How to Start a Security Company

Improving people skills is the very foundation of establishing a security company; simply because you are in a business that deals primarily with people. Here are a few guidelines: brushing up on your people skills, stocking up on knowledge and training when it comes to security, completing all necessary paperwork and requirements, and checking your finances always.

According to the American Society of Industrial Security 2006, security companies have been on a continuous 6% rise since 2001.

security guards

This finding really comes as no surprise; more and more people are eventually turning to private security companies for safety measures instead of relying on government-issued security forces. Different security companies offer both products and services, or in some cases, even both to their clientele. Products usually include crime prevention measures like alarm systems, lock systems, and surveillance systems. Protection services usually include bodyguard services, private investigators, and repossession agents. With all the issues of crime prevention in our society, starting private security has become a very lucrative trade.

Here are a few guidelines if you have decided to try your hand at establishing your own security company.

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First of all, you need to brush up on your people skills. Improving your skills in this area is the very foundation of establishing a security company; simply because you are in a business that deals primarily with people and you will be utilizing the services and skills of trained professionals. You must be discerning enough to know how to deal with your personnel (making them take the necessary requirements like psychological testing, background checks, putting them in areas where they most likely will excel, etc.); and how to deal with different clients and their varying security needs and issues.

Secondly, you need to acquire extensive knowledge and training in this kind of work. A good background in this field will help you decide what kind of security company you would like to set up because there are two kinds: one that sells products, and one that sells services. You can always combine both if you do have all the necessary requirements like financing, manpower, hardware, technology, etc.

Gone are the Hollywood days when “thugs” and “punks” on the streets suddenly become full-pledged bodyguards and security experts – or at least, the ones who carry on legal services. Federal law dictates that background checks, licenses, permits, policies, restrictions, and all other pertinent requirements are met, for both your company and your working personnel - before you even endeavor to open a security company. These checks are necessary because some of your personnel might be required to carry firearms as protection. Constant training and re-training, and having a broad scope on the different security issues will help establish your company for its efficiency. Security is a tricky business because nothing ever goes according to book descriptions. Every case is different, and there are several ways of handling them. Being always on your toes ensures your clients’ protection and this in turn, safeguards your company’s reputation.

Financing, as most businesses go, is the building block of your prospective security company. Enough finances can get you your own office space, can train your personnel, can buy necessary firearms and hardware, can fill out the required paperwork, and can help advertise the services of your company to interested parties. If you are on an extremely limited budget, you may want to decide first what kind of security you may want to provide and who will be your intended market; and probably stick to your initial goals until you actually make enough to expand.

Remember that even if you have a 2-man security operation as PPO or private patrol operator, your personnel still has to undergo substantial training, frequent re-training, has the possibility of carrying firearms in the line of duty, has to be covered by insurance, etc. – and all these entail financing.

