Florida Seller of Travel (Travel Agent) Bonds
What is a Florida Seller of Travel Bond?
Travel agents in Florida must post a Seller of Travel surety bond in order to legally operate in the state. The surety bond is required by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). Sellers of travel must furnish proof of assurance in the form of a performance surety bond in an amount not to exceed $25,000, or $50,000 if vacation certificates are sold. The surety bond amount varies based on travel volume sold. Applicants should have the exact bond amount needed from the Department ready when requesting a quote.
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Why is a Florida Seller of Travel Bond Required?
The bonded principal agrees to faithfully perform, fulfill or carryout any contract, agreement, or other arrangement as defined Sections 559.926-559.939, Florida Statutes. The surety bond protects any consumer who is injured by any of the following actions of the surety bonded principal as determined through administrative proceedings conducted before the Department;
- Breach of contract
- Financial failure, or
- Violation of any provision of Sections 559.926-559.939, Florida Statutes, the Florida Sellers of Travel Act
This seller of travel surety bond is written in favor of the Department for the use and benefit of any traveler who is injured by the actions listed above. Liability may be enforced through an administrative action or by filing a judicial lawsuit in a court of competent jurisdiction. The bond is amenable to and enforceable only by and through administrative proceedings before the Department and covers only payments of claims duly adjudicated by order of the Department. The surety bond may be subject to successive actions but the aggregate liability does not exceed the stated amount of the bond.
In addition, the surety bond provided by a registrant or applicant shall be in favor of the department, with payment in the following order of priority: all expenses incurred in prosecuting the registrant in an administrative or civil action, including fees for attorneys and other professionals, court costs or other costs of the proceedings, and all other expenses incidental to the action; costs and expenses of investigation prior to the commencement of an administrative or civil action; unpaid administrative fines imposed by final order or civil penalty imposed by final judgment; damages or compensation for any financially harmed traveler.
Seller of Travel Bonds And Getting Your Florida Business License/Registration
Sellers of travel that do not offer vacation certificates must submit:
- A completed registration form,
- Nonrefundable registration fee and
- Proof of assurance in the form of a surety bond in an amount not to exceed $25,000.
A seller of travel that do offer vacation certificates must submit:
- A completed registration form,
- Nonrefundable registration fee and document submission fee and
- Proof of assurance in the form of a surety bond in an amount not to exceed $50,000.
Surety Bonds Direct will ensure your surety bond is completed properly including appropriate seals, agent, carrier signatures and the authorized power of attorney. Please note the state requires original surety bond documents and copies will not be accepted.
Additional Florida Seller of Travel Bond Resources & Links
As defined by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, a seller of travel is any Florida resident or nonresident individual, firm, corporation, or business that offers prearranged travel or tourist-related services directly or indirectly, in the form of vacation packages, or vacation certificates in exchange for a fee, commission, or other consideration. This includes a person, firm, corporation, or business entity who sells a vacation certificate to third-party for a commission, fee, or who offers such certificates to consumers in exchange for attendance at sales presentations.
Any business entity offering membership in a travel club or travel service for an advance fee or payment, or who sells tour packages (even if no travel contracts or certificates, or tour packages are sold) is subject to registration requirements. Third parties who offer prearranged travel or tourist-related services, but do not participate in travel fulfillment or vacation certificate redemption are not included.
Any seller of travel that has a business location in Florida or that offers to sell travel related services in the state of Florida for individuals or groups is required to register with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. All registrations are valid for one year unless suspended or revoked for cause. Continued operation with an expired registration or bond will result in legal action by the department which may include injunctive relief, order to cease and desist, and civil or administrative fines. If a seller of travel fails to register with the department, the penalties may include civil or administrative fines, cease and desist order, and injunctive relief.