How to Start a Security Guard Company.
Before you can start a security guard company, you must have the proper training, tools of the trade and know just what the job duties are for a licensed security guard.
You will need to know what organizations you can work with and what type of events you can work. Being a security guard and running the company are very different. As the company owner, you have many responsibilities to consider before hiring, training and sourcing jobs.
Visit the official state government home page for the state in which you want to start a security guard company. In the search box, type, "security guard license." If requirements for licensing are published, you will find them.
Apply for training. You must know how to handle, shoot and display a gun to operate a security guard company. Even if you do not plan to work the field, you must be trained in gun handling. This type of training will also show you how to use a baton. You must use a qualified training program and pass the course. Many law enforcement agencies have a list of recognized trainers. Use a training program that they recommend.
Take any exams required by your state. As the owner or manager of the company, you must pass a background check and meet the requirements of your state government. You will also need to supply information about your qualifications in the security field. You should have worked in loss prevention, a police department or for another security company.
Take a course in criminal law. Although this may not be required in all states, it does give you a better understanding of the laws and what is acceptable and not acceptable in the line of duty.
Attend a boot camp for physical training. Law enforcement and security guards must complete a boot camp for training. This is to test, strengthen and enhance your physical abilities. The boot camp training can be recommended by a law enforcement agency in your area.
Hire employees who have gone through the same procedures that you have. Just because they will be working for you does not mean that they don't need all the same training you needed to start the company.
Look for businesses that need security guards. It is possible to contract with city law enforcement agencies to work special events and other venues. Before approaching law enforcement agencies, you need experience working security for private companies or events.
Increase your chances of success in the security guard business by taking courses in criminal justice, either in an associate's degree program or a certificate program.
To work for the federal government, you must be certified by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Follow the requirements of your state regarding the hiring of employees. For example, in
York State, your
employees must be U.S.
citizens or legal aliens with permanent residence in the U.S.
Security Guard Services Guide: Links to State Government Home Pages
How to Start & Manage a Guard Service Business
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Knowing how to start your own security guard company will help you to branch out on your own and become an entrepreneur...
Security Officer Vs. Security Guard
How Much Do Security Guards Make?
Characteristics of a Professional Security Officer
As with any business type, a security company requires a lot in the way of start-up planning and expenses, both from a business and legal standpoint. It also requires you to be an expert in services such as anti-theft devices, burglar alarms, investigations, security guards and security systems. Security companies help keep people safe, but the business also can have its dangerous moments---something to keep in mind as you make any final decisions.
As with any start-up company, financing will determine whether your business gets off the ground. You should have enough funds for essentials such as office space, personnel training and compensation, insurance, firearms and hardware, required paperwork and advertising.
Once you have established you have the financing to proceed, you need to meet all federal law requirements in regards to yourself and your personnel, such as background checks, licenses, permits, insurance bonds or policies and restrictions. Federal law requires these checks because you or your personnel may be required to carry firearms as protection.
Aside from obvious office equipment, such as a telephone and computer service, you will need an image recorder/video surveillance system in place that can capture all of your potential clients' video feeds. You also should have a substantial inventory of firearms from which to draw, located safely away so that only you and your manpower can access them.
After deciding how to register your company (for instance, as an incorporation or limited liability company) and whether you want to sell products, services or a combination of both, you need to have your name out there. Consider listing your company in the International Executive Security Association, a worldwide organization that promotes security and investigative companies.
If you want to start a security company and lack people skills, work to improve them ASAP. You want your clients to feel protected and safe in your care, whether you're setting up a security system in their home or business or providing them with a bodyguard. Interaction with people comprises the essence of your business---whether it's your clients or your personnel. You will save yourself headaches if you know how to handle various client types and their security issues.
You probably have more than a passing interest in the security business and know a good deal about it; hence, your interest to have your own. Still, you want to ensure you and your personnel have undergone proper training and are knowledgeable about the business, so you can provide your clients with dependable and strong security products and/or services.
You should have the following types of training, depending on what services you offer: alarm response, firearms/weapons, first aid, patrol, personal protection, physical fitness and security guard services. You also should make sure you're up to date on the latest computer technology and firearms training. The stronger your physical skills and the broader your capabilities and knowledge, the greater your company's security efficiency, which will have a positive impact on your reputation.
