Many boat owners have their boat removed from the water and stored at the end of the season. However, before a boat can be properly kept for the winter, it must be winterized. Winterization is the process of cleaning and maintaining a boat’s engines and systems, as well as covering it.
While some yacht owners winterize their boats themselves, the majority employ a company to do so. Boaters may opt to have a company service their boat because they don’t have time, don’t want to do it themselves, or want to have other maintenance things examined at the conclusion of the boating season.
Follow these ten steps to start a yacht winterization business:
Plan your Boat Winterization Company
Create a legal entity for your boat winterization business.
For tax purposes, you must register your boat winterization business.
Create a Business Bank Account and a Credit Card
Create an accounting system for your boat winterization business.
Get the Permits and Licenses You Need for Your Boat Winterization Business
Get Commercial Boat Winterization Insurance
Create a brand for your boat winterization business.
Make a website for your boat winterization business.
Configure your Business Phone System
Starting a company entails more than just registering it with the state. We’ve put together this basic guide to getting started in the boat winterization industry. These stages will guarantee that your new company is well-planned, correctly registered, and legally compliant.
STEP 1: Make a business plan.
A well-thought-out strategy is vital for entrepreneur success. It will assist you in mapping out the intricacies of your organisation and uncovering some unknowns. Consider the following crucial topics:
What are the initial and continuing expenses?
Who is your intended audience?
How much money may you charge your customers?
Fortunately, we have done a lot of the legwork for you.
What are the expenses of starting a boat winterization business?
A boat winterization company has low beginning expenses. Business owners require:
A pressure washer
Antifreeze, fuel stabilisers, and related fluids
Wrap in shrink wrap
Specialized shrink-wrapping equipment
Business entrepreneurs with little starting capital may start by borrowing equipment if they don’t already have them, and a power washer can be borrowed or hired as needed. The necessary fluids are inexpensive. The expense of maintaining fluids on a boat is between $50 and $110.
The most expensive item is generally shrink wrap and the specialised equipment required to apply it. When winterizing his first yacht, Michael Enos spent $2,000 on shrink wrap and supplies (which was his personal airboat).
Business owners may save money on construction costs by travelling to a client’s location rather than acquiring or leasing a workspace. The tools and equipment fit in any vehicle, truck, or SUV, making it simple to do services on-site.
What are the recurring costs of running a yacht winterization business?
A boat winterization company has modest continuing costs. Business owners must buy supplies since they utilise fluids and shrink wrap. Those with workers must pay their employees’ salary, and any commercial premises utilised must be compensated for.
Who is the intended audience?
A boat winterization business’s target market is boat owners. Anyone with a boat bigger than a dinghy, canoe, or kayak may need to have it winterized.
How does a boat winterization company earn money?
Customers pay a boat winterization company to have their boats winterized. The amount paid depends on whether or not boat owners conduct any of the above-mentioned labour themselves.
How much money may you charge your customers?
The average cost of winterizing a boat is $300. Smaller outboards may cost as low as $100, whereas cabin cruisers can cost up to $600.
The costs offered by Sportsman’s Boat Storage demonstrate how the expense of winterizing various boats may vary. Winterization begins at $250 at the storage facility. Extra charges are levied for services such as:
Oil replacement ($75 to $110)
Winterizing a portable toilet or freshwater system (cost varies)
Ballast system winterization ($50 per pump)
Fuel stabiliser ($14.21 on average)
How much money can a boat winterization company make?
A boat winterization company may generate a sizable seasonal profit with an average price of $300. Winterizing only two boats each day might generate $600 per day throughout the autumn.
How can you increase the profitability of your company?
Many boat winterization companies also do simple modest boat repairs. To expand their repair services, owners should enrol in a marine engine repair school. Classes are available at Annapolis School of Seamanship, Universal Technical Institute, and many more institutions.
STEP 2: Establish a legal entity
Sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation are the most frequent business structure forms.
Establishing a formal business organisation, such as an LLC or corporation, shields you from personal liability if your boat winterization company is sued.
STEP 3: File your taxes
Before you can begin for business, you must register for a number of state and federal taxes.
To register for taxes, you will need to get an EIN. It’s really simple and completely free!
Taxes on Small Businesses
Depending on the business form you choose, you may have multiple choices for how your company is taxed. Some LLCs, for example, may benefit from being taxed as a S company (S corp).
These guides will teach you more about small company taxes:
Taxes on LLCs
LLC vs. sole proprietorship
Corporation vs. LLC
S Corp vs. LLC
How to Form a S Corporation
S Corporation vs. C Corporation
There may be state taxes that apply to your company. In our state sales tax guides, you may learn more about state sales taxes and franchise taxes.