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  • T.j. said on August 19, 2008
    Thanks, but no viable sources; try adding some sites to obtain the proper licenses; baton, first aid, CPR, etc., above are mostly fluff.
  • Malik Khan said on January 5, 2009
    I need a complete feasibility report on starting a Security Company, Impact, and aspect analysis. Please help in this regard. Thanks
  • Guest said on January 15, 2009
    What are the requirements needed to start your own security company? Do you need a license, and if you do, how can I go about getting one?
  • Frank A. Curiel, Sr. said on January 31, 2009
    I need to know what it takes to build a security guard company for a large plant in the state of Louisiana.
    1) Will need to be armed.
    Thank You
    Frank A. Curiel, Sr.
  • vuyo said on February 1, 2009
    I need to know exactly what do I need to start a security company and where can I get the training or attend the workshops.
  • mike younger said on February 8, 2009
    Please email me what I need to start an armed security company, like what legal papers I need to file with the state or police or any papers I need to file.
  • Esther L Colgan said on February 16, 2009
    I need to know once I get my PPO card/cert. how hard to find account or how to find them?
  • Esther L Colgan said on February 16, 2009
    Let say I found them/some accounts, how much do you think I would pay for insurance for armed and unarmed guards per month? Or could please tell me where I could find that information. Thanks
  • Lt. N. Ryan said on February 16, 2009
    If you cannot spell, do not have a degree, do not have extensive law enforcement, military, security, or business management experience, then you have no business trying to start your own security company. The market is extremely competitive. Most if not all potential clients will award contracts to the lowest bidder. The minimum wage in most states is over $7 per hour. Most contracts are being awarded to companies who bid just under $11 per hour. After you pay your employees, rent, workers compensation insurance, social security contributions, taxes, general liability insurance, state license for your agency, state licenses for your employees, background checks for your employees, uniforms for your employees, drug tests for your employees, and your employee benefits. . . well, you do the math. Chances are that if you do not already know how to get started, your state's regulatory agency will probably deny you a license anyway based on lack of experience. It is also likely you will not be able to obtain the required insurance for the same reason.
  • Glenville said on February 22, 2009
    I am planning to write a small business loan proposal, for starting up a security company. can u help me with your knowledge of information on this subject, also a round house figure on the cost, both arm and unarmed. Thank u in advance.
  • enid-man-oklahoma said on March 12, 2009
    i'm wanting to start a security guard company i have a few ideas on what i need to do. i have a friend that has done this before but i really would like to know what i would really need before i try to open my doors. thanks
  • thokozani said on March 19, 2009
    Hi, I'M also in the same boat, I know about business management but I'm not sure about liability insurance and license. what kind of a customer will want this?
  • thetruth said on March 26, 2009
    I'd like to say that security companies get paid 48.00 dollars per hour per security officer and often pay only $9 or $10 per hour.
    If they didn't make money after business expenses, then they wouldn't be in the business.
    and companies get a substantial discount in their fire/safety building insurance, if they have a 24/7 security. The discount is so great, that it often pays for the security staff.
    If your going to start a company, be fair and break the mold of greed. give the security field, the much needed respect it deserves.
    Union strong, union proud.
    the truth is the truth
  • thetruth said on March 26, 2009
    and companies get a substantial discount in thier fire/safety building insurance, if they have a 24/7 security. The discount is so great, that it often pays for the security staff. If your going to start a company, be fair and break the mold of greed. give the security field, the much needed respect it deserves. Union strong, union proud. the truth is the truth
  • Elite Protection Agency said on April 6, 2009
    Dont be discouraged by the challenges of starting your own protection agency. What man has done, man can do. The public needs you to supply this demand.
  • ANDREW said on April 13, 2009
  • Andrew S said on April 20, 2009
    Ok... I Have started a security company and it is doing great. my question is can you add a DBA to the PSB LIC ORG? If not then I need two companies for the sake of Market.
  • phinias said on May 5, 2009
    I have the request can u please send me the steps that i have to take when opening the security company.
  • Michael said on May 5, 2009
    I'm interested in starting up my own security firm and doorman business... just looking for info on insurance and getting a license. thank you
  • irvan said on May 13, 2009
    i am looking for some info how to promote our close protection service in Indonesia or world wide? please advice and my email is
  • Joe Rochford said on May 28, 2009
    My son and I are interested in starting a Security Business. What do I need to get started, as for as money, insurance, supplies?
  • Mr.Chris said on June 4, 2009
