In order to issue a freight broker license, the FMCSA requires all freight brokers and freight forwarders to file either a surety bond (BMC-84) or a trust fund agreement (BMC-85). This requirement exists to ensure that licensed freight brokers & forwarders are held to certain standards, as well as to prevent fraud or failure to pay motor carriers or shippers in a timely manner. Should freight brokers or forwarders fail to comply with any terms of the surety bond, parties that suffer damages, may file a claim against the bond. If the claim is determined to be valid, the surety company will pay to settle the claim up to the full amount of the bond. Once the claim has been resolved, the surety will look to the Principal for repayment according to the Indemnity Agreement that is signed by all owners, partners, officers and their spouses, prior to the bond being issued.
Freight Broker Bonds are also sometimes called Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) Bonds, Transportation Broker Bonds or Property Broker Bonds.