Starting your own Honda motorcycle dealership can be a profitable venture, if managed properly. Honda motorcycles are sold under Honda’s Powersports brand. Powersports includes ATVs, motorcycles, scooters and watercraft. In addition to selling motorcycles, you can sell parts and accessories to your customers. To start a dealership, you must produce a large capital investment and be qualified by Honda.
1. Gain experience working with motorcycles by becoming a mechanic’s apprentice or working at a shop. Gain experience selling Honda motorcycles, if possible. To become a Honda dealer, you need to have a background in sales — preferably motorcycles or cars — and demonstrate management and customer service skills through prior working experience.
2. Provide an upfront investment of $500,000 to $2 million, as required by Honda to become a dealer. Look at your personal savings, bonds, stocks, life insurance and real estate equity for the capital. Secure an investor or lender if you don’t have enough personal startup capital. According to the University of Maine, there are three types of commercial loans: Short-term, intermediate and long-term. The loan periods last in the range of 30 days to 5 years.
3. Find a location to start your Honda motorcycle dealership. Look for commercially zoned lots for your business. Contact a real estate agent to help you find a prime location. Contact your county clerk’s office for information on zoning laws.
4. Become qualified as a dealer through Honda. Visit the official website for Honda Powersports (see “Resources”). Download and submit the necessary forms and application to become a dealer. Include a current resume with your application. Have your financial adviser and lawyer look over all documents and contracts with you.
5. Determine the compensation program for your dealership. Honda Powersports allows dealers to receive either revenue sharing compensation or a fixed percentage of their earnings from every sale. Consult with a certified accountant to see which program works best for you and your business.
6. Hire sales staff. As a Honda dealer, you and your staff are required to complete on-going sales training. Any mechanics you hire are required to stay updated on the newest Honda motorcycle parts and accessories. Apply for an employer identification number, or EIN, from the IRS.