Starting a shipping container business can be a profitable venture, allowing you to earn a livelihood and build wealth. Today, shipping containers are in high demand across various industries, including retail, construction, hospitality, health, agriculture, and residential. By offering services like shipping container sales or rentals, you can generate significant revenue and profits. This guide outlines the major steps to take when building a shipping container company. They include the following:
Create A Business Plan
The first and most important step when starting a shipping container business is to create a business plan. A business plan is a document that helps you to define the goals of your shipping container business, analyze the market and competition, outline marketing strategies, identify target clients, and develop financial projections. The business plan also serves as a guide for your daily operations. Additionally, a business plan can be a great tool for seeking funds for your business. For instance, when applying for a bank loan or seeking financial assistance from business sponsors, you may need to present your business plan to them. While developing a business plan for your company isn’t a legal requirement, having one is vital. Without it, you’ll likely experience many challenges along the way. Therefore, take a moment and create a business plan for your company.
Find The Right Equipment
Another important step when starting a shipping container business is to find the right equipment. One of them is the shipping containers themselves. Finding high-quality containers is important since your core business activity involves selling and renting shipping containers. Also, ensure you find containers of various sizes to cater to different customers’ needs. The most demanded shipping containers in various industries are the standard size 20ft containers. This size is widely used for various applications, including portable offices, storage facilities, small shops, small-scale residential units, and kicks. Therefore, consider stocking size 20ft containers in your business to connect with more clients and generate more revenue. Apart from shipping containers, you’ll need several other pieces of equipment and tools for your company. Below are some of them:
- Trucks for transporting shipping containers.
- Shipping container loading and unloading machines such as a forklift.
- Office equipment, including computers and furniture
- Tools for modifying the shipping containers
As you can see, you need various equipment and tools when starting a shipping container business. It’s important to ensure you source quality tools from reputable manufacturers or suppliers.
Create A Name For Your Company
You’ll also want to choose a company many when starting a shipping container business. This refers to a title that will represent your company, and you’ll use it as a brand identity. And because there are several other companies in the shipping container sector, choose a unique business name. And for a good reason, a unique name helps streamline your marketing efforts. The first thing to do when choosing a business name is to come up with an idea. After that, check with the state databases of registered companies to see whether your desired name is available. If it’s available, reserve it so that no one else registers their companies with it. If it’s already registered with another company, create another name and search for its availability again. One thing to remember when creating a business name is to keep it simple to make it easier for clients to pronounce and remember it. Also, follow all the state’s business naming guidelines to ensure compliance. For instance, check for prohibited words and requirements for using specific words in the shipping container industry.
Decide On The Legal Entity For Your Business
After choosing a name for your shipping container business, the next step is to decide on a legal entity. The legal entity you select will directly impact your shipping container business operations. For instance, the legal entity will dictate your ownership structure, liability protection, and operational flexibility. Here are the four major legal entities to consider for your shipping container business.
- Sole Proprietorship: A sole proprietorship is a business entity owned by one person. It’s the simplest business entity to start and run. However, there’s no legal distinction between the owner and the business in a sole proprietorship. Therefore, if the business can’t settle its debts, your personal assets can be used to cover them.
- Partnership: A partnership is a business entity owned by two or more people. They bring in capital and grow a business together and share profits. One advantage of a partnership business is that it’s easy to start. However, the partners are liable for the company’s debts and other legal liabilities.
- Corporation: A corporation is a business entity that is separate from its owners. Once formed, a corporation becomes a legal person in the eyes of the law; therefore, members can’t be liable for the debts of the company. It can be the best option to protect your personal assets from the liabilities of your shipping container business. However, it involves a lot of legal formalities, particularly when compared with sole proprietorships and partnerships, such as complying with ongoing filing and reporting requirements.
- Limited Liability Company: A limited liability company (LLC) is a business entity that protects its members from the company’s liabilities. An LLC entity also offers a pass-through tax advantage, thus avoiding double taxation. However, one disadvantage of forming an LLC for your shipping container business is limited access to finances.
You can choose any of the mentioned business entities depending on your preference and objectives. Consult with a business lawyer to help evaluate all the options and choose the best structure for your company.
Register Your Business With The State
Running an unregistered business is illegal. Therefore, before you launch your shipping container business, register it with the state. In this regard, file all the necessary documents with the secretary of state. Doing so will allow you to acquire the necessary licenses and permits. Here are examples of licenses you’ll need to run a shipping container company include:
- A general business license to run a company in your region
- Zoning permit to ensure your shipping container business complies with local zoning regulations
- Transport permit to move containers from one location to another
- Sellers permit to sell containers
Running a shipping container business can be a promising way to grow your money. However, starting online can be complex, especially if you’re new to this sector before. But with the steps outlined in this article, you can be guided as you start and run your shipping container business.