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While no specific license is required for dealing in heavy construction equipment, a business license and other prerequisites are essential to starting a dealership. Franchise opportunities and trade organizations add credibility to the dealer by representing a relationship with nationally recognized brands. With the proper planning and attention to detail, just about anyone can become a successful heavy equipment dealer.
Obtain the proper educational background for becoming a heavy equipment dealer. While there are no special degrees for selling heavy equipment, there are a number of education options that strengthen the skills that are required to be successful at dealing in heavy equipment. Courses in business law, engineering or anything related to construction methods are all excellent educational options to pursue. Sales courses are also important, since the job essentially boils down to the sales of construction equipment.
Get a business license for your heavy equipment dealership. A standard business license is sufficient, with no additional or special licenses being required. Contact your local city clerk, county clerk or secretary of state to obtain the forms for registering a business. Set up either a sole proprietorship, partnership or limited-liability company depending on which best serves your individual needs.
Join trade organizations related to the heavy equipment industry. The Associated Equipment Distributors, North American Building Material Distribution Association and American Road and Transportation Builders Association are all trade associations that work with heavy equipment dealers. Being a certified member of these organizations will bring additional credibility to your dealership.
Establish dealer partnerships with major equipment manufacturers. All equipment manufacturers will be happy to establish wholesale pricing for sales dealerships. Many also offer complete franchise opportunities, where everything from the building to the equipment are provided by the manufacturer. Many equipment makers also offer dealer certification programs that will show your customers that you are not only authorized to sell equipment, but have received formal training from the equipment manufacturer.
Owning your own dealership requires a lot of startup capital. An alternate approach is to start as a salesman, then work your way up to a management role.