NEMT vehicle showcasing new NEMT business

How to Start a NEMT Business? Things Every NEMT Owner Needs to Know

The booming NEMT business is a very lucrative business opportunity. What may stop some from starting their own NEMT business is knowing what they need to do to get started. Learning how to start a NEMT business not only offers the opportunity for a better financial future, but you’ll be creating a service that helps your community’s often forgotten citizens: seniors and individuals with disabilities and medical conditions. Following these tips can help start you on your path to being your own boss by owning a NEMT business.

Difference between NEMT and Private Transportation 

The critical difference that separates a NEMT service and private transportation is often the transportation service’s clientele and destination. Individuals that use non-emergency medical transportation often require assistance that goes above and beyond. What can be given when using private transportation, such as taxi and rideshare services. For example, they may have medical conditions that make it complicated to ride in a regular private vehicle, such as being in a wheelchair. They may also require monitoring during the transportation, which a typical private transport doesn’t offer. In addition, they may have significant medical equipment, like a ventilator, that needs to be transported with them. Also, the typical destination for these clients is medical centers, hospitals, and other healthcare provider locations rather than any destination. 

Points To Keep In Mind Before Starting A NEMT Business

As this type of transportation involves medical transportation, several things need to be considered before starting your own business. HIPPA privacy laws are one thing that most private transportation services don’t have to consider. Still, when you’re working with non-emergency medical transportation, it’s something you need to keep in mind. Remember, the majority of the population that your clientele comes from will often need a TLC approach to their transportation. 

Establish a Business Entity

Setting up a business of any kind can be complicated, especially if you’ve never done it before. A lawyer, tax adviser, and small business expert can be great to have in your corner when you’re getting started. But, first, you’ll need to determine what legal status you want to use, such as LLC, partnership, or sole proprietorship. The status you choose can have ramifications on your business down the road. So it’s essential to understand what each means for your company, how you do business, security, and taxes going forward.

Once you’ve created your business, you’ll have to file all of the necessary legal documents. Some of the documents you’ll need to handle include any certificates, permits, and licenses required by your location, as every area is different when it comes to a NEMT company. You’ll also have to sign up for an insurance policy for your business. You’ll need to have insurance for your vehicles, your company, and your drivers. 

Make Sure You Have Enough Money

Securing funding for your new NEMT business venture is probably one of the most crucial and scary steps in starting this type of business. It can be expensive to create a transportation business of any kind, but there are added costs involved in a NEMT business. Some of the expenses you’ll have with your new business include insurance, vehicles, necessary medical supplies, rent, software, and marketing expenses. Suppose you plan on hiring employees from the beginning. You’ll also have to budget for hiring costs, salaries, benefits, and other expenses from having employees.

There are several options available to you when it comes to funding your new NEMT business. Examples include crowdfunding, finding investors, getting a traditional loan, dipping into your savings, small business grants, and other out-of-the-box options. It’s estimated on the high-end that it could cost over $300,000 to start your NEMT company, but there are ways to reduce that initial cost, such as renting your vehicles, working out of your home, or starting with only one van.     

Choose the Right Location 

The phrase location, location, location is cliche, but it’s a cliche for an excellent reason. To start a NEMT business, your location can be significant. You’ll want to find a location that’s centrally located in the area you’re planning on servicing if you’re planning on having an office and a depot. If you haven’t decided on your service area, it can be beneficial to determine it before you put down a deposit on your location. 

Set Up Your Fleet

As a NEMT business, one of your most significant expenses, especially when starting out, will be your fleet. First, you’ll need to invest in quality vehicles that can handle your clients. Then, once you’ve created your business, secured funding, and found a location, it’s time for your fleet. Some companies start with one vehicle and, as they build a client base, invest in more cars as the business grows, while others purchase several. However, no matter how many vehicles you start with, you must find reliable and safe cars. Supply with everything needed to successfully transport your clients, such as wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, stretchers, and more. In addition, it can be helpful to learn about the Americans with Disabilities Act to know about vehicle requirements to ensure that you’re compliant.  

Pick the Best NEMT Software

When it comes to your NEMT software, many business owners consider the price before thinking about anything else. The problem with that viewpoint is often that you’re getting what you pay for, and that could be limiting to your business. Rather than focusing solely on the cheapest NEMT software for your fledgling company, look at the different features that each software offers. You may find that it’s worth the extra money for a NEMT software solution. It helps you to streamline your business by maximizing your efficiency and minimizing downtime.