Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Pest Control Business in the United Kingdom
Experts suggest that households and other establishments should regularly schedule a pest control every two to three weeks. Find the right market and deliver high-quality services, and you can earn a minimum of £50,000 a year. If you have the skill and experience to start a business in this line of work, such an income projection is not too bad. If you’re thinking of starting a pest control business in the United Kingdom, this is your sign to start planning.
Just like in any other business, starting a pest control company takes a lot of processes. We want to help make the steps much more convenient for you with a guide to company registration in the UK. In this guide, we’ll get you through the United Kingdom’s industry practice, business registration, licenses, and permits.
What Is a Pest Control Business?
Pest control companies provide solutions to owners of pest-infested establishments or homes. Pest control specialists know which pesticides to use on a particular pest and the ideal techniques of solving the problem. The most common pests in the UK are roaches, rats, mice, spiders, termites, ants, and bedbugs. Pest control businesses play a critical role in maintaining the health and safety of the people and the structural integrity of the buildings.
Pest control workers employ different techniques to prevent, manage, control, and eventually eliminate pest infestation. One technique is depriving the pests of their food source and proper sanitation. A more common method involves using pesticides, traps, and other mechanical devices to remove them from the infested area. Another is creating physical barriers, so once the problem is eliminated, there is no risk of them getting back on the property again.
Moreover, there has been an ongoing issue about the industry’s use of pesticides to address pest problems. Consumers are becoming more concerned about the chemicals’ harmful effects on humans, pets, and the environment. And so in 2012, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) of the UK implemented measures to limit the environmental risks caused by rodenticides (rat poison) and other pesticides. To that effect, only certified trained users can access and use anti-coagulant rodenticides and pesticides labeled “professional only”.
In response to these changing regulations, pest control companies now employ effective pest control programs to demonstrate diligence in their services. In recent years, there has also been more emphasis on proofing establishments from pests rather than being reactive to the problem. Pest control businesses now have to be more aware of the market activities, consumer behavior, and the legislations related to this business.
How to Start a Pest Control Business
Start planning your pest control business by going over potential niche markets and estimating the demand for each of them. You’d want to make sure you have a competitive advantage by offering something different without forgetting to project future income. Research about the current market trends in your area and the level of competition from other pest control businesses. Once you gauge the field, you can better plan and strategize your advantage and marketing techniques.
Once you have a target niche market, it will be much easier to narrow down the services you can offer. When choosing your service offerings, think about your skills and experience in these activities. Your business size and your location will also influence what services you can offer, so they are within your capacity. Plan in detail how you will carry out each service. Then estimate the costs so you can plan your budget and pricing strategy.
In pricing your services, you want to make sure that you are covering all direct costs and overheads. Some of the things you might consider are costs for bait, chemicals, fuel, mobility, and staff, among others. If competition is tight, you may decide to charge less, but just be sure that you’re at least breaking even.
Finally, you would want to make sure that your market knows your business exists. To secure a sure income, you can contact your local authority and negotiate a public sector pest control contract. You can also print leaflets to post on public and commercial properties or advertise in the local newspaper and radio stations. And since many are using the internet today, you can set up a website and social media accounts to broaden your reach.
How to Register a Pest Control Business in the United Kingdom
Depending on the type of business structure you choose, setting up a business can be done in several ways. The small and starting business owners typically set up their businesses as a sole proprietorship or partnership. These two business types are easy to manage and have less complicated accounting, taxation, and compliance requirements. However, if you want to protect your personal properties from getting mixed up in business affairs, starting as a limited company is ideal.
Registration for sole traders and partnerships is done simply by registering for Self-Assessment with the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). To do this, fill up the registration form for self-assessment. You can do this online or submit the completed form by post. In naming your business, you must follow the guidelines prescribed under each business structure. After processing your registration, the HMRC will issue a 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference and an activation code for your online account.
If you want to register the business as a limited company, the registration is with the Companies House. You will have to first register your company name, which must be unique, and follow the guidelines for naming a limited company. Then you’ll have to declare company details like business address, personal information of company directors, shareholders or guarantors. You can complete your company registration online, post, or through an agent.
Business and company registration in the UK is very straightforward, but many still recommend acquiring UK company incorporation services for convenience. With professionals handling the legal aspects of starting a pest control business in the United Kingdom, you can lessen the stress of this new venture. Moreover, if you have issues and concerns regarding the process, licenses, and other matters, your agents can address them with competence.
Licenses and Permits to Starting a Pest Control Business in the UK
Various legislation may affect how you do business in the United Kingdom, so it is important to get to know them to avoid liabilities. Primarily, you should be familiar with the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act and the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act. These acts lay down the responsibilities of property owners, local authorities, and pest control businesses in carrying out actions to reduce risks of contamination and damage caused by pests. These legislations create the need for pest control businesses to perform pest control when necessary.
Moreover, you also have to be familiar with the COSHH regulations regarding the use of pesticides, insecticides, and other chemicals used for pest control. It provides a guideline on how you should store, use and dispose of them. Additionally, your staff should be properly trained to safely and competently use these substances. Acquisition of Certificate of Competence in the Safe Use of Pesticides is necessary if you will use professional pesticide products.
You may also need to register as a hazardous waste carrier and producer if your hazardous waste reaches a certain mass in 12 months. The criteria to register differs between regions, but the registration is free and lasts indefinitely. If you want to step up your commitment to delivering a high standard service in your pest control business, you can register with BASIS PROMPT Professional Pest Controllers Register. This registration will give your business added credibility and give your customers the confidence of having a pest controller who knows what they’re doing.
Other legislation and concerns you may need to be familiar with the following:
- Employment legislation
- Company Insurance
- Health & Safety, Fire
- Consumer Protection
- Animal Protection and Wildlife Protection Legislation
Start a United Kingdom Business Without Legal Issues
Starting a business can feel overwhelming at first, but you can have solid support if you choose well. 3E Accounting is a top United Kingdom corporate service provider that specializes in fast yet thorough business registration. And not only that, our list of corporate services can address some of your most immediate needs, like needing an address or management advice. 3E Accounting has professionals who can make you feel confident about starting your business on the right footing.
Get your pest control business started with no issues! Contact us today to get in touch with our company formation teams and register the business with complete compliance.