Obtain the necessary licenses and permits. Depending on the laws in your area, you will need to obtain permits for your business, vehicle, yourself, or all three in order to operate a limousine or black car, and sometimes another permit to pick up passengers at the airport.
Personal auto insurance usually has a livery exclusion, meaning your passengers and car will not be covered if you are using it for hire. Start searching for a business auto policy that covers livery service early, as it can take 4 to 6 weeks to get in place. Most clients find their limousines online, so a website is vital.
How to Start Your Own Limousine Business
The more you pay, the more input you will have in creating a unique site. Get a toll-free number and print business cards. You will most frequently be charged by the minute for your toll-free numbers. Call around for the best rates. Once you have the number, you can print business cards with it and your website.
These cards are a key way to grow your business. You will give them to customers and leave them at clubs and hotels. Purchase your vehicle or arrange contracts with other companies. If you are establishing a virtual call center, you will need to negotiate contracts with existing limousine companies that specify the commission you will receive.
Otherwise, you will need to purchase a vehicle. A black Town Car is a good starter for airport transfers and corporate customers. It is less expensive than a stretch limo. Start with a white limo, as these are most popular for weddings, proms, graduations, and other special events. Choose a payment system. You can install a meter in your car, but limousine drivers are increasingly opting for online services that schedule appointments, notify drivers where to pick up customers, and handle payment. Purchase a navigation system. Advertising is the key to succeeding in the limousine business.
The more inquiries you receive, and the more of those inquiries you convert into sales, the more money you can make. A polished website and business cards are a key starting point. Pay-per-click advertising — Buying internet traffic is the quickest way to bring people to your website. However, make sure you are targeting the right audience. Clicks cost you money, and if tons of visitors leave without purchasing your services or product, you can lose money. Craigslist, the yellow pages, and radio spots — Make sure you have a professional ad in both the yellow pages and craigslist, for those who search there.
Radio spots can be effective, though they are more expensive than internet advertising. Hotels and night clubs — Talk with the manager and drop off your card. If someone needs a limo, you want to be the person they recommend. Do airport transfers for steady business. Profit margins are low on airport clientele, but the business tends to be steady over the course of the year.
How to Start a Limo Business | How to Start an LLC
Seek out specialized hires for greater profits. Airport transfers and corporate hires will help keep you in the black, but the real money to be made is in special events, which require a limousine. Weddings - Weddings are a good reason to get a stretch limo. They require a higher level of service — a tuxedo-ed driver, champagne beverage, coordination with the bride — but also pay very well. You will need a pressed black suit and a non-ostentatious black limousine.
Prepare contracts for special event service. This is not uncommon, particularly with graduations. Buy more cars and hire more chauffeurs as you grow your business. Financial mismanagement will only end in one eventuality: Buying Your Limousines Your initial startup costs when opening a limousine business will be pretty big.
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Get Your Accounts in Order This is quite generic advice. Tags FJ start a business starting a limousine company. You may also like. The Angry Birds Movie soars to No. Spend, Save or Invest? Do you know what you should do with your money? If you are not the driver as well, then you will be paying your drivers, though that should be an hourly amount, with an amount contingent on how many hours they actually drove that month. Finally, you will be paying for the maintenance and repair of any vehicles, though that is something that you do as the cars need it rather than every single month.
A limousine rental business is potentially very profitable, and the industry as a whole has reached eleven billion dollars in annual revenue in recent years. While your business may start slow, a good advertising push can ensure that you are the go-to business for weddings, graduations, proms, and corporate events. Ultimately, the ceiling of your profit is determined by how often you want to work! To be more profitable in this business, be flexible in your scheduling. Some customers arriving by plane in the predawn hours may want a limo pick-up, and you need to be ready for them.
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Make sure that the inside of your cars always looks as good as the outside, as a limo business prides itself on looking sleek and luxurious. Finally, never stop learning how to improve: Get more ideas with our Business Ideas Tool. Check out our How to Start a Business page.
Sign up at the Business Center to access useful tools for your business. What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful limo business? What are the costs involved in opening a limo business? What are the steps to start a limo business?
Once you're ready to start your limo business, follow these steps to ensure that your business is legally compliant and avoid wasting time and money as your business grows: A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. A few important topics to consider are your initial costs, your target market, and how long it will take you to break even. Form a legal entity. Establishing a legal business entity prevents you from being personally liable if your limo business is sued.
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business. Open a business bank account. A dedicated checking account for your limo business keeps your finances organized and makes your business appear more professional to your customers. Set up business accounting.
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing. Obtain necessary permits and licenses. Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down. Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state.