    Hi, me and 3 other very close partners are working on starting a security business. We are currently working on a business plan, so far we have developed a company overview, mission statement and services to provide. But we want some guidance as far as insurances and registering the whole thing. We all have plenty of experience on this field and two of us are law enforcement officers. Any ideas? Thanks.
  • Des Sampson said on June 4, 2009
    I need information on how to start a security business in South Africa.
  • mike said on June 7, 2009
    i need to know what type of license, bonding and insurance do you need to start an armed/unarmed security company in birmingham, alabama.
  • michel said on June 9, 2009
    hi! i need to start a security company in one of the Africa countries but i still want to get my license and i don't know which good agency should i choose for my training
  • emmanuel said on June 10, 2009
    I am strongly considering starting up a Franchise with Financial Consulting Firm, to specialize in Corporate Finance/Advisory Service. I reside in Nigeria, i see an on top market here and i want to venture into it. Any guide on start up....
  • Howard said on June 21, 2009
    would Like to start a 1 man small operation for a local bank security just to supplement my Military retirement. Please supply me with license info and insurance costs for such an operation. Thanks
  • ivan k. elliott said on June 24, 2009
    i need to know about the logistic, policies, procedures, the how to get license, bonded, etc. security guard company.
  • Donelle Norman said on June 24, 2009
    i have started a security company and i already having basic idea on what need to be done but i would like to get some ideas on how to get more contractors.
  • Dustin said on June 28, 2009
    For those of you who have already started your own security company, can you please let me know exactly how you did it? Thanks
  • jan said on July 16, 2009
    I am blown away. Some of these people on here cannot construct a sentence but want to and some already have a security company. I was interested but no longer am.
  • Ternishia Wilfork said on July 17, 2009
    me and my brother are young, but we are very interested in starting our own security company. we just have an idea so we need to know everything as far as getting started.
  • Ternishia Wilfork said on July 17, 2009
    jan, these people need help not grammar school and if that changes your mind, that just makes you look as a person very weak.
  • Ian Willis said on July 19, 2009
    I came to this site looking for information about starting a security company. My friend and I have numerous years of experience doing security work and we want to start our own company. The information above was very informative, but it still left questions unanswered. If there is any information that can be provided about licenses, paperwork, and things of that nature, that would be helpful. We need information about what first steps to take to get the company off the ground.
  • Pamela Gleason said on July 21, 2009
    My level of work experience in this field is the following: Security / Lead Officer for 1 1/2 years, and General Private Investigations for 5 years. 25 certs in security plus 40 certs in FEMA can you tell me how can I start my own security guard (unarmed) business? Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule in reading this email and I’m looking forward in speaking with you in the near future. Sincerely, Pamela L. Gleason
  • Bradley Fortuin said on July 24, 2009
    I would like a detailed description on how to start up from scratch. I have knowledge on the following, intruder alarms, access control and cctv. i would like to start up my own business. please be kind enough to reply thank you.
  • Markee Canada said on July 27, 2009
    I would like to know what are some reliable, but reasonable price insurance companies for a security company.
  • Askeona said on July 29, 2009
    I am taking a college course for Entrepreneurship. My final project is to write a business plan for a specific type of business. The business assigned to me (totally not my choice)was for a Security Guard Training Agency. I am not familiar with this field at all. I don't know anything about this or where to start. I would appreciate any information you have. Thank you
  • Steven P. Druzynski said on July 30, 2009
    All I want to do is contract myself out as Armed Security, Do I still need to start my own agency so I can obtain a number for the card or how do I get around that?
  • Aida said on July 31, 2009
    The information given here was very informative, however there is a question i'd like answered. I am interested in starting a security company. I have worked in this field for almost 11 years. My question is, what licenses would i need to get started?
  • daniel said on August 3, 2009
    this was a pretty good site explaining the different ways but i would like to know how can i go by getting the license from the state to start it to make my own business legit and covered for me as well as the clients i put under my wing??? thank you for the other info please provide me the answer to this thank you
  • yea said on August 18, 2009
    Ok people, I have read enough posts on here to realize that no one knows what they are talking about. For someone who says I have a lot of good ideas and am starting a business plan for a armed security company is like a doctor trying to start his own practice without ever going to med school. If you don't have training in the area then don't bother trying, if you don't have money already, don't bother trying. A homeless man could write a business plan, it takes education/skill/money/and experience to start this kind of company. This is not a lemonade stand here people and not for everyone.
