Private security companies contract with businesses and individuals to monitor and protect the clients' property. States require a license for private security companies who employ unarmed and armed guards. Armed security guards must meet state licensing requirements for carrying a weapon, which includes training and registration. Unarmed security guards must also meet state licensing requirements for training. The private security company must obtain a state license and ensure that all employees meet state requirements.

Application Requirements

Private security companies must apply to the state and provide information for each partner in the business. States may require each partner in a private security firm disclose his name, address and background information for licensing.

Qualifying Agent

The state may require one partner in a private security firm act as a qualifying agent. The qualifying agent may be required to have training and experience for the firm to receive a license. For example, the qualifying agent in Washington state must have three years of experience as a manager or supervisor in a private security firm to act as the qualifying agent. Washington also requires the qualifying agent pass an examination to meet licensing requirements. States may also require an individual or partners in a private security firm submit to a background check to obtain a state license. For example, Georgia requires that applicants for a private security firm license not have convictions involving the use of a weapon. Georgia also checks an applicant’s background for fraud and crimes of dishonesty.


Private security firms must have liability insurance or a bond to protect individual and corporate clients from financial loss that is the result of the security firm’s action. Georgia private security companies must have a surety bond for $25,000 from a licensed Georgia surety company. The bond is payable to any person damaged by the acts of the private security firm.


States may require private security companies meet renewal requirements to continue operating in the state. Security firms that employ armed security guards must ensure that employees meet renewal requirements such as training to renew the state license.