There are multiple things you should consider when starting a dog walking company, especially if you want to avoid running into legal problems. Here we’ll cover these basics to help you avoid potential issues and keep your business running efficiently.
There are several legal problems that your dog walking business may experience, and while you may want to ignore them and hope they go away once your business grows, you’ll likely wind up paying fines and incurring penalties instead.
These are some of the key considerations you should think about.
You can run a dog walking business as a sole proprietor, which many do at the start, you may want to select a different form of business. Your business can be more protected if you use an entity such as a limited liability company or a corporation, keeping both personal and business assets separate.
This can help you successfully avoid legal issues that you might otherwise encounter if something unfortunate happens to any of the dogs under your care.
Limited liability companies and corporations normally require additional costs and maintenance, which means you’ll need to account for these costs in both time and potential fees to make the right decision.
In a majority of cases, dog walking companies don’t need a license for dog walking, but some states will require a general business license for these companies. Check with your local legal office to determine what the requirements are in your jurisdiction and specific location.
Professional dog walkers also must be knowledgeable about all local regulations and rules that could have an impact on their business. For instance, many jurisdictions have certain sanitation requirements that make it necessary for walkers to pick up after dogs.
There may also be leashing laws in place that require the use of a leash when walking dogs in designated areas. You can always check with your local authorities to determine which rules and regulations are relevant to your business.
Local zoning may also restrict pet sitting in some cases, requiring business owners to check with local zoning regulations if they wish to add this service to their offerings.
Always maintain a written contract between your business and your clients. A contract will specify all of your responsibilities when walking clients’ pets, along with the nature of your relationship with them and the compensation terms.
Contracts also need to include authorization for dog walkers to seek medical care in the event of an emergency and detail the owner’s specific responsibilities for any damage done by their pet.
With these elements in mind, you can successfully avoid any potential legal problems that may otherwise come up and negatively impact your business. Staying legally sound will help make sure you stay in business for many years an