Start a corporate retreat center by following these 10 steps:
- Plan your Corporate Retreat Center
- Form your Corporate Retreat Center into a Legal Entity
- Register your Corporate Retreat Center for Taxes
- Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
- Set up Accounting for your Corporate Retreat Center
- Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Corporate Retreat Center
- Get Corporate Retreat Center Insurance
- Define your Corporate Retreat Center Brand
- Create your Corporate Retreat Center Website
- Set up your Business Phone System
There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your corporate retreat center. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas.
STEP 1: Plan your business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
- What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What are the costs involved in opening a corporate retreat center?
The costs associated with opening a corporate retreat center business are substantial, for business owners must acquire a facility that has:
- Advanced audio/visual equipment
- Spaces for meetings, presentations and trainings
- Areas to enjoy recreational activities
- Common areas for lounging and networking
- A kitchen for preparing meals
- Rooms for attendants to stay in
If there isn’t an existing facility that meets these requirements and falls within a business owner’s budget, retrofitting an old bed and breakfast, hotel, or motel might be an affordable option. Building a center from scratch is always a possibility, but tends to be expensive.
What are the ongoing expenses for a corporate retreat center?
The ongoing expenses for corporate retreat center businesses are substantial. They include maintenance costs, utilities, insurance premiums, employee wages, and food and activity costs. Business owners should also budget for regular updates so that they can continue to attract companies in the future.
Who is the target market?
Corporate retreat center businesses cater to companies that have employees. These may be local businesses with just a few employees that they want to strengthen ties between, or they might be Fortune 500 corporations that have thousands of employees to unify.
How does a corporate retreat center make money?
Corporate retreat centers primarily make money by hosting company-sponsored retreats. Retreats may last anywhere from a few hours to several days.
How much can you charge customers?
The costs for corporate retreats range depending on how long the retreats last. Day-long retreats generally cost between $55 and $70 per person. Overnight ones that include lodging, meals, and activities can run from $300 to $350 per person, per night. Some high-end retreats cost much more, but these are exceptional.
How much profit can a corporate retreat center make?
With substantial per-person fees, corporate retreat centers can earn a substantial profit. Hosting a 100-person retreat for one day could bring anywhere from $5,500 and $7,000. Hosting a weekend retreat that included two nights for the same number of people might bring in between $60,000 and $70,000.
How can you make your business more profitable?
Diversification plays an integral role in many corporate retreat centers’ business strategies, as they help increase income and reduce vacancies. Group sessions, special events, individual getaways, conferences, and catering can all bring in extra revenue from a centers’ facilities and staff.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Corporate Retreat Center Name Generator
When registering a business name, we recommend researching your business name by checking:
- Your state's business records
- Federal and state trademark records
- Social media platforms
- Web domain availability.
It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your corporate retreat center is sued.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.
Small Business Taxes
Depending on which business structure you choose, you might have different options for how your business will be taxed. For example, some LLCs could benefit from being taxed as an S corporation (S corp).
You can learn more about small business taxes in these guides:
- LLC Taxes
- Sole Proprietorship vs LLC
- LLC vs Corporation
- LLC vs S Corp
- How to Start an S Corp
- S Corp vs C Corp
There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business's name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
Open a business bank account
Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:
- Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.
Open net 30 accounts
Net 30 accounts are used to establish and build business credit as well as increase business cash flow. With a net 30 account, businesses buy goods and repay the full balance within a 30-day term.
NetMany net 30 credit vendors report to the major business credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how businesses build business credit so they can qualify for credit cards and other lines of credit.
Recommended: Read our best net 30 vendors, guide and start building business credit.
Get a business credit card
Getting a business credit card helps you:
- Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money later on.
Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from Divvy and build your business credit quickly.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a corporate retreat center business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.
Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
For information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
Certificate of Occupancy
A corporate retreat center business is generally run out of a large building with rooms and public areas. Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.
- If you plan to lease a location:
- It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.
- Before leasing, confirm that your landlord has or can obtain a valid CO that is applicable to a corporate retreat center business.
- After a major renovation, a new CO often needs to be issued. If your place of business will be renovated before opening, it is recommended to include language in your lease agreement stating that lease payments will not commence until a valid CO is issued.
- If you plan to purchase or build a location:
- You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.
- Review all building codes and zoning requirements for your business’ location to ensure your corporate retreat center business will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.
STEP 7: Get business insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.
Learn more about General Liability Insurance.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator. Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.
How to promote & market a corporate retreat center
There are many ways to market a corporate retreat center business. Encouraging retreat attendees to share photos on social media and leave reviews can generate grassroots buzz. A professional website, brochures and pamphlets can help convince higher-up decision makers to convince higher-up decision makers to book a retreat.
How to keep customers coming back
A corporate retreat center business can keep companies coming back for retreats by providing the highest level of service. This is why meeting every possible request is so crucial.
Still unsure about what kind of business you want to start? Check out the latest Small Business Trends to help inspire you.
STEP 9: Create your business website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldn’t take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
STEP 10: Set up your business phone system
Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.
There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2022 to find the best phone service for your small business.
Recommended Business Phone Service: Phone.com
Phone.com is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.
Start a Corporate Retreat Center in your State
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
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Is this Business Right For You?
Anyone who is organized and has strong interpersonal skills may enjoy running a corporate retreat center business. Hosting retreats requires balancing many different tasks, and there’s a constant conversation between the retreat center and company sponsoring the retreat.
While not absolutely necessary, it’s also helpful to have a background in corporate work. Business owners who have themselves worked up the corporate ladder are aware of what companies and employees each want, which is helpful when planning retreats.
Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!
What happens during a typical day at a corporate retreat center?
The days when companies hold retreats are busy days at corporate retreat centers. Employees are setting up audio/visual gear for presentations, guiding members through recreational activities, preparing meals and making sure rooms are ready for guests. Of course, business owners may also get any number of requests from company representatives and/or attending employees. Feasible requests ought to be honored so that everyone enjoys the retreat.
When there’s no retreat currently being held, employees might clean, reorder supplies, repair items, and work on planning future retreats.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful corporate retreat center?
Before starting their own corporate retreat center, business owners should first gain experience working at an established center. First-hand experience will show business owners the many facets of running a center, and it will provide them with some contacts in the industry. Having contacts can help a new center get its first corporate clients.
What is the growth potential for a corporate retreat center?
Most corporate retreat centers have just one location, for maintaining and promoting a single location takes a lot of time and money. Essex Woods and Beaver Hollow Conference Center are two examples of corporate retreat businesses that each have a single location.
Take the Next Step
Find a business mentor
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
Learn from other business owners
Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a corporate retreat center?
When choosing where to build or purchase a facility, the location is of the utmost importance. The right type of location is in a rural setting but close to a metropolitan area. Such a setting affords attendees a peaceful getaway without making the retreat a hassle to get to and from.
Having an airport nearby can provide great long-term opportunities for centers. An international airport makes it easy for large companies with employees in multiple countries to host a retreat that brings all employees together in a single location.
How and when to build a team
Corporate retreat center businesses need several employees from the outset because there’s so much to manage. At a minimum businesses, need people to see to attendee needs, prepare and serve meals, clean rooms, perform basic maintenance, manage the grounds and plan retreats. Smaller centers may have people perform several of these tasks, but the work still requires a team.