Starting a Drug-Testing Business: Essential Requirements You Need to Know

If you’re interested in starting a drug-testing business, there are several steps you need to take to ensure success. First, you’ll need to determine what type of drug testing you’ll offer. This could include pre-employment testing, random testing, or post-accident testing. You’ll also need to decide whether you’ll offer urine, hair, saliva, or blood testing.

Once you’ve determined the type of testing you’ll offer, you’ll need to obtain the necessary licenses and certifications. Depending on your location, you may need to obtain a state license or certification to operate a drug-testing business. You’ll also need to ensure that you’re following all applicable laws and regulations related to drug testing.

In addition to obtaining licenses and certifications, you’ll need to invest in equipment and supplies. This could include drug-testing kits, specimen cups, shipping materials, and forms. You may also need to purchase a breathalyzer if you plan to test for alcohol as well. By taking these steps, you’ll be well on your way to starting a successful drug-testing business.

Understanding Drug-Testing Business

If you are planning to start a drug-testing business, it is important to understand the industry and what types of businesses exist. In this section, we will provide an overview of the drug-testing industry and the different types of drug-testing businesses.

Drug-Testing Industry Overview

The drug-testing industry is a growing industry in the United States. According to a report by Grand View Research, the global drug screening market size was valued at $4.8 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.3% from 2020 to 2027. The growth in the drug-testing industry is due to several factors, including:

  • The increasing prevalence of drug abuse in the United States
  • The increasing number of workplace drug-testing programs
  • The growing awareness of the benefits of drug testing in various industries

Drug testing is used in various industries, including healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, and government. Employers use drug testing to ensure a safe and productive workplace, and to comply with federal and state regulations.

Types of Drug-Testing Businesses

There are several types of drug-testing businesses that you can start, depending on your interests, skills, and resources. Here are some of the most common types of drug-testing businesses:

Type of Drug-Testing BusinessDescription
Mobile Drug-Testing BusinessA mobile drug-testing business provides on-site drug testing services to employers and individuals. This type of business requires a vehicle and portable drug-testing equipment.
Laboratory Drug-Testing BusinessA laboratory drug-testing business provides drug testing services to employers and individuals. This type of business requires a laboratory facility and trained laboratory technicians.
Drug-Testing Equipment Sales BusinessA drug-testing equipment sales business sells drug-testing equipment to other drug-testing businesses, employers, and individuals. This type of business requires knowledge of drug-testing equipment and sales skills.
Drug-Testing Consulting BusinessA drug-testing consulting business provides consulting services to employers on drug-testing policies, procedures, and compliance. This type of business requires knowledge of drug-testing regulations and policies.

Each type of drug-testing business has its own advantages and challenges. You should choose the type of business that best fits your skills, interests, and resources.

State Licensing Requirements

To start a drug testing business, you need to be familiar with the state licensing requirements. Each state has its own regulations and requirements for drug testing businesses. Some states require drug testing businesses to obtain a license before they can operate, while others do not. It is important to research and understand the licensing requirements in your state before starting your drug testing business.

Federal Regulations and Compliance

In addition to state licensing requirements, drug testing businesses must also comply with federal regulations. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has specific regulations for drug testing businesses that conduct drug testing for employees in safety-sensitive positions. These regulations include the use of certified laboratories, the use of certified collectors, and the use of approved drug testing devices. Drug testing businesses must also comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). These laws protect the privacy and confidentiality of employees who are tested for drugs. To ensure compliance with federal regulations and laws, drug testing businesses should consult with legal counsel and stay up-to-date on any changes to regulations.


Starting a drug testing business requires knowledge of state licensing requirements and federal regulations. It is important to research and understand the requirements in your state and comply with federal regulations to ensure the success and legality of your business.

Setting Up Your Drug-Testing Business

Starting a drug-testing business requires careful planning and preparation. Here are some important steps to help you set up your drug-testing business:

Business Plan

The first step in setting up your drug-testing business is to create a solid business plan. Your business plan should include a detailed description of your business, your target market, your competition, and your marketing strategy. You should also include financial projections, such as your startup costs, operating expenses, and revenue projections.

It is important to research and understand the industry and regulatory requirements for drug testing businesses in your area. This includes obtaining any necessary licenses and permits, as well as complying with federal and state regulations.

Location and Equipment

Location is an important factor in the success of your drug-testing business. You should choose a location that is easily accessible to your target market and has sufficient space to accommodate your equipment and staff. You may also want to consider leasing or purchasing a mobile drug-testing unit to expand your services.

When it comes to equipment, you will need to invest in high-quality drug testing kits, specimen collection cups, and shipping materials. You may also want to invest in a breathalyzer if you plan to test for alcohol as well. It is important to choose equipment that is reliable and accurate to ensure the quality of your services.

Staffing and Training

Your drug-testing business will require skilled and knowledgeable staff to ensure accurate and reliable results. You will need to hire trained drug testing technicians who are certified to administer drug tests and interpret results. It is also important to provide ongoing training and education to your staff to keep them up-to-date on the latest drug testing procedures and regulations.

You may also want to consider outsourcing some of your administrative tasks, such as billing and record-keeping, to a third-party service provider. This can help you save time and money and allow you to focus on providing high-quality drug testing services to your clients.

Marketing and Sales Strategies

Target Market

To determine your target market, conduct market research to identify potential customers such as employers, medical professionals, law enforcement, schools, and other organizations that may have a need for drug testing services. Once you have identified your target market, tailor your marketing and sales strategies to meet their specific needs.

Pricing Strategies

When developing your pricing strategy, consider the costs of staff, materials, equipment, and marketing, as well as your profit margin. You may choose to offer discounts for bulk orders or long-term contracts. Your pricing should be competitive with other drug testing services in your area, but also reflect the quality of your services.

Advertising and Promotion

There are several ways to advertise and promote your drug testing business. You can run digital ads on social media platforms and search engines, create a website with information about your services, and distribute flyers and brochures to potential customers. You may also consider attending trade shows and conferences to network with potential customers and industry professionals. Another effective way to promote your business is through relationship marketing. Building strong relationships with your customers can lead to repeat business and referrals. You can do this by providing excellent customer service, offering personalized services, and keeping your customers informed about industry news and changes. In addition, consider offering promotions to engage customers and keep them interested in your services. For example, you could offer a discount for first-time customers, or run a referral program where customers receive a discount for referring new customers to your business. Overall, developing a strong marketing and sales strategy is essential for the success of your drug testing business. By identifying your target market, developing a competitive pricing strategy, and utilizing effective advertising and promotion techniques, you can attract and retain customers and grow your business.


Starting a drug testing business can be a profitable venture if you have the necessary qualifications and resources. As you have learned, you need to obtain the required licenses, certifications, and training, and invest in the appropriate equipment and supplies. You also need to develop a marketing strategy and establish relationships with potential clients.

It is important to keep in mind that drug testing is a highly regulated industry, and you need to comply with federal, state, and local laws and regulations. You also need to maintain the confidentiality and accuracy of test results, and ensure that your testing procedures are reliable and consistent.

As you start your business, it is recommended that you seek guidance from experienced professionals, such as attorneys, accountants, and industry associations. They can provide you with valuable advice and support, and help you navigate the complex legal and business landscape.

Remember that starting a drug testing business requires a significant investment of time, money, and effort. However, if you are committed to providing high-quality services and building a strong reputation, you can succeed in this competitive field.