A bid bond is submitted when you bid on a project, and obligates a firm to honor its pricing if it is awarded a contract. A performance bond obligates a company to complete a project according to the contract terms. A payment bond is a guarantee that the firm will pay all its subcontractors, craftspeople, and suppliers. If you fail to honor the terms of the surety bond, then the surety company that issued the bond will be responsible for paying.
Because of the risk involved, surety companies review detailed credit and financial information about your firm before issuing a bond. Your company has to prove to the surety company that it is capable of honoring its commitment. If you are granted a bond, you pay a premium (similar to an insurance premium) for the surety bond.
The Small Business Administration has programs in place to help small businesses get the bonds they need. The agency’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program will guarantee bonds as high as $2 million, and is open to all small businesses. Bonds are issued by a surety company, and the SBA will guarantee 70% to 90%, depending upon the program.