• What are the fees, terms of registration?
• What forms of payment does the Department of State accept?
• May I install security systems if I am registered as a security guard?
• If I am a retired police officer, do I have to register?
• Do active police officers who do part-time security work have to be registered as a security guard?
• Can I submit a photo with my security guard application rather than the DMV ID#?
• May I satisfy my due diligence requirements by accessing the information available on the Department of State Web site?
• How long do companies have to submit security guard registration applications after calling the guard Registry and receiving a transaction number?
• Do applicants have to submit fingerprints?
• What address do I mail the security guard application packet(s)to?
• What does an applicant or employer have to submit with the registration application?
• How soon does a guard need to send his or her renewal form and $25 fee to the Department of State?
• When should companies notify Licensing Services of employment?
• What other documentation should employers retain in their personnel files?
• Can a qualifier for a Private Investigator or Watch, Guard or Patrol Agency license work as an unarmed or armed guard under his or her license without additional filing as a security guard?
• If a Watch, Guard or Patrol Agency or Private Investigator qualifier does guard work, does the qualifier have to be registered as a security guard?
• Is security guard registration required from individuals who are waiting to be appointed as Peace Officers? NYC Special Patrolmen are granted peace officer authority pursuant to CPL §2.10 (27). While waiting to be appointed, the individual(s) will be employed to perform security guard functions.
• I am an authorized employer. Will the Department of State accept security guard applications with my stamped signature?
• I need some information and forms relating to training courses.
Generally speaking, applicants must be 18 years of age, have completed an 8-hour pre-assignment training course, and have not been convicted of a serious criminal offense. Must be a citizen or resident alien of the
Who is exempt from registration?
A security guard who is otherwise subject to regulation with respect to registration and training by the federal government in the performance of his or her duties
A security guard providing services on a voluntary basis
Active police officers are exempt from registration, but, when employed by a contractual entity, they must complete an Employee Statement but do not need to be fingerprinted. However, police officers separated from service (e.g. retired) are considered civilians and must register as a security guard.
Peace officers while working in their official capacity for their primary employer. However, if moonlighting, a peace officer is considered a security guard and must register.
Are there additional requirements for an armed guard registration?
Yes. You must complete a 47-hour firearms course, and submit the certificate with your application for issuance of an armed guard registration card.
What are the fees, terms of registration?
What forms of payment does the Department of State accept?
Money Orders, Company Checks or Cashier's Checks only. Must be made payable to the NYS Department of State. Do Not Mail Cash. "NO PERSONAL CHECKS OR CREDIT CARDS"May I install security systems if I am registered as a security guard?
No. You must obtain an alarm installers license.If I am a retired police officer, do I have to register?
Yes. Retired police officers must register and complete all training. If a retired police officer (less than 10 years), you must provide the Department of State with a signed letter of good standing from your department. In addition, if you are required by your employer to carry a firearm, or are authorized to have access to a firearm, you must provide proof to the Department of State and your employer of having completed a Basic Course for Police Officers (or an equivalent course), that included initial firearms training, within one year prior to such employment. If your initial firearms training occurred more than a year before such employment, you must complete an 8 Hour Annual In-Service training for Armed Security Guard and report that training to the Department of State and your employer.Do active police officers who do part-time security work have to be registered as a security guard?
No. Active police officers accepting secondary employment are not required to register or complete training. Individuals previously employed as police officers are considered civilians and must register and complete all training. When employed by a contractual entity, they must complete an Employee Statement, but they do not need to be fingerprinted. However, if an active police officer is hired by a contractual entity as an investigator, or if they are filing a PI/BEA/WGP application with the Department of State, they must be fingerprinted.Can I submit a photo with my security guard application rather than the DMV ID#?
No. ID cards are produced by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) using the image on file in its office.Individuals with current NYS driver licenses or non-driver ID cards "with photos" must read the section "Informed Consent," sign and date it, provide their 9-digit DMV ID number, and return the bottom portion with their application packet.
Individuals who do not have a current NYS photo driver license or non-driver ID card must go to a DMV office and have their photo taken (at no cost to them) before submitting their application to the Department of State. This is referred to as an "image-only" transaction. When these individuals go to a DMV office, they must bring the insert (enclosed with their guard application) titled "If You Don't Have a NYS Driver or Non-Driver ID" with them. This insert provides instructions and will be retained by the DMV office. The "image-only" transaction produces an FS-6T receipt that displays the individual's 9-digit ID number for the new client record. Individuals who get "image-only" captures should save their receipts and write that ID number on their DOS original and renewal applications.
