The Cremation Association of North America reports that cremation is rising in popularity as more Americans seek environmentally and economically sound ways to honor family members after death.The Wall Street Journal noted in February 2010 that Americans are opting for cremation and a memorial service at an average cost of $1,400 rather than the more expensive funeral, which averages $7,200. Crematoria incinerate human corpses to ashes, which are returned to relatives in an urn. Starting a human crematorium involves developing a business plan, registering as a business entity, purchasing equipment and seeking a crematory operator certificate.

Step 1.

Write a business plan. A thorough business plan will consider the main competitors, including nearby crematoria and funeral homes offering cremation services and will create a marketing plan for cremation services. The plan should also anticipate start-up costs for purchase of a locale and equipment for incineration, as well as fees for zoning permits, licensing and membership in industry associations.

Step 2.

Register the business entity and obtain an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS. Ownership of the crematorium can be as a partnership, limited liability corporation or for-profit corporation and should be registered with the Secretary of State of the state where the crematorium is located. The EIN is necessary for paying taxes or opening a business bank account and can be applied for at

Step 3.

Choose the location and comply with zoning ordinances. Consult local zoning and public-health regulations regarding incineration and location of businesses. Find properties suitable for crematorium equipment.

Step 4.

Purchase or lease equipment used for the cremation process. One important concern is the environmental impact of cremation. Some crematory equipment manufacturers meet strict environmental requirements.

Step 5.

Complete a crematory operator certificate program. Many states require crematory operators to earn a certificate. Associations like the Cremation Association of America or the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association offer certificates for operating crematories. The certificate will lend professional credibility to a newly formed crematorium.