How to Open a Pawn Shop in Indiana

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You must meet specific requirements to open a pawn shop in Indiana.
You must meet specific requirements to open a pawn shop in Indiana. (Image: George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)

Indiana pawn shops offer loans for valuable items to its patrons. These are short-term loans with the amount based on the value of an item pledged as security. If you want to open a pawn shop in Indiana, there are some basic requirements that you must meet. Once you complete the application packet, the Department of Financial Institutions in Indianapolis will conduct a criminal background check for the applicant(s). You must also present two years experience in a finance-related field if you will manage the shop. You cannot open the doors for business until approval of your application by the Department of Financial Institutions in Indianapolis. It will take a minimum of 30 days to process the application packet; however, it may take longer depending on when you actually schedule your interview with the Department of Financial Institutions.

Things You'll Need

  • Application packet
  • Surety bond
  • License fee

Complete the application packet for the pawn shop. Attach a check for the license fee to the application. The fee is $1,000 for the first shop and $500 for each additional location you will open. Take the Surety Bond form to an insurance agent and establish a bond for $50,000 payable to the Department of Financial Institutions. You must have one for each location you will open to a maximum of $200,000. Obtain a certified financial statement from a licensed CPA for your application.

You must have a copy of your criminal history from each state in which you have had a permanent residence. You can call the police department in the locality where you lived for this information. Alternatively, you can use a background checking service to do this for you for a fee. You will then need to obtain copies of your credit report from the three major bureaus including Experian, Equifax and Transunion. Complete the application for an ATF license and submit it to the ATF in Atlanta, Ga.

Secure the location where you wish to establish your pawn shop. Before signing a lease, you should negotiate a deal with the property owner in which the lease only becomes effective upon approval of your license. Submit the application to the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions once you have all the information together by mailing it or taking it directly to the office. Schedule your interview with the Department of Financial Institutions.

Once you meet all requirements and gain approval of your application, you can open your doors for business.

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