  • Guest said on August 23, 2009
    To start in the U.S. try your states Department of Professional Licensing. They will have your state's statutes. This lists how much insurance you will need, qualifying agent requirements, rules for uniforms, vehicles, conduct etc...
  • Richard said on September 7, 2009
    My level of work experience in this field is the following: Security / Lead Officer for 15 1/2 years, and General Private Investigations for 5 years. 25 certs in security plus 40 certs in FEMA can you tell me how can I start my own security guard (unarmed) business? Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule in reading this email and I’m looking forward in speaking with you in the near future. Sincerely yours, Richard F. Moreno
  • Frank said on September 10, 2009
    I would also invite everyone here to contact my company, Signal 88 Security Texas. We are part of a national security firm who offers security franchise opportunities based on our successful model. We provide all the assistance and resources you'll need; including our branded products and proprietary technology, full training and ongoing support with marketing, operations and administration of your business. Here in Texas, we also assist with all licensing and registration requirements. You can find detailed information at our website or email me at
  • Tiritose said on September 13, 2009
    Currently i have 5 years of experience. I own a company that has a relative market share since its inception in 2008. How can i develop my business model in such a competitive environment.
  • Richard said on September 14, 2009
    I am looking for QM’s in other states to qualify on security licenses, for joint business opportunities and to help other start off new security companies in the following: Security guard Company, Personal Protection Company, Alarm Company, Private Investigative Company, Locksmith Company and Training Facilities also CCTV and Access Control Companies where Licensing is needed please contact me. Are you a Licensee looking for a license in other states then I invite you to contact me. If you have any questions about starting or running a Security firm with any or all of the services mentioned above please feel free to contact me by calling me at 877.227.1688 Ext. 87 or email me at
  • Richard said on September 15, 2009
    Tiritose please feel free to contact me by calling me at 877.227.1688 Ext. 87 or email me at I will be more then happy to help you!!
  • rich said on September 30, 2009
    hi i have worked in bars/clubs for over 7 years now and i am looking to branch out and start my own company. If anyone could help with my unanswered questions or any tips that would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for your time
  • Thabo Lawrence Mofokeng said on October 10, 2009
    I like to open a security company in South Africa. The only thing I need is to get License for my company and I need someone who can help me to get license. I have a experience of Policing I am currently a Trained Police Reservist. I also have all requirements that are needed to open a security., for registration of license is R4560.00 Please e-mail me if you can help to this e-mail: your help is so important to me thanks.
  • Farhan Shahid said on October 12, 2009
    I have started a small scale property management, maintenance and security company in Glasgow. Initially it was only property management and maintenance as i have construction background, but recently i secured a couple of security contracts of unoccupied properties. In process i have gained my SIA (Security industry Authority) License, First Aid, Health and Safety certification. If anyone interested in starting his business of same nature within UK, i can help him with initial advice and start up help required. (Including Financial advice) Also looking for dedicated partner who can take care of this running business, as am thinking of expansion plans. But cannot leave it without some trusted person. (I mentioned partner, not employee as he shall be only exerting best of his efforts if he also had something on stake). So if you want to discuss any further, you can email me ( and if possible leave your contact number. Regards, Farhan
  • Aaron said on October 27, 2009
    I want to start my own bodyguard company but I have no money! Can't I just recruit my friends, make a couple signs, and put on a suit? Or do I have to actually buy the training? If anyone can help me in anyway, please contact me at I live in Leland, NC, USA, and if anyone near there wants to help (especially if you have the money...) I would love to give it a try! About a week ago, everyone in the Leland Wal-Mart let a thief walk right out the front doors! They knew he stole a DVD and they had the cameras and the witnesses to prove it...but the ONE "asset protection guy" (some idiot in a T-shirt and baseball cap) was nowhere to be found! I want to help prevent things like this from happening where I live!!!
  • Daniel Blake said on October 28, 2009
    Read enough emails on here to know I only want to be a partner with someone else who already has knowledge in the security field. I'm cleet certified bonded and have 23yrs experience.
  • rajesh singh said on October 29, 2009
    I want to start a security guard business in delhi. Kindly let me know what govt. statutory requirements I need to fulfill before I start operations? Thanks.
