How to Start a Motorcycle Rental Business

a dark deep purple Harley Davidson.

Starting Your Own Motorcycle Rental Business

This post offers tips and insights to help you get expert information from the only people qualified to advise you about starting and running a motorcycle rental business. In addition, you have access to the steps you need to take, plus a bonus section with resources that will help you before you start your business and after it’s up and running.

How To Start A Motorcycle Rental Business

Follow the steps below to start a motorcycle rental business

1. Research the Industry

The best information you can get about starting a motorcycle rental business is from people already in the business. So let’s look at a few ways to acquire this information.

a.) An Inside Look at The Business

Look for a motorcycle rental business for sale. Contact the owners. Tell them that you’re planning on starting your own motorcycle rental business, but before you do, you want to look into buying a business that’s already in operation. Make an appointment with them to tour the business and discuss the opportunity.

Create a list of questions about every issue you want more clarity about.

When you meet with the owners, start with questions that relate to their personal experiences so that you get to know them better and they open up to you. For example, you can use questions like the following:

  • How long have you been in the motorcycle rental business?
  • What attracted you to this business?
  • If you had to start over again, what would you do differently?
  • What are the most difficult challenges you face in the motorcycle rental business?
  • Why are you getting out of the business?
  • What did you like most about your time running this business?

The above questions speak about the owner’s experience and allow them to open up to you, and you get to know them a bit more while getting information about the business.

The above questions have allowed you to comprehend the challenges of running a motorcycle business and what the owner would do differently to avoid those issues in the future.

Next, you can get into questions about the business. For example, you might want to use some of the following questions:

  • How much revenue did your business generate last year?
  • How much gross profit did you have last year?
  • What are your highest expenses?
  • How many people do you, employee?
  • How much do you pay them?
  • Is there debt owing on the business?
  • Are there any liens against the business?
  • Are there any lawsuits against the business?
  • What assets does the business own?
  • Tell me about your customers.
  • How many of your customers are repeat customers?
  • Etc.

Don’t forget to ask the questions you created before the meeting.

You will want to repeat this process for each of the businesses you found for sale. You may find a business that’s a good match. However, don’t make a final decision unless you review all the businesses for sale. Once you have reviewed all the businesses, it’s time to move to the next step.

Look into Franchise Opportunities: 

You will want to see what franchise opportunities exist in the motorcycle rental industry.

If you find anything that appeals to you, contact the company representatives to meet with them and discuss the opportunity. Because franchise representatives speak with many people about the opportunity, most of your questions will be answered in their presentations.

It doesn’t mean you can’t have questions of your own and it’s probably a good idea to prepare some. But, once you’ve gone through all the franchise opportunities, it’s time to move to the next step. What You Need To Know About Owning a Franchise.

Contact Existing Business Owners:

Now it’s time to look for established motorcycle businesses. Contact the owners that you’re not in competition with and preferably businesses that are distant from your location so that you don’t cause a threat to them, and they don’t see you as competition.

a line of parked motorcycles.

Tell them your intention to gain information about starting a motorcycle rental business. 

Let them know that you won’t be competing with them and that your intention is to gain information from someone as experienced as them. Also, let the person know that you would be interested in sharing information about your business once it’s up and running. You could build a working relationship with them to brainstorm ideas. 

You will get many people who will resist your offer because they see you as a threat or don’t have the time. However, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try because those willing to talk to you can become friends and turn into a long-term relationship.

Published Motorcycle Business Owner Interviews: 

Next, you’ll look at published interviews related to motorcycle rental business owners. Of course, becoming successful at running a business takes time, strategy, and determination.

When business owners publish their experiences, that’s something worth looking into and something you should be searching for. This information is priceless. They’re willing to share their experience with you. It’s something you want to listen to. By searching for interviews published online, you can learn a lot.

Performing all or part of the above exercises gives you insight information You can count on from qualified people.

Even if you spent a few weeks on the above exercises, in the long run, you’d be better equipped to make decisions about starting your own motorcycle rental business, and the information you acquire takes you to the next level. Search Results Related to Interviews From Motorcycle Rental Business Owners.

