How to start a car dealer business

Updated March 23, 2017

Have you ever wanted to start your own car dealership? It is not as difficult as it may seems. Following these steps can have you opening up the doors to your lot and buying cars from auctions quickly.

Acquire commercial property (lease or purchase) with space for at least five vehicles.

Have a telephone line established at the location in the business name.

Place a sign visible from the road displaying the business name and telephone number.

Visit your local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) and meet with a representative to request a auto dealer license. Make sure you bring proof of the business telephone number, location and sign.

Hire a licensed salesperson or apply for a sales license. Every dealership must have at least one licensed salesperson.

Once your license is approved, shop for dealer's auto insurance.

Apply for a business line of credit or a dealer's floor plan finance agreement to purchase vehicles.


Business telephone number, location and sign are required before license can be issued. If you are unable to qualify for floor plan financing, start out with a minimal number of vehicles from your cash reserves.

Things You'll Need

  • Driver's license
  • Commercial property
  • Clean background
  • Business sign
  • Dealer insurance policy


Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Leonardo R. Grabkowski has been writing professionally for more than four years. Grabkowski attended college in Oregon. He builds websites on the side and has a slight obsession with Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress.