Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Farrier Business in the United Kingdom
Starting a farrier business in the United Kingdom for a beginner may be challenging but rewarding. It is a professional business that you must up your game and offers the best possible services. This means that you must have the right skills in handling animals and proper knowledge of the industry. Within this farrier business, you’ll have a high level of criticism from clients that you must keep your head up. Here’s a guide on starting a farrier business in the United Kingdom that may help you if you’re planning for company registration in the UK.
Farriers carry out one of the most valuable services for people who care about their horses. Therefore, if you’re planning on starting a farrier business in the United Kingdom, you must be good at your work. The one thing that you should exhibit is trustworthiness and taking responsibility for your actions if you make mistakes. Being a farrier/shoeing horses is not just about taking care of horses, but you also need to take care of the owners. More often than not, people forget that the customer is the owner and not the horse.
Farriers not only shape and fit horseshoes but also clean, trim, and shape horse hooves. Occasionally, they work with different breeds in different environments. Besides that, they use a variety of tools, such as rasps and nippers, to trim and shape horses’ hooves. Typically, horses require trimming every six to eight weeks to maintain the proper balance of the foot and lower limbs. When you’re a farrier, you must keenly evaluate the horse’s conformation, gait, and hoof balance when determining what alterations to make. This is a physically demanding job as you stand for long periods while carrying out your job.
Business Registration Process
The farrier business in the UK is one where you must have some professional skills to do it. And for you to make a name for yourself, you must have a business structure. Here are some of the things you should do before starting your farrier business in the United Kingdom.
Develop a Business Plan
The first step is taking time to come up with a solid business plan. This document will help you refine your vision and set you in the right direction to achieve your goals. Ensure you provide detailed information about what you do as a business. You may consult a corporate service provider in the UK if necessary. Elaborate on your financial, operational, and marketing strategies. Ensure you articulate clearly your vision, mission, and objectives.
Establish Your Business Legal Structure
As an entrepreneur, you have the option of running your business as a sole proprietor, partnership, and company. Each of these types of structures has its advantages and disadvantages. Find the kind of legal structure that will suit your goal and objectives appropriately.
Register Your Business
You will operate your business legally once you register with the relevant authority. When starting a farrier business in the United Kingdom, you must first have a business name. This may apply if you’re planning for company registration in the UK, but you can operate under your name if you’re a sole trader. The Companies House is the legal authority that registers companies in the UK. To have a smooth process, ensure you have all the legal documents for United Kingdom company incorporation.
Just like a horse requires a good shoe for protection, your business, too, needs protection. As an entrepreneur, you’ll need farrier liability insurance. The insurance will cover you from the following:
- From claims against the work you perform.
- In case the horse is injured or dies due to your negligence while under your care.
- Cover property, except for the horse, if damaged because of your negligence.
- The equipment and supplies against loss or damage.
Research Your Market
Before you begin, you must do your market research about the current demand for farrier services. The fact that farrier usually involves completing lengthy apprenticeships, there might be shortages in some areas. Go through online directories within your site, look upon the Farriers Registration Council website. Take that extra work of visiting other farriers and find out:
- How much do they charge?
- If they also offer mobile services.
- The scope of farriery services they offer—are there any other specialties?
- The equipment they are using in undertaking their services.
Pricing Your Business
While setting up your prices, ensure it is sufficient enough to cover all your operating costs. Some of the things you can put into consideration include the following:
- The number of sets of shoes you can fit in a day.
- How many trims you can fit within a regular working day?
- How much of the traveling you’ll undertake between jobs?
- Whether to charge a higher fee for specialist shoes or working on problem feet.
Advertise Your Business
Starting a farrier business in the United Kingdom means that you’re new to people. Therefore, you have the task of promoting your business to your target customers. You’ll have the benefit from being included in the Farriers Registration Council (FRC) if you’re a member. Other methods you can use include:
- Attending local horse shows and events to gain visibility presence.
- Building a good relationship with equestrian businesses, livery yards, and riding clubs to benefit from word-of-mouth recommendations.
- Promote your business in local newspapers and leisure directories.
- Create a website and include the right content about your industry.
Licenses, Permits, and Regulations
Under the Farriers Act 1975, we have the regulation that governs the practice of farriery in the United Kingdom. This Act’s primary purpose is to prevent and avoid suffering by and cruelty to horses is emanating from the shoeing of horses by unqualified persons. Therefore, if you plan on starting a farrier business in the United Kingdom, you must be a skillful farrier. In the event you employ horse handlers, they too must have the skills for shoeing horses.
Now, the Farriers Registration Council has the responsibility of keeping and maintaining a register of farriers. Each person that wishes to be a farrier must be registered with the council. You will pay a fee upon making an application for registration.
Meanwhile, the registration as a farrier is open to those who:
- Hold a certified UK application, for example, the Diploma of the Worshipful Company of Farriers (DipWCF).
- A European farriery qualification.
- Possess sufficient professional farriery experience acquired in another European state.
For individuals that hold a European farriery qualification only get the registration after assessment by the FRC. The FRC will assess their education and training to ensure it meets their requirements. If that is not the case, they must undertake a period of training under an Approved Training Farrier (ATF) or pass an aptitude test of diploma standard.
For individuals applying from an overseas country and have over two year’s farriery experience but do not hold an acclaimed qualification, need to:
- Take the DipWCF examination.
- Finish a set number of weeks at an accredited training college, alongside completing the NVQ Level 3 in Farriery and then the DipWCF examination.
- Do an apprenticeship with an ATF, including completing the NVQ Level 3 in Farriery, followed by the DipWCF examination.
Health & Safety
Farrier usually uses harmful procedures and substances during their craft. Therefore, they have to comply with health and safety legislation to ensure their workshop is safe. As you plan on starting a farrier business in the United Kingdom, you must pay attention to the following:
- The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations—regulated the potential of harmful substances.
- The Personal Protection Equipment at Work Regulations emphasizes the protective clothing and equipment your employees should have.
- The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations—covers the use and maintenance of hand and power tools.
- The Noise at Work Regulations—ensures noise assessment is carried out on the premises.
- The Manual Handling Operations Regulations—ensures that the owners consider that hazardous manual handling is at its minimal.
- The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR)—any significant accidents and injuries should be reported to the Incident Contact Centre.
When it comes to the transportation of animals, it is the Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order that covers that process. If you plan this to be part of your business, you must get authorization as an animal transporter. If you are transporting the animal for long hours (over eight hours), there should be an inspection and approval of the vehicle. The driver or attendants that will be transporting the animals must hold a certificate of competence.
If you require any form of assistance regarding any other legislation, you can contact 3E Accounting.