How to become a Funeral Director

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: April 2016
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • What qualifications and skills are required?
  • What are the key market issues and trends?
  • What are the main trading issues?
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Funeral directors provide a wide range of services including advice about legal issues such as registering a death; organising and sourcing suppliers for the various elements of a funeral including venues, transport, music, flowers and newspaper notices; transferring and preparing the deceased for the funeral; and arranging for their burial or cremation. Many funeral directors employ in-house staff to provide services such as hearse driving and embalming, while others engage freelancers to perform these functions on a subcontract basis.

A funeral director is usually appointed by relatives or friends of the deceased. In some cases, local authorities, hospitals, and other organisations such as nursing homes engage funeral directors to arrange funerals where there is no one else available to do this. Cash flow is a key issue for funeral directors, as they usually do not receive payment from clients until after the funeral has taken place.

Chauffeur driven cars such as funeral limousines for mourners are classed as private hire vehicles (PHV) under local authority licensing laws, which means anyone intending to start this type of enterprise needs an operator's licence from their local authority, as well as a separate licence for each vehicle.

This profile provides information about starting up and running a funeral service. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and some of the key trading issues. It also identifies some of the main legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information.

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