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The Basics of Starting an Independent Insurance Agency

By Tony Cadwell

Is starting an independent insurance agency right for you? 

An agency owner looking to make the switch from captive to an independent insurance agency owner must have several qualities. So, ask yourself the following questions to find out if you’re ready for sole proprietorship. 

If you are, OAA wants to hear from you. We want to help you start an independent agency. 

  • Are you prepared to develop a business plan to manage, start, and run your independent insurance agency while also including an agency operations plan?
  • Are you prepared to follow the steps required by individual insurance carriers so that your agency can offer their insurance products?
  • When you’re an independent agent in the insurance business, there’s more risk involved. Ask yourself, “Am I capable of handling the risk and the stress that comes with more risk of  this type of small business?”
  • Do you have or can you get access to the cash that it will take for you to start an independent agency? 
  • As a business owner, are you ready to take on the new world of marketing to build your book of business so that your insurance business will continue to grow? You won’t have the same marketing support from a home office that you currently have as a captive agent. Your marketing plan is fully on your shoulders. 
  • Are you prepared as an agency owner to become an expert in the insurance products that you want to offer? 
  • Are you prepared to get whatever licenses you or your new insurance agency may need to offer insurance products?


As an experienced agency owner, you have a wealth of experience in the insurance business. Isn’t it time that your book of business helps you make the money you deserve? If you have at least three years of experience as an insurance agent, OAA can help you start an independent agency that benefits both you and your clients. Why settle for the limitations of just one insurance company when you can offer multiple types of insurance from multiple insurance carriers?  

OAA has the tools and the experience you need to become a successful independent agent who is in charge of their own future. You can join the more than $1 billion in insurance products premiums as an agency owner affiliated with OAA. 


When you’re an agency owner, people come to you for sound expert advice. And to start an independent insurance agency, you must have the ability to get the financing required to open your small business. For both of these topics, that means financial soundness and financial literacy. 

For the ability to acquire the financing you need to start an independent agency, you need a credit score of around 600 or greater. With this, we can generally help insurance agents become a business owner and start their small business. If your credit isn’t there yet, keep working at it! When you’re ready to start, OAA will be here for you.



 Being in the insurance industry as an independent agency owner is a different experience. It requires the right attitude. You become a small business owner. You’re not answering to the parent insurance company anymore. They don’t make you’re marketing decisions for you. They don’t make your agency operations decisions, either. 

You are the type of person with a plan, a drive, and a dream. You have a sense of excitement, a goal for getting more out of life and the insurance business. You aren’t just looking to go into the office every day and go through the motions. You want to make a difference for the people in your book of business and for yourself. 

Are you the next independent agency owner we help make a difference?

If any of this sounds like you, OAA is excited to talk with you and help you get started, develop your business business plan, and hit the ground running. You can make a difference and become an expert in the insurance industry. Take the next step. We’re waiting to hear from you. 


Start your insurance agency in just 7 steps

If your mind is made up, you have a plan, and you are ready to dive into the world of independent agencies, just follow these 7 steps to independence and be the boss of your own small business.

1. Goal Setting

2. Carriers, Partnerships & Profit Sharing

3. Training, Development & Coaching

4. Insurance Agency Management

5. Sales & Marketing

6. Hiring

7. Growing Your Agency

Download the free "How to Start an Independent Insurance Agency" guide from OAA.

Questions? We have answers.

Freeing yourself from captivity and starting your own agency can be daunting, and we’re sure you have many questions. Here are the answers to some common questions, please take a look at our blog or contact us if you have any other questions about becoming independent and joining OAA.

Starting an agency is overwhelming, how can I prioritize and focus?

How do I make a name for myself and get customers to trust me as an independent agent?

Should I strike out as an independent agent even with the COVID crisis?

How can I negotiate with a major insurance carrier if I’m an independent agent?

Should I use social media to promote my agency?

How we’ve helped entrepreneurs start and grow independent insurance agencies.







Join OAA

OAA was born out of the desire to help independent agents succeed.

If you want to start off your own agency, make it grow explosively, or sell an established agency, we have the experience, knowledge and skills to help you.