How To Start A Locksmith Business?

15 September 2023by

The US locksmith market is thought to be worth close to $3 billion NOW THAT WE’VE ALL DONE IT. If you’re not a locksmith, you can quickly learn the trade online, launch your enterprise from home, earn well, and even establish a lucrative empire in the field. You must complete some prerequisite education and gain locksmith training before getting started.

Step 1: Decide if the Business Is Right for You

Pros and cons

Starting a locksmith business has pros and cons to consider before deciding if it’s right for you.


  • Steady Demand – Everybody is a potential customer
  • Good Money – Earn $150 per job
  • Low Startup Costs – Necessary tools are not expensive


  • Time on the Road – Travel locally all-day
  • Stiff Competition – The market is saturated with locksmiths.

Locksmith industry trends

With the increase in new home building, demand for lock installations is projected to rise. 

Industry size and growth

  • Industry size and past growth – After growing by more than 30% over the previous ten years and by 3% annually over the last 5, the US locksmith industry is now valued at nearly $3 billion. 
  • Growth forecast –The sector has promising futures, as seen by the 4% yearly growth in locksmith employment possibilities predicted through 2028.
  • Number of businesses – There are nearly 28,000 locksmith businesses in the US.
  • Number of people employed – The industry employs more than 40,000 people.

Trends and challenges

Trends in the locksmith industry include:

  • As keyless security systems and locks gain popularity, skilled locksmiths familiar with their installation and repair may have an opportunity.
  • There is also a chance that locksmiths will expand their services, including electronic keys, magnetic locks, automatic door locks, and rotating door locks.

Challenges in the locksmith industry include:

  • As keyless security systems and locks gain popularity, skilled locksmiths familiar with their installation and repair may have an opportunity. Locksmiths may also expand their services, including electronic keys, magnetic locks, automatic door locks, and rotating door locks.

What kind of people work as locksmiths?

  • Average level of education – 39% of locksmiths finished high school.
  • Average age – An employed locksmith’s average age is 49 years. 
  • How much does it cost to start a locksmith business?

The low end implies you are already a licensed locksmith and cover the cost of tools and a website. The high end includes the cost of education. Penn Foster provides locksmith and security technician training courses for less than $1,000. You might become a licensed locksmith in eight months and start your own business. 

You’ll need a handful of items to launch your locksmith business successfully. 

  • Plug spinners
  • Mechanical and computerized picks
  • Key extractor
  • Tension wrenches
  • Electric pick guns
  • Locksmith hammer
  • Router drills
  • Key cutters
  • Key decoders
  • Lock bypass tools
  • Automotive lock picking tools and safe cracking tools
  • Drill jigs

How much can you earn from a locksmith business?

You should anticipate making about $150 for the everyday task, plus a minimum travel expense of $50 to $100. Jobs with a broader scope may pay considerably more. After marketing and fuel expenses, your profit margin should be around 80%.

As your brand gains recognition, you can work eight jobs daily, seven days a week. After renting a commercial space and adding staff, including other locksmiths, your profit margin would now be approximately 30%. With an annual sales close to $440,000, you would make a solid profit of over $130,000.

What barriers to entry are there?

Some things could be improved in starting a locksmith business. Your most significant obstacles will be:

  • Acquiring the necessary training if you don’t already have it
  • Having to compete in a crowded market

Related Business Ideas

If you still need to decide if this business idea is the right fit for you, here are some related business ideas to help you on your path to entrepreneurial success.

Step 2: Hone Your Idea

Before launching a locksmith business, refining your strategy to stand out in this competitive industry is wise. Though you may believe your offering is strong, conducting market research is advantageous. It lets you better understand customers, competitors, and the industry landscape. Even with an excellent product/service, research helps position your business by identifying precise customer needs and how to fulfil them better than rivals. Use those insights to hone your concept, highlighting your differentiators. Preparing with in-depth market analysis helps ensure your locksmith venture has the best possible foundations for success before entering this crowded space.

Why? Identify an opportunity

Find nearby locksmith businesses and contrast their services, prices, and customer reviews. You’re looking for a market gap to fill. For instance, the neighborhood may lack a locksmith with experience in keyless security systems.

What? Determine your products or services.

Your services will depend on your level of skill. Potential benefits for a locksmith business include:

  • Lock installation
  • Lock repair
  • Lock modifications
  • Safe cracking
  • Keyless lock installation and repair
  • Repair digital security systems.
  • Smart lock and doorbell installation
  • Revolving door locks
  • Magnetic locks
  • Automatic locks
  • Electronic car keys

How much should you charge for locksmith services?

The typical locksmith job runs about $150. With a minimum travel fee of $50 to $100, your regular hourly rates vary from $35 to $50. Prices for emergency services provided around the clock may be higher. Your most significant expenses will be marketing and fuel when working from home alone. Thus, it would help to aim for an 80% profit margin. Knowing your costs, you can use this step-by-step profit margin calculator to determine your markup and final pricing points. Remember that if the market demands it, your launch rates should be flexible.