For more on this method, see An Inside Look Into The Business You’re Considering.

b.) Expand Your Knowledge of the Rental Industry

Whatever business you start, it’s important to understand the industry. The more you know about the industry, the better off you’ll be with starting or running your business. Many online resources are available to gain information and stay up-to-date with your industry.

Some of these resources include industry publications, blogs, newsletters, videos, social media, etc. it’s worth the time you invest in understanding and staying up-to-date with your industry.

Click Here for the Latest Publications Related to a Motorcycle Rental Business.

c.) Choosing a Business Location

The location you choose for your motorcycle rental business is an important factor related to the success of your business.

For example, if you locate in an area with no demand for motorcycle rentals, it would be foolish to open in that location. On the other hand, it will be difficult to gain any market share if you locate where the market is saturated with motorcycle rentals. Therefore, your optimal area would be a populated city with a demand for motorcycle rentals, and the competition is at an acceptable level.

You also want to consider the climate of your location. For example, if you’re in the northern hemisphere, you can expect motorcycle rentals during the summer. However, locating in a warmer climate where nice weather is all year round translates to more business.

You’ll also want to check with your local municipality or City Hall for any reason zoning restrictions.

For more, see Choosing the Best Location for Your Business.

d.) What Type of Motorcycle Rental Business Will You Start?

Have you considered what type of motorcycle rental business you want to start? Some of the issues to consider are as follows:

What type of bikes will you rent?
Are you considering high-end Harleys? Dirt bikes? Lo-end street bikes?
Are you also considering scooter rentals?

When it comes to the services you’re offering, it’s best to see what’s in demand. Business can be simple, “find out what your customers want and provide it.”

2. Choose a Business Name

The name used for your motorcycle rental business should be memorable and something that you’ll be happy with because this is the name you will use as long as you own your business.

You may already have a name in mind, or you can use sites that list names for a motorcycle rental business. You will also find name generators that can help fuel your creativity.

I would suggest you come up with a list of names that make sense to you. Then, put that list aside for a few days and come back to it, and you’ll see it from a fresh perspective. Once you have chosen the top three to five, see which names are available for registration along with a matching domain name for your website.

Sometimes the name you settle on is already taken, and you’ll have to go onto the next one on your list.

For Motorcycle Rental Business Name Ideas, See Google’s Latest Search Results.

3. Legalizing Your Business

a.) Decide on a Legal Structure

a custom red motorcycle.There are a few legal structures to choose from. Each has its pros and cons. For example, many new business owners will start off as sole proprietors because it’s simple and cost-effective. However, once the business gains traction, a sole proprietorship can be converted into another structure like a limited liability company, a corporation, or something similar.

Even though a sole proprietorship is the simplest and cheapest to set up, it offers the least protection for your personal assets. So, for example, if your business goes bankrupt, your personal assets are at risk.

On the other hand, if you choose to create a limited liability company that went bankrupt, your personal assets are protected because, in the eyes of the law, a limited liability company and you are separate entities.

When it comes to structuring a business, I like to use the advice and services of a professional such as a lawyer, an accountant, or a company specializing in structuring companies.

For More, See How To Register Your Business Using These Resources.

b.) Get a Tax Id

Depending on your setup, the size of your business, and whether or not you have one or more employees will determine if you need a tax ID at this point or not.

Also, if you use a professional to help you set up your legal structure, they will let you know based on your circumstances whether or not you need a tax ID at this point or not.

For more see Here’s How To Get A Business Tax Id

c.)Local Permits and Regulations

In addition to your state or provincial license, you want to check with your local municipality or City Hall to determine if you need any additional local permits for your motorcycle rental business. You’ll also want to check for zoning restrictions for the location you have chosen.

Visit the Licensing and Permits Page for More Information.

4. Create Your Corporate ID

A corporate ID consists of the design of your logo, business cards, letterhead, rental agreement, checks, envelopes, etc.

Corporate IDs can be costly, and you will want a professional design because it’s a part of branding your business, and you want to leave a good impression on your customers.

However, when starting out, you can probably get away with business cards and a logo along with the rental agreement, and you can complete the rest when your business is more stable.

For More See:

How To Design A Business Logo – Make it Good It Might Last Years.

How to Design Business Cards That People Will Pay Attention To

Business Signs – Have a Look at These Ideas.

A Complete Introduction to Corporate Identity Packages

5. Estimating Your Start-up Cost

No one can tell you how much it will cost to start your business. You may be able to get an idea, but unless you have a clear plan of how you’ll set up your business, you won’t be able to tell how much money you need to get started.

For example, will you be leasing motorcycles to rent, or will you be buying them? And if you buy them, will they be brand new or will they be used motorcycles? Will you purchase a building to operate out of, or will you rent one? All these issues come into play when estimating start-up costs.

To start, make a list of all the issues you’ll need to start your business. Naturally, you won’t include all of them in the beginning. But as you start to get pricing, other issues will start to show up, and you can add them to your estimate.

For more see Estimating Start-up Costs: Are You Missing Anything?

6. Writing a Business Plan

You need to create a business plan for your motorcycle rental business. It’s an essential business document.

A business plan has two benefits. Number one, it acts as a guide and keeps you on track during the start-up phase and when your business is up and running. Also, keep in mind, you can adjust your business plan or operations as needed.

The second benefit is to get funding for your business. You must have a business plan. If you don’t have one, a lender will not even process your application.

To create a business plan, you have a few options but keep in mind no matter what option you use, you are the one that has to provide the information that goes into the plan. The information you’ll be using digs deep into the planning process.

For example, it makes you think about how you get customers, what type of customers you’re targeting, what makes your business unique, etc. Many similar questions make you think about where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. So, even though it is a process to go through, it’s beneficial because it forces you to think about what you’re doing and how you’ll achieve your goals.

To write a business plan, you have some options. First, you can use a template and fill in the blanks. In addition, there is software on the market that you can use to guide you step-by-step to create a great business plan. Or, if you’d like, you can hire a professional to write your business plan for you.

For more, see How To Write A Business Plan.

7. Banking Setup

Choosing a bank

You’ll need a bank for your motorcycle rental business. And it’s not so much the bank as it is the banker you deal with. If you have or develop a good relationship with a banker, it will benefit you as a business owner. A good relationship with a banker can give you valuable advice and help you get loans when you need them.

Naturally, they can’t approve a loan for you if your credit is horrible, though if there are a lot of red flags in your application. But they can guide you and help you along the way to get approved.

For example, you have been working with your banker for several years. As a result, they understand how you operate and understand your business.

A deal comes along for a line of motorcycles, and you need funding quickly to take advantage of the deal. Because of your relationship with your banker, they’ll do what they can to get the loan approved quickly.

Consider everything is the same as the above example, except you don’t have a relationship with your banker. Do you think you could get the loan approved quickly? Probably not because your banker doesn’t know you or how you operate, so they deal with your application by the book.

For more, see our page on How To Choose A Business Bank.

Acquiring a Merchant Account

The majority of your customers will pay you using a credit card. Therefore, you need to apply for a merchant account to process those payments and immediately have the money in your account.

Again, a good relationship with your banker will help you with the application process and make sure you get approved.

See How To Open A Merchant Account for more information.

8. Get the Funding for Your Business

You may have enough money to start your motorcycle rental business, or you may need to get funding. If you’re going to be applying for a loan, then it’s time to make copies of your business plan and make appointments for funding.

It’s important to note that banks view start-ups as high risk because many businesses fail in the first few years of operation; therefore, they would rather find an established business with a good track record than take a chance on a new business. With that in mind, you shouldn’t get discouraged if your loan application is denied; instead, find out the reasons and try and address them before moving on to the next lender.

Also, take a look at our post on, Getting a Small Business Loan.

