To obtain a money transmitter license, every state requires a surety bond. Depending on your state, this license may be called money remitter, money services business, check casher, or sales of check license.
Why Do I Need This Bond?
A surety bond is made to protect the public. In basic terms, it guarantees your business will adhere to all laws and requirements in your industry. In the event your business conducts unlawful acts, a consumer of your services may file a claim on the bond.
Nearly any company that offers payment services requires a money transmitter bond. Due to a history of fraudulence and inaccurate money transmissions, state agencies now require this bond to protect consumers. While this bond does not protect the business owner, it offers proof that your business handles clients’ money responsibly.
How Much Will the Bond Cost?
The cost of the bond, the “premium,” depends largely on the bond amount and the applicant’s financial status. The state requiring the bond determines the amount. At Surety 1, we will find you the lowest quote for your bond, starting at only 1.5% of the bond amount.
Money Transmitter Bond
In order to get your money transmitter’s business license, you’ll need a bond.
This bond ensures the principle will comply with Chapter 32A of the Wet Virginia code along with other West Virginia state laws.
- Required by: West Virginia Department of Financial Institutions
- Minimum bond amount: $300,000
- Maximum bond amount: Varies
- Valid: 1 year-renewable
The applicant should verify the bond amount with the obligee before applying for the bond to ensure the bond amount is correct. The bond will be cancelled by the obligee if the principle does not comply with the bond.
Money Transmitter License
These are additional details about the licensing process that you should be aware of. (Only the bond is handled at Surety1, but this information will help you get your license.)
The license remains in effect for one year and must be renewed after each year. A $250 license renewal fee for the principle location is charged by the obligee. For each additional principle location, a $20 fee is charged.
- minimum net worth of $50,000 +$25,000 for each additional location
- Location of official business records and books
- Legal name and residential address of applicant
- $1,000 non-refundable application fee +$20 for each additional location
- Proof of registration with the IRS
- Merchant and delegate information
- Business plan
All licensing fees are required by the obligee, not the surety company.
The license application can be filled out using an electronic system referred to as NMLS. Although, for businesses that are not conducting multi-state businesses or do not want to use the electronic application system can also have access to other application forms.
Money transmitters in West Virginia must also register as a money services business (MSB) with the Federal Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The registration process must be completed by the Bank Secretary Act (BSA) e-filing system.
See a checklist for new money transmitter bonds from NMLS.