The pest control industry is very strict with many complicated licensing regulations because operators work with potentially dangerous chemicals. In order to protect the public and prove financial responsibility, many states require pest control operators to obtain a surety bond as part of the licensing requirements. These bonds are a form of insurance that guarantees that pest control operators will comply with all local, state and federal laws regarding the application of pesticides.
Premiums can range from 1% to 5% of the bond amount, depending on your state and financial rating. The annual premium for the California pest control surety bond, for example, is $120, which is 1% of the bond’s $12,500 penal sum. (The penal sum is the total amount that can be awarded.)
The amount of the pest control bond is determined by each state’s licensing authority. In some states, no bond is required. In others, bond amounts range from $2,500 in Alabama to $50,000 in Arkansas.
|Mississippi||$5,000 – $10,000||Varies|
* Cost can vary depending on the bond amount required and your credit rating
Individual states set their own requirements for pest control licensing. So, check your own state’s laws to see if a bond is required before you set up a pest control business. These types of businesses may include ground fumigation, aerial pest control, maintenance gardener, and anyone engaging in the application of pesticides. The license and bond need to be maintained as long as the business remains operational.
Currently, a pest control bond is required in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Mississippi and Tennessee.
A pest control bond is a contract between the exterminator (principal), the state authority (known as the obligee) and the surety company.
If a court finds that your actions harmed a customer, you may be required to pay damages. If you are unable to do so, the bond provides a form of financial backup that consumers can claim against. This is also the case if a pest control business fails to follow state and federal laws and causes damage to a property or person. If the surety company pays out a claim, the principal will be required to repay the surety in full.
It is important to note that surety bonds are not the same thing as insurance.
To acquire your own pest control surety bond, simply contact us for a free quote. Our bonding specialists will be happy to walk you through the process.
In general, these types of bonds remain in full force and effect until canceled. The surety company, however, can cancel a bond with notice.
As you research how to start a pest control business, you'll learn that your surety bond will be part of the license application packet you provide to your state's governing authority. In the example below, we'll use California:
In order to get your pest management business license, you'll have to provide some other items besides a pest control operator surety bond, including:
You also must register with the agricultural commissioner in each county where you'll be working. County registration will require:
If you need more information on how to start a pest control business, there are many helpful resources you can use. Start by checking with your state's department of agriculture. Many offer courses that focus on the main pests in your area.