The requirements to start your own security company include obtaining the appropriate permits and licenses as well as financial backing. A security company is a good option for a mid-career change, and some people involved with law enforcement decide to start their own security company since they have the necessary skills and experience to succeed.
Is Starting a Security Company a Good Idea?
Starting a security company is also a great way to improve your economic status and provide meaningful work for those looking for work in private security. Private security industries help to fill the gaps that public security forces aren’t able to adequately address. It’s for this reason that many companies choose to hire their own security personnel, which makes the economy of the private security career solvent. So, what are the requirements to start your own security company?
Private Patrol Operator License
Meeting the state and local requirements for being a bodyguard is the first step any security company should take. There are certain laws and regulations that vary by state. For example, in California, only a licensed private patrol operator can provide security services for a person or business.
Even active duty police officers must obtain this card if they are going to work as security officers or bodyguards. Make sure all of your employees meet the requirements for obtaining this card. In most cases, you can obtain this license from the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection in your state.
Qualifications for Working as a Security Officer
Applicants generally have to be at least 25 years old. Additionally, five years of experience working as a supervisor for a security-related field or 10 years of experience as a police officer is generally required. Time spent as an investigator doesn’t qualify the individual for a license.
Individuals with a felony record or any misdemeanors within the last seven years are also typically ineligible to apply for a certificate. If you have been discharged from military service or have anything in your past that may indicate you are not of sound moral character, you may find it difficult or impossible to start your own company.
Private Security Business License
What licenses do I need to start a security company? Applying for a Private Security License requires the completion of an application form. The form differs slightly between states, but generally, it requires you to submit two recent photographs in passport-style, a fingerprint clearance card, and a motor vehicle driving record. Any information about military service and a copy of your DD-214 information is also required.
Once you submit the basic materials, you’re generally going to need four letters of reference. Choose people who can vouch for your performance as a law enforcement officer, and ask for any references to provide positive information about your moral character. Letters must be from a past employer or colleague. Anything sent by a family member or relative will be returned, even if you worked with a family member in a security career capacity.
Failure to complete a full application will cost you time and require that you submit another application.
Some states may also require you to submit a recent credit report, copy of a high school diploma, college transcript, and other educational achievements. If you aren’t a U.S. citizen, a naturalized citizen, or hold an INS green card, you won’t be eligible to apply. Carefully review all of the additional requirements for your state. Failure to complete a full application will cost you time and require that you submit another application.
Before securing funding for your business, get the permits and licenses required for starting your company. If you plan to have armed guards working for you, make sure to get the proper gun permits. Every state has its own requirements, so you must check with your state to ensure to complete the proper paperwork. You should also prepare to obtain a background check for every employee that you hire. Finding a company that can help you prescreen applicants can save you time and money during the application process.
Obtaining Liability Insurance
No security company should operate without the proper liability insurance. Make sure you cover your business in case something happens to a client. Bonding insurance can also help to protect your company in the event that a client has the property that is stolen by anybody under your employ. While this shouldn’t happen if you pay your employees well and do the proper background checks, a single incident by a disgruntled employee could cost your business if you aren’t adequately protected.
Your credit is going to go a long way toward helping you secure the finances for your security company. However, if you have law enforcement experience and worked as a supervisor, many banks will offer you a loan. Use the loan for startup costs to help you fund your company.
When you meet with your bank bring your business plan. This should include your mission statement, an estimate of startup costs, and proof that you have employees for your company. If you have companies that are willing to employ your services, bring a list of those companies to the meeting. Anything that persuades the bank to offer you a loan will help you secure the funds you need.
How Do Security Companies Make Money?
Actively market your services and bid for contracts. Businesses require security companies to bid for contracts so they know they get the best price. Since bidding is competitive, you need to make sure you present your services in the best way possible. Calculate your costs and charge according to the amount of profit you would like to make. Don’t forget to factor in health insurance, fuel costs, uniform costs, and other incidentals that can end up costing you.
Maintain Your Reputation
Once you have established your business, you need to make sure to keep a good reputation. As you get jobs, word will get out about your security company and more company will bid for your services. Provide superior service than the competition and you may find your security company growing faster than your ability to keep up. Through a combination of marketing and good service, you can build your security company into an empire that can help to support you and your family.