Starting a Funeral Home Business

Learn what you need to know in order to start your very own funeral home business. Why put up a funeral home? What are the rewards people get from running a funeral home business? Find out the basics you need to know to before setting up a funeral home business. Discover the trends in the funeral service industry.

Helping people out during the worst time of their life is a very rewarding experience.

funeral home

This is where those engaged in the funeral home business derive their satisfaction from. They seek to give comfort to the family and loved ones of the deceased during their time of sorrow. In return, the funeral home people are rewarded with an immeasurable sense of fulfillment.

Getting Started with Funeral Business

Intangible reward aside, the fact that a funeral home is a business must not be discounted. In starting a business one must first familiarize oneself with the industry. Try to get an overview of how the funeral business operates. There are tons of resources at your disposal. Be sure to make use of it. Reading up on the subject will give you a clearer picture of what works and what doesn’t.

Come up with a management plan. Find out the necessary legal papers you must procure to operate a funeral home. Try and asses your finances. Find out how much you need to shell out as start up capital. Make a study and figure out how long it will take you to get a return on your investment. It would help if you have a detailed finance allocation plan from the start.

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Remember, every business endeavor requires a huge dose of time, and energy but if you do your best, success is foreseeable. This is a sure shot way to get your funeral home business up and running.

Client Preference for Funeral Business

Study your market. Find out who your primary clients are. Your services must be geared towards their needs. Figure out what your competitive advantage is over the other players. This will help you in creating your marketing strategy, which is another must in every business plan.

Studies show that the primary reasons why people choose a particular funeral home is because the said home has previously served their family. However, this reason should not be a cause for discouragement. There are other factors that affect a prospective client’s decision. More often than not, people are inclined to select a funeral home that is close by and easily accessible. People are also keen on funeral homes which they been to before and which they know has a good reputation and a fair service price.

Pricing for Funeral Business

On average, the amount needed to get a funeral going is $6,000 to $6,500. This includes: embalming, viewings, cosmetics, professional charges, transportation expenses.

Other charges may be required for cremation, graveside funerals, obituary announcements, online memorial programs, assistance in the procurement of mandatory paperwork such as death certificates and burial permits and so on.

A general price list is compulsory. Every funeral home must have one. Although package pricing is allowed, it is recommended to have an itemized price list for all the services and products offered. Try to develop a price list that is both workable and competitive.

On a side note

Consider including cremation as part of your service. The current cremation rate in the U.S. is a hefty thirty percent (30%) and it is projected to reach up to 50% in ten years time. This increase may be attributed to (1) the fact that cremation is now more acceptable. (2) There are the environmental factors to consider. (3) The rising level of education vis-à-vis the weakening ties to tradition.