9. Software Setup

When considering software for a motorcycle rental business, you’ll want something that will track your motorcycles when they are out for rent, as well as a program that tracks maintenance so that your motorcycles are maintained correctly and in top working condition. You’ll also need a package for bookkeeping. You must track all revenue and expenses for the business so you’re ready when tax time approaches.

You may find a software package specialized for a motorcycle rental business, or you may need to use two or three different software packages in your business.

Take some time to see what’s out there and when you find something that appeals to you, make sure you read the reviews to get a sense of what other people have experience with the software and see if you can get a demo before purchasing the software.

Check Out Google’s Latest Search Results for Software Packages Related to a Motorcycle Rental Business.

10. Get Your Business Insured

Before opening your doors to the public, you want to guarantee your business is insured to protect your customers, employees, property, and assets. Even before you step into your place of business, you must have insurance. You never know when an accident happens, and you want to be fully covered in case of any incident.

A competent insurance broker with experience with rental businesses can be a great asset as they can advise you on the best type of insurance you’ll need.

You may want to consider interruption insurance that will keep your average revenue flowing in case of an incident like a fire that forces you to close your business until repairs are completed.

You also have to look into insurance for people that want to rent your motorcycles. Some rental businesses offer an option to decline the insurance and use their personal insurance in case of an incident. Finally, you want to get very clear on the procedures and regulations of the people renting your motorcycles.

For more, see our page about business insurance.

11. Office Setup

You will want to set up a fully functional office that is organized and set up according to your preference.

Your office is your control center. It’s where you’ll do most of your management and administrative tasks. Therefore, you need it to be organized, equipped, and set up, so it’s comfortable because the more successful your business becomes, the more time you spend in your office.

For more see, Here Are Considerations for the Setup of Your Office.

12. Choosing Suppliers

Suppliers play an important role in any business, especially if they deal with unique products that they control. Therefore, it’s important to treat your suppliers with respect and as part of your business.

Your suppliers could be where you get your motorcycle, parts, and maintenance supplies for a motorcycle rental business. Whatever the case, it’s a good idea to build a strong relationship with any suppliers you have.

For more see, How To Choose a Supplier You Can Depend On

13. Create an External Support Team

An external support team is the people you use for advice and services. These are people that are not on your payroll and don’t work for you directly. Instead, they are people that you will use when needed. You’ll pay some of these people on a retainer and others hourly.

People that may be part of your external support team may include the following:

  • A lawyer
  • An accountant
  • A marketing consultant
  • A business strategist
  • A motorcycle mechanic
  • A graphic designer
  • Etc.

Treat your external support team as part of your business. Get to know these people before you need their services. So when you do need them, you already have a relationship. You can keep in touch by a simple phone call once in a while or an email to see how they’re doing and let them know how you’re doing.

For more see, Building a Team of Professional Advisors for Your Business

14. Hiring Employees

In the beginning, you may be doing all the work yourself. Still, as time goes on and you become more successful and expand, you may require help with either managing the business or clerks to rent motorcycles and possibly a maintenance team to repair and maintain your motorcycles.

When hiring, it’s important to hire qualified people for each position. An error in hiring can cost you dearly in lost time and money you can’t get back.

When you’re considering hiring for a position, you’re better off looking at the total cost of hiring per year instead of looking at the hourly rate. For example, consider the staff of just four people will cost you in the six-figure range every year. When you look at it from that perspective, you ensure you’re hiring the right person the first time around.

For more on hiring, see How and When to Hire a New Employee.

What To Consider Before Starting

You have now gone through the steps required to start your motorcycle rental business. Next, let’s look at a few important issues you’ll want to consider before getting started. Take your time to go through the following issues. They will determine if you will be going ahead or not.

Is Running a Business Right for You?

Many people start a business for various reasons. Such as the following:

  • Many people want to get away from a job.
  • Some want to be in control and be the boss
  • Others want the freedom and lifestyle associated with owning a successful business.
  • You have a group of people passionate about the business they’re running.

