Running a fishing charter seems like the dream job for every angler. You get to wake up early, meet customers at the dock, and go fishing. However, running a charter boat is hard work, but if you prepare properly, you could start a successful business that lasts for years. Learn how to start a fishing charter business the right way!
Work on a Charter Boat
If you’re going to start your own fishing charter business, you should work on a boat for at least a year to gain experience. This will give you an intimate understanding of all the unseen details that go into the industry.
Research the Market & State Regulations
Like any business launch, thorough market research is essential. It’s important that you know the answer to these questions before you begin:
- What charters currently operate in your area?
- Is the market saturated, or is there room for growth?
- Are the charters running at full capacity?
- Are they turning a profit?
- What are the regulations?
- How much does it cost to keep a boat at the dock?
The answers to these questions, as well as any additional research you do, will help guide your launch.
Save for Hidden Costs
Hidden costs such as boat repairs, equipment replacement, insurance premiums, and more can add up. Fishing charter boats have numerous unexpected costs, so you should save a large pile of cash to cushion your business against these expenses.
Apply for Required Licences
To legally operate a fishing boat and charge the general public for fishing trips, you need proper licensing, including a captain’s license from the U.S. Coast Guard. The application process and fees can be complex, so start research early. Also, a local sales tax license may be required. You’ll also need an Employment Identification Number through the IRS, and wildlife and fishing licenses should be obtained through your state or region.
Purchase Business Insurance
Fishing charter businesses have lots of expenses, and the risks can be high compared to many other industries. For this reason, insurance can be extremely expensive, but you’ll need to make this purchase to legally take people fishing.
Once you are legal to operate a charter, you need a quality boat. Remember that you are delivering an experience to your guests, so a comfortable boat with luxury amenities can help attract lines of well-paying customers.
Market Your Business
To have a successful charter business with an endless stream of customers, you need to market it. People will come from hundreds of miles away to go fishing, so start advertising within your state, then move advertising to all adjacent states and work outward from there.
The Ideal Boat for a Successful Chartering Business
We hope you have a better understanding of how to start a fishing charter business. To give your customers a luxurious fishing experience, purchase a craft from Scout Boats. Thanks to elegant designs, fine materials, and numerous fishing features, our boats are excellent for chartering. Use the Build Your Scout tool to create the perfect vessel for your fishing charter business!