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  1. Do I have to create a corporation or entity or I can simply be a sole proprietor?
    Consult your legal and tax professional first. However, you may begin as either a sole proprietor or you may establish a legal entity. In recent years, most new agencies appear to be set up as LLC’s.

  2. How long does it typically take to open an agency?
    After you’ve taken the time to develop a serious and well-thought-out budget and business plan, the areas of establishing an agency that seems to take the longest are obtaining agency appointments and obtaining E&O insurance and Cyber Insurance. IIAV’s wholly owned subsidiary, Virginia Financial Services Corporation (VFSC)can help with these insurance products.

  3. How much does it cost to begin selling insurance?
    This varies greatly. For some forms of insurance you may begin selling almost immediately upon receiving your license from the Bureau of Insurance. But for most agencies, becoming established fully requires an initial investment including licensing, agency management systems, computers, office space, E&O and other business insurance, marketing and advertising, payroll guarantees and more. This can run into the tens of thousands of dollars BEFORE agency income is realized. Develop a serious budget very carefully.

  4. When my agency is up and running can I use independent contractors to sell or do they have to be employees?
    You may engage non-employees as 1099 contractors to sell. This adds some exposure to your agency so please be careful. Check with your E&O policy and have your agreements in writing. The agents at VFSC can help
  5. Can I run my agency out of my house?
    Technically, yes. Many agencies begin this way. However, before establishing your business plan for your agency check with carriers you plan on representing. Many will NOT appoint you with a “retail” office.
  6. Do I need to get a local business license?
  7. Do I have to take a class to get my license?
    No. The Bureau of Insurance does not require any initial classroom time. But it is highly recommended. 
  8. Are there classes available to get my license?
    Yes. IIAV offers pre-licensing classes for P&C, Life and Health licenses. Check IIAV's education options HERE!
  9. Are there classes available on how to start an agency?
    Webinars are being considered now. Check with the Education tab on the IIAV home page or contact us 800-228-4428.