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375 Comments

  • Robin K. Melton said on May 24, 2008
    I want information about what primarily will be the start cost to operate a funeral home.
  • Anabela said on June 2, 2008
    I need all the information I can get on how to start a funeral home business. Can any one provide more internet resource info? Much appreciated.
  • Patricia Owen said on December 12, 2008
    How can I be sure we are keeping all appropriate records in our funeral home office? Is there a list of each item to be maintained? Where? Respond to: owenqcmgmt@bellsouth.net
  • Kyle  said on December 14, 2008
    Hi there, i am in New Zealand and have worked in a few funeral homes and am looking at starting my own and just want to get a bit more info if anyone can help that would be great also looking to get a job back in the trade.
  • John said on December 19, 2008
    I would like some information on starting a corpse removal, pickup and delivery service, where we would pick-up from any hospital and deliver to any funeral home.
  • Jamitra Martynyuk said on December 30, 2008
    I would like to obtain all the information I can on starting a funeral home business. If anyone has any information please email me at murphyjamitra@bellsouth.net
  • Guest said on January 4, 2009
    Hi. I would like any information on starting a funeral home business. Please email me at alex1san@yahoo.com if there is anyone with any helpful information. Thank you.
  • Vawters said on January 6, 2009
    I know of funeral directors that are not well known, however know the business, i plan to work and learn from them as well, and i know WHY.
  • Vawters said on January 6, 2009
    ...AND I KNOW WHY I WANT TO OWN A FUNERAL HOME, BECAUSE I WANT TO HELP THOSE IN NEED! My question is would i have to have some type of degree or schooling of some sort? or is hands on training the best way?
  • Mary said on February 7, 2009
    I would like to get as much info as possible on how to start up a funeral home service. Also is the director required to obtain a formal degree.
  • brendan said on February 7, 2009
    how much does it cost to get the funeral home started? what degrees or certificates do i need?
  • Roy said on February 8, 2009
    I was a funeral home business owner, any serious inquires please email me.
  • Nicole said on February 11, 2009
    Hi, I live in Queensland, Australia, I need to know who to go to, to get the ball rolling in starting my own funeral home. Roy what is your email address?
  • veronica Turner said on February 16, 2009
    Roy can you please give some counsel on how to start a funeral biz. What time of overhead capital will i need, who would i need to employ, where do i get the property to accommodate such an ordeal etc. Thank you for your time.
  • Roy said on February 18, 2009
    To start a Funeral home business, you need to look at your community. How many mortuaries are in the area? What is the cremation rate versus burials? Where is the Mortuary college located? Who owns the crematorium? Who opens and closes the graves? It is about trust and professionalism. You are dealing with a different generation, Your appearance is important. No one wants to talk with a funeral director with a ring in the tongue or eyebrow ring...just examples
  • ian said on February 22, 2009
    Hello Roy I'm also interested of putting a funeral business. Actually I already bought a funeral hearse and I have a business permit already. I want to have your advise/tips on the management and marketing aspect.
  • Yolanda Angels said on February 23, 2009
    Hi all, those will the important ideas and views on how i can start a funeral parlor. Feel free to email me on the above email address. Looking forward for all the responses. Thank you.
  • Roy said on February 23, 2009
    Hi, google mortuary management and look at the abbott and hast link, read some of the issues that relate to funeral homes and funeral home operations.
  • latrice said on February 24, 2009
    please send me info. how to get started with owning a funeral home business. as much as possible.
  • Mabel said on February 25, 2009
    Hi All, I need information on how to start a funeral parlour, feel free to email me on the above email address. Looking forward to your email. Thank you
  • Leydi Montenegro said on February 25, 2009
    Hello. I am currently a high school student and I have to start a capstone which is related to my career path. I have to start my capstone from nothing and it is to open up a funeral home. I have so many questions so if anyone can be of any help, please email me at Leydim91@yahoo.com
  • Roy said on February 26, 2009
    I have been following this site for a little while. Why is it that none of you have visited with your local Funeral Home.? If you look at your local F.H. You will find that the owner or director is very active in your community and are more than happy to talk and give information freely. Have your Funeral Director/Embalmer visit your school and talk about what it takes to be a good F.D.
  • Kim said on February 26, 2009
    Hello Roy, Please send me any information on starting a Funeral Home. Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.
  • KEYS said on March 1, 2009
