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How to Set up a Home Tutoring Business


Setting up a home tutoring business is a great way to earn some supplemental income or even make a career change if you're successful enough. By finding your strengths as a potential tutor, determining the right fees, and marketing your new service, you can go into business for yourself as a tutor.

Planning Your Tutoring Business

Play to Your Strengths

Tutors can provide assistance in nearly every subject that students take from elementary school all the way through college. Break down the grade levels and subjects with which you are comfortable enough to tutor students.

Don't forget to include those at a lower level. For example, if you're comfortable tutoring in math all the way through calculus, then you shouldn't forget to include algebra and geometry students.

If you're not a retired teacher, substitute, or otherwise familiar with curriculums in your area, then check with your state's department of education to see what you must be proficient in to tutor certain grade levels.

Common Core standards have also been adopted by a number of U.S. states, so you can look into your state's adoption of these standards for curriculum information as well.

Check Out the Competition

Call other reputable tutoring services in your area to learn their services and rates. Find out if those rates are based on tutors who are certified or not. This research will help when you eventually decide on pricing, and it will also give you the chance to see the areas in which your competition specializes. Use this information to help set your service apart.

Consider Getting Certified

Most states do not require any specialized training for someone to work as a tutor. However, parents are essentially entrusting the academic development of their children to you (not to mention paying for the service), so tutoring certifications can help separate you from the crowded tutor pack - not to mention translate into higher hourly fees.

The National Tutoring Association (NTA) and American Tutoring Association (ATA) are two organizations that offer certifications to help distinguish your tutoring business. You can expect to spend between $200 and $500 for the certification depending on the subjects and course levels at which you seek certification.

Pick a Name

Once you know your areas of specialization, you can start building a brand for your business. Choose a name that sets your service apart, and Google it to ensure that it's not already taken.

You'll also need to choose a name for the business before you can file for the business license in your state.

Remember That it's Not Just Tutoring

While you'll spend the bulk of your time as a tutor assisting students, you must remember that you are still starting a small business. You'll have to file for the appropriate small business license in your state, perform bookkeeping duties, pay taxes, market your services, etc.

If you're unfamiliar with setting up a business, then you may want to see a tax specialist concerning the best way for you to file. However, you will most likely want to file your business as an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation). This will protect you as the owner from the debts of the business if it fails or any judgments against it.

You may also want to spend some time talking to a small business attorney who can point you in the right direction regarding state and local ordinances pertaining to liability, such as how to protect yourself in the event of a student injuring himself or herself while in your home.

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