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Owning a Document Shredding Service

In response to growing concerns about identity theft and data security, the document destruction business has been expanding rapidly in recent years. Both the Federal Government and the states have passed a series of privacy laws in recent years that have caused sharp growth in demand for shredding services. Businesses that require large-scale shredding of sensitive paper records tend to prefer using outside contractors for this service, rather than performing it in-house. Among the largest users of shredding services are:

  • doctors
  • hospitals
  • lawyers
  • banks
  • investment firms
  • insurance companies
  • accountants
  • auto dealers

There are two basic types of companies in the shredding business: those primarily engaged in document destruction, and those who offer shredding in addition to paper recycling or records storage. Moreover, there are two ways to run a shredding operation: truck the documents to a central location for destruction or install an industrial-size shredder (such as one that can destroy over 1,000 pounds per hour) in a truck and do the shredding at the customerís site.

The primary advantages of a purely mobile operation are the reduced costs for maintaining a fixed work site and the ability to show the customer that the documents have indeed been destroyed.

To turn disposal costs into profits, sell the shredded paper to a recycler.

Because there are few, if any, jurisdictions in which the shredding business is currently regulated, opening your own business should encounter minimal legal hurdles. As

a selling point for potential customers, consider having your business practices audited and certified by security professionals from the National Association for Document Destruction, a trade group based in Phoenix, Arizona.

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