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Design Professionals

When advising an owner, it pays to know the benefits and protections a surety bond offers.

The materials below are recommended for Design Professionals:

Brochures  | PowerPoints  | Links


Surety Bonds - Common Misconceptions

Learn about the 11 most common misconceptions about Surety Bonds.

10 Things You Should Know About Surety Bonding

Making the right choice to mitigate and manage risk on construction projects and selecting the most fiscally responsible option to ensure timely project completion are imperative to a successful project - and a sound business.

Surety Bonds at Work

Avoid performance and financial issues.  Learn how Surety Bonds enable projects to be completed.

Importance of Surety Bonds in Construction

Learn about the importance of surety bonds in construction.  This brochure covers historical perspective, risky business, types of bonds, financial security and construction assurance, prequalification of the contractor, contractor failure, bond rates and benefits of bonds.

Surety Companies:  What They Are & How to Find Out About Them

This updated brochure describes some resources that offer information on surety companies including surety bond producers, state insurance departments, U.S. Department of the Treasury and A.M. Best Company.

Helping Contractors Grow:  Surety Bonding for New & Emerging Contractors

Learn about fostering a relationship with a surety company, the prequalification process, programs for new & emerging contractors, bonding support programs, bond guarantee programs and mentor/training programs.


How to Obtain Surety Bonds:  An Introduction to Contract Surety Bonding For Contractors

Federal, state, and local governments require surety bonds in order to manage risk on construction projects and protect taxpayer dollars. However, surety bonds are not limited to public construction. Many private project owners stipulate bonding requirements on their projects, and prime contractors may require subcontractors to obtain bonds.

In today’s competitive construction environment, a contractor’s ability to obtain surety bonds has a significant effect on that contractor’s ability to acquire work.

SBA's Surety Bond Guarantee Program

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Surety Bond Guarantee Program, with cooperation from the surety industry, assists small construction companies in obtaining required bonds on federal, state, local, and commercial construction projects and on service and supply contracts and subcontracts. 

Surety Bonds vs. Bank Letters of Credit

This brochure comparing surety bonds with letters of credit makes it crystal clear why surety is the preferred method of guaranteeing an obligation or project. No charge for Members or Non-Members for up to 25 copies of this brochure.

Surety Bonds vs. Subcontractor Default Insurance

A surety bond is a comprehensive risk transfer mechanism that provides the prequalification of subcontractors; shifts the entire risk of the principal’s default from the obligee to the surety; requires the surety to manage default situations; and provides 100% payment protection to certain subcontractors and suppliers. SDI is often described and marketed as an alternative to traditional performance and payment bonds, but it is merely a traditional insurance policy and provides no payment protection for subcontractors, suppliers, and laborers.

Why Do Contractors Fail

Construction is a complicated business that faces ever-changing conditions, and those who are not prepared or capable of meeting these demands may ultimately fail.  Surety bonds provide prevention and protection.


AGC Surety Claims Guide

The contract surety bond claims process, developed by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

Economics of Default

The Economics of a Default on a $1 million NON-bonded Project. Assumes two subcontractors and two material supply companies.



Surety Bonds 101: The Basics of Bonding

Why Do Contractors Fail?

 Managing the Risk of Contractor Default


The Miller Act

In the United States, the law requiring contract surety bonds on federal construction projects is known as the Miller Act (40 U.S.C. §§ 3131-3134). The Miller Act is implemented through the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) at 48 CFR Subpart 28.1. This law requires a contractor on a federal project to post two bonds: a performance bond and a labor and material payment bond. A corporate surety company issuing these bonds must be listed as a qualified surety on the Treasury List, which the U.S. Department of the Treasury issues each year.

Small and Emerging Contractors

SFAA has a longstanding commitment to assist small and emerging contractors with bonding.  You can find out about our Model Contractor Development Program® on our website and our partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bonding Education Program.


Electronic Filing Resources

The objective of surety automation is to employ technology to streamline processes, reduce redundancies and increase productivity in the surety bond process, which spans the application for the bond, the execution and submission of the bond and the processing of premium. The objectives of surety automation are realized fully when methodologies involving transmission, security, verification and data integration encourage the broadest participation by surety companies, surety bond producers, contractors, project owners, risk managers and other parties in the bond process. Any methodology should seek to maximize interoperability among disparate systems. Broad participation in surety automation is the vision. Interoperability through open standards and systems is the way to that vision.

Value of Surety Bond Producers

Questions to Ask Your Surety Underwriter & Bond Producer

Attributes of a Professional Surety Bond Producer

Building a Surety Relationship Resources

Contract Surety Bonds: Protecting Your Investment


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