Bond Guarantees for Surety Companies

To guarantee surety bonds issued by commercial surety companies for small businesses unable to obtain a bond without an SBA guarantee. The guarantees range between 70 and 90% and cover losses and expenses incurred by a participating surety should the small business default on the contract.

Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency
Agency: Small Business Administration
Types of Assistance
Uses and Use Restrictions
Contracts not exceeding $6.5 million, where a surety bond is required but not obtainable privately on reasonable terms and conditions. Guarantee is for bid, payment, and performance bonds (and ancillary bonds incidental to the performance of a specific contract). It is provided directly to the surety for a particular contract. Under the Prior Approval program, sureties must apply to SBA for each guarantee. Sureties in the Preferred Bond Program are empowered to issue, service, and monitor bonds without prior SBA approval.
Small Business Investment Act of 1958, Title IV, Part B, Section 410, Public Law 108-447.
Eligibility Requirements
Applicant Eligibility
Guarantees are limited to those surety companies holding certificates of authority from the Secretary of the Treasury as an acceptable surety for bonds on Federal contracts. Specific criteria apply to the Prior Approval and PSB Sureties.
Beneficiary Eligibility
For Federal contracts, a small business is eligible for the surety bond program if it qualifies as a small business under Code of Federal Regulations Subpart 121, Size Eligibility Provisions and Standards. For State, local, and commercial contracts, a small business is eligible if its average annual revenues do not exceed $6.5 million.
Application and supplement information. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.
Application and Award Process
Preapplication Coordination
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. A small business must apply directly to a surety agent who represents a participating surety company. The application includes background, credit, and financial information. Under the Prior Approval Program, the surety company deals directly with the SBA Area Office concerning the bond guarantee. Headquarters, Area and District SBA Offices serve as contact points for program information purposes.
Award Procedure
Under the Prior Approval Program, SBA notifies the surety company of SBA's approval of the guarantee and furnishes the surety with written authorization. Surety company (or agent/broker) notifies the bond applicant and issues the bond. Preferred sureties issue bonds guaranteed by SBA without SBA's prior approval. Prior approval and PSB sureties remit 26 percent of the premium they charge small businesses to SBA. Small businesses pay SBA a fee of .729% of the contract price.
Not Applicable.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
The goal for completing the review of a bond guarantee application is 3 days.
Additional information available on SBA's website at
Additional information available on SBA's website at
Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Guarantee runs to termination of bond (usually completion of contract). See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Additional information available on SBA's website at
Post Assistance Requirements
Additional information available on SBA's website at Information available at See information at Additional information available at Information available at
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. SBA has the right to audit its accounts with any participating surety. Each participating PSB surety must be audited every three years.
SBA Headquarters maintains records on contractors in default and/or claim status (including recoveries on paid claims) as furnished by sureties. SBA Headquarters and each SBA Area Office have information about participating small businesses for its assigned geographic area.
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2014: See Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2016: No Current Data Available
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Insurance (Guaranteed Surety Bonds)) FY 14 $1,386,000,000; FY 15 est $6,000,000,000; and FY 16 est $6,000,000,000
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Additional information available on SBA's website at
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
13 CFR 115.
Information Contacts
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices. Applicants must contact a local agent or broker of surety bonds. General program particulars may be obtained from SBA Area Offices listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under Small Business Administration.
Headquarters Office
Frank Lalumiere 409 3rd St., SW
8th Floor, Washington, District of Columbia 20416 Email: Phone: 202-401-8275
Website Address
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
Not Applicable.
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