Startup Costs: $10,000 - $50,000
Franchises Available? Yes
Online Operation? No
Highly ambitious entrepreneurs with boating experience have the potential to cash in big on the boating boom by starting a boat brokerage service. However, before you get too excited at the prospect of selling boats, you should know that some states require boat brokers to be licensed. At present, though, there are no across-the-board regulations, and each state has its own regulations. You can contact either of the boat broker associations listed on the next page to find out licensing regulations in your state. Or you can enroll in the National Yacht Brokers Certification Program, but only people with prior boat sales experience are eligible for the program. The cost and time to obtain a license (if required in your state) may still be a wise investment because thousands of pre-owned motorboats, sailboats and personal watercraft are bought and sold annually, generating billions in sales. Securing just a tiny portion of this very lucrative market may be easier than you think, especially when you consider that you can operate from home and travel to marinas to list, show and sell, enabling you to keep startup costs to a minimum. Or if investment funds are plentiful, you can lease space at a marina that has no boat brokerage and offer full brokerage services on site. Generally, boat brokers or boat sales consultants charge a 10 percent commission upon the successful sale and transfer of the boat to the new owner. The commission rate can be as high as 25 percent for boats with a value of less than $5,000, and as low as 3 percent when selling boats in the million-dollar price range.