A performance bond, also known as a contract bond, is a surety bond issued by an insurance company or a bank to guarantee satisfactory completion of a project by a contractor. The term is also used to denote a collateral deposit of good faith money, intended to secure a futures contract, commonly known as margin.
Performance bonds are commonly used in the construction and development of real property, where an owner or investor may require the developer to assure that contractors or project managers procure such bonds in order to guarantee that the value of the work will not be lost in the case of an unfortunate event (such as insolvency of the contractor). In other cases, a performance bond may be requested to be issued in other large contracts besides civil construction projects. Another example of this use is in commodity contracts where the seller is asked to provide a Bond to reassure the buyer that if the commodity being sold is not in fact delivered (for whatever reason) the buyer will at least receive compensation for his lost costs.
Performance bonds are generally issued as part of a ‘Performance and Payment Bond’, where a payment bond guarantees that the contractor will pay the labour and material costs they are obliged to.