The key requirements for opening a cemetery are compliance with zoning and other property-related regulations, documentation of experience, a solid business plan and proof of financial stability. The requirements and regulations for cemetery operation are usually established at the state level, but may also vary by local jurisdiction.
Legal requirements may include meeting minimum capitalization requirements and/or the establishment of a trust or endowment fund of $25,000 or more to maintain the regular care a cemetery requires. Irrigation and grounds maintenance are among a cemetery's most significant monthly operating costs. Determining the location for a new cemetery requires consideration of population data and the number and capacity of existing cemeteries in a 20 to 25 mile radius of the population center.
Other property considerations include adequate space for the various physical structures required, such as an on-site office or security booth, and for related services, such as pre-funeral visitations or flower sales. Property size and related services impact potential revenue and also expenses.
Considering the perspective of local communities is also important. Local community groups may become involved, since cemeteries are perceived to reduce the value of nearby residential properties. Anyone considering opening a cemetery is advised to secure legal counsel.