Tennessee Surety Bonds Overview

Surety bonds are required in Tennessee for several reasons. Typically, when applying for a business license, applicants are also required to post a surety bond. Similarly, to work on a state construction project, contractors may also be required to post a bond before they can bid or perform on a contract.

What does the bond do?

The purpose of the surety bond is to guarantee that the bonded party, the bond principal, will comply with state laws, such as the Tennessee Code, and in particular the provisions that govern their type of business. In the case of contractors, surety bonds usually guarantee their performance in accordance with the conditions of their contract.

Moreover, a surety bond’s further purpose is to provide financial security. If a bond principal violates the bond agreement and harms or damages the bond obligees - the state or public - a claim can be made against the bond to request financial compensation.

Learn more about how bonds work through our detailed ‘What is a surety bond’ guide!

You can proceed to your bond application directly by finding the bond you need in the table below.

Read on below, for extensive information about the various types of Tennessee surety bonds, how much it costs to get bonded, and how to get bonded.

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".

Agricultural (Non-Livestock) Bond Tennessee Department of Agriculture Pesticides Apply Now
Agricultural (Non-Livestock) Bond Tennessee Department of Agriculture Pest Control License Bond Apply Now
Contractor License Performance & Payment (Local) Bond NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson Apply Now
Contractor License Performance & Payment (Local) Bond Hendersonville Department of Building & Codes City of Hendersonville Permit Bond Apply Now
Contractor License Performance & Payment (State) Bond Board of Licensing Contractors, Dept of Commerce a Fire Protection Sprinkler Contractor Apply Now
Contractor License Performance & Payment (State) Bond Dept. of Commerce & Insurance, Contractor License Home Improvement Contractor Apply Now
Contractor License Performance & Payment (State) Bond Memphis & Shelby County Memphis and Shelby County Code Enforcement Bond Apply Now
Investment Advisor (Blue Sky) Bond State of Tennessee Securities Investment Advisor Bond Apply Now
Collection Agency Bond Tennessee Department of commerce and Insurance Collection Service License Bond Apply Now
Collection Agency Bond Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Collection Agency Bond Apply Now
Collection Agency Bond Tennessee Department of Commerce Collection Service License Apply Now
Collection Agency Bond Director of Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs Credit Services Organization Bond Apply Now
Professional Fund Raisers Bond Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming Professional Fund Raising Apply Now
Insurance Adjusters Bond TN Department of Commerce Public Adjusters Apply Now
Mortgage Broker (1st & 2nd Mortgages) Bond Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions Mortgage Broker, Lender or Servicer Apply Now
Mortgage Lender/Banker (1st & 2nd Mort.) Bond STATE OF TENNESSEE Dept OF FINANCIAL INST. Mortgage Lender Apply Now
Small Loan Companies Bond Department of Financial Institutions Title Pledge Lender Apply Now
Small Loan Companies Bond State of Tennessee Dept. of Financial Institutions Industrial Loan and Thrift Apply Now
Title Insurance Agents & Escrow Officers Bond Dept of Commerce and Insurance Title Insurance Producer's Apply Now
Title Insurance Agents & Escrow Officers Bond Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Title Insurance Producer's Apply Now
Auto & Mobile Home Dealers (New & Used) Bond Motor Vehicle Commission Motor Vehicle Dealer Apply Now
Auto & Mobile Home Dealers (New & Used) Bond Motor Vehicle Commissioner Dealer of Manufactured Homes Apply Now
Auto & Mobile Home Dealers (Used Only, No New) Bond Motor Vehicle Commission Motor Vehicle Auction Apply Now
Auto & Mobile Home Dealers (Used Only, No New) Bond Motor Vehicle Commission Motor Vehicle Dealer Apply Now
Motor Vehicle (Non-Dealer, Not Listed) Bond Motor Vehicle Commission Motor Vehicle Auction Apply Now
Motor Vehicle (Non-Dealer, Not Listed) Bond Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission Manufactured Home Stabilizing System Installer Bon Apply Now
Motor Vehicle (Non-Dealer, Not Listed) Bond STATE FIRE MARSHAL’S OFFICE Modular Building Units Installer Bond Apply Now
Motor Vehicle (Non-Dealer, Not Listed) Bond State Fire Marshal's Office - Codes Enforcement Modular Building Units Dealer Bond Apply Now
Sport Permits Bond Tennessee Athletic Commission Professional Boxing or Combat Matches Promoter Apply Now
Health Spas/Health Clubs Bond State of Tennessee Dept of Commerce & Insurance STATE OF TENNESSEE – HEALTH CLUB SURETY Apply Now
Employment Agencies Bond Department of Commerce & Insurance Staff Leasing Company License or Permit Bond Apply Now
Retail Stores & Service Shops State Board of Cosmetology School of Cosmetology Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond State of Tennessee, County of Shelby County Public Officals Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Wildlife Recources Agency Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond Department of Agriculture Pest Control License Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond Division of Consumer Affairs Beauty Pageant Surety Bond Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond Maury County General Session & Circuit Court Probationary Services Provider Perfromance Bond Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond State of Tennessee Securities Division Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond Business Services Division - Tre Hargett Litigation Financier Bond Apply Now
Schools (All) Bond Tennessee Board of Cosmetology Private School Bond (Cosmetology) Apply Now
Schools (All) Bond Tennessee Higher Education Commission Postsecondary Educationall Institutions Bond Apply Now
Schools (All) Bond Tennessee Higher Education Commission Postsecondary Educationall Institutions Bond Apply Now
Alcohol (Manufacturers, Warehouses, Wholesalers) Bond Department of Revenue Warehousmen, Dealers, Wholesalers, Manufacturers o Apply Now
Alcohol (Retailers) Bond State of Tennessee ABC Sale of Alcoholic Beverages For Consumption On Pre Apply Now
Alcohol (Retailers) Bond State Tennessee Sale of Alcoholic Beverages For Consumption On Pre Apply Now
Alcohol (All Others) Bond Department of Revenue State of Tennessee License For Consumption On Premises Apply Now
Alcohol (All Others) Bond Department of Revenue Alcohol (All Others) Bond Apply Now
Cigar/Cigarette & Tobacco Tax Bond Tennessee Department of Revenue TOBACCO TAX STAMP AFFIXING AGENT Apply Now
Fuel Tax (All Others, Sellers & Users) Bond TN Dept of Revenue Petroleum Products and Alternative Fuels Apply Now
Utility Deposit Bond Clarksville Department of Electricity Utility Deposit Bond Apply Now
Utility Deposit Bond Electric Board of Chattanooga Electric Service Indemnity Bond (Electric Board of Apply Now
Utility Deposit Bond Murfreesboro Electric Department Murfreesboro Electric Utility Deposit Bond Apply Now
Utility Deposit Bond Cookeville Electric Dept. City of Cookeville Electric Dept. Utility Bond Apply Now
Utility Deposit Bond Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division Memphis Light, Gas & Water Div Indemnity Bond for Apply Now
Utility Deposit Bond Nashville Electric Service Electric Service Furnished Bond (Davidson County, Apply Now
Utility Deposit Bond Metro Water Services Utility Bond (Metro Water Services) Apply Now
Lottery Bond Tennessee Education Lottery Corp. Lottery Retailer Apply Now
Telemarketing/Phone Solicitor Bond Tennessee Secretary of State Professional Solicitor Bond Apply Now
Appraisal Management TN Appraisal Commission Appraisal Management Company Bond Apply Now

