All the bonds that I have had to post with goverment (AHJ) agencies are to guarentee that you will follow the rules. If you fail to correct something the AHJ has turned down, the city or state can have some one else fix it at either your or your bonding company's expense, up to the amount of the bond. Of course the bonding company will then come after you. Bonds are typically thru a registered state licensed bonding company-most are insurance companies.
If you do not or cannot post the bond-You will not be able to pull a permit.
If you cannot pull a permit you are not an electrical contractor as far as the AHJ is concerned.
Some jurisdictions do not require a bond- others do, you have to learn what is required where you work.
There are also bonds for other purposes, payment- performance-bid. All have specific purposes.
A bid bond guarentees that you will sign the contract for a job if you win the bid.
A performance bond garentees that you will do the job promised according to code and your contract.
A payment bond guarentees you will pay your employees, sub contractors, and suppliers for all the work and/or materials in a contract.
Owners and/or general contractors ask for or demand these bonds to cover them from anothers errors omissions and failures.
If the jobs you bid have bonding requirements, read the proposed contract and job specifications carefully. Bonds are not cheap. Most bonding companies have a lot of paperwork to get started. Depending on your company history and finances you will or will not be bondable. You will also get a bonding limit if you are bondable.
Bonds can a good thing when used correctly. Joe fly by nite will not go to a good bonding company.
I hope this helps you. If you need more info talk to a couple of construction bonding companies. Each state has it own laws that regulate bonds and bonding companies. Your state insurance comission is another place to get info. The only way to know for sure if you can be bonded is apply, do the paperwork, and ask.
Depending on your local work requirements you may or may not need to be bonded. If so remember to adjust you overhead accordanly.
If a job has bonding requirements include the cost in your estimate. Bonds are NOT cheap.