Starting a real estate business can provide you with a lucrative career. There are many hoops to jump through before you go out on your own since most states require that you work with a broker for several years before going solo. But it’s a high-reward business offering the potential of being your own boss (with the possibility of a home office), the convenience and flexibility of scheduling your own workload, and the prospect of good income.

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First Steps

If you’re just starting out, the first step is to check with your state regarding their licensing requirements. Because real estate agents work with large amounts of money, complex transactions, and a multitude of contracts and legal documents, it has become a highly regulated industry. You will need to carefully adhere to your state’s educational, testing, licensing, and supervision regulations.

Because you will likely need to be under a more experienced broker’s wing for awhile, it’s also good to develop relationships with brokers and determine exactly what that means. What percentage of your earnings will go to them? What do they do for you? How long do you need to stay in this arrangement before you can launch your own business?

It is really beneficial to ask these questions before you invest in the educational and testing requirements. Once you have met those requirements and accomplished your state’s required “apprenticeship,” you’ll be ready to start your own real estate business.

Next Steps

The next step will be to determine the legal structure of your business before you begin operations. You will have developed a lot of experience by the time you get to this step, so you may already know whether you want to be a Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation (S or C), or a Limited Liability Company. Each legal structure has features that affect your financial and legal risks. It’s important to note that they vary slightly by state. Once you’ve determined the appropriate legal structure, you can simply use our convenient online incorporation service, customizable by state, to file your paperwork.

Contracts Protect You

If you are interested in starting your own real estate business, you already know that you will have to deal with contracts on a daily basis. First and foremost, you’ll need to protect yourself as you enter into contracts with buyers, sellers, and property owners to serve them. Those can be complex transactions and a clear professionally drafted Services Contract is a critical component of your ongoing success. In fact, some states require that a real estate contract be drafted by an attorney.

For those who are renting properties out and have a property manager, we provide online access to a customizable Property Manager Agreement. Alternatively, if you are a landlord and plan to manage your own property or assisting a landlord in your role as a real estate agent, we provide valuable documents and access to affordable legal help. Because this tool is customizable, you may be able to adopt the completed form in its entirety without any further changes. If, however, you want to consult a lawyer for a review of your specific business situation or state laws, you can use our website to find a lawyer.

Get started Start Your Incorporation Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

Get started Start Your Incorporation Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.