Types of Surety Bonds in Tennessee

You will usually be asked to obtain one of the following three main types of surety bonds:

  • License and permit bonds
  • Contract bonds
  • Court bonds

Continue below for more information on each particular type of bond.

License & Permit Bonds

Tennessee license bonds are put in place by the state government, in order to protect the public and the government itself from businesses that violate state regulations. This may include not doing business transparently enough, or intentionally committing fraud and dishonesty.

In such cases, Tennessee license bonds are there to extend financial compensation to those affected by such actions (the bond’s obligees such as customers or the public) for the financial harm they have suffered.

Tennessee auto dealer bonds and freight broker bonds are some of the most popular license bonds in the state but many other businesses also require these bonds.

All these bonds have different bonding amounts, which are usually mandated by state legislation. To find out more about a bond’s amount and how that affects its cost, read on below about Tennessee surety bond cost.

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 are those surety bonds which licensed Tennessee contractors will often be required to obtain, when they want to work on a construction job in the state.

Once contractors are licensed and bonded, they will be allowed to bid on and work on public and private construction jobs. Most public and state projects will require contractors to obtain Tennessee contract bonds that guarantee their faithful performance and execution of their responsibilities as per contract. Many if not all private construction jobs will require the same of contractors.

Court Bonds

Court bonds are used whenever an appellant wants to take a case to an appellate court. In those cases, they will be required by the court to obtain a specific type of bond - a supersedeas bond, also known as an appeal bond.

Alternatively, those who are being appointed as fiduciaries in Tennessee and are expected to guard over and take care of someone’s property may be asked to obtain a fiduciary bond by a Tennessee probate court.

Call us at (866) 450-3412 if you have any questions whatsoever about these bonds!

What’s the Cost of a Surety Bond in Tennessee?

The cost of your Tennessee surety bond depends on the amount of the bond. The amount is its penal sum, the amount of maximum compensation that state regulations have specified as relevant for each particular bond. For example, in order to obtain a motor vehicle dealer license in Tennessee, applicants need to post a $50,000 Tennessee auto dealer bond.

This does not mean, however, that they need to pay $50,000 in order to obtain the bond. The cost of the bond, or the premium, that applicants pay is a percentage of the total amount of the bond.

What determines the bond premium?

When sureties receive applications for bonds, they check a number of financial indicators in order to set a rate at which the applicant can obtain the bond. The most significant indicator is personal credit score. Those applicants with good credit scores receive better rates than those with a lower score.

Sureties also take into account other factors. For example, among others, they may consider your:

  • Personal financial statements
  • Business financial statements
  • Industry experience

The rates for good credit applicants are called standard market rates. Tennessee surety bond applicants with a good score can expect to receive a quote that ranges between 1%-4% of the total amount of the bond they are applying for.

What about applicants with low credit?

While such applicants are deemed risky by sureties because of their financial status, by working with the right agency, these applicants can still get bonded.

In order to get bonded, these applicants have to pay a slightly higher rate, 5%-15% of the total bond amount, due to the increased risk that they posit for the surety.

You can learn more about getting bonded with a lower score at our Bad Credit Surety Bond Program page.

To get an idea how much your surety bond will cost, try our surety bond cost calculator below!

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Surety Bond Cost Calculator

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Our Surety Bond Cost page can provide you with plenty of additional and useful information about how surety bond cost is formed.

How to Get Bonded in Tennessee

To get your surety bond you simply need to fill in the right application, submit it, and then wait for your free bond quote and approval. Here’s how to apply depending on the bond you need:

License bond application

To start your license bond application, complete our simple online bond form. We will soon get in touch with you to provide you with a free quote and more information about getting your bond.

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 need a contract bond, complete the online form that’s right for you and send it to us. We will then process and review your application and get in touch with you.

Our experts are available for you to talk to at (866)-450-3412. Call us anytime to inquire about surety bonds or receive help with your application.

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.