Who? Identify your target market.

You must diversify your marketing by utilizing websites like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn because your target audience will be highly diversified. Additionally, you can request new lock installations from nearby construction firms. You can look them up on Google and Yelp! 

Where? Choose your business premises.

You could choose to run your business from home in the beginning to save money. However, as your business grows, you’ll undoubtedly need to recruit people for various tasks and rent a space to sell locks and other items, such as an office or a storefront. You may find commercial space for rent in your neighborhood on websites like Craigslist, Crexi, and Instant Offices.

When choosing a commercial space, you may want to follow these rules of thumb:

  • convenient location with public transportation
  • big, well-ventilated, and well-lit by natural light
  • A lease that is adaptable and can be renewed as your firm expands
  • Ready-to-use area that doesn’t require any substantial repairs or upgrades

Step 3: Brainstorm a Business Name

Pick a name for your business that represents your objectives, products, and mission briefly. The name of your business serves as its identification. You likely want a name that is short and easy to remember because a significant percentage of your business, especially at first, will come from recommendations made by friends and family.

Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:

  • Short, unique, and catchy names stand out.
  • Names that are easy to say and spell do better. 
  • The name should be relevant to your product or service offerings.
  • Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions.
  • Including keywords, such as “locksmith” or “lock repair,” boosts SEO
  • The name should allow for expansion, for ex: “The Lock Doctor” over “Residential Locksmith Services.”
  • Avoid location-based names that might hinder future expansion.
  • Use online tools like the Step-by-Step Business Name Generator.  
  • Finally, please select one of the names past this screening, register the domain, and create your social media accounts. One of the main characteristics that distinguishes your company is its name. Modifying the company name once you choose it and begin branding is challenging. Therefore, giving your decision significant thought before starting a corporate firm is crucial.

Step 4: Create a Business Plan

Every company requires a strategy. This will serve as a manual to help your startup get through the launch process while staying focused on your primary objectives. Additionally, a business plan helps prospective partners and investors comprehend your organization and its mission:

  • Executive Summary: A concise synopsis of the entire business strategy should be written as the executive summary.
  • Business Overview: Overview of the business, including its vision, mission, ownership, and goals.
  • Products and Services: Clearly describe what you have to offer.
  • Market Analysis: Conduct a SWOT analysis and evaluate market trends, such as variances in demand and development potential.
  • Competitive Analysis: Examine your top rivals, rank them according to strengths and shortcomings, and explain the benefits of your offerings.
  • Sales and marketing: Consider your businesses’ unique selling propositions (USPs) and create sales, marketing, and promotional plans.
  • Management Team: A description of the management team’s functions and backgrounds and a corporate organizational chart.
  • Operations strategy: The operational strategy for your business outlines logistics, office location, essential assets, and equipment.
  • Three-year financial plan with startup expenses, break-even analysis, profit and loss projections, cash flow, and balance sheet.
  • Include any additional financial or commercial documentation in the appendix.

Step 5: Register Your Business

The first step in starting a business is registering it; this is necessary to pay taxes, raise money, create a bank account, and accomplish other milestones.

Choose where to register your company.

Your business location is crucial because it may impact taxes, legal obligations, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they now reside, but if you have any plans to grow, you may want to look into other states as some may benefit locksmith firms. 

Your business could grow if you’re willing to relocate. Remember that moving your company to another state is relatively easy

Choose your business structure.

There are numerous types of business entities, each with advantages and disadvantages. Make a sensible decision when selecting the legal structure for your locksmith business because it will affect your taxes, personal liabilities, and business registration requirements. 

Here are the main options:

The most typical small business structure, the sole proprietorship, does not distinguish the business and the owner in a legal sense. The owner receives all profits and is responsible for the company’s obligations, liabilities, and losses. The owner pays business income taxes on their personal tax return.

General Partnership: A two-person or more-person business comparable to a single proprietorship. Once more, owners are responsible for losses and retain earnings. On their personal tax returns, the partners report and pay taxes on their respective business income shares.

Limited Liability Company (LLC) – Combines the traits of partnerships and sole proprietorships with those of corporations. Once more, owners are not held personally responsible for indebtedness.

C Corp. – In this structure, the company is treated as a separate legal person, and its owners are not held personally responsible for its debts. Rather than directly, owners reap earnings in the form of shareholder dividends. Taxation paid by both the corporation and the shareholders on their dividends is double taxation.

S Corp – An S-Corporation refers to the business’s tax status but is not a legal entity in its own right. A corporation or an LLC that chooses to be an S-Corp for tax purposes can be an S-Corp. The shareholders of an S-Corp get income directly and are responsible for paying taxes on their portion of business income on their tax returns.