STEP 4: Establish a company bank account and credit card
Personal asset protection requires the use of distinct business banking and credit accounts.
When you combine your personal and business accounts, your personal assets (your house, vehicle, and other possessions) are at danger if your company is sued. This is known as penetrating your company veil in business law.
Furthermore, understanding how to develop corporate credit may help you get credit cards and other financing in your company’s name (rather than your own), lower interest rates, larger lines of credit, and other benefits.
Establish a business bank account.
Opening a business bank account is not only required when asking for business financing, but it also:
Separates your personal assets from the assets of your firm, which is required for personal asset protection.
It simplifies bookkeeping and tax reporting.
Create a net 30 account.
Net 30 accounts are used to develop and grow company credit while also increasing cash flow. Businesses use a net 30 account to purchase items and refund the whole debt within a 30-day period.
Many net 30 credit suppliers submit information to the main business credit agencies (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how firms establish business credit in order to get approved for credit cards and other lines of credit.
Apply for a business credit card.
Obtaining a business credit card benefits you in the following ways:
Put all of your company’s costs in one location to separate personal and business spending.
Build your company’s credit history, which will be important for raising funds in the future.
STEP 5: Establish business accounting
Recording your numerous costs and sources of revenue is crucial to assessing your company’s financial status. Keeping precise and thorough accounting also makes yearly tax filing much easier.
STEP 6: Obtain all required permissions and licences
Failure to get appropriate permissions and licences may result in significant penalties or possibly the closure of your firm.
Requirements for State and Local Business Licensing
To conduct a boat winterization service, several state permissions and licences may be required. Visit the SBA’s reference to state licences and permits to learn more about licencing requirements in your state.
For additional information on local licences and permissions, please visit:
Check with the clerk’s office in your town, city, or county.
Contact one of the local organisations mentioned in the US Small Business Associations database of local business resources for help.
A storefront or small office may be used to handle a boat winterization business. A Certificate of Occupancy is often required for businesses that operate from a physical site (CO). A certificate of occupancy certifies that all building rules, zoning laws, and government requirements have been satisfied.
If you intend to rent space:
In most cases, it is the landlord’s obligation to get a CO.
Before leasing, ensure that your landlord has or can receive a valid CO for a boat winterization service.
A new CO is often required after a big remodelling. If your location will be refurbished before opening, incorporate wording in your leasing agreement saying that lease payments would not begin until a valid CO is given.
If you want to buy or construct your own location:
It is your responsibility to secure a valid CO from a local government entity.
Examine all building laws and zoning restrictions for the area of your company to verify that your boat winterization service is in compliance and may receive a CO.
STEP 7: Obtain commercial insurance.
Insurance, like licences and permits, is required for your company to operate safely and legally. In the case of a covered loss, business insurance protects your company’s financial well-being.
There are several sorts of insurance plans designed for various types of companies with varying risks. If you are unaware about the hazards that your company may encounter, start with General Liability Insurance. This is the most popular coverage required by small companies, so it’s a good place to start for yours.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance is another important insurance product that many companies need. If your company will have workers, your state may require you to purchase Workers’ Compensation insurance.
STEP 8: Establish your brand
Your company’s brand is what it stands for, as well as how the public perceives it. A strong brand will help your company stand out from the crowd.
How to Promote and Market a Boat Winterization Company
Because boat winterization is a seasonal industry, marketing efforts should be focused from late summer through late autumn. During this period, company owners may reach out to prospective consumers by posting fliers, purchasing advertisements in local media, and doing local search engine optimization efforts.
How to Keep Customers Returning
In late summer, company owners should contact prior customers to boost client retention. Direct mail or even phone calls to consumers to arrange winterizations might discourage them from switching to a competitor’s services.
STEP 9: Create your company’s website.
After you’ve defined your brand and designed your logo, the next step is to build a website for your company.
While developing a website is an important step, some may be concerned that it is out of their grasp due to a lack of website-building skills. While this was a fair concern in 2015, online technology has made significant advances in recent years, making the lives of small company owners considerably easier.
The following are the primary reasons why you should not put off developing your website:
Every genuine company has a website, period. When it comes to bringing your company online, it doesn’t matter what size or sector it is.
Social media accounts, such as Facebook pages or LinkedIn company profiles, are not a substitute for your own business website.
STEP 10: Install your company phone system.
Getting a phone for your company is one of the finest methods to keep your personal and professional lives distinct and private. That isn’t the only advantage; it also helps you automate your company, provides it legitimacy, and makes it simpler for prospective clients to identify and contact you.