If you love pets, this is the startup business idea for you. Legal Issues That Can Bite A Lot Harder Than Your Dog Walking Business More Money Could Be More Problems In Your Dog Walking Business. This course is the ultimate guide to starting a dog walking business and leads you step-by-step through everything you need to know to start your own thriving business. You need to establish your canine business plan and model now, which is how you will generate sales, provide services and make money. While word-of-mouth is often the best way to get new customers, with a new dog walking business you will probably need to do at least some advertising. Start a dog walking business by following these 9 steps: You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. You don't need an office and there are no big expenses up front to get the business going. START ON YOUR OWN. Another dog-related service that busy pet owners need is to have their dogs walked regularly. Having your prices fixed is great, but it’s only the first step in creating your dog walking business. Staying up … Get more information from Nolo about choosing a business structure and New York LLCs. business plan template. Starting a dog walking business has its own set of legal considerations. To start a business is not an easy walk in the park. In those cases, a dog walking business can help to a great extent. The process is easy and can be completed online at the IRS website at www.irs.gov. For tips on setting boundaries, check my blog post 9 Things to Do When Starting a Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Business. Working with other home dog care businesses, you might pull together a systematic business that is shared by many, each run independently. All in all, if there is no demand for your business in the market, it doesn’t make sense to start this business … A business plan will help you define how you’re going to run your dog walking or pet sitting business, market yourself, get sales, make a profit and grow. Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Nolo ® Self-help services may not be permitted in all states. If you offer a ten-walk discount, the discounted price must really be cheaper than your normal per-walk price. Dog walking isn’t all fun and games. 10/08/2018. Accidents happen and dogs will occasionally damage property or even injure themselves or others. The UK is a nation of dog lovers with over 8.5m dogs in the UK. Pet Insurance: It's a good idea to get pet insurance if you plan on doing this for more than a single summer. We have put together this simple guide to starting your dog walking business. For these reasons, it’s important that you insure yourself … Dogs may be injured or even killed, and you, too, or someone else could be injured. Dogs may be injured or even killed, and you or someone else could be injured as well. While it’s usually permissible for homeowners to have dogs as pets, there may be issues if you are keeping large numbers of dogs in conjunction with a business. You'd definitely want to have enough clients in close proximity so you could take a number of dogs out for a walk at once, rather than cycling through them one at a time. Other highly rated courses include the Think Dog! Insurance is available that is specifically tailored to provide coverage for pet … Dog Walking . We met with her to learn all about the challenges to start a business, to operate a business, and ultimately to grow her dog walking business. A dog walking business is based on reliability, trustworthiness, and a love of dogs [source: AKC]. Walking dogs is considered a fun activity by many, so the idea of getting paid to do it seems too good to be true. You need to keep many different things in mind when learning how to start a dog-walking business… Starting a new pet sitting or dog walking business is an incredibly exciting time! Note, however, that New York City has approximately 40 city parks where dogs can be off-leash before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m. Because your business will be based on dog walking, you should learn the details of the pet laws in your area and make sure that you comply with them: You don’t want city or county fines cutting into your profits. Regardless of how you choose to advertise (your own website, posting flyers in public spaces, Craigslist, the phone book), the best brief pieces of advice are (a) be accurate and (b) be very careful about describing special discounts or saying that something is “free.” If you offer the first walk for free, but there are conditions—perhaps that the customer must commit in advance to a minimum of five walks—you must state what those conditions are. We recommend that you work with people you already know, but this website will help if you don't have anyone with dogs. Business name search. By David M. Steingold, Contributing Author. You can get your business off to a great start by following just a few simple steps. Regardless of how you choose to advertise (your own website, posting flyers in public spaces, Craigslist, the phone book), the best brief pieces of advice are (a) be accurate and (b) be very careful about describing special discounts or saying that something is “free.” If you offer the first walk for free, but there are conditions—perhaps that the customer must commit in advance to a minimum of five walks—you must state what those conditions are. There are many good reasons for wanting to start your own dog walking business, the most popular being that it means you can give up your day job and run your own business … But what should you know before officially becoming a dog … Offering dog-walking services is just good business. If the services involved will be completed in less than a year the contract need not be in writing; however, a written contract is always safer. Tice launched her dog walking business, Boston for the Dogs, four years ago. Depending on the size and other details of your business, you may also need to investigate coverage for business property. The attorney listings on this site are paid attorney advertising. This