    barry where are you located? if you're serious let's talk. iegohi@yahoo.com put FH in subject line.
  • sarah said on March 2, 2009
    Hello i am looking for information to start a funeral home, somewhere in the northen cape. Can you please tell me if i wanna make it a goverment organasation where to start and who to contact?
  • Barry Fields said on March 5, 2009
    I'm interested in starting a funeral home business.I tried to email you at iegohi@yahoo.com but it failed to go through, so please email me back at pfields4@bellsouth.net
  • patience said on March 8, 2009
    hi, i really need information about starting a funeral business, the cost and the necessary papers.
  • Nicky said on March 9, 2009
    Hi Roy, I've a keen interest in starting up my own funeral parlour business. I approached people who are presently directing funerals but most of them could not give me all the info I needed. I would like to at least have a rough estimation what would be the start up costs, and the standard requirements. Thank you. My email address is nr8588@gmail.com
  • Ronnie said on March 10, 2009
    I am interested in starting my own funeral business can anyone help me and tell me of the start up cost...I am really in need of help.
  • J. Porter said on March 17, 2009
    Can anyone give me a ballpark figure as to how much a license to open a funeral home costs? Thanks.
  • Rasheeda Wooten said on March 19, 2009
    Hi, my name is Rasheeda and I am currently taking a management course. I was told to pick a business to own and write a business plan. I have always been interested in operating a funeral home so this was my business of choice. Before starting the class, I had done research on schools that offer the funeral service curriculum. The closest is 2 hours from where I reside. anyway, I am like most others on this site inquiring information on a business plan for Funeral Service. I do plan on visiting a funeral home in my area but would also like other insights for my plan. Samples of funeral service business plans are very limited on the web. I also need to know who I would contact in my area to get specific permits etc.. If anyone can lead me in the right direction please email me at rwooten4@ccp.edu. Thank You
  • Roy said on March 22, 2009
    The best I can tell you about cost. 1) are you going to have a chapel, preparation room, viewing room, family room, a flower van, a hearse, a van to transport the deceased. A family car/limo. A crematorium???? A casket/urn display room. You can go to www.danerimortuary.com and see what you might need So you need a building at least 5k sq ft. @ .75 - 125. per sq. ft. Decorations, furniture, cars, employees, taxes, insurance. Enough capitol to last at least 5 years. You are going to take a long time getting the trust of the community. For everyone's ballpark number.350K to 500K will work if you are very tight with your money and you want to provide excellent service. Our payroll and insurance was almost 35K per month...and god forbid you don't pay your Workman's comp. Ins. Good Luck
  • Vampira Sunset said on March 22, 2009
    hi my name is Vampira and i want to do a mortuary cosmetics course and i cant find one in Australia anywhere... can anyone help?
  • RAYNA said on March 27, 2009
    i would like to know how to start a business step by step process i am really interested in owning a funeral home as a business please contact me if you can help me further on this subject thank you.
  • Michaels said on April 6, 2009
    Being in Africa and Zimbabwe, there is a need for a people friendly, someone who cares about the poor Zimbabwean, the unemployment rate is high, HIV/AIDS challenges etc. Starting a funeral service / company in such an environment is difficult. I am looking for information on NGOs that would be willing to fund a funeral business with the aim of helping HIV/AIDS affected families, helping bury their infected etc. Does anyone know of those that would want to help start such a business Idea in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. If you want to get in touch with me on jabsmichaels@yahoo.com
  • POPPY MORE said on April 8, 2009
    KINDLY ADVICE ON AREAS IN SOUTH AFRICA WHICH GIVE COURSES ON COFFIN BUSINESS. THANKS
  • anzo said on April 11, 2009
    hi, i am living in south africa and would also like to know where to get hold of courses in our country and also courses in building coffins and the most important do i need a license to work with the diseased? thanks
  • dominique gardner said on April 15, 2009
    i'm currently in college taking up business management and i'm highly interested in owning and running my own funeral home. this is something that i'm very passionate about and need help with resources and other things that i might need to know to run a funeral home thanks a lot. e-mail address is mrdeegardner@yahoo.com
  • olebeng kgasa said on April 16, 2009
    i would like to start a funeral parlor and sell coffins but i don't know where to start.
  • Rondrietta Foust said on April 16, 2009
    I've always known at the age of 10 that I would like to help people in need. As of today I am in the medical field and would like to own my own funeral business. My question is where do I begin? And how do I get started?
