Commercial Surety Legislation Roundup: Q1 2020

Commercial Surety Legislation Roundup_ Q1 2020

Surety bonds are required across a variety of industries because of the financial protection they offer the entity requiring the bond as well as consumers. As such, the rules and regulations mandating surety bonds can change over time for one reason or another.

Recently, several states passed new or amended versions of commercial surety legislation. The legislation covers the financial, educational, combative sports, and automobile industries.

Michigan barber training requirements

Starting May 4, 2020, Michigan House Bill 4335 clarifies the provisions for barber colleges. Additionally, the act establishes the powers of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs in relation to barber training.

The state of Michigan requires barber education programs to file and maintain a $10,000 surety bond with the Department. HB 4335 specifies the bond is for the benefit of the students. Moreover, the bond will ensure the honest performance of the college and the satisfaction of the acknowledged rights of the students.

In addition to the surety bond requirement, barber colleges must provide a curriculum that teaches students pre-licensing requirements for barbers. Michigan compels barber colleges to possess the proper equipment and training materials, operate strictly for training purposes, and provide a competent and licensed instructor.

Raising the threshold for local business license waivers in Virginia

Virginia House Bill 466 was enacted on March 10, 2020. HB 466 raises the threshold for the requirement of local business waivers. Simply put, companies with gross receipts of $200,000 or less in any county, city, or town with a population of less than 50,000 may be able to waive business or professional licensing requirements. Previously, companies with gross receipts of less than $100,000 were able to forgo licensing stipulations.

The state of Virginia also imposes due dates and penalties. People applying for a license should expect to pay a license tax when submitting their application.

Wyoming Combat Sports Commission

On March 17, 2020, the state of Wyoming passed House Bill 102. HB 102 renames the Board of Mixed Martial Arts to the Wyoming Combat Sports Commission. Additionally, the bill details the duties of the board and the requirements for licensing.

Along with paying a fee with the submission of an application for licensure, applicants must meet a surety bond requirement. The Wyoming Combat Sports Commission sets the bond amount at no greater than $10,000 or the total estimated costs of the match.

West Virginia FinTech Regulatory Sandbox Program amendment

House Bill 4621, passed on March 24, 2020, allows participants to test innovative financial products on a limited basis. Participants do not need to be licensed or authorized by the state. Furthermore, the act establishes the scope of participants to operate their product.

The state of West Virginia initiated the sandbox act to give consumers the safety and peace of mind they would receive when actually working with a licensed provider. For example, sandbox participants must disclose their name and contact information, the fact that their product may not work as intended, and that they are not exempt from civil liability for any losses or damages inflicted by their product or service.

Oregon auto dismantler amendment

On July 23, 2019, the state of Oregon passed Senate Bill 792. Act 792 went into effect on the first day of this year. Essentially, this act creates new provisions for auto dismantlers. More specifically, the new provisions include allowing an inspection of any business and submitting a fire response plan. Furthermore, auto dismantlers must agree to a yearly inspection of the property by local fire inspectors. Also, the surety bond requirement increased from $10,000 to $100,000.

Renewal of a certificate under ORS 822.125 is subject to proof of a surety bond purchase or a submission of a letter of credit. Oregon issues auto dismantler certificates for a three-year term. As stated in Act 792, the Department of Transportation has the right to suspend, revoke, or cancel the certificate if an auto dismantler violates the stipulations.

Maine motorcycle rider education and driver education provisions

Maine House Bill 1267 was signed into law on September 19, 2019. HB 1267 details provisions for motorcycle education schools. The requirements include providing a classroom for practicing and displaying a business sign at the licensed place of business. Also, education schools must show proof of liability insurance purchase to the Maine Secretary of State. Additionally, motorcycle rider education schools must maintain a surety bond in the amount of $10,000.

Operating a motorcycle rider education school without a license is a Class E crime and viewed as a traffic infraction. The Secretary of State may revoke, suspend, or refuse to issue a renewal license to applicants who do not comply with the aforementioned stipulations.   

Relating to financial institutions in Rhode Island

House Bill 5847 passed on July 15, 2019, and the effective date was January 1, 2020. HB 5847 revises the bond amount for applicants. The bill sorts the bond amount by business type; small-loan lenders, loan brokers, and lenders must obtain surety bonds.

HB 5847 defines small-loan lenders as “a lender engaged in the business of making small loans within this state.” They must obtain a bond of $10,000. Loan brokers are characterized as “any person or entity who or that, for compensation or gain, or in the expectation of compensation or gain, either directly or indirectly, solicits, processes, negotiates, places, or sells a loan within this state for others in the primary market, or offers to do so.” Under the bill, loan brokers must procure a bond in the amount of $20,000. Lastly, a lender “means any person who makes or funds a loan within this state with the person’s own funds, regardless of whether the person is the nominal mortgagee or creditor on the instrument evidencing the loan.” Lenders in the state of Rhode Island must possess a $50,000 surety bond.

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About the Author

Carly Levine
Carly is a senior at the University of Missouri studying Communications with an emphasis in Mass Media. She is a member of the marketing department and outreach team for, a leading provider of online bonding for clients nationwide. She loves creative writing, reading, and most importantly, sushi.