How to Start a Go Kart Business

There’s nothing like the fun that a go kart track can provide. Knowing how to start a go kart business means first determining what kind of go karts and track you want to run. Small kart tracks are safe for kids to drive on, while large karts require more of a traditional race track and more space to be properly enjoyed. If you have a small property footprint, then consider the family friendly option.

The first thing that you’ll need is plenty of capital. It costs more than $300,000 to get a go kart business up off the ground, including the building of a new track and the go karts themselves. Once you have the capital in place and your location secured, then you’ll want to follow these additional steps to get your business established.

1. Facilities Matter

People don’t just go out to a go kart business to race vehicles. They go for the entire experience. That means having concessions on site, having decent facilities, and plenty of parking. Many go kart businesses offer additional games and activities on their property as well, such as batting cages or miniature golf. If your community is looking to have a good time and there isn’t local options available, then they could be an option to add to your go kart track.

2. Get Your Business Compliant

Every jurisdiction has different requirements regarding how a go kart business can be operated. Some have safety rules in place about fuel storage and safety gear that must be worn, such as a helmet, when racing the go karts. Others have minimal requirements or are tiered based on the go karts that are being raced. You may need to have minimum age requirements posed, have the fire department inspect your premises, and numerous other licenses and permits issued before you can rent track time to your first customer.

3. Consider Additional Insurance

All go kart tracks need to have liability insurance in place should anyone get hurt while using the track. The buildings and the track should also be insured. There are additional riders that are available that can protect expected income, provide enhanced medical care for severe accidents, and a number of additional options. You’ll want to have a long conversation with your insurance agent to make sure you’re interest are fully protected.

4. Structure Your Business

A go kart track should not be a partnership or a sole proprietorship. These business structures may put your personal assets at risk should a serious accident occur. At the very least, consider making the business a limited liability corporation so that personal assets can be protected. Each jurisdiction has certain laws in place regarding the officers of an LLC, where they can live, and who can be named as an officer. The costs of this business structure are low as well, giving you a secondary advantage.

5. Price Yourself Right

If you price yourself out of the local market, then your go kart business will be out of business before you ever get a chance to take off. Most family friendly tracks have found that a price in the $5 range tends to be the best price point for them. Large track go karts that only adults are allowed to race, however, are not part of this pricing mechanism. Large go kart tracks have a niche audience that is willing to pay hundreds of dollars sometimes to experience high speed racing.

6. Limit Your Liability

Before renting track time to your first customer, make sure that you have waivers in place in case someone does something they shouldn’t while using your equipment. You will likely want to consult with an attorney to draw up the specific language your track needs to protect itself. You can’t have someone waiver away their rights if your equipment malfunctions, but if someone wants to jump over the barrier of your track and hurts themselves attempting it? You’ll want a waiver for that.

7. Enjoy Your Opening Day

The best part about owning a go kart track is that you get to have fun every day when you go to work. Invite the media out to cover your opening day and try out the track. Put a video on YouTube that shows what its like to race your track. Offer discounts if you wish, sell track memberships, or even raise money by putting sponsor names down on the start/finish line. You can even host go kart racing events if you wish to generate more revenue.

Knowing how to start a go kart business can help you to have a fun, profitable entrepreneurial opportunity in your community. Follow these steps and you’ll be able to start planning your business today.

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