  • Roy said on April 23, 2009
    I have what it requires to open and operate a Funeral Home. To make contracts with coroners. Operate a crematorium. Can embalm and do restorative art. Have what it requires to sell funeral insurance and pre need services. If you are interested and have 275K I am the partner for you. Can be available after 2010. Serious inquires only Please.
  • Jillian Davis said on April 30, 2009
    Can someone please tell me where i need to start as far as owning my own funeral business.
  • HOPEWELL M sishi said on May 2, 2009
    i would like to acquire a book which details the parlor funeral business from the beginning to end.
  • Pepi Jackson said on May 12, 2009
    I am in southern California, and I'm interested in starting a funeral home business, but I need the "how to" step by step, can you help?
  • Nerissa Grandberry said on May 15, 2009
    Would like information on the start up and requirements for providing funeral services.
  • Grant Anthony De Beer said on May 18, 2009
    Hi, do you know of any funeral businesses that are for sale in south africa. i work in Afghanistan but would like to acquire a good funeral business as this will help me to get back home some or other time.
  • justin said on May 19, 2009
    I have a funeral home in Mississippi. Searching for business partner. Serious clients only.
  • Roy said on May 19, 2009
    Justin, Please send me your private email. I have owned and operated a funeral home in California. www.danerimortuary.com
  • Carolyn Brown said on May 25, 2009
    I would like to have information you could give me. In this area funeral homes and gathering places are needed. I have always wanted to own a funeral home to help others because now when there is a death in my community, we have to borrow a place if the family is a large one. I have financing but have no idea where to start on writing up my plan/cost which includes property purchasing, education (director), building and then the business.
  • kovey said on May 27, 2009
    also u can go to 125aday.com and get the starter book and from what i hear its very helpful for beginners looking into opening a funeral home. i plan to order it myself real soon. i know a mortician and she knows people and she knows a family in conneticut that does it right out there home but of course they have basements so i dont feel its that hard to get started if you got the right people on your team. i'm not trying to get rich i'm just trying to pay my bills n help others in the process u need a director/ mortician and some greeters a bookkeeper and a building. clients all that's doable and my eyes if you are motivated so good luck to use all trying to marketing happen.
  • bonah khumalo said on May 29, 2009
    hi i'm a journalism student doing my last year.. and i am interested in opening my own funeral parlor, please help on what i must do in order to start my business and to succeed.
  • Karen said on May 31, 2009
    Can anyone please provide me with any information on how to start a funeral home business or selling funeral accessories. Or perhaps can any one provide me with any internet resource info? I would really appreciate if you could send this to me by email. I am in UK.
  • Angela said on May 31, 2009
    Hi... Can anyone please help me with information regarding starting up a funeral parlour. I need step by step information. The information will be highly appreciated.
  • benjamin said on June 3, 2009
    hi, can someone advise me what sort of partners i can involve with my business, do they have to have a heart for the community or do they have o want it for profit. i am in zimbabwe. my dad has one but in a different town but he says i should set up one here in harare the capital city.
  • Evans said on June 9, 2009
    I need your help as i strive to set up a funeral home business, my girlfriend is saying i should not but I am positive and will do it, please help me.
  • Marcia Reid-Brown said on June 18, 2009
    My husband is desirous of starting a Funeral home Business. He needs a sample proposal so that he can go ahead to secure land to build this funeral home. Can you E-mail any information to me or send me contacts of persons who can help? Thank you. We are from the beautiful Island of Jamaica
  • Mpho said on June 19, 2009
    hi, Can anyone please help me with information regarding starting up a funeral parlour. I need step by step information and all legal requirements.
  • Bessie gilchrist said on June 20, 2009
    Please help me with information regarding starting up a funeral parlour. I need step by step information and all legal requirements.
  • Bessie gilchrist said on June 20, 2009
    HI ROY CAN U EMAIL, LETS TALK, I HAVE LOTS OF QUESTION ABOUT FINACIAL PLAN FOR A FUNERAL HOME BUSINESS.
  • Nkosie said on June 22, 2009
    Hi Roy, I want to start a funeral cover (POLICY)and I don't want a funeral parlour. I want to help people over the age of 85 years who can't be covered by other insurance companies. What must I do to follow legal procedures and I am in South Africa. Please help me..
  • kari said on June 27, 2009
    I want to open a shop that works with the different funeral homes. I would like to open my own custom casket business. How would I go about doing so and dose anyone have resources that they can offer to guide my in the right direction.
