How to Start a Pest Control Business
Are you a skilled pest controller and thinking of starting your own business? Read our guide on how to start your own pest control business.
At some point, everybody faces problems with pests. This can stretch from cockroaches and rodents to snakes and termites. Ultimately, pests can cause extreme frustration and discomfort for people. Hence, establishing a pest control business can be a successful endeavour. However, we understand starting a business can be a daunting and confusing task. Rest assured, here is our quick guide on 5 simple steps you can take to start your own pest control business.
1. Get Qualified
Step one: get qualified. You may see this as an obvious step if you’re already an experienced pest controller. However, it is not something that can be compromised. If you are planning on working in the business as a technician, you must be qualified.
This means you will need to obtain your pest controllers license. In New South Wales, this involves completing a Certificate III in Urban Pest Management through TAFE or a similar institution. Once this is done, you will then need to get a pest management technician license. This can be obtained through the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and is valid for 5 years.
2. Establish a Business Structure
Once you’re qualified, you will then need to establish your business. You should decide which business structure you would like to operate under. You can choose to operate as either a:
- Sole trader
- Company or
If you’re unsure on which structure to use, check out our quiz ‘What Business Structure Is Right For You?‘. Next, you will need to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN).
If you choose to proceed with a company structure, you will need to register your company. There are benefits of operating as a company structure in the pest control industry. This is because it creates a seperate legal entity which means you are not personally liable for any debts. As always, it is best to do your research and obtain expert advise before proceeding.
3. Get Insured
Insurance is important. What if you accidentally spill hazardous chemicals? Or if you damage your clients property? This is where insurance is vital in ensuring you aren’t out of pocket. Generally speaking, you will need Personal Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance. Depending on whether you decide to hire employees, you may also need Worker’s Compensation Insurance.
You may also choose to apply to become a member of various organisations such as the Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association (AEPMA). Therefore, this is beneficial as it provides your clients with confidence that your business is backed by a credible and professional authority.
4. Obtain Equipment
Now it’s time to get equipped. This can involve a large initial investment in equipment for daily operations. Some equipment you should consider includes:
- Sprayers and tanks
- Vehicles such as a ute, van or truck to transport equipment
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gloves and masks
- Traps, bait stations and cages
- Office equipment such as a computer, phone and filing systems
5. Acquire Your Clients
Now you have your business affairs sorted, it’s time to acquire some clients. You may choose to focus your business on certain clients such as commercial, residential, strata or real estate. An eye-catching website is vital in obtaining traffic to your website. To maximise your online visibility, we would recommend investing in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Word of mouth can be highly effective in obtaining residential clients. You could try to encourage clients to pass on your information. This could be done by offering a discount if they make a successful referral. If you would like to ascertain large commercial clients, keep an eye out for government tenders in the pest control sector.
To conclude, starting a business can be extremely rewarding and profitable if done correctly. This is why it is important to do your research and follow this step-by-step guide to increase your opportunity for success. We would recommend consulting a business lawyer who can assist in how to start your pest control business.
Laura is a Legal Intern at Lawpath. She is studying a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Business Administration at Macquarie University. Laura is interested in Intellectual Property Law and how technology can assist in improving access to justice.