We advise new business owners to pick an LLC because it is less complicated to incorporate than a corporation and gives liability protection and pass-through taxation. You may create an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation provider. They will submit your articles of formation, make sure your business name is accessible before filing, and respond to any queries you may have.

Step 6: Register for Taxes

It would help you decide your tax year once you get your EIN. Your company will operate financially over a 12-month period called a fiscal year, which can begin in any month and runs from January to December. Your business structure will dictate which taxes you must pay, while this will establish your tax cycle.

Step 7: Fund your Business

Your next step is to secure finance, and there are many ways to do so:

Banking loans: The most typical approach, however, is obtaining approval, which demands a strong business plan and credit background.

SBA-guaranteed loans: The SBA can serve as a guarantor, assisting in obtaining that elusive bank approval through an SBA-guaranteed loan.

Government grants: A few financial aid schemes assist in funding entrepreneurs. Visit to find out which may be suitable for you.

Family and friends: Ask your friends and relatives to invest in your idea or lend you money for your business. Legal counsel should be sought because SEC restrictions are in effect.

Crowdfunding: Donors fund your idea through websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, which are increasingly popular low-risk options. Multiple investors can support your firm using entrepreneur-focused crowdfunding platforms like Fundable and WeFunder.

Personal: Use your funds or the sale of real estate or other assets to self-finance your business.

Besides friends and family, bank and SBA loans are the best options for financing a locksmith business. 

Step 8: Apply for Licenses/Permits

The local, state, and federal governments must grant you several licenses and permits before you can open a locksmith business. A locksmith’s license is necessary in several states. For laws, check with your state. 

Key government requirements when starting a locksmith business include registering your DBA, obtaining necessary licenses/permits from federal (OSHA), state and local agencies, and securing trademarks, copyrights or patents. Research regulations for your location and contact the relevant authorities.

For your state’s requirements, consult this SBA guidance. However, we advise using MyCorporation’s Business License Compliance Package. They will investigate and offer the precise forms you need for your company and state to ensure you are entirely compliant.

Step 9: Open a Business Bank Account

You’ll need to open a bank account to store your money before earning it.

Even if you run your locksmith company as a single proprietorship, keeping your business finances separate from your account makes filing taxes and tracking your company’s income simple. Opening a business bank account is easy, like opening a personal statement. Contact your favorite bank to discover more about the rates and features of the business-specific accounts offered by most large banks.

Banks have different offerings, so it’s a good idea to look through your choices and pick the one that suits you best. Once you’ve decided on a bank, open your new account, bringing in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you intend to operate as a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal paperwork. 

Step 10: Get Business Insurance

  • Although sometimes disregarded, business insurance can be crucial to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance shields you from unanticipated occurrences that could severely harm your company.
  • Consider the following types of insurance:
  • The most extensive insurance, general liability, serves as a catch-all for many aspects of business that need to be covered. This is the type of insurance you should get, if any. Even against property damage and bodily harm, it offers protection.
  • Business property insurance covers your supplies and equipment.
  • The expense of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken down due to mechanical problems is covered by equipment breakdown insurance.
  • Workers’ compensation: Offers benefits to those who sustain workplace injuries.
  • Property: This refers to your actual space, such as a cart, a storefront, or an office.
  • Commercial auto: Defense for the car owned by your business.
  • Professional liability insurance shields you from customer claims that a mistake or omission in your work caused them to lose money.
  • BOP, or business owner’s policy: This coverage combines the insurance above kinds into one comprehensive insurance policy.


Step 11: Prepare to Launch

As the launch date approaches, analyze and enhance several essential aspects of your company. 

Essential software and tools

It can be overwhelming to be an entrepreneur since you frequently have to wear multiple hats, including those for sales, marketing, and accounting. Fortunately, there are a ton of websites and online resources accessible to make many business chores easier.  

You may handle dispatching, scheduling, estimations, invoicing, and payments using sector-specific software like Manage Mart, Jobber, or Service Fusion.


  • Smaller firms frequently use the web-based accounting tools QuickBooks, FreshBooks, and Xero. 
  • You should engage a professional if you don’t know much about basic accounting, especially in the beginning. Accuracy is essential since filing inaccurate tax forms can have profound implications. 

 Develop your website

A website is essential since it serves as your online presence and must persuade potential customers of your professionalism and experience.

You can build your website using tools like Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress. This option is incredibly cost-effective, but learning how to create a website can take time. You can employ a web designer or developer to establish a unique website for your company if you need to gain technical know-how.

However, unless you use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques, they are unlikely to locate your website. These actions assist pages in rising in the rankings of leading search engines like Google.


