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Frequently Asked Questions on Starting Your Own Pet Sitting Business 

The following is a list of frequently asked questions related to pet sitting.  If your question is not listed or you need additional information, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help you.

 What is Pet Sitting?
Pet Sitting is when the pet is cared for in the comfort of their own home. The pet stays in its familiar surroundings and sticks to its familiar routine which is very beneficial to the pet.  back to top

 Should I start my own pet sitting business?
Pet Sitting is a very rewarding job. If you love animals the best thing to do is work for a pet sitter first to see if starting your own business is right for you. You will get some great insight into the ins and outs of the business. The best part of being your own boss is you set your own hours and who you want to work with. So, you feel like going to the beach next weekend...then don't book any sits. You don't like this particular client...don't take them on. You run your business as busy or slow as you like.  back to top

 Do I need any special training to be a pet sitter?
It is a good idea to take a pet first aid class, so you know how to handle emergencies. These are generally offered at your local red cross. You may want to familiarize yourself with common breed behaviors and sicknesses, especially when you are dealing with a breed or pet you are not familiar with. Also, to be sure the business side of it does not go under, you may want to familiarize yourself with some bookkeeping or hire an accountant. This is a business you are running, so you want to be sure you knows the ins and outs of it.  back to top

 How much can I make with my own pet sitting business?
Pet sitters can make a wonderful living, however it does take time. It depends greatly on supply and demand. I have heard of pet sitters making $100K, but don't think you will start off making that much. It can take "ALL" types of businesses around 2 years to take off where you are making the kind of money you envisioned from the beginning. Some people will start off with a bang and others will need to build it slowly. Your biggest advertising will be your clients referrals. Don't get discouraged if you are not getting a lot of clients at first. Give it some time.  back to top

 How much money is required to start my own pet sitting business?
Pet Sitting is relatively cheap to start up. The cheapest amount you can start with would be around $200. You can spend as much as you want over that amount and it will depend on how much you can do on your own. Basically, the must is insurance and that will run around $150. Then you must have basic office supplies (paper, pencil, appointment book), which will run around $50. Anything above that will depend on how professionally & organized you want to run your business and how many clients you want to acquire. You may want to purchase some business forms so that you have permission to enter a client's home and have it in writing how much they owe you so you get paid. You may want to advertise on the web or in the paper. This is all up to you as to how much you want to spend.  back to top

 Do I need a business license to be a pet sitter?
Most states will not require you to have a "license" however; you will need to register your business with the state. Click Here and find your state. You should be able to apply online, but if you are having trouble navigating, just look for a phone number. They will be able to help you pretty quickly over the phone.  back to top

 What should I set my business structure as?
You should always consult a business accountant about that first. Some structures are better tax advantage wise than others per tax calc. There are a few structures. The most common is a sole proprietor. This is when you are the sole owner of the business. Most are set up like this. The next structure is partnership. If you are a husband and wife team or boyfriend/girlfriend team, you may want to use this structure. Next is an LLC (limited liability company). This limits the liability you hold personally, meaning all your assetts could not be taken away if you have a law suit filed against you. Next we have a corporation. There are S-Corps and INC. corporations. Each have different tax benefits and you would have to see which would be best for you. Most will not use this since it is geared towards bigger companies.  back to top

 Do I need to collect taxes?
Each state again will be different. You will have to call and see if it is required in your state. Some states will tax services and some will not. If so, you just add it to your client's bill and they pay the tax. You then pay that same tax over to the government on a quarterly basis.  back to top

 Where can I buy pet sitting insurance?
There are a few companies out there which specialize in pet sitters. I recommend Pet Sitters Associates, LLC because you do not have to pay for membership before you purchase insurance. PSI and NAPPS requires you to purchase a membership for $200 then you can purchase insurance. You may want to check out the differences in coverage to see which company you want to go with. NAPPS and PSI use the same insurance carrier.  back to top

 What is bonding and do I need it?
Getting bonded will protect your business from employee theft. If your business is bonded and one of your employees are convicted of stealing a diamond engagement ring from a client, the bond will pay and you will not be responsible personally. Some bonds will cover the owner as an employee and some will not. It is best to be sure before purchasing a bond. If you are a sole proprietor, it may not be necessary to be bonded. Some companies will purchase it as an advertising technique so that their clients feel more comfortable about them in their home. Pet Sitters Associates, LLC also offers a special coverage for an additional $95/year which will cover you against theft and fire. I, personally, think this is better than a bond and recommend that over a bond.  back to top

