The Florida Agricultural Products Dealer Surety Bond is required by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Marketing and Development. All dealers in agricultural products within the state of Florida must be licensed by the state. To secure a license, the dealer must:
The bond is required to help ensure that producers receive proper payment for their products and protects them against buyers who fail to pay. The amount of the bond requirement is a minimum of $5,000 and the maximum requirement is $100,000 depending on the volume of purchases. The bond amount is based on the largest monthly volume of purchases and is subject to audit by the state. New agricultural dealers must estimate the expected maximum monthly volume. Dealers who purchase less than $1,000 worth of agricultural products from Florida producers during the peak month in a calendar year are excluded from the bond requirement.
If a dealer fails to pay for products, the producer may file a claim. Complaints must be filed within six months of the sale or delivery of the agricultural product. The complainant must provide a $50 filing fee for each complaint filed. If the claim is upheld, and the dealer does not satisfy the claim, the money is taken from the dealer’s bond and paid to the producer. This bond is not insurance. If a claim is made, the surety company will expect the dealer to pay the claim or reimburse the surety company for any paid claims plus the legal costs incurred by the surety.