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What Is A Freight Broker Bond

bmc 85 broker interaction

If you are operating as a freight broker in the United States, you are likely familiar with the requirement of obtaining a freight broker bond, also known as a BMC-85 bond. In this article, we will explore the significance of a BMC-85 bond, its differences compared to the BMC-84 bond, and why it is crucial for freight brokers to have this type of surety bond in place.


Understanding Freight Broker Bonds

When working as a freight broker, you act as an intermediary between shippers and carriers, facilitating the transportation and logistics of goods. To ensure compliance and protect the interests of all parties involved, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates that freight brokers obtain a surety bond or trust fund agreement.

A freight broker bond, specifically the BMC-85 bond, serves as a financial guarantee that the broker will fulfill their contractual obligations and responsibilities. It provides compensation to carriers or shippers in the event of non-payment or any breach of contract by the freight broker.

Differences Between BMC-85 vs. BMC-84

The primary difference between the BMC-85 bond and the BMC-84 bond lies in the financial arrangements and obligations associated with each:

differences between bmc 85 and bmc 84

BMC-85 Bond

A BMC-85 bond is a surety bond that requires the freight broker to deposit the full amount of the bond, typically $75,000, into a trust fund. This amount cannot be accessed or utilized by the broker once it has been deposited. It serves as a guarantee to cover any potential claims made against the broker.

BMC-84 Bond

On the other hand, the BMC-84 bond operates as a traditional surety bond. Freight brokers pay an annual premium to a surety bond company, which provides the required financial coverage. The premium for a BMC-84 bond is typically calculated based on factors such as the broker’s creditworthiness, business history, and financial stability.

Advantages of BMC-85 Bonds

While the BMC-84 bond is more commonly chosen by freight brokers due to its flexibility and affordability, there are certain scenarios where a BMC-85 bond may be preferred:

Established Brokers with Sufficient Capital

Larger and more established freight brokers with significant capital may opt for a BMC-85 bond. These brokers may have the financial capacity to deposit the full bond amount into a trust fund without impacting their operational capabilities

Risk Mitigation

Some brokers may prefer the BMC-85 bond as it eliminates the need to rely on a third-party surety bond company. By depositing the required amount into a trust fund, brokers can have more control over the financial security of their business.

Lower Annual Costs

While the upfront cost of a BMC-85 bond is higher due to the full collateral requirement, brokers may find that the annual costs associated with a BMC-85 are lower compared to the premiums paid for a BMC-84 bond.

Enhanced Credibility and Reputation

Opting for a BMC-85 bond can enhance the credibility and reputation of a freight broker. By depositing the full bond amount into a trust fund, brokers demonstrate their commitment to financial responsibility and their ability to meet their contractual obligations. This can instill confidence in clients, carriers, and other stakeholders, leading to stronger business relationships and potential growth opportunities.

Potential Investment Returns

Although the funds deposited in a BMC-85 trust fund cannot be accessed by the broker, they may have the potential for investment returns. In some cases, the interest or earnings generated by the trust fund can offset the opportunity cost of tying up the capital. Brokers can work with financial advisors or investment professionals to explore potential investment strategies for the trust fund, which can provide additional financial benefits over time.

Choosing the Right Bond for Your Freight Brokerage

Deciding between a BMC-85 bond and a BMC-84 bond requires careful consideration of various factors, including the size of your brokerage, available capital, and long-term business goals. It is advisable to consult with a surety bond professional or an experienced freight broker to evaluate the options and determine which bond is best suited for your specific situation.

It is worth noting that surety bond professionals provide valuable guidance and assistance in obtaining both BMC-84 and BMC-85 bonds. They have access to a wide network of surety bond carriers and can help brokers secure the most competitive rates and favorable terms.

Choosing between a BMC-84 or BMC-85 Bond? Opting for a BMC-84 can be a smarter move for many freight brokers—it’s cost-effective, offers flexibility, and reduces the risk of losing your investment. While a BMC-85 is still an option, its higher costs, upfront collateral requirements, and potential insolvency risks may make it less appealing, especially for smaller brokers. Learn more about the costs of obtaining a freight broker license in our comprehensive post. At Commercial Trucking Insurance, we simplify the process of meeting FMCSA’s BMC requirements, ensuring your success.

broker choosing the right bond

Wrapping Up

In summary, a BMC 85 surety bond is a type of freight broker bond that requires the full bond amount to be deposited into a trust fund. While it may be suitable for larger brokers with significant capital, most freight brokers opt for the flexibility and affordability of the BMC-84 bond, which involves paying an annual premium to a surety bond company.

Choosing the right bond for your freight brokerage depends on various factors, and it is crucial to assess your specific needs and capabilities. Working with a reputable surety bond provider can simplify the process and ensure compliance with FMCSA regulations.

Remember, whether you choose a BMC-85 or a BMC-84 bond, maintaining proper surety bond coverage is essential for the smooth operation of your freight brokerage and instills confidence in your partners and clients.

Secure Your Freight Broker Bond Today

secure freight broker bond

Ensuring that you have the appropriate freight broker bond is vital for the success and compliance of your brokerage business. Whether you’re considering a BMC-85 bond or a BMC-84 bond, it’s essential to work with a trusted surety bond professional who can guide you through the process.

Don’t leave your business unprotected. Contact us today for a free consultation and get the freight broker bond you need to safeguard your operations.