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Crime prevention and security services are, and will continue to be, in great demand. The American Society of Industrial Security predicts a greater than 6 per cent rise in security demands well into the twenty-first century. A security company can offer an array of services, from personal bodyguard protection to security guard contracting, private investigation and locksmith expertise. Many security companies work with manufacturers of security equipment and serve as vendors and installers for the companies selling alarms, locks and surveillance systems.
Bonding and Licensing
Before opening a security guard or private investigator business, you must obtain a license and surety bond. Insurance in the form of a surety bond is required by most states in order to receive a license to operate security guard or investigative service in that state. The insurance covers clients for theft or loss in case you or your employees fail to execute the contract you have with your clients. Surety bonds are available online through sites such as Worldwide Insurance Specialists and Surety1 (see Resources below). Most security companies need to carry at least £0.6 million in coverage. Most states require private investigators to pay for a license and meet certain criteria. Some states perform background checks while others require a specified amount of time as a working intern to receive a license. Go to Detective Training.com to find out the requirements for individual states and municipalities. In addition to a business license, every security guard in your employ must carry a license from the state in which you operate. The National Association of Security Companies provides members with a regulatory database of all 50 states for easy reference, or check with your state department.
Recruiting employees for a security guard business is a time-consuming yet important step in starting a security company that provides these services. Consider using an agency to perform background checks and refer employees. Contact a manufacturer if you choose to sell and install security equipment. Companies such as DPL Surveillance offer vendors the opportunity to link to their website for additional marketing exposure and to give customers a chance to view the equipment choices online (see Resources below). Develop contacts in the local police department to find referrals for your company and to let them know where you will be working and what kinds of cooperation they can expect from you. Find customers for the security services through traditional marketing avenues such as print and Web advertising, networking with local business trade groups and calling on potential clients to offer your services.
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