The above are valid reasons for starting a business. However, I think the most important is being passionate about your business. When you have passion for the business you’re running, you’ll have the drive you’ll need to become successful.

Running a business and making it successful isn’t easy. However, you will look for solutions rather than an exit strategy when problems occur when you have passion.

Let me ask you this, if you had all the money you would ever need for the rest of your life and you had the freedom to do whatever you wanted, would you still start a motorcycle rental business? If you answered yes, you’re passionate about what you’re doing, and you’re on the right track. If you answer no, then what would you be doing, and should you be pursuing that instead?

For more, see Reasons To Start a Business

Do You Have the Skills?

a man standing behind a motorcycle on an open road.Do you have the skills to run a business? If you don’t, that doesn’t mean you can’t start your own business. You just have to take a few extra steps.

For example, you could hire a manager to run the business. You could take a course in small business and learn as you go.

In addition to skills in business as a motorcycle rental business owner, you must be at least knowledgeable when it comes to motorcycles. You should have your motorcycles license and be knowledgeable about the different brands. It will help you connect with your customers and answer any questions.

Again if you’re not skilled or have experience with motorcycles, you can learn the skills you need and become known as you go.

For more see,  Do You Have These Essential Skills Needed To Run a Business?

Is It Better To a Business From Scratch or Buy One?

There are pros and cons to buying an existing business. Earlier in this article, we discussed getting insight information from business owners and looking for businesses for sale. Here will look at a couple of pros and cons of purchasing a business instead of starting your own.


When you purchase a business already operating, you bypass the start-up stage, which takes a lot of time and planning.

One of the main reasons someone decides to purchase a business is goodwill. This means you take over the customer base, the assets the business has, and the business’s reputation, which took time and money to build.


When you purchase a business, you purchase the good and bad. The business may have extensive debt, have a problem with its reputation, and even have pending lawsuits against it.

If you’re purchasing a business set up in one way and want to change it, you may lose customers because they are accustomed to operating in a certain way. So you change it, and the existing customer base may not like it. Naturally, it doesn’t apply to improvements you make to the business or small changes. It’s when you want to make large changes, and if this is the case, you may be better off starting a business from scratch and setting it up in the direction you want from the beginning.

Click Here To View a Motorcycle Rental Business Listed for Sale From Google’s Search Results.

a parked custom motorcycle with a red helmet on the seat.

Should You Consider a Franchise?

There are pros and cons to getting into a franchise.

Some of the pros include:

Everything is planned. You simply follow the plans for setting up your franchise and the operational procedures established by corporate. In some cases, corporate will even have their contractors come in and set up the business for you.

You don’t have to worry if the business will work or not because you’re working with a proven plan that is operational in other locations.

You benefit from corporate advertising for the entire franchise.

A successful franchise is well known. So your customers already know what to expect. Compare it to Enterprise Car Rental or a McDonald’s. Whatever location you go to, everything is very similar regarding looks or operations.

You receive training and support from the head office.

Cons of getting into a franchise:

Some cons include ongoing franchise fees that you usually pay as long as you own your franchise.

You have little control over the operation of the business. All locations must be standard, and you must follow corporate’s outline. Even little changes must be approved by corporate.

You don’t have any control over the products and services. You can only provide those approved by corporate.

To Browse the Marketplace for Motorcycling Franchise Opportunities, See the Latest Google Search Results. Also, see, What You Need To Know About Owning a Franchise.


Below you’ll find a collection of resources you can use when setting up your business and once your business is up and running. One of the benefits of these resources is they lead to information that’s always updated. So you can come back in a month or so, and the resources will be fresh and up-to-date.

Another benefit is there may be resources you haven’t considered, and going through them may give you new ideas and insights into the motorcycle rental business.

Trends and Statistics

Trends and statistics are one way to learn about your industry. You’ll be able to understand how the industry is doing, whether it’s on the rise or declining.

You also get tips and insights that you can use, especially if you find something lacking in the industry and incorporate it into your business.

Click Here for the Latest Google Search Results Related to Trends in the Motorcycle Rental Industry.


