How to Start a Profitable Petting Zoo Business: 10 Steps Involved

Petting Zoo business
Petting Zoo business

A petting zoo business is one of the most lucrative businesses in the world. It requires a lot of capital to start and also requires a lot of legal documentation.

Kids never get tired of zoos. The chance to interact with and learn about many different wild animals presents a fun, educational opportunity for families, schools, and other groups.

However, it is a long-term investment and it has a lot of potential to yield maximum profit. It is a seasonal business, as most Zoological gardens usually have festive periods as peak periods. It however remains a long-term profitable investment if done and managed properly.

What is a Petting Zoo Business?

A Petting zoo business is an establishment which maintains a collection of wild animals, typically in a park or gardens, for study, conservation, or display to the public.

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Picture Credit: Jackie Park

Choose a name and register your Petting Zoo business

Once you have selected a name for your Zoo business, you will want to register it at the federal and state levels. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the place to register the company at the federal level, and you can register it in your state by contacting the Department of Revenue.

In Nigeria, you will need to register the name of your Zoo Business with Corporate Affairs Commission and file for tax clearance.

Find a niche for your petting zoo business

By doing some research to find out what business owners are already offering, you can make sure that your Zoo business offers your customers something different.

If there is a local petting zoo business in a permanent location, then you may want to consider making yours mobile. You can market your services available to groups of various kinds, bring your petting zoo to birthday parties, or set up at local fairs as one of the attractions.

Get necessary licenses and documentations for your petting zoo business

To operate a petting zoo, you need to buy liability insurance. This coverage protects your assets in case someone is injured while at your petting zoo. An insurance company or agent that offers commercial coverage would be able to give you a quote.

If you are going to be displaying animals in the United States, you will need to have a Class C Exhibitor’s License issued by the Department of Agriculture. This is a requirement for anyone operating a zoo or transporting animals from place to place for educational purposes.

You have to find out the necessary accreditations required for this business in your locality.

Get a permit to display animals in your area

Each city has its own criteria for issuing a permit to display animals. Contact the local authorities in your country to find out what you need to do to be issued a permit in your area.

Decide what kinds of animals you want to display in your petting zoo business

You will want to choose animals who are not afraid of being around people and who won’t object to being touched or ridden on by visitors. You may be able to find animals for your petting zoo at local farms.

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Find a location to house your animals

The location you choose could be a permanent one where the public can come to see your animals or one that you will use to house the animals only. Make sure that the facility is large enough to accommodate the number and kinds of animals you plan to display and is secured enough to prevent the animals from escaping from their cages.

Buy your animals

Once you have a place to house your animals, you can buy them and move them into your facility. You will also need to have food and water on hand, as well as a budget for veterinary care. By this point, you may need to hire staff to help care for the animals.

Market your Zoo business

Marketing your business should be an ongoing activity. You can set up a website, distribute flyers, take out ads in the local media, digital marketing or contact fairs and special events directly to promote your business.

How does a petting zoo business make money?

Most zoo business make money by charging a fee at the door. Also, you can “rent out” animals to parties and other events, that should be charged as a separate, higher fee.

How can you make your business more profitable?

To make your Petting Zoo Business more profitable, you can offer other services on the land you have available. Your petting zoo may also offer pony rides, for instance. You can have restaurants and bars within the zoo to make more money. Beyond this, make sure that you market year-round, and emphasize that a petting zoo is utterly unlike anything kids or parents can access at home. By emphasizing you are a unique experience, you can help secure steadier traffic.

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Picture Credit: Moon

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