Parking lots can be a lucrative opportunity for small business owners, entrepreneurs, and corporations. They are in high demand, especially in large cities, and they generate revenue with little day-to-day maintenance required. If starting a parking lot business sounds like a good fit for your long-term goals, you'll need to consider many things such as location, permits, and customer service to get your business up and running as quickly as possible.
Why You Should Start a Parking Business
Starting a parking business can be a good decision for many reasons. It's a relatively easy business to get into, and all you need is a suitable piece of land and some basic infrastructure. As our cities and suburban areas continue to expand, there will be a higher demand for parking, so you are sure to have customers. Many people prefer to be close to their destination, and they are often willing to pay a small amount to park in a secure, nearby location. If you learn how to start a parking lot business correctly, it can be very lucrative, and you'll be providing a valuable service to your community.
Check Local Laws For Permits & Licensing Requirements
Before you head out and start looking for property, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, you'll need to check with your local laws to see if there are any permit or license requirements. Knowing the requirements will keep you from getting into any legal trouble. To get started, you'll need to contact your local zoning office to see if there are any restrictions on operating a parking business in your area.
Once you have the green light from your local authorities, you'll need to obtain a business license. You can usually apply for a business license through your state's Department of Revenue or Secretary of State office. In most cases, you’ll need a parking lot permit to operate your business. The requirements are stricter if you plan on operating a covered lot or garage.
Find a Suitable Location
During the planning phase of your business, one of the most important factors is location. The perfect spot is near high-traffic areas like shopping malls, movie theaters, and airports that already have paid parking. In this case, competition means you’ll have customers—being the only paid lot in an area likely means that people can park for free elsewhere.
Many people assume they need an empty lot, but unused buildings with existing parking lots—such as an out-of-business store—can often work just as well.
Determine Paving, Painting, & Equipment Costs
To position your parking business to earn income immediately, you must determine paving, painting, and equipment costs beforehand to be successful. Paving a lot is at least $2 per square foot, meaning you’ll likely need several thousand dollars upfront. If the existing lot is safe enough to pass inspection, you can save money by re-paving at a later date.
In addition, you need to factor in the costs of essential equipment, such as on-site parking payment machines, pay stations, line striping machines, pressure washers, or even a staffed booth. Keep in mind that your objective is to generate profits. Therefore you must implement the proper procedures to control the flow of revenue and keep it secure to prevent theft. By doing your research and learning how to start a parking lot business the right way, you can get a realistic idea of your costs and ensure your new venture will succeed.
Get Business Insurance & Determine Pricing
To protect yourself from legal issues or lawsuits, you'll need to obtain the necessary insurance coverage for your business and protect it from potential liabilities. There are a few different types of insurance coverage that you should consider for your parking lot business. The first is general liability insurance, which will protect you from any injury claims. And then there's property insurance to protect your lot and equipment from damage or theft.
Once you have your insurance and business license, you're ready to determine your pricing. The amount you charge for parking will depend on several factors, including the location of your parking lot and the demand for parking in the area. Consider offering a monthly pass to attract business people and students who need to park in the same area every day.
By obtaining the proper zoning, permits, and required licenses, you'll be ready to start your parking business. Whether you need a simple payment machine or a secure entrance booth, contact B.I.G. We ship prefabricated materials all across the United States and are happy to answer any questions about your project. Visit our gallery to see what we can create.