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How to Start an Auto Detailing Business

How to Start an Auto Detailing Business

Running an auto detailing business means you will be tasked with elevating the look of everyday and luxury vehicles. Find out how to start here.

28th January 2020
Reading Time: 3 minutes

A passion for cars may have lead you to the decision to open your own auto detailing business. These businesses offer opportunities to deal with luxury cars on a regular basis. As these are quickly becoming an increasingly popular option for new small businesses in Australia, the market is similarly becoming increasingly competitive. Here’s how to start your own auto detailing business.

1. Register your business

Before you can legally run your new business in Australia, you will need to first register for an Australian Business Number (ABN). An ABN is the number by which the government recognises your business for administrative and tax purposes. Likewise, your business will appear in the Australian Business Registry (ABR). From the ABR, many business-to-business administrative functions, such as filling in the details necessary for invoicing, are automated.

2. Name your business

The auto detailing business is a competitive industry in Australia. Hence, registering your business name or trademarking a logo will help you stand out from the crowd. It will also protect your business’s identity from theft.

3. Business plan

Setting out a strong business plan will help guide your new business towards long-term success. Within the plan, including elements like initial projections, milestones and even safeguards in case of certain potential setbacks, will make sure you are as prepared as possible for success.

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Likewise, here you can consider elements like your business structure and how you expect to fund the business. Whether it is as a sole trader, a partnership or a company where you can then look for investors or raise funds through loans, these decisions will significantly affect your liabilities, how tax is paid and how you divide profits.

4. Company policies and insurance

Given the nature of auto detailing, you will be likely dealing with higher-end luxury vehicles regularly. Legally, you will assume the entire risk of the safety of the car whilst in your possession and, potentially, during its transportation to and from your business. Hence, in day-to-day operations, you will regularly take on a high amount of risk.

Having good insurance and clear company policies, such as liability waivers for your customers to sign, will ensure that you don’t get sued for any accidental scratches or damages caused in the course of business. Ideally, you won’t ever need to rely on such policies. However, you can never be sure of the future.

Australian Consumer Law lays out how these liabilities are assumed, and so we recommend contacting a commercial lawyer to understand how it can affect your business.

5. Finding a workspace

Compared to most businesses, auto detailing will require a significant workspace for your team. Likewise, your business model and what services you offer will also impact these requirements. In auto detailing, options for the service you can offer include things from cleaning and waxing, to window tinting, paint respraying and wrapping. Depending on the type and number of services you wish to offer, as well as the scale of the business, you will need to consider different spaces to lease or purchase.

Yet, regardless of these considerations, given the type of business, you will require a commercial, rather than retail, property to conduct business from.


Ultimately, starting a new business is an exciting time in your life. While there are countless pieces to consider when doing so, creating a strong plan and contacting lawyers, accountants and other business advisors will help guide you towards success.

Don’t know where to start? Contact us on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest lawyer marketplace.

Daniel Fane

Daniel is a Legal Tech Intern at Lawpath. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Business at the University of Technology Sydney. His principal fields of interest are in commercial, corporate and intellectual property law.