How to Become a Bonded Warehouse

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Being a bonded warehouse provides a financial guarantee to your customers.
Being a bonded warehouse provides a financial guarantee to your customers. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Have a bond, or surety bond, give assurance to your customers that they are not putting their own money at risk by trusting you with their merchandise. Your warehouse business will likely undergo significant scrutiny by the bonding underwriter, but by meeting their demands and acquiring the bond, your warehouse will become an attractive choice to many customers. Although you will have to spend the money to become bonded, you may notice a significant gain in your clientele because of the bond.

Create a document showing your company's financial records. Some or all of this document should be prepared by a certified public accountant. Prepare at least two prior years of financial information. Highlight your cash flow, profitability and credit rating.

Collect recommendations from your business associates. Ask your banker, your clients and your suppliers for recommendations. Make sure each mentions how long they have worked with you.

Create a document showing both the key executives in the company and the employees that operate the warehouse everyday. Underwriters are not just looking for senior leaders with degrees and experience, they want the assurance that your employees are happy and tenured.

Create a five-year business plan. Include a statement of your current business strengths and how you plan to utilize those strengths in the upcoming years to steadily grow the business.

Explain the ways your company has emergency and contingency plans. Employee injury insurance, data backups and leadership continuity are key components in ensuring the business can continue to operate in the face of adversity.

Present these documents to a variety of surety bond companies. Collect quotes and review their bonding demands. Each company will likely require a specific bond amount based on your company's size and financial risk. Select the bond company that best meets your needs.

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