How To Start Your Own Security Guard Company
Having your own security company can be very rewarding. Financially, there is great potential,
and it feels good to know that you are helping people feel safe and secure. Below are necessary
steps that must be taken as well as certain considerations that you may want to ponder before
taking the first steps toward opening your own security guard company:
Testing and License
Most states require written testing. One can inquire about exact state requirements by
finding out which state run department oversees private security where you live. In California,
for instance, it is the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services who are in charge of
all the rules, regulations, and requirements pertaining to private security. Most states will
send you study material, if you ask.
The testing takes a few hours and the costs vary. In California it costs close to $1500 dollars
to get fully licensed. Before the license is issued you must, of course, pass the test. Also,
you must send in mock of drawings of what your security guard patches will look like. Every
security company has their own patches which their officers must wear on their uniform.
Registering Your Business
Before you start your business, you must register it with the State. A tax I.D. and DBA
should be completed before you even begin marketing your business. Fortunately, it is not expensive
to register your new security company.
Learn Your Market
Before you market your new security company you should get familiar with your current
market. You should know, for instance, what a competitive rate is for security officers where
you plan to work since that is what you are going to market.
Security guards in Los Angeles have different rates, for example, than officers in San
Diego. Also, Learn about your competition. Before you enter the field, figure out what you
specifically can add to the security guard industry that is different and will give you a leg
up on the competition.
Website and Marketing
If you already have contacts to market your new security guard company then you are ahead
of the game. Many new security company owners do no realize that it takes a great deal of time,
thought, and money to development their business. Many markets are extremely competitive. Again,
thinking about how you will market your security guard company before you actually have one is wise.
Numerous local and state agencies can help you conceptualize your new business. There
are security industry trade publications, various affiliations, and other relevant resources
that you can find out about by researching online or visit your public Library. Your local
chamber of commerce is also a good place to start.
Insurance and Workers Compensation
To employ armed security guards most stares require that you carry liability insurance.
The exact amount varies. Workers compensation for all your employees is also generally required,
but the good news is you can wait until you have your first client before putting out this expense.
But it makes practical sense to price out what minimal policies will cost you ahead of time.
Usually, it's between two and three thousand dollars for most policies. The more officers
you have, the more expensive it is, of course. Without an established track record in the
security guard industry, almost all insurance companies will charge higher rates, but, again,
you don't have to put any money up until you have signed on a client.
Starting small is always best. Many new security companies work out of their home initially.
It's important to get all your security guard company forms in order. There are about a dozen
security guard forms that you will need such as post logs, incident reports, and a company manual.
Forms can also be found on the internet or at your local library.
You may want to start meeting security guards or running free ads to establish yourself in
the business. New Security guard companies must network and prepare their staff, even if they
are not hired yet. Knowing how to screen and recruit talented, reliable security staff is quite
an art and takes experience so you may as well get exposed to it as early as possible. Put
yourself out there and meet others in the community that may one day utilize your services.
The more prepared you are, the better.
Mr. Scott Dinnerman is President of Excalibur Agency, a Los Angeles based security company
serving a wide array of clients, including several Fortune 500 companies.
Learn more about Los Angeles security guards