Monday, August 13, 2012

How to Start a Florida Title Insurance Company

Title insurance protects against loss from problems related to the title on a property. These problems can stem from liens, unrecorded easements, building permit violations from previous owners, forgery, and human error, among other things. All mortgages require the protection of title insurance, so as long as homes are being sold, there is a need for title insurance companies. As with any business, regulations are specific to the state and/or county. Below you will find how to start a title insurance company in Florida.

Step One: Identify the title insurance companies in your area. It may be beneficial for you to know what kind of competition you will face. Seek out a successful title insurance business owner with whom you can talk. It may be best if this person is out of town. Ask for tips in starting the company, gaining business, trouble-shooting, and basic business needs. Keep your eyes and ears open for things that may make this business owner rise to the top of the field.

Step Two: Establish your business entity. Businesses are set up as corporations, sole proprietorships, partnerships, or limited liability companies. The legal structure of your business will be dependent on your entity. Complete online research to determine which structure fits your business best, and then file the appropriate forms with the Federal Government/IRS, and the Florida Department of State.

Step Three: Obtain a Title Agency License package from the Florida Department of Insurance: Bureau of Agent and Agency Licensing. In this package will be the Title Agency Insurance Application Form; fill out the form in its entirety. Also in the package will be information on completing a fingerprint card, obtaining a surety bond, and fees. Send all completed information back to the Florida Department of Insurance.

Step Four: Make sure your own license is complete and up to date. For the original license, you must complete a 40 hour insurance classroom course in title insurance and work for at least one year in title insurance duties under a licensed title insurer or complete three semester hours in real estate or real property law. You must also take the insurance examination. After your initial license, you will have to complete the prescribed hours of continuing education courses as approved by the Florida Department of Financial Services.

Step Five: Hire a business attorney or consultant to review all paperwork and guide you through any additional necessary steps.

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