Understanding the terminology of your business is important. Whether you’re speaking with suppliers or customers, you must be familiar with all the terminology. A knowledgeable business owner leaves a good impression on customers.

It’s also worth noting the more informed you are more comfortable you’ll be running your business.

Search Results Related to Terminology in the Motorcycle Rental Industry.


Will you need any equipment for your motorcycle rental business?

It will depend on whether or not you own and service your motorcycles. If you are planning to service your bikes, purchase tools that are commercial grade and will last you many years. The right tools allow you to make repairs quickly and effectively.

Click Here for the Most Recent Google Search Results Related to Motorcycling Equipment.


a line of parked motorcycles on wet pavement.Joining an association related to your industry is beneficial. For example, many associations host events you can attend, allowing you to network with people in the industry. Another benefit is a lot of associations provide educational information. And many offer discounts from vendors.

You may also want to consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce. It allows you to get to know the local businesses in your area and bring awareness to your own business.

You could even create an event with the Chamber of Commerce. The event would have something to do with motorcycle riding. And this would allow you to introduce your business to the members interested in participating in the event. In addition, this would bring a lot of awareness to your rental business because the chamber would advertise the event.

Click Here To View Associations Related to the Motorcycle Rental Industry. You May Also Want To Check Out Our Page for Tips and Insights About Joining a Trade Association.

Top Motorcycle Rental Businesses

Studying successful, established motorcycle rental businesses will give you an overview of what others offer.

You may come across an idea or find something missing that the other business owners provide. Then, you can incorporate them into your own business, which may give you a competitive edge.

You may also find something that the other business owners are offering you haven’t considered, and you can incorporate that into your business.

Search Google for the Top Motorcycle Rental Businesses

Marketing Tips

The majority of businesses in the world rely on marketing for customers. Without customers, you don’t have a business, and without marketing, it’s very difficult to get customers unless you are in an area where your business depends on walk-in traffic.

Going through marketing tips online is a great way to stay up-to-date with the latest tips and insights for marketing your motorcycle rental business. You can schedule a time once a week or at least once a month to study Marketing Tips.

When studying marketing tips, I find in the first few minutes, I usually come across a tip I can use, and I put that in place before moving on to the next tip. So if you implemented one tip once a month and 50% of those were successful in one year, you’d have six successful marketing techniques that bring you customers and business.

Have a Look at the Latest Articles for Marketing a Motorcycle Rental Business.

Motorcycling Tips

As a motorcycle rental business owner, you must have knowledge related to cycling. You want to provide tips and insights to people renting your motorcycles, and to do that, you have to be knowledgeable about motorcycling. Although you may already have experience, that doesn’t mean you can’t stay up-to-date with what’s new and online tips.

Have a Look at the search results for tips related to Motorcycling.


Books are another great way to learn about any topic. For example, you can learn about running a motorcycle business, running a small business, learn more about motorcycles, repairs, etc.

A time saver for nonfiction books is you don’t have to read the book cover to cover to get the information you want; instead, you can browse through the table of contents and go to the chapter for the information you want.

View the Most Recent Google Search Results for Motorcycles


Another way to keep up-to-date with your industry is to follow the news. When the media picks up a story related to your industry, you know it’s a hot topic.

You wouldn’t wait for the evening news to see what’s related to the motorcycle industry in the media. Instead, you could use Google’s new site to see what’s new in the industry.

Simply type in your keyword, and you’ll have all of the newest new stories as well as archived news.

See Google’s News Search Results Related to the Motorcycle Rental Industry.


YouTube is an excellent source for tutorial videos. You can find videos on virtually any topic. Just type in your keyword, and you’ll have a list of videos you can view.

One function I like about YouTube is it will list related videos to your keyword and many of those videos you may not have considered. Therefore, it helps you widen your perspective by looking at related videos.

Another feature I like about YouTube is the length of time for each video, which allows me to decide if I want to watch a two-minute video or make time later on for a one-hour video.

See the Most Recent Videos Related to a Motorcycle Rental Business.