 How do I know how to set up my pet sitting rates?
Rates will vary greatly from state to state and county to county, so it will be hard for anyone to "tell" you what to charge. The best way to determine your rates would be to see what your competition is charging either by searching online or calling them. You want to stay comparable, but not "cheap".  back to top

 What is the best way to advertise my business?
Sending an article about your business to the local paper (this is called a press release and is free) will give you the best exposure and is the cheapest since it is free. You can also get listed in the local papers and the phone book (these end up being the most expensive). You can put up flyers anywhere and everywhere (which is the most time consuming and not the most rewarding). Try to get the local vets to display your business card or give referrals. There are also many places all over the internet which are free. Personally, I think getting a website and/or website exposure is the best, easiest and cheapest way to advertise. Read the newsletter archive for more detailed information.  back to top

 Should I get a website?
Yes! Websites are known to generate a lot of leads for businesses since in this busy world most people are looking for their needs on the internet. We can design a site for you for a low price.   back to top

 Should I hire an Independent Contractor or an Employee?
This is entirely up to you. Do you want the added expense of adding your employee to your insurance, changing your business structure, getting workman's comp and a payroll system? IC's carry their own insurance and business license. You just give them the address and let them know what percentage you get (make sure you have an IC agreement or the IRS will be knocking on your door). If you are going to be hiring a lot of people, you may want to go the employee route. If you only want some help here and there, then the IC route would be best.  back to top

 What do I put in a service agreement/contract for pet sitting services?
Basically, you want the details of the services you are offering in the agreement as well as your business/office policies. The good news is you can purchase it to make it easier at A contract is a very difficult form to write and you want to be sure you covered your bases. Also, keep in mind, this is a form your client will be signing. If it does not sound professional or look professional, they will not sign it.  back to top

 Why should I purchase your pet sitting package of forms?
The pet sitting package will have everything you will need to start and maintain your business including an employee handbook and IC agreement for when you are busy enough for help. It includes a very professional, very detailed service agreement to protect your business and money. It includes information sheets on different types of animals and the home so that you know what questions to ask your client and what you will be doing while you are caring for the pets. It includes medication information and so much more at an extremely low price. Plus, for those of you who are not computer savvy, it comes to you with all of your business information on it. So, you only need to print it out or make copies and you are good to go. One less thing to check off of your list. These are the forms I used in my business and got many compliments about the professionalism and completeness of them.  back to top

 If I want to offer more than just pet sitting, which package would be best for me?
If you are going to offer pet sitting, dog walking and/or house sitting, aquarium maintenance, the plus package would suit you best. That package includes all those services. If you are going to offer more than that including waste removal, livestock/horse sitting, pet taxi and more, the multi package would suit you best. Even if you are not going to offer all that is in the packages, the packages are much cheaper than the individual forms. Plus, you never know what you may want to offer or get asked to do in the future.  back to top

 I am nervous about purchasing things off the internet, can I send a check?
Our site is very secure, so please be sure your information is safe with us. However, if you would like to purchase using a check, please call or email us and we will tell you where to send it and for how much.  back to top

 I don't like to order anything on the internet. Can I place an order with a live person?
We understand how you feel. You can call us at 877-622-FORM (3676) and we can take your order personally.  back to top

 Do you sell my personal information?
Absolutely not! We do not use your information for anything but to personalize your forms. We do not sell your email address or phone number. We do not like to receive telemarketing calls or spam either!  back to top

 Why do I have to agree to your terms of service?
Just like you want to protect your business, we want to protect ours. We just want to be sure you understand a few points about our business before you place an order. We certainly want to be sure you understand that these forms are all copyrighted and cannot be published or resold on the web. This is something we check for regularly.  back to top

 I still have some questions, is there someone I can talk to?
Absolutely! We are here to help you with your business. You can email us your questions by going to the contact us page. You can also call us at 877-622-3676 or you can ask your question on live chat by clicking on the blue box on the right margin. If no one is online, just leave us a message. We respond to emails and messages very quickly.  back to top

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