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Old 20-11-2013, 16:34   #1
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Consulting firm to help start charter business?

Hi there - I'm looking to start a charter business with a Catamaran that operates in the Med during the winter and the Caribbean in the winter. I know there are a ton of regulations, laws, rules, etc. for every country. Does anyone know of a consulting firm or maybe a law firm that can help with all the red tape that is associated with this? Thanks for all the help!

(Also, completely aware how difficult it is to make a profit with this endeavor so no need to tell me about the struggles of this type of business)

Happy sailing!

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Old 20-11-2013, 17:16   #2
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Re: Consulting firm to help start charter business?

There are several that are setup to support the super yacht business. But I don't know if you want to spend that amount of cash. Agencies that are aware of all the regulations on a EU basis are rare to non existent.

Generally you pick a country to establish your charter business in and comply with those rules, that then allows you only originate the charter in that country, even if you actually board the charter parties in another country ( this part is controversial, and called grey chartering , and some countries are trying to stamp it out )

Overlaid on that , once you establish in a country you also have to set up a business and comply with the relevant business rules and taxes etc.

Once you pick a country , there are specific companies that can help with the setup in that country.

its not for the faint hearted


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Old 21-11-2013, 09:05   #3
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+1. All related regulations are very country specific. You will want representation and assistance in each country where you plan to operate. Ive set up businesses in a few countries, but thankfully never several all at once. Loads of work in most places, especially if not your country of citizenship or legal residency.
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Old 29-11-2013, 16:32   #4
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Re: Consulting firm to help start charter business?

Difficult if not impossible to get a consultant on this specific topic.

I had done a feasability report of such business plan a while ago for our charter company and gave away..Here are some clues,
-the cat should be big enough to make twice a year Atlantic passage pretty fast and the weekly price should be high enough to justify these trips. Otherwise, hauling out anywhere in dead season is cheaper.
-you should ensure at least 15-16 weeks of booking on both sides (32-35 weeks a year) for break even, not easy...
-staffing is a nightmare. You should find a couple , preferably married, one perfect skipper who can deal with all kind of problems, a lady who will take care of cooking , housekeeping, catering and helping the skipper on long passages , docking/undocking, etc. They should be 100% reliable, very well paid.
-heavy buraucracy in almost everywhere, high fees and marina expenses.
-charter restrictions in the Med. Changing crew is not allowed in Turkey, Greece and Italy. (In Italy I was boarded by cost guard and accused of illegal chartering. I was not and with my wife only on board was heading back home. Still, it took me a while to convince them.

Said this, I know some of boats that do this but I am pretty sure they are not making any money.

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Old 03-12-2013, 03:00   #5
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Re: Consulting firm to help start charter business?

Hi Bumberg, Good luck with your charter business.It will be good decision if you approach a Business consulting firm before the start.Your concern about the regulations, rules are true. It will be different for each country.
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Old 05-12-2013, 21:09   #6
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Rather than a consulting firm per se, who may or may not know jack about the charter industry, I suggest retaining an individual with lots of charter industry experience to help you draft a plan. Lots of related discussion of this topic here on CF. Reviewing those threads should easily identify the individuals here with charter industry experience. Work with one to draft a plan and then arrange to have other like individuals review the plan.

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