Health club bond cost
The required amount of a Maryland health club bond depends upon whether or not the club is a new establishment. For new establishments, the required amount is set at $50,000. For existing establishments, the amount should adequately cover all liabilities and sales. The bond amount should be increased accordingly as the club’s profits exceed $50,000, but the bond should not exceed $200,000.
The amount you’ll pay for your Maryland health club surety bond depends directly on your personal credit report. As the owner of a new health club with stellar credit, you could pay as little as $500 for your surety bond!
Why this bond
This bond offers protection to a facility’s members and the state if it were to close or file bankruptcy. This bond ensures members that you and your employees will conduct business ethically and in accordance with the law.
Your health club must be bonded if it does any of the following:
- collects or accepts more than three months of payment from any member in advance of providing services (including annual fees)
- collects or charges an initiation fee or any other up-front fee from any member in an amount more than $200
- has not yet opened a facility, but has collected money in advance for services to be provided at a planned facility or facility that’s under construction
Health club bond details
This bond is required by the state of Maryland Attorney General. For existing establishments, the amount of the bond must be large enough to cover all financial liabilities and payments to be refunded to customers. The “outstanding liabilities” of a business is the difference between the amount of money each consumer has paid for services and the value of services the club has actually provided to the consumer. For members who pay on a monthly basis, outstanding liabilities include payment for one full month’s dues. Health club bonds in Maryland are continuous until canceled. The state requires surety companies to provide at least 45 days’ notice before canceling a bond.
Become a health club
A new health club business must register with the Consumer Protection Division prior to operating. An already-registered health club must update their registration annually by September 1.As part of the initial application, a business is required to submit:
- a completed general registration application
- a certification of good standing
- a description of health services offered
- contact and business phone numbers and addresses
- a list of all locations in operation
- a list of officers, directors and shareholders with contact information for each
- a statement of compliance with financial accountability requirement under the Maryland Code
- a registration fee of $1,200 for a bonded business
- a sample of a customer payment contract for the club
Apply for your surety bond
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- Maryland Attorney General – Information for Owners of Health Clubs, Weight Loss Centers and Martial Arts Schools
- Consumer Protection Division Office of the Attorney General Surety Bond of Health Club Form
- Maryland Attorney General How Large a Bond Must Be Posted?
- Registration Application – Business Information
- Annotated Code of Maryland: Title 14, Subtitle 12B: Health Club Services