How to Start and Operate a Parking Lot Business

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Parking lots are every where and there are almost 600 million cars in the world that need a place to park when they are not moving. Have you ever thought about this statement? Parking lots are a part of our life because most people use them everyday.Take

Learning how to start and operate a parking lot business requires almost perfect research. When you start this type of business, you will need a sufficient cash flow to start and keep the business operating. Putting together the research and obtaining the cash is the two biggest obstacles you will face. Basically, the business owner will charge customers for parking their cars in a garage or a parking lot. You will charge the customers based on the market supply and demand. The fastest way to make money is to establish a detailed business plan. Obtain one parking lot with 20 spaces and charge $10.00 a day to each customer. You will make $200.00 each business day. Operate three parking lots and you can make $12,000 a month.

Things You'll Need:

Computer with Internet Access

Cash at least $5,000-$10,000

Home Office

Cell Phone

Reliable Transportation

Step 1 Raise and Obtain Cash

Decide how much money you can afford to spend to help you start and operate a parking lot business. Do not borrow money or go into debt while getting your garage or parking lot company started. Work extra jobs and sell stuff around your home to raise and obtain cash.

Step 2 Work at a Parking Garage Business

Perform volunteer work to help you start and operate a parking lot business. Tell the parking lot garage owner that you want to do volunteer work at his company for 90 days so that you can write the experience on your resume. Learn exactly what the business entails and how it operates each business day. Try to interview the owner and ask him how he started this business.

Step 3 Perform Business Research

Perform business research to help you learn how to start and operate a parking lot or a garage business. Contact a real estate agent and inform him that you are trying to locate a 10 to 20 space parking garage or parking lot. Use the real estate agent as a resource to help you evaluate properties that will give you the highest income potential based on the research.

Step 4 Parking Lot Business Plan

Develop a business plan to help you start a parking lot business. Design a marketing section so that you will know exactly how you plan to get customers to use your parking services. Create a management section to help you and your staff operate the garage company efficiently each day. Make sure you implement a financial plan so you will be able to monitor the cash flow.

Step 5 Apply for Business License

Apply for a business license and you are almost ready to launch your parking lot company. Take a trip to your city or county office and complete all the necessary paperwork to start a parking lot business. Visit or call your state's department of revenue and register for a state tax identification number. Call the IRS at (800) 829-1040 and apply for your federal tax identification number. Use the tax numbers to pay your taxes.

Step 6 Operating a Parking Lot Business

Operating a parking lot business is not hard to do if you can follow these instructions. After you have obtained the property, make sure the parking lines are painted and numbered. Rent out the spaces and place signs that states you are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged property. Subscribe to the National Parking Association newsletter to help you learn more specific information about what is involved in operating a parking lot or a parking garage business (see reference section). Taking these steps will help you start and operate this business.


Buy general liability insurance for a parking lot or parking garage to protect the business against lawsuits.

Hire an attendant to collect fees and monitor the lot or garage during peak hours.

Market your services to businesses and residents in your parking lot area(s).

Try to get parking lots and garage parking areas where the traffic is high (i.e., convention centers, civic centers, downtown shopping centers, shopping malls, sports arenas,etc.).

Do not overlook condemned buildings because they can be convert to parking lots or parking garages.

Read books and magazines to keep you updated on new trends and new technology.


Invest money into the business by obtaining security cameras and by hiring security guards if necessary.

Find out what your competitors are doing and copy the successful companies.

Make sure you understand your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Grow the business very slowly and keep a very close eye on the expenses and revenues.

Get free help from the Small Business Administration especially if you do not know how to write a parking lot business plan.

Keep in mind that your lot or garage has to meet the requirements of Americans Disability Act.


National Parking Association

National Parking Association eNewsletter

International Parking Institute


There is No Such Thing as Free Parking

Streetsblog.Org How to Fix Off Street Parking

International Business Times- Paving Paradise: It's Time to Reinvent the Parking Lot