Become a Car Dealer
A career as a car dealer can be highly lucrative. After all, most people need cars and, when they wear out, they need newer cars. By starting a business as a car dealer, you can provide for people’s vehicle needs and run a successful business. However, there are many things to take into consideration before you start your car dealership, including a surety bond for your company. This article walks you through some of the important steps to becoming a car dealer.
How to become a car dealer:
- Get training and licensing
- Create your business plan
- Get your business registered
- Get bonded
- Get your inventory
- Create your network
- Advertise your assets
- Keep up with regulatory changes
Let’s expand with some detail about each step…
Before Starting The Business
Becoming a car dealer is not as easy as buying cars to sell. Instead, the process begins with planning and organization before becoming an auto dealer, with clear steps that lead to the final goal. If you do not prepare appropriately for your business, you may face serious problems in operations, business success, and even adhering to state and federal regulations. As a result, it is a good idea to take as much time as necessary for this stage as you start a career as an auto dealer.
1 – Training and Licensing
Owning and running dealership typically requires specific training and licensing, with requirements differing by state. Research the requirements for your state and obtain the training needed so you can be a licensed car dealer. The proper training will not only give you the knowledge and skills you need to be successful as a car salesman but will ensure that you understand and can follow the laws and regulations governing car sales in your state and in the nation.
2 – Business Planning
Along with training and licensing, it’s important to have a clear plan for your operation. A business plan outlines your plans for your car dealership. It should include your general plan, predicted expenses and profits, marketing strategy, and how you plan to achieve your goals and objectives. When seeking financing for your dealership, strong business plans show financiers that you are serious about being successful and doing what is necessary in your dealership business.
Become an Auto Dealer
Once you’ve done the preparation and planning for your car dealership, you’re ready to start your business and work as a vehicle dealer. However, starting a car dealership requires more than simply renting retail space and buying some cars to resell. Just as preparation is a process, starting your vehicle dealership is a process, as well. Ensuring that you have what you need to open your vehicle dealership properly and achieve the business goals and objectives you set in your business plan. It is important to note that there are going to be fees and notable costs involved. Taking these costs into consideration will help you prepare appropriately for starting your business.
3 – Register The Business
You must register the business as an entity in order to operate it in your state. There are requirements at both the state and federal levels for starting and operating businesses. Be sure to check your state requirements. There are likely fees involved in registering the business. There may also be fees with maintaining the registration while your business is in operation. This is the first step to become an auto dealer.
4 – Obtain Your Dealer Bond
Most states require an auto dealer surety bond as part of the state licensing process. The purpose of the bond is to protect the interests of your customers. It acts as a guarantee that both sides of the contract will be fulfilled. In the event that you do not meet your contract requirements under the law, the company providing the surety bond will provide financial compensation to the customer. There are fees required for the surety bond that should be figured into your start-up expenses. The fees required for your surety bond vary depending on the company used to secure it. [At Surety by NFP, we specialize in all kinds of bonds. We do auto dealer bonds in all states. Bad credit is no problem for us!] We hope this helps you become an auto dealer. Once you reach this step, please reach out to us. We’d love to help.
5 – Acquire Your Inventory
Along with registering your business and obtaining your dealer bond, you will need inventory to sell to your customers. This, too, will take the capital. In fact, it is likely that this will be the biggest start-up expense you have for your car dealership. Your business plan can help guide your initial inventory purchases so you can get your operation running. You have to balance your initial inventory purchases with your operating expenses and projected sales so that you do not end up in deficit at the beginning of operations.
6 – Running Your Biz
Once you’ve done what is needed to start your biz, you are ready to be a car salesman. At this stage, one of the most important components is building your customer base and reputation to build your biz to be successful. While this stage does not require the same capital as starting the biz did, it is just as important as the other stages for putting you in a position to be a successful vehicle dealer, such as LIAAG.
7 – Network with Other Businesses
Networking with other businesses can help build your reputation and coordinate customer-building. This can include cross-advertising, referrals among businesses, or other strategies to help each other. By working cooperatively with other businesses, you will get to know how businesses operate in your community and contribute to overall community success. This strategy builds on mutual benefit and cooperation to achieve success among businesses, focusing on how they can help each other rather than competing with one another.
8 – Advertise Your Assets
One particular asset you will have is your car dealer bond. This provides security and credibility to your business in the minds of your customers. Knowing that customers will be compensated if you do not meet your obligations can help customers recognize that you take the business seriously and want to ensure that they are satisfied. Letting customers know you are a bonded auto dealer can help reassure them that you will provide high-quality service and meet your contractual obligations when they do business with you.
9 – Keep Up with Regulatory Changes
Though you learned regulations and laws during your training and licensing, it is likely that regulations will change or be altered to meet the needs of the American people or to coincide with other regulatory changes. Even if you are not involved in discussions of these changes or you are not made aware of what they are when they happen, your operation will be held to the standard of meeting them.
Whether becoming a car dealer is a new idea or a career you’ve been hoping to pursue for a long time, following the right steps to starting your dealership can have a big impact on your overall business success. From a clear business plan to a surety bond, you can use the steps in the process to build a successful business and grow a small dealership into whatever you want it to be. There is not much variation between the used car game, and learning how to become a new car dealer.
How we can help
Surety by NFP can help you take your venture to the next level. We can help you get your dealer bond. We hope this article helps you how to become a car dealer. Feel free to call us for all your auto bonding needs.