If you have a background or interest in home building or engineering, starting a home inspection business might be a good career move. Depending on where you live, home inspection may or may not be a licensed trade, though options for professional certification are usually available to you. In some places, starting a home inspection business is as simple as letting people know that you offer home inspections. If you live in an area where the practice of home inspection is regulated, you may need to become licensed or certified, register with the appropriate local authorities, and possibly purchase liability insurance. Another option for starting a home inspection business is to purchase a home inspection franchise, which usually offers a turnkey package that includes training, proprietary report-generation software, and marketing support.
In the United States, home inspection is a trade governed by state laws. Laws in other countries vary, so it is always important to make sure that you understand the home inspection license and practice laws where you live. Some states require a home inspector to complete an educational course, sit for a proctored exam, and then obtain state licensure before practicing. Other states may only require that a home inspector register with the state, follow a home inspector on several inspections, or pass an exam before getting permission to practice. In many places, licensed contractors, professional engineers, and architects can perform home inspections without meeting any additional educational requirements.
Once you have completed any educational or licensing requirements, you can start your home inspection business. Usually this involves getting the appropriate business licensing permits for your area, obtaining insurance for your business, and possibly incorporating your new venture. After printing up your business cards, getting a website, and developing a brochure, networking with real estate agents and other members of your community can be a good way to get new clients.
Many home inspection business owners choose to affiliate with a home inspection franchise company. A home inspection franchise gives the home inspector a protected territory for his or her business and usually provides a comprehensive educational program for the home inspection business owner as well as any employees. If you have never owned a business before or are uncomfortable with doing all the legwork of starting a business from scratch, a franchise can be a great way of establishing a home inspection business with less risk.