Becoming a locksmith in Arkansas is a great career option for anyone who wants to start their own business. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average locksmith in Arkansas earns more than $32,000 a year. If you like working with your hands and know, or are willing to learn, the ins and outs of locking mechanisms, learning how to become a locksmith in Arkansas might be right for you.
Here’s a look at the answers to the most common questions about how to become a locksmith in Arkansas. These answers can help you decide if this is the ideal career path for you.
What Does a Locksmith Do?
The most common job of a locksmith is to install, repair, and replace locking systems on safes, cars, homes, and businesses. Locksmiths also are the ones that home and business owners call when they lock themselves out of their property. With the right tools and training, a locksmith can open all types of car, safe, home, and business doors to help those locked out gain entry.
That’s not all. Locksmiths also cut new, replacement, and duplicate keys. Many of today’s locksmiths install and service key-less entry locking systems as well. Some locksmiths in Arkansas also expand their services by installing home security and surveillance systems.
Does a Locksmith Need a License in Arkansas?
Locksmiths in Arkansas do not need to have a professional license to operate a locksmith business. You should contact your local authorities to make sure that you don’t need a local permit to work in that area.
Even though a license is not required, you should consider joining a professional locksmith’s group, such as the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA). Joining this group will enable you to display their logo on your social media profiles and website. This type of logo can help you earn the trust of prospective customers and grow your business.
If you grow your business to include the installation and repair of home or business fire or security alarm systems or surveillance systems you will need a license to operate in the state. The state of Arkansas defines an Alarm System Company as anyone or any company that installs, services, sells, analyzes, or monitors security alarm, fire alarm, or surveillance systems. You will need to pass a test and apply for a license before installing or servicing security systems in Arkansas.
Does a Locksmith Need Any Specialized Training?
The good news is that you do not need to have a college degree to be a locksmith in Arkansas. In fact, in the state of Arkansas, there are no training requirements for locksmiths at all. However, in order to be successful on the job, you will need to understand the mechanics of locking systems for safes, cars, and buildings.
With the increasing popularity of key-less entry locking systems, you also should know how to install, repair, and replace these modern locks. In addition, if you plan to expand your services to include the installation of security systems, you will need additional training in that area as well.
There are many courses available that can provide all the training and experience you need to become a locksmith. These training courses are available online and in the classroom. You also can complete a locksmith apprentice program to obtain the skills you need.
Though there are no training prerequisites to become a locksmith in Arkansas, you still need to know what you’re doing. The simplest way to get started is by picking up a starter lockpick set, a practice lock set, and learning how to use them. Picking open a lock is the only skill that you need to know at the start that is unique to locksmiths. That doesn’t mean it’s the only unique skill you will ever need, but it is the one you will need to get going. The rest you can learn on the job.
Should a Locksmith Obtain a Tax ID Number?
If you operate a sole proprietorship, you do not need to obtain a federal tax ID number. Instead, you can use your social security number when filing your taxes. If you ever hire one or more employees, you will need to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). An EIN will allow you to submit payroll taxes to the IRS. You also will need to apply for an EIN if your business every becomes a partnership, corporation, or LLC. Click here to find out more about incorporating.
Do Locksmiths Pay Sales Tax in Arkansas?
Locksmiths in Arkansas are subject to Gross Receipt Sales Tax, which is a combined state and local tax. The percentage of sale tax you should charge your customers depends on the location of where the services took place. You might charge a different sales tax amount for different customers based on their location. You are required to file for an Arkansas Sales & Use Tax Permit before opening for business.
Should a Locksmith Carry Insurance?
Since you do not need a license to be a locksmith in Arkansas, you are not required to carry business insurance. To protect both your personal and business assets, however, it is highly recommended to obtain the right insurance. Your insurance coverage should include business auto insurance, liability insurance, and bond insurance. Insurance can protect you in the case of a fire, lawsuit, mistakes, damages, and more.
Becoming a locksmith can be a very rewarding career option. It allows you to be your own boss, set your own hours, and spend your workdays doing what you love most. Set yourself up for success by getting the tools and training you need to do the job right. Then, you’ll be all sets to start a great career as a locksmith in Arkansas.