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How to Start an Executive Protection Business

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If you are somebody looking to provide clients with exceptional security services and want to know how to start an executive protection business, keep reading.

For one thing, the opportunities to start an EP business have never been greater as demand grows for corporate leaders and high-profile individuals who seek protection.

The executive protection and private security industry are among the most sought after in the developed world. Particularly when looking at this past decade. The private security industry in Europe had an estimated turnover of 46 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. In fact, the leading three contract security service companies alone generated a combined revenue of approximately USD18 billion.

The broadening of the industry, coupled with a reduction in police numbers and a world that is becoming more dangerous, accounts for the steady growth over the past few years that shows no signs of slowing down. And this creates huge opportunities for EP agencies.

So, if you have been considering to start an executive protection business, or you are just giving it a thought right now, then this article is for you. Below we discuss the ins and outs of setting up an EP company.

I would say that anyone wanting to start a security business needs to work on a global scale and work equally hard at building their own team AND their partner network. Having other executive protection companies you can rely on in different markets is a key to success. 

— Robert Currie

Building a Business Up from Scratch

Honestly, the executive protection agency business isn’t child’s play. It is a highly sensitive sector that leaves no room for errors. Private security agencies are responsible for ensuring the safety of individuals entrusted to their protection. For this reason, you must ask yourself the question of whether or not you can handle the pressures of the business.

And a brand-new executive protection business will have no established network to rely on. Unfortunately, few clients are willing to trust their security to a new or inexperienced business owner. Yet, individuals with military, detective, or police enforcement background experience have a distinct edge.

As such, building your reputation in one niche is more likely to lead to growth across other disciplines. Likewise, connections to every stakeholder will have to be created and nurtured. It’s vital to build strong bridges of mutual understanding with:

  • Industry regulatory bodies,
  • Training facilities,
  • Existing EP companies that could hire you as their subcontractor,
  • Accountants,
  • Marketing experts, and
  • Solicitors.

Building a rapport with industry specialists and future clients needs to be a top priority. As your reputation grows with the new experiences gained, many doors of opportunity will open.

how to start an executive protection business

Strategy for Success

Setting up a secure and efficient new business is a significant investment. One that calls for you to know how much money is needed to launch the business and the monthly, quarterly, or yearly turnover needed to make a profit.

Startup costs for a security business are high because of additional expenses such as the required licenses, the cost of criminal background checks on employees, liability insurance, or marketing services. This is where a thorough business plan comes in handy.

It’s important to determine your bodyguard business start-up cost well in advance. Many reports show the average costs anywhere from USD10,000 to 60,000. This depends on the costs of:

And so, a business plan will help outline expenditures, and even educate lenders on the security business during the lending process. Remember that launching a new start-up mainly suits those who are prepared to invest a lot of time and energy into realizing their plan.

Alternatively, you may have the capital to take over an established business. Acquiring a built private security company has the advantages of readymade premises, an established client base, and potentially a secure reputation with loyal employees.

Whichever route you choose, it will be no walk in the park. Be prepared for that as the modern business environment is ruthless.

Rules and Regulations

Rules, regulations, and requirements to open an executive protection company vary from country to country and even from state to state. Firstly, it’s beneficial to contact the state licensing board to confirm state requirements for security licensure.

The majority of states in America require applicants to meet minimum standards and to obtain a license as a private investigator or private security guard. What’s more, a criminal background check is necessary as applicants can have no convictions of perjury or violence on their records to obtain a concealed and exposed weapon permit.

When it comes to Europe and the UK, many private security firms and individual contractors are regulated by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). The SIA licensure ensures that those working within the industry are fit to perform this role.

Similarly, if you seek to outsource contractors, they should be accepted into the Approved Contractor Scheme. Accreditation with ACS demonstrates a commitment to customer service and all compulsory licensing. After all, to be accepted into the ACS, you must prove you meet certain standards.

Next, once the capital is secure and the necessary licenses are acquired, you are ready to hire.

Hiring Personnel

Let’s face it, the continued success of any business largely depends on the quality of its employees. Recruitment is a significant cost outlay. It’s vital to hire the right professionals to work with you – whether as:

  • Administrative staff,
  • Field agents, or even,
  • Independent contractors.

Furthermore, hiring the right employee is no easy task. A person cannot simply don a suit and start guarding very important people. EP agents are often ex-military, law enforcement, or security agents, with extensive skills in combat, defensive driving, etc. Indeed, all frontline security staff must have the relevant qualifications and licenses dependent on the region.

Last but not least, instilling a thorough vetting process at the start will save you any hassles down the line. The process should include running background checks on all potential staff to ascertain a clean background.


The demand for personal security is more important than ever before. New threats seem to surface daily. So, understanding how a company runs allows you to take advantage of this ongoing threat and have your services become a much-needed commodity.

At the end of the day, launching a new business will require a degree of time and financial investment. And a great deal of patience, understandability, and a passion for providing exceptional security solutions to keep you going during tough times.

But, once you break it down into simple and more manageable tasks, the process becomes less daunting. And, with our guide above you’re well on your way to knowing just how to start an executive protection business.

Get started today and turn that passion for executive protection into a thriving business.

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