Truth be told, the types of licenses you will need to open a pet crematory in the United States will depend on your state or municipality.
Your state’s Department of Environmental Protection or its equivalent might even mandate certain permits or licensing for solid-waste disposal, air pollution controls, wastewater discharge, and other possible environmental hazards. As such it is necessary you reach out to the appropriate quarters to ensure you obtain the right licenses for your animal crematory.
The United States is renowned as a country of pet lovers and many owners in this modern age tend to prefer cremation as the final disposition for their beloved animals when they die.
As such, when you choose to run this type of business, you will be expected to sensitively deal with clients who have recently lost a pet. You will be tasked with safely storing the body in a temperature-controlled facility until it is cremated.
After cremation, you’ll return the ashes to the pet owner or dispose of them as per your client’s wishes. You might as well offer other services such as a pet funeral home, cemetery, or mausoleum. Don’t forget that there are expenses that come with starting and managing this sort of business.
You’ll need transportation caskets, urns and grave markers, cleaning equipment, trucks for picking up animals, contracts, record-keeping equipment, identification tags, and cremation certificates.
Starting this sort of business can be quite challenging, but you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of the right license and certifications. Nevertheless, here are the basic licenses and certifications you will need to open a pet crematory business in the United States.
Licenses and Certifications You Need to Open a Pet Crematory
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This particular license is considered important and necessary for all kinds of businesses in the United States. In most states, you will be expected to pay an annual operating license for your crematory business. New York State, for instance, has three main requirements to start as a pet crematorium:
- At least 5 acres of land
- Dedication of the land/real estate for crematorium use specifically
- Put up a $12,000 trust fund for operations
In most places, your business or facility will be inspected at least once a year by a representative of the state’s environmental protection agency, and you will be expected to scale through the inspection.
It is imperative you make sure that the location you choose for your crematory is zoned properly for a pet crematory business. As such, reach out to the local zoning board to discover the exact locations where you can operate a crematorium.
Ideally, animal crematory facilities tend to be established away from residences, health facilities, and schools. An industrial park or warehouse district might probably be an ideal choice.
Also note that aside from the cremation furnace, you’ll need a massive cold storage area to keep the remains before cremation. Other facilities include a reception area to attend to bereaved pet owners, a service area for veterinarian hospitals to deliver bodies, and a secondary storage area for the ashes.
The primary essence of this permit is to guarantee the safety of human health and the environment. In this line of business, depending on your location and the sort of cremation equipment you use, you might be expected to obtain environmental permits related to emissions and waste disposal. Ensure to reach out to your state environmental agency for this.
In certain places in the United States, enterprises in this line are expected to obtain a specific occupational license for pet crematory operators.
In some states, you will have to apply for a crematory operating license in addition to a normal business license; fees and license periods vary by state. New York, for instance, tends to bill around $150 for a two-year license at the time of publication.
Fire Department Approval
Note that this permit is a government-issued document that is provided by State governments. Keep in mind that any person or business with plans to burn ordinary combustibles will have to get written permission from the landowner coupled with a written fire permit from the local forest warden or local fire department in the town or city where the fire will be ignited. This permit can also be obtained from your local fire warden, deputy warden, and issuing agents.
Crematory Operations Certification
The Cremation Association of North America (CANA) is known to provide certification programs for crematory operators.
Also, note that a good number of states also possess legal standards for pet cremation and the industry is self-regulated. You can also leverage the International Association of Pet Cemeteries & Crematories which runs a training and accreditation program for pet death service professionals.
Accreditation from these Associations entitles the holder to display the certificate or plaque, and this works to give your customers peace of mind that your business follows best practices.
EPA Certification (if applicable)
Although this will depend on your location in the United States; howbeit, if your facility uses certain types of cremation equipment, you may be required to obtain certification from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The state environmental protection agency is tasked with regulating furnace emissions and has precise permits that have to do with animal crematories. As such, ensure you reach out to your state environmental protection agency for regulations that concern animal crematories and facility licensing.
Solid Waste Licenses
Although this will also depend on state regulations, you may be required to obtain a solid-waste permit for the crematory and an annual license to operate it. Keep in mind that the requirements will depend on the volume of cremations.
In the state of Ohio, for instance, if your business involves cremating animals whose remains are returned to the owner, such a license is not mandatory.
You will have to renew your solid waste license annually if you cremate many animals at a time and dispose of the remains using a landfill. Regulatory agencies only want to be guaranteed that this waste is non-hazardous; as such testing is considered necessary.