If you’re contemplating starting starting a travel agency, you’re fortunate. The start-up pricing is relatively low and there are plenty of opportunities for a person with all the passion for selling travel. By using a host agency can make it a ‘plug-and-play’ experience with very little risk or low up-front costs.
The first thing you’ll need to do is start searching for a host agency. For independent agents (those not used by a travel agency), about 50% choose a host, 50% chose to be on their own.
I’m an advocate of employing a host agency for pretty much all agents new to the business: The 50% that decide to go independently are the majority of experienced agents with large books of economic and established supplier relationships.
Now, if you’re asking ‘what is actually a host agency’ that’s an important component to comprehend. Start by reading our post covering that topic.
Next phase-understanding why you need a host agency. The bottom line is, a host agency will keep your costs down, assist you to earn higher commissions, do your back-end work like commission-tracking, and provide you training and support. Some hosts even include Errors & Omissions insurance. (Our “7 Advantages of choosing a Host Agency” article enters into more depth about why you need to make use of a host travel agency.)
When using a host agency, you don’t hold the cost or hassle of having your own ARC, CLIA, or IATA number. Under the umbrella of a host agency, you’ll be capable of use their accreditation numbers. Should you be an agency using the GDS, the host will file the ARC report which means you don’t need to track it, saving you tons of filing time each week. Another bonus? You can expect to save a great deal of moola by not needing to become an ARC-appointed agency, and perhaps, you can earn more through their host’s exclusive airline contracts.
One final note on saving you money: Travel host agencies add a bit more change in the bank by taking care of a number of the required travel agency licensing.
It’s true, you don’t want a host agency. You may go completely independent or join a franchise (we did a write of on everything you could possibly need to know about travel agency franchises), co-op, or consortium. However, when you’re starting a travel agency at home, having access to a host agency’s higher commissions, experience, and tools will likely be extremely helpful. Beyond that, they offer lower risks and investment while also giving higher commissions.
About to Start Your Own Home Based Travel Agency
You may well be excited to get started on your travel agency at home, but there are some things you will want to deal with before registering with a host travel agency. There exists a 7-Day Setup Travel Agency Challenge that may walk you through the steps you have to take! But here’s a sneak preview:
Choosing your travel agency’s name: The host agency will want to find out your travel agency name for their records so get it ready. You’ll also require it for the documentation listed here. Read our “Tips for picking Travel Agency Names” for several guidelines and be sure to acquire the domain. Don’t forget to discover a travel niche prior to name your travel agency.
LLC or Sole Proprietor or Corporation: You’ll want to speak to your tax advisor to find out where you’ll have the largest financial benefits. Most small agencies with few assets begin with sole proprietor. Should they get large enough, they’ll go on to an LLC. One important thing to remember is that identifying the most effective fit out before hand is a great idea. You can think of the cost and paperwork essential to banks, their state, etc. when you legally change your business name.
Register DBA/your organization with the state: DBA is an acronym for “Doing Business As.” If you decide to develop into a sole proprietor, you may want to register it with the state as being a DBA. The Small Business Administration (SBA) website shows the way to register your company’s name by state. (Note: Not all states require you file a DBA.) Should you be an LLC, the SBA also offers a state by state guide concerning how to register your LLC.
Have an EIN (optional): Technically, you don’t need a business Identification Number (EIN) since you can use your social security number with certain business structures. However, Personally, i prefer not to give out my social security number basically if i don’t must. In general, I might recommend getting an EIN for your travel agency. Also, make sure you sign in with your tax professional when it’s tax filing time-for specific business structures, you could possibly still file under your SS# even if you offer an EIN. Confusing, I know. That’s why you go to the pros! ??
Get a business checking account and charge card setup: Again, you don’t want a business banking accounts or visa or mastercard, but you’ll have wished you’d had set one up come tax time. Having separate your personal account from the business account from the start makes accounting easier and will assist you to keep track of 51dexqpky expense write offs. Lastly, if you’re anything beyond a sole proprietor, you want to keep your money separate to reiterate towards the IRS that you and the business are separate entities for tax purposes!
Read our Home-based Tour Operator Resources page: I come up with a page with loads of links so you don’t have to scour the internet. Here she be, the Home Based Travel Agency Resources page. ??
Don’t worry in the event you didn’t do these matters yet, it’s not the final around the world. But you will should do them without delay. After you start travel agent work from home, you’ll have lots of other things that can demand your attention so laying the appropriate groundwork as soon as you can is beneficial for you.