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When a debtor fails to make payments on a loan for a piece of merchandise, the creditor may repossess the item. Creditors often call a repo man to aid in recovering merchandise. In a struggling economy, repossession services can be very successful. Whether it’s repossessing cars, furniture or appliances, there is always a demand for a repo man because there are always individuals or businesses that fail to pay their bills.
Start Providing Services as a Pennsylvania Repo Man
Decide on a name and entity type for your repo business. Possible business entities include sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership and limited liability company.
Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you intend to have employees with your Pennsylvania repossession business. This is also beneficial for registration purposes, checking accounts, and tax files. You can obtain an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service website.
Utilize the Online Business Registration Interview (OBRI) provided by the Pennsylvania Open for Business website to help you determine what documents you need to file to register your repo business. The documents you file depends mostly upon the entity you choose and the services you provide.
Download the appropriate registration forms from the Pennsylvania Department of State. Be sure to meet the form guidelines when filling them out, such as typing your answers or writing them legibly in blue or black ink and providing a physical address rather than a post office box.
Register for state tax accounts (such as sales tax and employer withholdings) through the PA- 100 system available on the Pennsylvania Open for Business website.
Call or visit the city offices where your repo business provides services to determine if you need to apply for local licenses and permits for your business.
Offer Your Pennsylvania Repo Services to the Public
Determine if you will specialize in one type of repossession recovery service, such as automobiles, or will handle all types, including furniture and appliances. Decide what you will charge for each service. For example, Thomas Investigative Publications estimates that most automobile repossession services charge $150 to $250 per 30 minute recovery job.
Look into the services your local competitors provide and how much they charge for them. In order to get ahead of the competition, you need to make your services and prices competitive. It would also be helpful to know who your competitors provide services to, so that you can introduce your business to them.
Obtain the equipment for your Pennsylvania repo service. First and foremost, you will need a large truck, likely with towing capabilities. This will enable you to recover cars, furniture and appliances. Consider obtaining a storage facility if you plan to hold items for your clients rather than delivering them immediately upon recovery.
Check the local zoning laws for the business location you choose by contacting your Pennsylvania city’s zoning commission. This is especially important if you plan to operate your repo business out of your home. Zoning laws in each city are different and may permit or prohibit an in-home repossession service.
Visit potential clients in person, such as the managers/owners of rent-to-own centers and car title loan companies or the recovery department for local bank offices. Present yourself in a professional manner both in attire and demeanor. Also be sure to provide them with brochures detailing your services and prices.
When providing Pennsylvania repo services on your own, it may seem obvious to register your business as a sole proprietorship. However, doing so will not protect your personal assets if your business faced a lawsuit or back taxes. It is better to register your business as a corporate entity.
Michelle Cramer has been writing/editing freelance since 2007, including the Small Business Buzz Blog and articles for Work.com. Cramer's current writing projects include articles for informational websites and several blogs. She has a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Missouri.