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You might establish a campground company if you like the outdoors and are willing to put in the effort. Whether you own property or are in the process of acquiring land, you might begin enjoying the great outdoors and working for yourself as soon as you have everything in place. You’ll give a stop for individuals passing by on their route to another location as well as those who wish to spend some time interacting with nature. Campers utilise a variety of shelters, ranging from tents to completely enclosed RVs.


You’ll need the expertise and desire to handle many things before you start a campground company, including bookkeeping, repairs, road maintenance, plumbing, electrical maintenance, and management. You may be able to outsource some of these tasks, but doing them yourself is significantly more cost-effective.

Follow these ten steps to start a campground:
Make a Campground Plan

Create a legal entity for your campground.

Register your campsite for tax purposes.

Create a Business Bank Account and a Credit Card

Create an accounting system for your campground.

Obtain the Required Permits and Licenses for Your Campground

Purchase Campground Insurance

Create a Campground Brand

Create your Campground Website

Configure your Business Phone System

Starting a company entails more than just registering it with the state. We’ve put together this short guide to getting your campsite up and running. 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 establishing a campground?

The expenses of launching a camping company vary depending on your starting point. Costs, assuming nothing, include:

The acquisition of land. These prices vary according on geography and the amount of acres acquired. Ground prices may vary from $1,000 per acre if there is a lot of “unusable” property to $10,000 per acre if the majority of the land is flat, on a lake or river, or offers spectacular vistas.

The cost of purchasing an existing campground ranges from $100,000 to more than $2 million.

Permitting and licencing, including sales tax and occupancy certificates These costs are also determined by the size of the company, the services provided, and the location. For example, you may be required to pay a cost for each soda machine on your premises, as well as a price for each employee.

Designing the campsite, including roads, site placements, and the locations of facilities you will provide. Playgrounds, a dog walk area, a rec room, a boat ramp, hiking trails, roads, and bridges are examples of amenities.

Clearing the land and building the roads

Putting in electrical, plumbing, and septic systems.

Building bathhouses, restrooms, fences, recreation structures, establishing a pool, and any other amenities you have in mind.

What are the continuing costs of running a campground?

Depending on how you set up your firm, your expenses may differ. They might include:

Waste disposal

Septic tank upkeep and cleaning


Cleaning materials


Licenses and permits that need renewal


Camp vehicle gasoline

Vehicle maintenance on camp vehicles

If suitable, gravel for roads

Paved road patching materials

Paying entertainers provide entertainment.

Who is the intended audience?

Customer kinds will vary depending on the sort of campsite you operate. Customers will like tent camping if you own a campground with exclusively rustic sites. If your campground has sites with utilities, you’ll attract “glampers,” RVers who want to have all the conveniences of home.

How can a campsite generate revenue?

The primary source of revenue for a campsite is site rental. It may also have a small shop filled with camping supplies, non-perishable food, and other products that campers may find handy. Ice is a popular product, therefore installing an ice freezer will generate revenue for the company.

How much money may you charge your customers?

The cost each night is determined by the facilities, location of your campsite, site location, and site type. Sites may range from $10 to more than $100 each night. Primitive sites would be the cheapest, while sites with power, water, and WiFi connections may be more expensive.

Also, if you have facilities like a pool, a rec room, a playground, and so on, you should charge a bit extra per site to cover the expense of installing such amenities as well as the cost of maintaining them.

What kind of profit can a campsite make?

Profit is determined by a variety of factors, including the number of sites you have, whether you rent cabins, company expenditures, and start-up obligations, such as land loans. A smaller campsite with significant obligations will earn less profit than a bigger campground with comparable responsibilities.

Your profit will be higher if you can keep your expenses low. Before you can establish prices for your sites, you must first calculate your monthly overhead. Mortgage payments, utilities, labour expenses, licence and permitting fees, and inventory are all included. Divide annual payments by 12 to determine the monthly cost for things that are not paid monthly. Once you’ve determined your monthly overhead, you’ll be able to determine how much you should charge each campground.

If you charge various pricing at different periods of the year, or if you provide discounts, you’ll need to account for that as well. If your monthly cost is $3,500 and you have 100 sites, you must charge $35 a night to break even, unless you have a camp shop or other services that you charge for.

How can you increase the profitability of your company?

Take the following actions to increase the profitability of your business:

Include more websites.

Examine your bookkeeping to verify that you are charging a reasonable amount that covers your utilities and obligations.

Make your campsite the finest spot to go in your area to ensure that you are sold out.

Make and stick to a budget.

Include other services that you may charge for, such as ice, firewood, and a shop.

STEP 2: Establish a legal entity

Sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation are the most frequent business structure forms.

Creating a formal business organisation, such as an LLC or corporation, shields you from personal liability if your campsite 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 Federal Business Licensing

To run a campsite, certain 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.

Requirements for State and Local Business Licensing

To run a campground business, certain 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 information on local licences and permissions, 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.

For information on local licences and permissions, 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.

Liability Release

Campground operators should have their customers sign a release of responsibility to prevent litigation and any lawsuits. Here’s an example of one of these forms.

When you join up for Rocket Lawyer’s premium membership, you can easily produce a professional release of liability form for your campsite. Members have access to hundreds of legal agreements and on-call lawyers for free legal assistance for $39.95 each month.

Occupancy Certificate

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 a space:

In most cases, it is the landlord’s obligation to get a CO.

Before leasing, ensure that your landlord has or can get a valid CO for a campsite company.

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 intend to buy or create a location:

It is your responsibility to secure a valid CO from a local government entity.

Examine all building rules and zoning standards for your business’s location to verify compliance and the ability to acquire 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 Market and Promote a Campground

Marketing a campground company is dependent on where you are and who you are marketing to. Word of mouth is the most effective form of promotion, therefore provide exceptional customer service. Advertise on social media sites, distribute leaflets, and advertise on camping websites, specialist outdoor shops, and, if feasible, on radio and television. Because radio and television advertisements are costly, this may not be something you can undertake right away. When promoting your campground, be sure to inform prospective customers about the facilities that distinguish your campsite as the greatest spot to stay. List activities like fishing, boating, canoeing, and swimming if you have a huge lake. When promoting hiking paths, include the trail’s length and difficulty. Inform prospective consumers whether you have a camp shop, a leisure area, and what kinds of sites you have.

How to Keep Customers Returning

To attract and keep consumers, you must focus your advertising to people who are most likely to visit your campsite. If you just have rustic campgrounds that need a trek to get to, promote to hikers. Hikers will return again and again if there are adequate hiking paths with beautiful scenery.

Advertise to RVers if you have sites with power, WiFi, and other amenities. Keep all sites, regardless of genre, clean and simple to navigate. Make it easier for longer RVs to negotiate the roadways. All of these are qualities that would be advertised to “glampers.”

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.