Posted by: Apr 07, 2022

how to start a security company in Texas

The Texas Department of Public Safety oversees licensing and regulation of security companies.

Moreover, starting a security company in Texas requires strict adherence to the Texas Administrative Code and Title 10 of the Texas Occupations Code.

Therefore, the requirements to start a security company in Texas can seem intimidating.

However, an experienced Texas business attorney can guide you through the rules and regulations and help you obtain a security license from the Department of Public Safety.

Does Starting a Security Company in Texas Require a License?

Yes. There are three classes of security licenses: 

  • Class A: Private investigation company;
  • Class B: Security contracting company: alarm, armored car, courier, electronic access, guard, and locksmith; and
  • Class C: covers the types of businesses in classes A and B.

The license you choose will depend on the type of security company you want to start. 

What Is an Investigations Company? 

People typically think of a Texas investigations company as a private eye.

Investigations companies obtain “information related to” crimes and people (character, occupations, transactions).

Also, investigation companies secure evidence for court and can employ personal protection officers to guard people from harm.

However, to start a security investigations company, you must have at least three years of experience as an employee or owner of an investigation company. 

What Is an Alarms System Company? 

An alarms system company is a business that “sells, installs, services, monitors, or responds to an alarm system or detection device.”

The law prohibits alarms system companies—without a locksmith license—from rekeying security devices that use a key for activation. 

Is a Locksmith a Security Company? 

Yes, Texas considers locksmiths to be security companies.

For the Texas Occupation statute, a locksmith is a business that sells, installs, or maintains mechanical security devices. 

What Is an Electronic Access Control Device Company? 

An electronic access control device company is a business that installs or maintains devices that allow the user electronic access.

What Are Armored Car and Courier Companies? 

In Texas, any business that transports and protects valuables (money, coins, bullion, series, bonds, jewelry) is an armored car company.

A courier company is like an armored car company. However, a courier company uses armed guards to transport valuables.

You must affix your security license number on your company vehicles. 

What Is a Guard Company? 

A guard company is a business that uses private watchman or private street patrol services to prevent crime, control traffic or protect people from bodily harm.

What Are the Licensing Requirements to Start a Security Company in Texas?

First, starting a security company in Texas requires you to pass a criminal background check and submit to fingerprinting.

Also, you must be 18 years old, have no pending criminal charges, have no dishonorable military discharges, and not be on the sex offender registry. 

Finally, you must take and pass a licensing examination and pay all required fees. 

 Are Your Employees Required to Have Licenses? 

Yes, and no. Depending on the security business you wish to start, you may want to hire commissioned security guards.

In Texas, commissioned security guards are guards who can handle a gun. You are not allowed to hire a non-commissioned security officer as an armed guard.

Likewise, a noncommissioned officer is not allowed to accept a security guard job that requires them to carry a gun. 

What Are the Requirements to Start a Security Company in Texas with Commissioned Guards?

First, the company must apply with the Texas Department of Public Security to obtain a commission for the company’s guard.

An applicant for a security commission: 

  • Must be qualified to own a firearm;
  • Must exercise sound judgment in the use and storage of firearms;
  • Cannot have pending criminal charges;
  • Must be free from chemical dependency;
  • Cannot have outstanding protection or restraining orders; and
  • Cannot have two convictions for Class B misdemeanor or higher that involves the use of alcohol or illicit substances.

Also, an applicant for a commissioned security officer must pass a firearm proficiency examination.

Are You Required to Purchase Insurance for Your Security Company? 

Yes, the Texas Department of Public Safety will not issue a security license without a certificate of insurance.

Your security policy must pay damages for bodily injuries, property damage, and personal injury caused by your company or employees. 

Texas requires you to have minimum insurance limits of:

  • $100,000 for each bodily injury and property damage,
  • $50,000 for each personal injury incident, and
  • $200,000 for an aggregate of all occurrences.

Moreover, if you let your insurance lapse, the Department of Public Safety will suspend your security license.

Miscellaneous Requirements to Start a Security Company in Texas

Additionally, there are numerous minor requirements that your security company must follow. First, you must maintain good record keeping.

Also, you are required to post your security company’s license in your principal place of business and each branch office.

Moreover, you must be careful in selecting uniforms. Your company’s uniforms cannot give the impression that your security officers are law enforcement.

Finally, if you advertise your security business, you must post the company’s address and the license holder’s name.

Does Starting a Security Company in Texas Require a Lawyer?

Even after reading a long list of statutory and administrative regulations that you must comply with to start a security company, you may find starting a security company in Texas confusing.

Thus, you should discuss the requirements to start a security company in Texas with a lawyer.

An experienced security business lawyer can guide you through statutory and administrative regulations.

Also, a business attorney can help ensure that your current security company complies with all laws and regulations enforced by the Department of Public Safety. 

Texas business attorney Adam Curley can help start your security business. Adam has over ten years of business law experience. No company is too large or small for Adam.

If you already have a security company, Adam can help you ensure that you comply with the Texas Occupational and Administrative Codes.

Call Adam today or contact us through the online form.