How to start a funeral home

Updated July 05, 2018

Starting a funeral home is not for everyone. However, this is a rewarding career and business. You will be helping people say goodbye to their loved ones by helping to arrange funerals. Funeral directors are usually highly respected individuals. You can help people grieve and give them guidance when it is most needed. It's also important to listen to the survivors' expressions of need and memories of their loved ones and offer them much needed support. If you enjoy helping people and planning events, you could make an excellent funeral director.

Choose whether you want to build your funeral home from scratch or if you want to purchase an existing funeral home. Obviously, buying an existing funeral home business would be much easier. However, if you want specific custom-made features, you should build your own funeral home. See more about building your funeral home in Resources.

Get educated. Mortuary school is a must if you want to be at the top of your game. You will learn how to embalm, transport bodies and coordinate a funeral service.

Take the Funeral Service National Board Examination (NBE). This is your license to become a funeral director. It is an exam that you will need to pass to begin working as a funeral director. Your school of choice will set this up for you on request.

Create a thorough and complete business plan to get money from a bank or investors to start your company. Even if you are doing the funding yourself, you need a plan. This will act as your map with every action you take toward your new business.

Become legal by hiring an attorney. You will need an attorney who has experience with the funeral home business to get the necessary legal papers, including legal contracts for your customers to sign. You may need to return to a lawyer who is experienced in dealing with funeral home businesses, so find a good one that you can rely on when you need her. Don't just choose the first lawyer you see in the Yellow Pages. Think about your legal needs. Interview lawyers carefully, and pick the best of the bunch.

Buy your supplies. Now that you have bought your funeral home and become educated in mortuary sciences, you will need to find suppliers for your funeral home. You will need a supplier from which you can buy caskets, urns and other funeral home supplies. Find an affordable supplier from which you can get all of your funeral home supplies. You might need to find more than one supplier, but it is ideal to have just one.

Create a general price list for all of your funeral home's services. On average, the traditional funeral, including viewings, embalming, transportation, cosmetics and professional charges, will cost the customer about £6,500, according to (May 2009). Additional services may include cremations, obituary announcements, graveside funerals and paperwork assistance. You will need to have these on hand for potential customers and new customers. You are now ready to open the doors and start your funeral home.


Offer referrals to human services in the area.


Avoid talking to people in a monotone manner when you are dealing with planning a funeral. People will have heightened emotions, and it's important for them to feel empathy at this time.

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