been published in the National Association of Surety Bond Producers newsletter and on numerous authoritative publications such as The Washington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Azcentral.com and many more.