If you’ve got a plan in the works to start a car dealership, it may not seem very clear where you should begin. After all, starting a car dealership isn’t exactly a common ambition, but there are some clear steps you should take to get the ball rolling.
One of the first things you should do is secure a location for your car dealership as it will be required when you apply for your car dealer license. Selling more than five cars a year requires a dealer’s license in most states, so there is virtually no work-around for this. When looking for your location, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind. Your potential dealership location should have enough space to sport five vehicles and the lot should be visible from the road. Once you have found the location, financially secure it.
Next, you will need to get a surety bond. Think of a surety bond as an insurance policy that can be purchased for your dealership. The surety bond should be somewhere around $25k, and you should only end up paying a few hundred dollars to purchase it. The surety bond usually entails an application process that may request information about your business model/plan, letters of recommendation, organization charts, and more. Additionally, you will need to make sure your criminal record is clean.
Once you’ve taken care of all of these aspects, you should be ready to apply for your car dealer license. You can begin this process by contacting your local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). Sometimes, states will have varying prerequisites for applying for a car deal license, so be sure to clarify this when contacting the DMV. During the application process with your local DMV, you will need to show the DMV inspector to your commercially zoned lot for inspection and approval. After getting your car dealer’s license, you should be ready to go! Additionally, remember to get all of the proper paperwork such as buyer’s agreements, odometer disclosures, documents to transfer titles, and more.
Your last item of business is establishing your name and increasing sales! You should not rely completely upon word of mouth to propel your business. You should create a strong advertising/marketing plan to pitch to your target audience. Invest in a website and work with an SEO company to bring significant traffic to your site. There are all sorts of things you can do to get the word out about your new business.