How to Choosing a Driving School Business

Operating a driving school can be profitable, but it requires an intimate knowledge of strict state laws and regulations. Because of this, plan to spend whatever time is necessary to research requirements for the state in which you live, fill out and submit the appropriate forms and get the necessary licenses before opening for business. Start-up costs is another area of concern. Depending on how you set up your driving school business, costs can range from $10,000 to $50,000, according to
Driving School Business
Step 1
Contact your secretary of state's office for information on laws relating to commercial driving schools. Depending on your state, laws and regulations can cover items such as business and personal licensing requirements for you and your instructors, location requirements, vehicles, vehicle inspections, insurance and bonding requirements. If you have questions, consult with an attorney or other knowledgeable business professional before proceeding any further.

Step 2
Protect your personal finances by setting up your driving school as a limited liability corporation rather than as a sole proprietor or partnership. Depending on your location, this step includes tasks such as registering your business name, getting a business license and filing articles of incorporation. A good source of free information and assistance in completing this step is in person or online mentoring with a representative from SCORE, a nonprofit small business education resource (see Resources).

Step 3
Write a business plan that addresses start-up costs, location, equipment, curriculum and promotion. Refer to state regulations when writing your plan to ensure you comply with location, classroom, vehicle and insurance requirements.

For example, if you live in the state of Illinois, your business plan should provide for a location in an area zoned for commercial, include a permanent outdoor sign visible from a minimum of 100 ft., and must include a minimum of 150 sq. ft. of office space and 300 sq. ft. of classroom space. In addition, all training vehicles must carry, at a minimum, vehicle insurance consisting of $10,000 property, $50,000 bodily injury and death of one person and $100,000 bodily injury and death of two or more persons. You can get help in completing this step via in person or online mentoring with a representative from SCORE.

Step 4
Get a driving instructor license. This is often a requirement whether you intend to train students or hire employees to conduct training. Licensing usually involves a written and behind-the-wheel test as well as a background check. Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles for specific requirements for the state in which you live.

Step 5
Driving School BusinessFill out and submit all state-required paperwork and fees. Depending on your state, this can include an application, certificate of incorporation, copy of your curriculum, instructor license verification for you and any employees you hire, insurance verification for each vehicle, copy of your building lease and a set of fingerprints so your state can run a criminal background check.

Step 6
Promote your business via print, radio and Internet advertising. Contact your local school system, find if they contract out for student driver education and, if so, get information on the bidding process.
Title: How to Choosing a Driving School Business
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