Once an individual is approved for licensure or registration, the Department of State sends his or her name and DMV number to the Department of Motor Vehicles to have an ID card printed. DMV sends the ID card to the residence address on file with the Department of State.
May I satisfy my due diligence requirements by accessing the information available on the Department of State Web site?
No. You are still required to call the Registry to obtain a transaction number.How long do companies have to submit security guard registration applications after calling the guard Registry and receiving a transaction number?
Employers must submit the security guard registration application with appropriate documentation within 24 hours of receiving a transaction number.Do applicants have to submit fingerprints?
Yes. All applicants must submit fingerprints.What address do I mail the security guard application packet(s)to?
Full application packets should be mailed to:What does an applicant or employer have to submit with the registration application?
NYS Department of State,
Division of Licensing Services,
Albany, NY 12201-2052
NYS Department of State,
Division of Licensing Services,
A completed application must include:
• The completed, signed application
• copy of certificate showing completion of an 8-hour pre-assignment course;- signed DMV consent form
• receipt that provides proof of fingerprint completion
• $36.00 fee payable to the NYS Department of State
• any additional documentation requested in response to specific questions on the application form; and if employment will commence with filing of the application, the Notice of Employment section must be completed by your employer
* If applying for an armed security guard registration, a course completion certificate for 47 hours of firearms training, or a copy of the waiver issued by the Division of Criminal Justice Services
Note: Security guard employers should, at a minimum, retain one copy of each of the above listed items in their personnel files for each of their guards
How soon does a guard need to send his or her renewal form and $25 fee to the Department of State?
A renewal is mailed to the guard 90 days prior to the expiration date. Guards must renew their registration by the expiration date of their current registration or they cannot work as a security guard. If their registration has not been renewed within 6 months after the expiration date of their current registration, they must re-apply and re-qualify.
When should companies notify Licensing Services of employment?
Basically, on employment:
If employment commences with the filing of the application, the Notice of Employment section should be completed by the employer. No additional fee is required.
If security guard is applying independently, the Notice of Employment section need not be completed.
If the individual is already registered as a security guard, a "Security Guard Employment Status Notification" form and $25 fee must be completed and sent to the Division of Licensing Services.
What other documentation should employers retain in their personnel files?
Security guard employers should, at a minimum, retain one copy of each of the following in their personnel files for each of their guards.
• Temporary Identification Card (required upon termination of the guard)
• Copy of Employment Status Notification (used for hiring and termination of the guard)
Can a qualifier for a Private Investigator or Watch, Guard or Patrol Agency license work as an unarmed or armed guard under his or her license without additional filing as a security guard?
Yes. A qualifier complies with statutory requirements. A separate registration as a security guard is not needed.If a Watch, Guard or Patrol Agency or Private Investigator qualifier does guard work, does the qualifier have to be registered as a security guard?
The qualifier of a Watch, Guard or Patrol Agency or Private Investigator does not need a separate registration as a security guard as long as the qualifier is providing guard services for the qualifier's own company.
However, if the qualifier provides guard services for another Watch, Guard or Patrol Agency or Private Investigator, the qualifier must obtain a security guard registration in order to provide guard services to that company.
Is security guard registration required from individuals who are waiting to be appointed as Peace Officers? NYC Special Patrolmen are granted peace officer authority pursuant to CPL §2.10 (27). While waiting to be appointed, the individual(s) will be employed to perform security guard functions.
Our rules provide that peace officers performing security guard duties in the course of their peace officer status are exempt from the registration requirements. However, no such exemption exists for individuals who are performing security functions while awaiting such status. Therefore, if the individuals are performing security guard functions, they must be registered.I am an authorized employer. Will the Department of State accept security guard applications with my stamped signature?
The Department of State will accept security guard applications with an employer's stamped signature. Employers wishing to do so must submit a signed statement with a sample of the rubber stamp. The liability for misuse rests with the qualifier.I need some information and forms relating to training courses.
The NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services, Office of Public Safety – Security Guard Program, has regulatory authority over training requirements. Please visit their website.