- Research legal requirements. Many states and localities have restrictions on the types of reptiles you can keep. Check with your local animal control agency to determine what is permitted and prohibited.
- Write a business plan. Outline what types of reptiles you plan to breed and sell, and how you plan to fund the business. Focus on reptiles that you like and know a lot about. Don't forget that most of your reptiles will take a few years before they are old enough to breed and produce revenue. Include other components of your business, such as whether you will sell food, cages, supplies, and other items.
- Choose a location for your reptile business. You might consider starting your business out of your home, or in an out building or shed that is already on your property. Since you will be selling reptiles, check for any zoning restrictions before opening your business.
- Include the digital marketplace. Set up a website, and get your reptile business some visibility on social networking sites and with other online audiences that might come together to talk about and purchase reptiles, like reptile owner forums.
- Determine the best legal structure for your business and register a business name. You will need to register with your state under a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation. Contact the Secretary of State's office and file any paperwork. Register your business name and obtain a tax identification number, as well as any other permits or licenses needed for your reptile business.
- Acquire your reptiles. There are many options and pros/cons to where you purchase your original breeding stock. Be sure to research the sellers and ask questions about the reptiles for sale. It can help to let the breeder know you are looking for breeding stock and not just a pet. Reptile shows are a great place to meet the breeders in person and see a large number of examples of the reptiles you plan on breeding. Remember to purchase enough cages and food to keep all the reptiles you have alive and healthy. Begin breeding them as soon as you have a large enough breeding stock. Get the stock from a person who you can trust, who has experience producing reptiles that breed well and sell.
- Purchase additional inventory. As your business grows, you will need to keep reptiles in stock, as well as their cages, food, and accessories if you are planning to sell those as well. Build your inventory as your profits grow. Most successful businesses re-invest most of their profits back into the business.
- You will likely have greater success if you buy baby reptiles and raise them yourself to breed. This will allow you to oversee the care and health of the reptiles that will produce what you plan to sell. When you purchase adult reptiles to breed, you may not know much about the reptile's health or history.
- Do not overcrowd your reptiles. Make sure they have enough space to crawl and eat. You will be more successful in a reptile business if your reptiles are healthy and free of disease and stress.
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