So, you have acquired several shiny limousines and you want to make money off them. Instead of selling those limousines for a hefty profit margin, start a limousine service company. The general process of starting one is actually very simple and straightforward. Although, the requirements may vary in complexity from state to state, from county to county, and from city to city. Yet, let that not scare you because you only need to do two important steps to start your limousine service company: incorporate your business and acquire a business license for your limousine service company. This article will guide you through those two steps.
Before doing anything directly related to business, register your limousines first. Each of your vehicles in your fleet must be registered as a service vehicle. Go to your area’s vehicle licensing office or to the Secretary of State’s Office in your area and get the registration forms. The registration process is easy, but you will need to pay for some fees. In most cases, you will also need to have a commercial driver’s license. This requirement can vary from state to state, so you need to check with your local authorities.
Your business needs to be incorporated for two important reasons: you need to give your business a legal entity so that you can conduct business, and you need to shield your personal assets and personal credit from being unnecessarily used up in the conduct of the business. If you incorporate your business, you can run it under an official name of your choice. You can also conduct your business with other companies because your company already has a legally acknowledged entity.
You might want to avail of the services of a consultant to help you in the incorporation of your business. If you want to do it on your own, get in touch with your Secretary of State’s Office and get the forms and list of requirements needed to form a limited liability corporation (LLC), a corporation, or another official form of proprietorship. And, while you’re there, you might want to check if limousine service (also known as livery service) is one of the businesses that need to be licensed before they can be operated. If it is, ask for copies of the business licensing application forms and other documents needed for business license acquisition.
Next, you will need to plan. More specifically, you will be creating a business plan. In many areas, this is one requirement for obtaining a business license for your limousine service company. In the business plan, you will be showing your financial plan, as well as your cash flow, your projected income, your assets (remember to list your limousines, of course), your budget, and your articles of incorporation. If all these sound Greek to you, you need to ask the assistance of a marketing company or an accountant, as they are familiar with writing business plans and can provide you the right help that you need from start to finish. A sound business plan is very useful for future business-related projects and activities. To obtain funding for your business, for example, you will need to justify your funding request through your business plan.
If you have met all the requirements for a state business license, submit your application. Make sure you have double checked the accuracy of the information you provide in the forms and supporting documents. Submit the documents and mail it to the government department that processes business license applications. Processing of your application may take up to a few weeks or a few months.
You may also need to comply with other requirements that your state has imposed for your kind of business. For example, you may need to secure local permits and register your business with the municipal income tax office. You may also need to secure clearance from your local police department. You will definitely be paying for application and other fees, so set aside some amount for these.
At the end of this seemingly long trail, you will get your business license application approved. As proof that you can legally run your business already, you will be given a copy of your business license, as well as stickers for your vehicles and identification badges.