Careers Business Ownership How to Start a Small Recycling Business Share PINTEREST Email Print matejphoto / Getty Images Business Ownership Operations & Success Sustainable Businesses Supply Chain Management Operations & Technology Marketing Market Research Business Law & Taxes Business Insurance Business Finance Accounting Industries Becoming an Owner By Rick LeBlanc Rick LeBlanc Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Consultant and news editor in the supply chain pallet and packaging trade Simon Fraser University Rick LeBlanc wrote about sustainability and supply chain topics for The Balance Small Business. He has been covering the pallet and packaging industries for 25 years. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 08/22/19 Thinking of starting a small recycling business? Whether your goal is to start a small junk removal business, scrap collection service or another enterprise, here are some basics to consider towards your new launch. Choosing a Niche You may have already gravitated towards a specific niche for your small enterprise. Opportunities may include areas such as: Used building suppliesJunk collection serviceScrap metal collectorScrap plastic or cardboard collectorScrap pallet collectorE-waste depot operatorused clothing store Do Your Research Before starting a business in a niche that interests you, you will want to make sure that there seems like a promising opportunity to succeed in your market area, and that you are ready for the challenge of starting a business. Alyssa Gregory suggests asking these basic questions: Is there a need for your anticipated products/services?Who needs it?Are there other companies offering similar products/services now?What is the competition like?How will your business fit into the market? Other aspects of recycling business market research can include: Analyzing Competitors this includes competitor pricing and services. Pricing and service expectations are important to consider. Make sure to differentiate what proven successful providers charge versus newer entrants. Because many entrepreneurial businesses have a low barrier to entry, some newcomers may not charge enough to ensure their long-term viability. Reviewing Regulatory Hurdles some items may be restricted, and you will have limited or no means of disposal. In some instances, you may require a transportation certificate. Recognizing Business Seasonality junk removal, in particular, can be a highly seasonal business, naturally slower during the winter. Take seasonal dips into consideration when you are planning your business. For some people, a seasonal business is perfect because it allows them to pursue other passions in the off-season, or perhaps another seasonal business which peaks while the other one is dormant. Planning Finances one of the attractions of entrepreneurial activities is that they may not require a high level of investment. In such enterprises as a scrap metal collector, pallet collector or junk removal service provider, you will need a truck. As such, you should incorporate the cost of the truck if you don’t have one already, as well as maintenance and other operating expenses. Depending on your niche, you will require specific items such as cargo straps, netting, cutters, and containers. Creating Your Business Structure for your small business, you may choose to create a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. Gregory stresses that the business structure you choose will influence such factors as your business name, your liability, to how you file your taxes. Choosing the right business name is an important consideration. From marketing purposes to potential geographic expansion to potential liability issues, there are many things to consider when choosing your business name. You will also need to check your proposed name to ensure that it is not trademarked or currently in use, before registering it. A sole proprietor name will be registered with either their state or county clerk. Corporations, LLCs, or limited partnerships will typically register their business name when the formation paperwork is filed. Don't Forget Licenses and Permits there are a variety of small business permits and licenses that may be applicable to your business. Be sure to check them out. Other aspects of starting your new business include business location, accounting system and promoting your small recycling business.