is a business that can be started in any country, provided that dogs are accepted in such regions and majority of the populace are gainfully employed. As examples, Syracuse’s municipal code states that a dog is not allowed to defecate on property other than that of the dog’s owner, and the municipal code for White Plains states that a person caring for a dog must remove any feces from sidewalks and other public areas. A dog walking business presents special risks because you are dealing with live animals and engaged in physical activity. Dog walking is becoming a serious business proposition that many dog lovers are starting to take up. Walking Fifi generally involves Fifi stopping to relieve herself. As part of your consideration, keep in mind that business entities that provide more protection from liability also require more time and expense to create and maintain. According to an industry expert, only 3 percent of households nationally use a pet sitter or dog walker. Depending on the size and other details of your business, you may also need to investigate coverage for business property. One way or another, you will want to obtain coverage in case of injury to your customers’ dogs or damage to other people or their property. Different customers may have different ideas about exactly what services you will provide. While it’s usually permissible for homeowners to have dogs as pets, there may be issues if you are keeping large numbers of dogs in conjunction with a business. Similarly, many cities have ordinances requiring all dogs in public places be leashed. Because your business will be based on dog walking, you should learn the details of any dog sanitation ordinances and leash laws, and make sure that you comply with them: You don’t want fines reducing your profits. Dog Walking Marketing. Regardless of whether you have a website, you should provide a printed document containing the policy information to your clients before you reach an agreement and begin walking their dogs. The Problems With Owning A Dog Walking Business Predictability. Similarly, while rental agreements often specifically allow or prohibit pets, you should consider whether your landlord or management company is likely to allow you to keep other people’s dogs in your rented space. Also keep in mind that keeping other people’s dogs for an extended period in exchange for payment constitutes a different type of business than dog walking, and likely will require additional licenses or permits. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. Most people will probably start their business as a sole practitioner or as a limited liability corporation (LLC). Minimal equipment is needed, there is no requirement to have multiple qualifications (though this helps), and the financial outlay is reasonably small. You can do 10–12 visits for 4–5 days, but with any more than that you run the risk of getting run down physically, emotionally and mentally.” Different customers may have different ideas about exactly what services you will provide. In urban areas, people and their dogs live in small spaces, and the owners are often at work all day. Both pet sitting and dog walking are still in their infancy as recognized professions. You've decided to turn your love of pet care into a career, but it can be easy to get lost in the dream of being … Educate yourself. Starting a dog walking business in the State of New York can give you an opportunity to work outdoors with some lively companions. If Ms. Tottenham’s blonde Labrador Charlie is injured or killed while in your care or injures someone else, you would want the business, not you personally, to be responsible for any liability. have been many accidents involving dogs, and while there is no initial amount of car For example, you should indicate such things as: Keep in mind that in order for a contract for services to be legally binding, (a) you and your client must agree on what the contract is for (there must be a “meeting of the minds”) and (b) there must be an exchange of value (also known as “consideration”—in the case of a cleaning business, usually the exchange of cleaning services for money). Tagged: Risks of starting a dog walking business . In the dog walking business, thinking outside the box is the key to differentiating your business from the competition. Obtaining a federal tax ID number, known formally as an Employer Identification Number (EIN), is often a good idea even if you are a sole proprietor. Do Not Sell My Personal Information, Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business, whether there are any breeds of dogs you do not handle, how many dogs you will walk at the same time, statements regarding liability if a dog gets out of control. It’s vital to have the right insurance cover to deal with legal claims, should they arise. If you're just in the very beginning stages of thinking about a dog walking business and you'd like a little more information, check out my column from last week How to Start a Dog Walking Business. Dog walking risks weather The first risk of having a dog walking business is the weather. Even if you operate as a sole proprietor, you should consider obtaining a federal tax ID number, known formally as an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Therefore, you should consider using a legal form for your business that provides you with some protection — such as a limited liability company or corporation. The process is easy and can be completed online at the IRS website. These include choosing an appropriate legal form for your business, investigating licenses and zoning, complying with health and safety laws, advertising, preparing policy statements and contracts, and obtaining insurance. Learn more about choosing a business structure. Must Read | How to Start a Dog Walking Business: Tips for Dog Walkers . While word-of-mouth is often the best way to get new customers, with a new dog walking business you will probably need to do at least some advertising. However, for everyone starting a dog walking business there are a few legal things to consider.