Everything You Need to Know About Starting a Marina

Boat owners are always looking for a place to keep their boats. While some boats can be stored on a trailer and launched when needed, others cannot – and even boat owners who have trailerable boats often don’t want the hassle of launching and removing their boat every time they go out for a sail.

A marina business provides boat owners with a place to store their boats, mooring or docking them on the water throughout the boating season, and moving them to land at other times of the year. If you like the idea of starting a marina and offering boat owners a safe location to store their vessels, then here are some of our top tips to help you start your business:

1.     Plan Your Business

If you want your business to be a success, then you will need to create a clear plan. This plan will help you to map out the specifics of your business. Some of the important things you need to consider at this stage include:

  • The costs involved with starting and running a marina
  • Who your target market is
  • How much do you plan on charging customers to moor in your marina?
  • What will you call your business?

2.     Form a Legal Entity

The next step when starting a marina is to form a legal entity. A legal business entity such as a corporation or LLC will protect you from being held personally responsible should your marina be sued.

3.     Register for Taxes

Before opening your marina, you will need to register for several federal and state taxes. How your business will be taxed will depend on the type of business structure you have chosen.

4.     Obtain the Necessary Licenses and Permits

This step is extremely important. Failing to obtain the necessary licenses and permits could result in your business being closed down, or your company receiving some hefty fines. At this stage, you will also need to get business insurance for your marina. Business insurance ensures that your business is operating lawfully and safely. It protects your company’s financial wellbeing too.

5.     Define Your Brand

In order to attract new customers to your marina, you will have to stand out from the competition. A strong brand image will help you to do this.

6.     Securing Professional Vendors

When starting a marina, it’s a good idea to secure some professional vendors before opening your business. A professional vendor is an external organization that provides your business with a product or a service. One professional vendor that all new marina owners need to secure is a good marine electrical service contractor. You will need one on hand should the unexpected happen.

7.     Market Your Business

One of the best ways to market a marina is to connect with local boating professionals. As you connect with local captains, you’ll develop a reputation. When other boat owners see commercial vessels moored in your marina, they’ll assume that your business is trustworthy and high-quality.

Lots of people dream about starting their own marina. However, there is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. You also have to think about things like the costs involved with running a business and the name of your business too. If you’re thinking of starting your own marina, then make sure you follow the steps we’ve listed above. Following these steps will help to ensure your business is a success.  


Dee is a well-respected business journalist with a deep understanding of global financial markets and a talent for uncovering the stories behind the numbers. With over 20 years of experience covering the business beat, Dee is known for his in-depth reporting and analysis of industry trends, as well as his ability to make complex financial concepts understandable to a wide audience.