How to Start a Car Parking Lot Business

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The parking lot and garage industry reached $10 billion in 2019.

The rise of commercial and residential developments in recent years has bolstered this industry. As more and more airports, stadiums, concert halls, and shopping districts get built, there’ll be more demand for parking businesses.

Read on to learn what you need to know about starting a parking lot business.

Plan Your Parking Lot business 

Starting a parking lot business requires planning. You should calculate your startup costs such as your asphalt cost, your target market and even how much you’ll charge and how many cars you’ll need a day to break even.

Good planning, in the beginning, can help your parking business succeed.

Form a Legal Entity

Register your parking lot company. This way, you are separate from your business and can’t be personally liable if your business is sued.

You need to have your business registered in order to open a bank account. You’ll want a dedicated banking account to keep your parking lot business finances organized.

Now is a good time to register your company for state and federal taxes, too.

Figure Out Accounting

Will you handle your accounting or outsource it? Decide now how you will handle your expenses and revenue.

Make sure you keep excellent records. You’ll be glad you did when it’s time to file your taxes. 

Search for a Lot Site

Before you can open for business, you’ll need a parking lot site. Now the fun begins! It’s time to scout for a good location.

Look for a location that is close to convention centers or downtown shopping. You’ll have higher chances of full lots this way. Make sure the spot is convenient to get to.

Research the current zoning laws to see if you can build a parking lot there. FInd out the land prices, too.

You should also think about whether you prefer a parking lot or a garage. A garage can make better use of the same space because you can build up. Yet the startup costs are higher.

Don’t just look for vacant land. An abandoned building might be the perfect spot. Although you’ll have to add demolition costs to your budget.

Get Permits and Insurance

Once you have your lot, you need to protect it. Get insurance to protect your business from damage to people’s cars while in your lot.

You might also want to install signs around the perimeter that explain that you are not responsible for valuables.

You’ll also need to get various permits and licenses. Without these, you could be stuck with costly fees. 


Security cameras are a must. You should also install a passcode at the gate or add a booth with a parking attendant at the entrance/exit of your parking lot.

The safety of your customers should be your main priority. You don’t want anything to happen to anyone on your property.

A security guard is an extra expense but can closely monitor the parking lot. It may be a good option for your parking lot business.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! The ultimate guide on starting a parking lot business. 

Ready to pave your parking lot? Here are 6 things you must know.

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