As a licensee it’s important you have access to information that helps you keep your insurance business in compliance. This section (along with Insurance Insights and other Department communications) is an important tool to help you meet that goal.
However, these tools are not and cannot replace statutes, department rules, orders or case law. The items below are intended as reminders only and are not necessarily the exact text of the Florida Statutes or Florida Administrative Code. The legal cites have been provided for your further reference.
It is typically not required to seek the Department’s approval of your agency name. However, the use of a name that would be misleading or deceptive in any way should be avoided. Names chosen should not imply that the agency is an insurance company (including bail bond and surety companies), governmental agency, or any other national or state organization. They should also not imply a reduced rate of premium or have the word "free" in it. Any bail bond agent who intends to conduct business under any business name, other than his or her own individual name, is required to file form DFS-H2-1541 with us before they may operate or advertise. Please see 648.44(6), F.S.
A fictitious name, or as more commonly known, doing business as (DBA), must be properly registered with the Department of State, Bureau of Corporations; however, the Department has determined that the use of multiple ficticious names (DBAs) is misleading to the public. Accordingly, no insurance, bail bond, or title agency, adjusting firm, or any other business entity regulated by the Department of Financial Services, Division of Agent and Agency Services may use more than one DBA per business entity.
Your agency must have a sign to be in compliance with the law. The sign must be visible from the street to identify the location of your agency to the public. If your agency is located in a corporate office building, the agency must be listed in the building's business directory.
Attorneys may not own or operate a bail bond agency. Bail bond agents and agencies may not refer business to an attorney or group of attorneys.
You are required to have a primary bail bond agent for each agency you own and for each location of your bail bond agency in accordance with section 648.387, F.S. The primary agent must be a licensed bail bond agent (2-34,limited surety or 2-35, professional) and may not be the designated primary agent for more than one location.
The primary bail bond agent form can be found here: DFS-H2-1541
Power of attorney forms used for the purpose of writing bail bonds in the state of Florida may only be used if the sample copy has been filed by the insurer with, and approved by, the Office of Insurance Regulation. See section 648.43(1), F.S. (revised July 1, 2014)
Bail bond agencies must be owned by licensed and appointed bail bond agents only. The bail bond agency must file the name of the agency with the department, along with the name and license number of the bail bond agent designated as the primary bail bond agent. In addition, the agency must be open and accessible to the public for at least 8 hours during the normal work day, which is defined as 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday, except legal holidays.
All bail bond agents who are members of the same agency must be appointed to represent the same surety companies (insurers). Also, if any agent of a bail bond agency is licensed and appointed as a professional bail bond agent, all the agents in the agency must be licensed as one. Please see section 648.55, F.S.
Read the division's online newsletter, Insurance Insights, which includes valuable information for agents, adjusters and agencies about what's happening in Florida's market and trends we're seeing. If you're a licensee with a valid email address on file, you will be e-mailed when new issues have been published. However, you can always read the latest issue, as well as past issues, on our website. Click below to read!