Trust is one of the most valuable assets a security company offers its clients, whether the firm’ s services involve protecting people or their belongings. Gaining that trust starts with taking the time and resources necessary to fill out the voluminous paperwork most states require before you can open your doors. For starters, many states require new security company owners to prove they have a solid background in security or law enforcement to even consider starting their own firm.
Satisfy Basic Requirements
Most states require the owner of a security company to pass a criminal background check. Other legal requirements vary by state. For instance, in California, the Department of Consumer Affairs requires the manager of your business to pass a comprehensive exam about security issues to work in your firm. In other states, such as New York, you must complete an application specifically geared for security companies, must not have any criminal convictions that disqualify you from opening the company and prove you have a minimum of two years' experience in the security industry. Once you receive the proper licenses, obtain business liability insurance and a surety bond to cover any potential defaults on security contracts your firm agrees to.
Secure Firearm Permits
Each employee who needs to carry a concealed weapon must be trained in proper use of a firearm. In some states, such as Florida, each employee must prove competency with a firearm and not have any felony convictions on their record. Further, if an employee has a conviction for misdemeanor crimes of violence in the past three years, they will not be allowed to carry a concealed weapon.
If you plan to seek government security contracts, you must create standard operating procedures. In reality, these procedures are advisable for all types of security work so your employees know how you expect them to handle various situations. Topics such as the proper use of force, a code of ethics, how to arrest people, handling hazmat situations, preparing incident reports and knowing radio codes and signs must be included. Add information related directly to your employees, such as alcohol and drug policies, the use of identification badges, and how you intend to evaluate their performance.
Look for retired policemen or active policemen who want to moonlight for your security company. These potential employees are likely already allowed to carry and can prove they know how to use a firearm. For other employees, perform thorough background checks. Provide all of your security personnel with uniforms that show your firm’s name on the front, and require them to wear the uniform at all times when on the job.
Promote Your Company
Identify the type of security services you plan to provide so you know what types of clients to chase down. For instance, if you want to provide security guards to businesses, look for companies that sell expensive items that need to be protected against damage or theft. Organizations such as car dealerships, art galleries, museums and retail jewelers need security. In addition, high-profile individuals or estates and business complexes need security. Finally, obtain federal or state contracts to handle security projects.
- PoliceOne.com: The Business of Security, Part I
- StartASecurityCompany.com: How to Start A Security Company
- New York State Department of State, Division of Licensing Services: Watch, Guard or Patrol Agencies
- New York State Department of State, Division of Licensing Services: FAQ – Watch, Guard or Patrol Agency
- Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Eligibility Requirements
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