  • Chris B said on June 28, 2009
    Can anyone tell me how many funerals a month an average funeral home has? Writing a paper for school and can't figure out how to forecast the number of funerals.
  • Bessie said on June 29, 2009
    UNITED STATES, RESIDENT ATLANTA GEORGIA. HEY GUYS JUSITIN AND ROY DON'T LEAVE ME OUT ON THE PARTNER DEALS CONCERNING THE FUNERAL HOME BUSINESS. PLEAS SEND ME A PERSONAL EMAIL THANKS!
  • Jarod Morris said on July 3, 2009
    Hi, I am 11 yrs Old And I want to Have My Own Funeral Home Before I Graduate High School. I talked My Parents into it, My mom said I would be scared and My Dad said Good Idea. I want to have my own business.
  • Josh Shorter said on July 9, 2009
    FUNERAL HOME INSURANCE-- My name is Josh Shorter and I specialize in Insuring Funeral Homes/Mortuary. I noticed a few of you had questions regarding insurance expenses and coverages. I would love to help. It is not as expensive as you think. Most insurance companies have no idea how to insure them correctly and affordably. I have helped many new funeral home owners find the right coverage for what they need. If you have questions either email them to me at joshs@upshaw-insurance.com or call me at 214-808-4517. Thank you and I will try to check back as often as possible.
  • Bessie said on July 10, 2009
    No Roy I didn't get your email I m going to try to email you also. please try again it is very important thanks.
  • johnpatz said on July 13, 2009
    what are the requirements if i have a funeral home business, is there anyone knows what are the requirements??? feel free to email me if you have any suggestions and send with me the requirements in putting up funeral home business.
  • Sarah said on July 14, 2009
    I am from Africa and want to help rural people by setting up a mortuary and funeral home. Would be grateful to get an outline of what is needed as materials, best and most economic set with stand by generator etc. Will be grateful if I can have a sponsor for this project to help express the love of God to the society.
  • malebogo said on July 30, 2009
    I have a plot and finance to start a mortuary business and i want guidance on the setup, materials needed and the operating procedures, i am based in Botswana next to South Africa in a small town by the name Selebi- Phikwe.
  • Judy said on August 3, 2009
    All the information is great but did anyone ever apply for government programs or loans to help start the mortuary business? If so, what site or directions I need to take? How long did it take to see a profit after your business got started? Please email me at judy2006@optonline.net. Thanks
  • Anthony Ward said on August 4, 2009
    Hi, my name is Anthony Ward and I will like to know the estimation what would be start up costs and standard requirement to starting funeral home parlor business. My email is anthonyward_21@yahoo.com
  • Howard Hughes said on August 12, 2009
    Can someone please direct me to the best sources of financing options to start a funeral business. Are their government programs available to assist in a project such as this? I have my license and have a lot of experience in the field, but do not have a clue about the best sources of affordable financing. Thanks
  • Deena said on August 13, 2009
    Need to know what the policies and requirements to open a funeral parlour in South Africa, Thanks
  • David said on August 15, 2009
    My name is David, i need help on starting a funeral parlour. I also need information and all legal requirements, as well as to offer funeral insurance to clients.
  • masefako said on August 18, 2009
    I want to start my own funeral parlor, what exactly do I need? I am studying to build caskets and coffins, I will be done in a week's time. please advise!
  • Pat said on August 19, 2009
    Need more information on legal requirements and policies on opening a funeral palour.
  • Abdulazeez Musa said on August 22, 2009
    WE are in the process of setting up a funeral centre in Nigeria. We have bought a plot of land. We need floor plans as samples Can any one help? We are also looking for cheap source of body freezers
  • kenneth matthews said on September 4, 2009
    yes this is one passion of business i will like to start in my community, as pass-on is a everyday thing in all community.... your assistant will help me big time. i live in cape town ocean view.
  • Ben Russell said on September 8, 2009
    Can you please help me on more information on opening a funeral home and cremation service. I am an intern almost done and my business partner owns a few funeral homes in Connecticut but we will be opening a funeral home in South Florida. Please help. I cant find any leads on laws and Osha requirements
  • Marlene Blakely said on September 10, 2009
    I would like to know how to start a funeral home business and what help I can get financially
  • Roy said on September 10, 2009
    Ben, Whats up, your partner who owns the other F.H. in Ct. should know more than anyone what OSHA regs are. As well as everything else to do with operating a F.H., He has no leads on the laws?
  • Mark said on September 17, 2009
