How to Start a Fine Art Moving Company in New York

Right Business Intelligence Software

There are many business ideas anyone wishing to start a business can explore.

While a large portion of them have a low barrier for entry in terms of professional skills – the point here is that you don’t really need to go to school in order to start a business you feel strongly about (although having some skills is always going to be a bonus, of course) – there are also those that need one to be proficient in the field.

For example, anyone with a bit of passion and head for business can start a grocery store. Or vape store. Or export business. Or a venture selling fashion outfits – clothes, footwear, jewelry, etc.

Some business ideas – like starting a fine art moving company, for example – require a bit of expertise in the area (never mind passion), especially if you intend to be a dedicated arts moving business.

Thing is, though, while specializing is a good idea, you might be well served launching a general moving company and providing fine art moving services as part of your offerings.

That’s especially in a large city like NYC. While the population is there, getting enough business to keep your company profitable (let alone afloat) is going to be work.

It explains why most dedicated fine art shippers are family businesses whose owners have a history of art – either as collectors, art dealers, and so on.

For the regular Joe looking to start an art moving business, however, as we said, it might be more prudent starting a moving company and having art moving under your umbrella of services.

That said, what do you need to start a moving company in New York City that also doubles up as fine art movers?


Pick Your Specialty or Niche

While it’s important to start as a moving company that provides a laundry list of services, spreading yourself too thin could do more harm than good.

This is where you need to choose the areas you want to concentrate on. Fine art moving should be top of the list, and probably flank it with a few other services for a start. Like antiques or residential moving.

Choosing your specialty has a bearing on the capital investment you’ll need to make, the equipment you’ll need, as well as legal aspects that apply to you.

Define Specific Business Goals

This is where you answer the question, “What do I want to accomplish with my moving business?”

Is it to turn it into a profitable moving business or sell it a potential investor in a couple of years?

Plan Your Business Structure

This is one of the many tangible steps you’ll need to complete in order to operate as a successful and profitable moving business.

You need to decide on the formal structure of your company. Consult a financial or business advisor for guidance based on your own personal situation.

You can also look at the new business checklist at New York’s Business Express for guidance on registering with the state, cost of formation, among other requirements.

Complete Legal and Tax Documents

Find out the necessary permits, licenses and paperwork you need to obtain at the state and local level.

You’ll need to register with the New York Tax Department and apply for an employer identification number (EIN) with the IRS for starters. If you’ll be offering long distance moving services, you will also need to register with the U.S. Department of Transportation which is mandatory if you’ll be crossing state lines.

Scope Out the Competition

Chances are there are other companies offering the services you intend to provide within the area. Do some homework on their services, why customers choose them for their moving needs, and what you can offer differently.

Invest in some market research into the moving industry if you can to give you insights on how to better promote your services to customers.

Get Insurance

As a fine art moving company, you should get different types of insurance to shield you from the risks that come with the trade.

Look at the insurance policies available to you and choose a few that are most ideal in your case.

Invest in the Business

Obviously, there are multiple investments you’ll need to make when starting out, but fortunately, the overhead costs are not too many if you’re a small operation.

List down everything you’ll need, and if you’re short of capital, consider alternative financing options.


From there, what’s largely left is advertising your fine art and/or moving services and onboarding customers. Then, you’re ready for take-off!


Related Posts