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How to Start a Private Trade School in Dallas, Texas


    • 1). Determine what program or programs you want to offer through your school. Research to learn what other kinds of degrees and certificates are offered by other schools in the Dallas area and decide if your school will fulfill a need.

    • 2). Contact state boards for information about the licensing requirements for the vocational programs you will offer. Classes within your school's programs should help students achieve any necessary certification. For instance, cosmetologists must pass an examination to receive the necessary license to practice in Texas. Even if the industry you choose does not require licensing, your program should conform to vocational school standards.

    • 3). Develop an appropriate curriculum for each program you will offer, following those industry guidelines. Ask instructors from other schools what textbooks and other course materials they use.


    • 1). Call a Dallas real estate agent to find an appropriate location for your trade school. Local agents know what the pitfalls are for various areas and can help narrow your search.

    • 2). Check the accessibility for the site. If you expect hundreds of students, ensure enough parking to accommodate them. Try to find a building near Dallas city bus stops.

    • 3). Inspect the building for electrical, water and capacity needs. If you will offer an auto mechanics program, for instance, you need enough space to have several cars inside the building. Hire a building inspector if you need assistance determining the site's effectiveness for your purpose.


    • 1). Apply for a business name and license through Texas's business and professional services division.

    • 2). Follow Dallas's city guidelines regarding licensing. On the city website, register your school and follow the prompts to determine what licensing the city requires.

    • 3). Join technical and trade school organizations that are appropriate for your offered programs, such as the Association for Career and Technical Education. Such groups offer advice and support.

    • 4). Contact a Dallas insurance agent to get liability insurance. Using a local agent helps advertise your school through word of mouth.

    • 5). Apply for any necessary permits from state boards or organizations. In Texas, for instance, the cosmetology board must inspect and approve of a school before it opens.


    • 1). Hire instructors who fit the state's guidelines. Instructors may need to have specific training. In Texas, for instance, cosmetology instructors must have an instructor license.

    • 2). Hire office staff. You will need personnel to monitor phones and Internet enquiries, input student information and assist with questions and paperwork.

    • 3). Put a lawyer and accountant on retainer. You may not need these services full time when you first open.

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