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Many people who want to start a business with flexibility and the potential to earn great money decide to open a virtual or brick-and-mortar travel agency. Helping people plan their vacations can be very rewarding. But before you start booking flights for clients, here’s what you need to know about getting a travel agency license.

Step 1: Decide How You Want to Operate

You have two options: you can work as a travel agent for another company, or you can start your own travel agency, even if you’re the only employee. Which you choose will dictate whether you need a travel agent license or a travel agency license.

Step 2: Determine What Type of Business License You Need

Currently, only six states require you to get a travel agent license:

  • California
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Nevada
  • Washington

These are subject to change, so check with your state’s business licenses, permits & tax department to see what you’re required to do to become a travel agency.

Step 3: Study...if Necessary

If your state requires you to take special training to get your travel agency license, take the necessary courses. Even if you’re not required, it’s a good idea, as you can learn the ins and outs of the travel industry, giving you a leg up on the competition.

Step 4: Apply for Your Travel Agency License

If your state is one that requires you to have a travel agency license, fill out the paperwork and pay the fee. Look into what other business licenses you need, such as a home occupation license or a sales tax registration.

Make sure you’ve covered everything you need to start operating your own travel agency. From there, it’s all blue skies (and sandy beaches).