How to Start Security Guard Company in California

Getting Started

In the State of California, starting a security guard company can be an extensive process that may take up to four months. You’ll need some tenacity to succeed and we’re here to help give you the resources to get you pointed in the right direction.

Before you begin this process, you’ll want to identify the kind of legal person that you operate the business under (individual, partnership, corporation, etc.). There are many resources available across the internet or you can hire legal counsel to help you know which route is best for your circumstances.

To apply for a security guard company in California, you need to meet certain qualifications. You also need to submit proper documentation, pass a state examination, and obtain the minimum required insurance.


Applicant Qualifications

To apply for a security guard company in California, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum 18 years of age;
  • Pass background check;
  • Have no history of violating the Private Security Services Act;
  • Minimum of one year experience and more than 2,000 paid hours of security services
  • Pass written examination.

Company Documentation to Complete

Kudos on being a qualified applicant. However, you’re just getting started. First you’ll need to visit a Live Scan site to have fingerprint scans. You’ll need to complete and submit all of the following:

  • Application for License;
  • Copies of personal identification(State ID, Driver’s license or passport) along with Personal Identification Form;
  • Qualifying Experience Form;
  • Request for Authorization of Business Name if operating under a business name;
  • Copy of signed Live Scan form(signed by Live Scan operator; $32 DOJ scan and $17 FBI scan);
  • For domestic corporations: copies of incorporating Articles;
  • For foreign corporations: endorsed Statement by a Foreign Corporation;
  • Certificate in Support of Experience;
  • Two passport photos;
  • $500 Application Processing Fee (Only check or money order to “California State Police”).

Note: You can find a link to the forms and more information at the bottom of this article.


After sending the applications and fee, you’ll be required to take an examination covering the following topics:

  • Private Security Services Act;
  • Relevant Rules and Regulations;
  • General business knowledge;
  • Emergency procedures;
  • Security functions;
  • Proper use of a lethal weapon.

After you pass the exam, you’ll need to pay $700 for the licensing fee.

Minimum Insurance Requirements:

You’ll need to obtain at least $500,000 of insurance for any single incident of loss due to injury or death and $500,000 of insurance for any single incident of loss due to injury or destruction of property. Do not obtain the insurance until after you’ve passed the examination and received your license.


State Code and Regulations:


Application, and other documents:

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