The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), Division of Consumer Services requires the $50,000 Florida Professional Solicitor Surety Bond for any entity looking to register as a professional solicitor. In Florida, a professional solicitor is any person who solicits donations on behalf of a charitable organization for a fee or other compensation. This includes people who go door-to-door, call people on the phone, or send mail to solicit donations. Here are some examples of professional solicitors:
- Telemarketers who call people to ask for donations to charities
- Canvassers who go door-to-door to ask for donations to charities
- Fundraisers who organize events to raise money for charities
- Consultants who help charities with their fundraising efforts
To get a license to be a professional solicitor in Florida, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Be a resident of Florida or have a physical office in Florida.
- Have a good moral character.
- Not have been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors.
- Pass a criminal history background check.
- Submit a completed application to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).
- Pay a $100 application fee.
- Post a Florida Professional Solicitor Surety Bond of $50,000 with the FDACS.
To complete the application, you will need to provide the following information:
- Your personal information, such as your name, address, and date of birth
- Your business information, such as the name and address of your business and the type of fundraising activities you will be conducting
- The names and addresses of any officers, directors, or trustees of your business
- The names and addresses of any employees of your business who will be conducting telephonic solicitations during which a donor’s or potential donor’s personal financial information is requested or provided
You will also need to submit fingerprints for a criminal history background check. You can submit your fingerprints electronically through a Livescan Service Provider.
Once you have submitted your application and all required fees and documentation, the FDACS will review your application and conduct a criminal history background check. If your application is approved, the FDACS will issue you a professional solicitor license.
More information regarding these application requirements and processes (including the online registration system) can be found on the FDACS website.
What is the purpose of the Surety Bond?
The purpose of a Florida Professional Solicitor Surety Bond is to protect consumers from fraudulent or unethical fundraising activities. The bond is a three-party agreement between the professional solicitor (the principal), the surety company, and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) (the obligee).
Here are some examples of actions that could lead to a claim on a Florida Professional Solicitor Surety Bond:
- Making false or misleading statements to potential donors
- Using high-pressure sales tactics
- Taking an excessive percentage of the donations raised
- Failing to keep accurate records of donations and expenses
- Misusing donated funds
If the professional solicitor fails to comply with the Florida Statutes regarding professional solicitors, or if they engage in fraudulent or unethical fundraising activities, the surety company will pay out claims to consumers who have been harmed by the professional solicitor’s actions. The surety company will then seek reimbursement from the professional solicitor.
How to Obtain a Florida Professional Solicitor Surety Bond
At Surety1.com we make it easy to obtain this surety bond. Our simple, three step process is:
- Complete the easy to navigate and secure online application. 1
- Review the free, no obligation quote from one of Surety1’s professional surety bond agents, usually within one business day.
- Sign some paperwork and pay the bond premium
Once these steps have been completed, the Florida Professional Solicitor Surety Bond will be shipped to the bond applicant.
1 -The name of the applicant on the surety bond application must match exactly the full legal business name of applicant for the license.
Surety1.com is a service of AssuredPartners one of the largest and fastest growing insurance agencies in the nation. Representing over a dozen surety bond companies, Surety1.com is the premier online provider of surety bonds nationwide since 2003.