We're going to show you the basics of what you need to start an insurance agency in Florida. If you've ever wondered what it takes to start your own insurance agency then join us as we look into how to start your entrepreneurial journey.
Should you start an agency?
An insurance agency, just like any other business venture, takes hard work, dedication, and motivation. As a future agency owner you should ask yourself if you are willing to put in the work to achieve your agency ownership dreams. (Hint: the fact that you're here, doing research, shows your passion and dedication.)
What is sweat equity?
Sweat equity is the amount of work you put in without having to pay someone to do the work for you. (i.e. making your own website) Sweat equity is very important for those who don't have unlimited resources to start.
1. Business Plan (to have or not to have)
Bear with us, because we might say a few things that don't necessarily agree with long held beliefs in business. Most people will tell you, "You need a business plan". While that may be true IN SOME CASES, it is not necessarily true for every entrepreneur who wants to start their own business. If you are looking for investors, are looking to get a small business loan, or have partners, a business plan might be something they all require you to have in order to proceed. However, if you are looking to start an insurance agency with less than $1,000, chances are you do not have an investor, a small business loan, or a partner. That means that in your case a business plan might not be necessary to get started. A business plan is a strategic document that details your plans. According to Business Insider Julian Lange, Entrepreneurship Professor at Babson College, with his colleagues studied 457 new ventures to find out the effectiveness of business plans.
The conclusion? "There is no difference in the operating performance of businesses started with or without written business plans," Lange found. What does this mean for you? It means you should use your time wisely, and spending hours, days, or weeks writing up a document you fully understand, that no one is going to read might not be the best use of your time. Your goal is to get your agency up and running as soon as possible.
2. Business Structure
Most business have a business structure (LLC, S-Corp, Corporation, etc). There are pros and cons to each type of structure available. Not having a structure is also an option. While most people will automatically tell you to choose an LLC, it might be in your best interest to start an S-Corp instead. This is a decision that should be taken in consultation with an an attorney or CPA. Our Agency Start Up Guide will walk you through some of the pros and cons of each of the choices, where to go, where not go, and different options you have as an insurance agent looking to start your own agency. Most importantly we will detail how much you can expect to spend in this step.
3. Agency Licensing
Every state has different laws on who may act as an insurance agency, and the requirements for an insurance agency. Depending on how you choose to structure your new business, or how you choose to operate dictates whether or not you even need an agency license in the state of Florida. Our Agency Start Up Guide will walk you step by step through the requirements of an agency license in FL, how to apply for one, and whether or not you need to spend money on the agency license.
4. Other Legal Paperwork
Depending on how you choose to start your business you might need to complete other legal paperwork such as an EIN, county permits, city permits, etc. The success of your insurance agency depends on making sure you have the correct paperwork ready when you need it. Many new entrepreneurs will seek help when it comes to getting the majority of these legal completed. It is important to know where to go, and more importantly where not to go to make sure you are making the best use of your start up capital. Our Agency Start Up Guide contains resources that will help you avoid many of the pitfalls new entrepreneurs face when complying with some of these regulatory requirements. Most importantly we will show how to spend as little as possible when getting some of these done.
5. Business Presence
6. Office Location
An office is a must to an insurance agent who will be meeting with clients and potential clients. Being able to have an office they can come to, sit, chat, and purchase insurance from gives many clients the feeling of professionalism they look for in an insurance agency. We will show go through the Florida regulations regarding insurance agency office locations, as well as a guide on how to have your own professional office without breaking the bank. You do not need an expensive storefront to get started. Our Agency Start Up Guide will show you just what you need to find an office.
7. Agency Management Systems
An agency management system is an absolute necessity in order to keep track of your clients and their policies, as well leads that can turn to potential clients. There are tons of agency management systems to choose from for your insurance agency, however there are also low cost and free options that can allow you to start your insurance agency with very little money. Our Agency Start Up Guide will show you various options available to you ass well as the cost associated with them. We will also show you a free option that is ideal for any new entrepreneur looking to use their start up capital wisely.
8. Getting Appointed
This is by far one of the most important, yet difficult things to do as a new insurance agency. As a new insurance agency you must be appointed by insurance companies in order to sell their products. Unfortunately this is a double edged sword. In order to get appointed you must have a proven track record, but in order to have a proven track record you have to get appointed. What is a new insurance agent to do? Thankfully our Agency Start Up Guide will walk you through some of the different options available to new insurance agencies that will have you appointed and writing policies and growing your book of business within your first few days.
9. Management and Business Training
Being a business and agency owner means you have to be a jack of all trades, and learn different roles throughout your agency. Everything from sales to management, to networking, to public speaking and customer service skills are all hats you may have to wear at some point as a business owner. Thankfully, we have you covered. When you purchase our Agency Start Up Guide ebook you will also receive exclusive access to 10 different business classes: Entrepreneurship, Business Etiquette, Business Acumen, Networking Outside the Company, Being a Likeable Boss, Business Ethics, Top 10 Sales Secrets, Customer Service, Presentation Skills, and Sales Fundamentals
10. How To Do All Of The Above For Less Than $1,000
While starting an insurance agency might seem like a daunting task. It is an incredibly rewarding career path. Having control of your own business and future is something most people will only dream of, but never have the courage to pursue. If you made it here, you are well on your way to achieving your dreams. Starting a new business is a venture that usually requires tons of money, a business loan, or investors, but lucky for you, our guide on how to star an insurance agency with less than $1,000 is only a few clicks away. What will you do? Will you seize this moment or invest in your future?