  • ogunlaja hassan said on November 2, 2009
    Thanks for your advise so far kindly write to me the duty or roll of a security manager in an organization. i will be attending an interview please assist me thanks. best regard
  • ORLANDO PEREZ said on November 6, 2009
    Hey if any of you guys do start your own company hire me. I'm a 235 certified(PA firearm licensed) with 15 years of security, investigation and supervision. I'm available in the Philadelphia area. email at
  • Balvinder Singh said on November 17, 2009
    I want to start a security guard business in Dehradun, Uttranchal, India. kindly let me know what step by step procedures for duty & organization. please help me .thanks
  • carol said on November 17, 2009
    I want to start my own security business, is it expensive? and how do I go about doing it? I want to start in clinton township, mi, 48035
  • Derrick said on November 21, 2009
    I want to start in Jacksonville, Duval County FL and SpringHill Hernando County FL.
  • Hermin S. said on November 29, 2009
    All I want is to start a Security STORE in CT, I currently sell and do CCTV installations, but I'm thinking of doing a store that carries everything..........I get calls almost everyday for people that want to buy just the equipment and install them themselves.
  • Yusuf Makanjuola said on December 10, 2009
    London, UK. Looking to start a private security firm (temp and permanent). I want to know a winning approach method for winning over the clients. How do you get new business? Finding the candidates are easily done
  • cesar valles said on December 12, 2009
    want to start my own alarm security company, is it expensive? how do I do it? what do I need? can u pleas tell me step by step. Pampa, tx 79065
  • kevon gordon said on December 17, 2009
    I am trying to obtain info on starting a armed security company...what papers do i need to file and with whom. Thanks
  • Jamie Milliner said on December 18, 2009
    need to now how to start a security company in fort myers florida. my email is
  • king Saini said on December 22, 2009
    I want to start security services business in Chandigarh and Yamuna Nagar Haryana In India. Please let me know the legal formalities and basic requirements of funds and others related skills. please suggest me I should start with arms or without arms security services.
  • scp said on December 26, 2009
    I am wanting to start my own personal protection company on the west coast, i am certified in personal protection operations, and i am first responder certified working towards my emt degree, and information that anyone could provide as far as licensing, certification, and insurance required for this type of business would be much appreciated thank you. please email me here if anyone has info they could provide me with.
  • jimmy work said on December 30, 2009
    HI, i was hoping you would be able to give me advice on what licenses i would need to open a all around site security company also what checks i would have to do when employing staff like crb checks and so things like that. many thanks jimmy
  • bob said on January 2, 2010
    I come to this site for information about starting my own security & private investigators(not armed) company. I need to know what to do to get it of the ground. Things like license, insurance bonding paper work, I live in Niagara Falls canada. I have been working in security for 3 yr. Thanks Bob
  • Lazaro Millares said on January 3, 2010
    I live here in Miami, FL area, I an writing for you to guide me with the steps, since I want to open up my own security serves/with Private Detectives as well. I have my D, C and PPI License and MB Managers License, how do I go about on getting my M License. Please HELP
  • DAVID BONJUI said on January 4, 2010
    I want to start up a security firm here in Papua New Guinea so i am writing for guidance & assistance.
  • T Pholoana said on January 7, 2010
    M currently a security officer, but i would love to open a business empire starting with a security company. So how do i go about it.
  • Vengar said on January 14, 2010
    I just opened a private security company I obtained my PPO license and been working at a few business locations, and private events. In your experience what tips would you give me on how to obtain more contracts. I am 23 years old and sometimes find that challenging. I would really appreciate your tips and advises.
  • Sally said on January 19, 2010
    I am an MBA graduate with no job and would like to start up a security firm in Cameroon to protect private residence and businesses. Please help... Thanks
  • Phumlani Njapha said on January 19, 2010
    KWAZULU NATAL DURBAN and i wanna start my own security company. Phumlani Njapha, 0836790505
  • Anita said on January 19, 2010
    I am planning on starting my own private protection agency in Detroit area, what kind of advice can you give I need a license besides being retired PO.
  • ALBERT TOWNS said on January 22, 2010
  • Anthony said on February 1, 2010
    VENGAR, What state is your PPO license in? Reply ASAP to with title, PPO license, Thanks
  • daniel lumbala said on February 2, 2010
    the place i have in mind is the whole of vaal and i'm a resident in SOUTH AFRICA, and i wanna know what type of licenses i need for the following, body guard, community services.
  • Jessica said on February 3, 2010
    Darwin, NT, Australia... My family wants to start up a security business, how???
  • Mike S. said on February 5, 2010
    Hi! I live in Bellingham WA, United States and looking to start up Security Business in Whatcom County area... I know there are couple security companies... but never seen Patrol vehicle security for apartments and other resident premises... So, I need to know, with what should I start? what kind of steps to do? What Licenses to get and all other required paper work that I need to pass through... Also, how much usually management will pay per month for services if the leasing price for an apartment is around $850-1500. Thank you!
  • reem said on February 6, 2010
    hello am from lebanon, plz i need more and more information about starting a security company. (more details) i wish that i can find somebody to help me
  • miguel silvas jr. said on February 8, 2010
  • DENISE POWELL said on February 9, 2010
  • Bin said on February 10, 2010
    I would like to start a Security business in Southern California. Mainly Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. I have my Guard Card and exposed weapons permit. What else would I need or to do? Thanks
  • Captain Sant Ram said on February 11, 2010
    Bangalore, karnataka, India, respected sir, i want to open a security agency in bangalore, so please tell me what all procedure i will have to follow to do so. thank you!
  • Le said on February 18, 2010
    I am a probation officer and would like to start a security services company in texas. What are the steps I need to take? I will be providing armed services. let me know.
  • John said on February 19, 2010
    I am planning on starting a security company in dallas tx. I've researched some licenses and things i will need. Please give me a idea on what i need to do.
  • safe bangladesh ltd said on February 19, 2010
    pl give some guidelines to become success in security company. Thanks a lot of. dellower Dhaka Bangladesh
  • mohan said on February 26, 2010
    right now i am living at gujarat and i want to start a security agencies before starting that i want to know detailed about the the basic needs of this like isn't insurance of staff is compulsory and how much finance is required for that.
  • roy said on March 3, 2010
    ST Augustine State, FL Country USA. I am in a position that would benefit several former soldiers, but first I need to find out how to start a security company, to include what lic, ins and other requirements that are needed for US wide
  • Tom said on March 3, 2010
    Interested in starting a security company in the Philippines. Need to know what are the requirements....Thanks for your help!
  • art aguilar said on March 8, 2010
    los angeles, california. security in los angeles, denver, last twelve years. i would like info on starting small security firm mostly dealing with 10-50 man events throughout the la area concerts, sporting events, movie premiers, etc. please assist me. ppo license, exam, insurance, etc. thanks art
  • joe said on March 9, 2010
    corona, ca. hi i have been working in security for about 10 years i have done it all warehouses, new homes, weddings, b-days, house parties, clubs, and bars armed and unarmed i work a lot of places i meet a lot of people that want to hire me but because i don't got my PPO it makes it hard to work for them and i know a lot of people that work at clubs and bars that want me or my guys there with out the cops on them or me can you or some one tell or help me get me PPO and what it is all about and help me with some info about insurance what kind i might need thank you
  • suresh babu said on March 11, 2010
    i need to know more about setting up an security service company. the company would be in dubai. i will be responsible for the same. need to know the initial infrastructure, logistics, manpower, training, finance, marketing etc: required and how to set up the whole .
  • Horace Taylor said on March 12, 2010
    I live in Jamaica and i would like some tips on starting a security company hear. I would like to target the hotel/tourist industry areas. I live in Ocho Rios. Thanks for your advise in advance. Horace Taylor.
  • GURPREET SINGH said on March 16, 2010
    hello i m from india i need to know that how can i get the license for starting a new security company?
  • jawid rasul khan said on April 2, 2010
    hello, i m jawed, i want to start security agency in bangalore. what is the procedure for getting license and what document need for opening security agency
  • Luis Montes de Oca said on April 3, 2010
    my name is Luis Montes de Oca, I am Masters student at a university in Florida, I have scheduled to graduate this June, I have twelve years of experience, with everything related to security, currently has two types security license in Florida, the "D" and "G", with these two licenses are sufficient for opening a security company, and if my master's degree, helps to make things easier, I ask you please give me some guidance, to make my dream, thank you very much for your help, and we will then
  • Kerry Sireheti said on April 8, 2010
    i need to know more about setting up an security service company. the company would be in solomon islands. i will be responsible for the same. i need to know the initial infrastructure, logistics, manpower, training, finance, marketing etc: required and how to set up the whole .
  • Goodwill Haapyboy Siyabonga Mhlophe said on April 8, 2010
    I am in Sisonke Region / Harry Gwala Region . I want to own the Company Security that will operate in this Region. please help me to make my dream true. I would also want a respond on this as soon as possible.


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