Savannah Pawnbroker Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
At a Glance:
- Average Cost: $100 per year or $10 per month
- Bond Amount: Either $3,000 or $10,000, based on the type of goods sold (more on this later)
- Who Needs it: All pawnbrokers operating in Savannah, Georgia
- Purpose: To protect the public from financial harm if the pawnbroker engages in unethical business practices
- Who Regulates Pawnbroker in Savannah: The Savannah Revenue Department
The City of Savannah requires all pawnbrokers operating in the city to obtain a business tax certificate, also known as a business license, with the Savannah Revenue Department before conducting business. The Savannah City Council enacted the certification requirement to ensure that pawnbrokers pay all required taxes and engage in ethical business practices. To provide financial security for the enforcement of the certification law, pawnbrokers must purchase and maintain a surety bond to be eligible for a business tax certificate.
What is the Purpose of the Savannah Pawnbroker Bond?
Savannah requires pawnbrokers to purchase a surety bond as part of the application process to obtain a business tax certificate. The bond ensures that the public will be protected from financial harm if the dealer fails to comply with the regulations set forth in Savannah Revenue Ordinance 35-27. Specifically, the bond protects the public in the event the dealer engages in any acts of fraud or breaches any consumer contracts. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the pawnbroker engages in unethical business practices.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a Savannah Pawnbroker Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining a Savannah Pawnbroker bond easy. Simply log in to your account and use our keyword search to find the “Pawnbroker” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Gain access now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone at (800) 438-1162, email, or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.
At BondExchange, our 40 years of experience, leading technology, and access to markets ensures that we have the knowledge and resources to provide your clients with fast and friendly service whether obtaining quotes or issuing bonds.
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How is the Bond Amount Determined?
Savannah Revenue Ordinance 35-27 requires pawnbrokers that do not deal in precious metals to purchase a $3,000 surety bond before being issued a business tax certificate. If a pawnbroker plans to purchase and/or sell any precious metals during business operations, they must purchase a $10,000 surety bond instead.
Is a Credit Check Required for the Savannah Pawnbroker Bond?
No, a credit check is not required for the Savannah Pawnbroker bond. Because the bond is considered relatively low risk, the same low rate is offered to all pawnbrokers in the city regardless of their credit history.
How Much Does the Savannah Pawnbroker Bond Cost?
The Savannah Pawnbroker bond costs just $100 per year or $10 per month.
Who is Required to Purchase the Bond?
Savannah requires pawnbrokers to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a business tax certificate. To paraphrase Georgia Code 44-12-130, a pawnbroker is a person who issues loans to individuals that leave their property, as collateral, for the broker to sell on condition that the customer may repurchase the property within a fixed period of time.
Pawnbrokers that do not purchase or sell any precious metals are required to purchase a $3,000 surety bond, while pawnbrokers that will purchase or sell precious metals must purchase a $10,000 surety bond.
BondExchange now offers monthly pay-as-you-go subscriptions for surety bonds. Your customers are able to purchase their bonds on a monthly basis and cancel them anytime. Learn more here.
How do Pawnbrokers Apply for a Business Tax Certification in Savannah?
Pawnbrokers in Savannah must navigate several steps to secure a business tax certification. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants should refer to the Revenue Department’s website for details on the process.
Certification Period – All Savannah Business Tax Certifications expire on December 31st of each year and must be renewed before the expiration date
Step 1 – Contact the Revenue Department
To obtain a business tax certificate, pawnbrokers must contact the Revenue Department. The department will walk them through the application process, provide them with all required forms, and answer any questions they may have. All applications will, at a minimum, require the following items:
- The broker’s full name and business name
- Criminal conviction history
- An original surety bond
- State sales/use tax number
- Federal tax ID
Pawnbrokers are required to pay a $200 regulatory fee and all applicants will be subject to a background check by the Savannah Police Department.
Step 2 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Pawnbrokers in Savannah must purchase and maintain a surety bond (limits outlined above).
How do Savannah Pawnbrokers Renew Their Permits?
Pawnbrokers should contact the Revenue Department to obtain a renewal application. All Savannah Business Tax Certificates expire on December 31st of each year and should be renewed annually by March 1st. Renewal applications submitted after March 1st will be subject to late penalty fees.
What are the Insurance Requirements for the Savannah Pawnbrokers?
Savannah does not require pawnbrokers to purchase any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a business tax certificate. Pawnbrokers must purchase and maintain a surety bond (limits outlined above).
How Do Savannah Pawnbrokers File Their Bonds?
Pawnbrokers should submit their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney, to the Revenue Department at the following address:
305 Fahm Street
Savannah, Georgia 31401
The surety bond requires signatures, including witness signatures, from both the surety company that issues the bond and from the dealer. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- Legal name of the entity/individual(s) buying the bond
- Surety company’s name
- Term year of the business tax certificate
- Date the bond goes into effect and signed
What Can Savannah Pawnbrokers do to Avoid Claims Against Their Bonds?
To avoid claims against their bonds, pawnbrokers in Savannah must ensure that they:
- Do not engage in any acts of fraud
- Do not breach contracts made with consumers
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Pawnbrokers in Savannah?
Savannah does not require pawnbrokers to purchase liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a business tax certificate. However, most reputable businesses will purchase this insurance anyway. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue any other types of insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.
How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for Savannah Pawnbroker Customers?
Savannah unfortunately does not provide a public database of active pawnbrokers in the city. We suggest contacting the Revenue Department for this information. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.