    Good day, Some 20 years ago I was employed in the funeral bus. Strangely this desire in myself comes back to re-enter this business. Please advise step by step what should I do to start my own "FUNERAL SERVICE" I am currently residents in a rural area outside Cape Town S.A area. Please help with information. Our local FH did not give any information.
  • Roy said on September 20, 2009
    Hi Mark, I retired 4 years ago. I am interested in working again. I have been following this site for awhile. Please tell me why so much interest in S. Africa. What is the most practiced type of ceremony? What type of services to families choose? Who owns and operates the cemeteries and crematoriums? Where is the closest crematorium? In this world market are families honoring the costs? What is the cost of services?
  • olebeng kgasa said on September 22, 2009
    hi, Roy please help. i want to start my own home funeral business, i need of all the steps.
  • Sonny Kibob said on September 23, 2009
    Hi I am in Papua New Guinea, I really want to start up my funeral home business but I just want to know how I could actually start up this business. Could you kindly advice please.
  • Roy said on September 25, 2009
    Olebeng, Where are you looking at? If you or any others on this post are in good financial shape and believe that this is your life, not just a job, but it is a lifestyle, a community outreach to help. Money can not be a motive, other people in the saddest days of their lives are counting on you.
  • John Andrews said on September 29, 2009
    Hi i'm in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in need of advice on how to start my own funeral business!
  • James said on September 30, 2009
    I need help in completing my business plan for a funeral home business. If any of you have samples or could help please, please help me, my e-mail address is ledifh@yahoo.com. Thanx!!!
  • Kevin said on October 4, 2009
    I need help like James in starting my business plan. Which books do you recommend solely for funeral homes. My email address is kphdhaines@aol.com
  • Sewela Ramaotswa said on October 7, 2009
    i need help with starting a funeral policy and what it entails and how do people pay and how do i pay them out
  • Mylan Hamilton said on October 10, 2009
    I am looking for a very serious partner to help me start my funeral home with! Serious e-mails only!! my e-mail is a.m.hamiltonfuneralservices@gmail.com
  • Breana Daniels said on October 12, 2009
    Hello my name is breana daniels and right now i'm a junior in high school and I live in kansas city, kansas. I want to have my own funeral home business for my career. I'm wondering what kinda classes I will need to take and what colleges would be good for me
  • Wilhellem said on October 13, 2009
    Hi, My name is wilhellem and i am from Namibia in Africa. I need someone to help me with information on how to start a funeral home and sell coffins too. Our population is about 2 million people with the majority with an average income of about R5000.00 a month. Your help would be highly appreciated. My e-mail is wilhellem@gmail.com
  • Jamaica Hunter said on October 16, 2009
    Hey my name is Jamaica Hunter i'm sixteen years old and since i've been six years old i wanted to work with the dead. I've never changed what i wanted to be but as I got older i also want to be a Forensic Science doctor. So i have big dreams .
  • SeriousMan said on October 19, 2009
    Plan to start my own funeral home and would like accurate, specific and expert advice on how to get started in terms of making it happen. Please help!
  • Ashlyn said on October 19, 2009
    This web site really helped me understand. I am 18 and i plan on going to college to be a mortician. Soon after that i want to stat my own business. So thanks for the info.
  • Jen said on October 20, 2009
    I have a suggestion for Roy, since everyone is looking to him as the expert. Roy, put together a booklet of everything you know, and sell it to all these people wanting info from you. You might could make a nice little profit. At least charge some consulting fees or something for your time helping these people out. Then you won't need a partner. You can keep all the dough for yourself.
  • ms.blue said on October 29, 2009
    I'm really interested in the mortuary business and i'm still in high school and i want to get to know more about this field so if anyone has any advice or words of encouragement then reply or send me a message
  • Alicia Jones said on November 4, 2009
    Hi looking to open an funeral home in a couple of months. I do know how the business works and would like to know if someone could give me some tips on how to have a successful business.
  • Wanda Hurt said on November 15, 2009
    I too am considering opening a funeral home as I have friends who have done so. I will be happy to share with anyone who needs information in the near future. I too am looking for a partner in South Florida there are several areas that have grown in population and there is not current FH in close proximity, interested contact me at WandaMHH@aol.com. thanks Roy for sharing good information to so many. Where in California are you from? Do you plan on staying there or relocating?

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