Starting a senior care business, such as a non-medical home care business, is a perfect way to earn a solid income while helping seniors stay in their own homes as long as possible. As the cost of senior housing, such as senior care communities and assisted-living facilities, continues to increase, staying put is a sensible option. Besides, over 90 percent of seniors say they prefer to age-in-place rather than leave their home.
Caring for seniors in their own homes is a simple business that allows caregivers to be their own boss and work the hours they prefer. There are some things you should know before you start a senior care business that will get you off to a smooth start. In particular, here are four that are especially important:
1. Licensing a non-medical home care business
A non-medical senior home care business is much easier to start than a home health-care business, because it doesn’t typically require licensed medical caregivers, such as nurses. Because of this, not all states have licensing and registration requirements for a non-medical care business. Before you do anything else, check with your state or city licensing office to find what their specific guidelines are for home care services.
You will need insurance for your non-medical home care business. If you drive a client’s car or use your own car to transport clients or their pets, you’ll need coverage for that. Also, if you do house-sitting or pet-sitting for clients, you’ll need “CCC” coverage, which stands for “care, custody and control.” Check with your insurance agent or an insurance broker to learn what is recommended for your home care business.
3. Supplies for your home care business
You won’t need a lot of supplies to start a successful non-medical home care business, but there are a few essentials. First of all, you will need a reliable vehicle to drive you to and from your jobs, and a cell phone to stay in touch with your customers. Almost any smartphone will do, and you can also use it to keep track of your schedule and the hours you work for each client.
Next, it’s a good idea to have business cards printed and perhaps a magnetic sign for your car. You can buy both online to save money. Both the cards and the magnetic signs are available at Vistaprint.com for a reasonable price. Having these will create awareness of your new business, and remind prospects to call you for their home care needs.
4. Legal structure for your senior home-care business
There are a few things you will need to do to setup your new non-medical home care business legally. First of all, decide on the legal structure of your business. Will you be a sole proprietor, a partnership or an LLC? This will determine what taxes you pay, and how you file your tax returns. For help on choosing the best legal structure for you, visit Nolo.com, where you’ll find plenty of free legal advice on this topic. Also, you will need to obtain a federal tax identification number, or EIN. You can do that online at IRS.gov. You’ll need that EIN before you can apply for a business license or open a business checking account.
In order to get your new non-medical home care business started, these are the essentials that should be done first. None of these items should cost you much, and the money you’ll be making will cover the expense. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to a successful home care business. To learn more, read How To Start A Senior Home Care Business.