  • It would help if you still spent on digital marketing, even though some of your business will come from online visitors. Spreading the word is crucial for new businesses as it will increase brand and client recognition. 
  • Link your social media profiles to your website once it is live and vice versa. Because you can make exciting postings that promote your items on social media, it’s a fantastic tool for business promotion: 
  • Facebook is a great tool for paid advertising since it lets you target particular demographics, such as men in the Cleveland area under 50. 
  • Similar advantages to Facebook, but with a different audience for Instagram.
  • Website: SEO will assist in moving your website up in relevant search results, which is essential for boosting sales. Make sure your website is optimized for calls to action. Test different combinations of text, color, size, and placement for calls to action like “Schedule Now.” This may significantly boost purchases. 
  • Google and Yelp: Listing on Yelp and Google My Business might be essential to attracting customers for companies that depend on local clients. 

 Kickstart Marketing

  • Utilize your website, social media platforms, and in-person events to spread the word about your products and develop your brand. Several recommendations are:
  • Signage: Use enticing signage to draw attention to your website. 
  • Flyering: Distribute flyers throughout your neighborhood and at professional events. 
  • In-Person Sales: During in-person sales, offer your locksmith services to nearby building companies.
  • Seek out referrals: Encourage consumer recommendations of new clients by providing incentives. 
  • Paid ads on social media: Paid social media advertisements should be placed on platforms that allow you to reach your target audience.
  • Pay-per-click advertising: To rank higher in searches, use Google AdWords. First, do some keyword research.
  • Customer testimonials regarding how your locksmith services benefited them are welcome.
  • Create infographics, post them, and incorporate them into the content of your website.

 Focus on USPs

  • A product or service’s unique selling points, or USPs, are the qualities that make it stand out from the competitors. Customers today have a plethora of purchasing options, so being able to rapidly convey how your locksmith business satisfies their demands or aspirations will give you a significant advantage. Make every effort to make your USPs shine on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials to pique the interest of potential customers. 
  • Domino’s, a well-known international pizza restaurant, is known for its USP, “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Your locksmith business’s unique selling points (USPs) could be:
  • Master locksmith available around the clock with a 2-hour guarantee
  • Security systems and keyless locks: Never get locked out again.
  • You name it, we can lock anything: traditional locks, keyless locks, smart locks.


You might not enjoy networking or using personal relationships for professional advantage. But there is a lot of untapped commercial potential in your personal and professional networks. The Facebook friend you made in college now owns a locksmith company, or a LinkedIn contact is connected to many potential customers. Your cousin or next-door neighbor has been a locksmith for a while and can provide priceless knowledge and connections in the field. 

Review your personal and professional networks and get in touch with people who might have connections to or interest in locksmith firms because the possibilities are unlimited. You’ll probably attract new clients or come across businesses you could collaborate with. 

Step 12: Build Your Team

If you’re starting tiny from your home office, you might not require staff. However, as your company expands, you’ll need employees to fill various positions. Positions that a locksmith company might fill include:

  • Locksmiths provide lock-related services.
  • Take service calls and send locksmiths out on assignment.
  • Scheduler, personnel manager, and accountant for the general manager
  • Marketing Lead: Social media and SEO tactics 

In the future, depending on the growth and requirements of your company, you might need to fill all of these positions or just a handful. Depending on demand, you might also employ numerous employees for a single work or a single employee for several functions. 

Advertisements can be placed for free on well-known websites like, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Consider a high-end hiring alternative, like posting an ad on Indeed, Glassdoor, or ZipRecruiter. Additionally, if you have the funds, consider engaging a recruitment agency to assist you in finding talent. 

Step 13: Run a Locksmith Business – Start Making Money!

As long as people need security, there will always be a need for locksmiths. Due to the rise in the US housing market, the $3 billion business is still expanding. Since new homeowners need new locks and security systems, this offers locksmiths growth potential. Security system installation, repair, and rebuild requests from commercial buildings are also rising.

With little investment, you may launch a locksmith business from home and start making money immediately. Now that you’ve completed your business research set out your entrepreneurial journey and begin creating your lucrative locksmith company!

Locksmith Business FAQs

Can a locksmith business be profitable?

Yes, a locksmith business can be successful even if you operate it from home as a sole proprietor. Your expenses will be cheap, and you can earn about $150 for every work, enabling you to live comfortably.

How much can I charge for locksmith services?

Generally, you can bill a minimum trip fee of $75 plus $35 to $50 per hour of service. Each task should pay you around $150. 

How can I differentiate my locksmith business from competitors in the market?

Consider putting the following strategies into practice to set your locksmith company apart from rivals:

  • Specialize in niche services or target particular markets.
  • Provide 24/7 emergency services for quick response times.
  • Offer exceptional customer service and responsiveness.
  • Make use of cutting-edge technology and tools.

Is the locksmith business a good side hustle?

Depending on your availability, level of expertise, and local market need, the locksmith business may make a good side gig. You can take on jobs during your free time or over the weekends, which gives you flexibility.

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