The first thing I would recommend is creating a well-written business plan. You can contact organizations such as S.C.O.R.E., your local Chamber of Commerce, or your local Small Business Administration. In many cases visiting these folks is free; many may provide inexpensive classes to help you start your business. You will not even see a commercial loan officer without a business plan and, in developing your business plan, may discover the market is saturated and your margins may not be worth the investment in your given area. You may conduct research and cost analysis and discover that operation of a car service might be more cost-effective in the beginning. If you have zero experience in the industry (driver, mechanic, dispatcher, etc) some banks may not even touch you because of the implied risk even if you have 20?own for the limo and 3-6 months of operating capital for your office space, personnel, and vehicle expenses (fuel, payments, parts) prior to them lending you the big $$. Corporate loans have gotten tight! There are reposessed limos out there for a reason; the industry is hurting.
You may want to read this:
(this was a person's thesis - they decided to NOT go into the limo business)
Whatever you decide I definitely wish you the best of luck. I also highly recommend a backup career for your downtime and off-seasons. One of the drivers I know works real estate as a Realtor(r) as well as dispatches his own vehicle through a limo service. He has a nice town car to pick up his clients and when he has driving business he doesn't schedule real estate appointments. It was a good gig for him as some months in real estate are dry but folks are always getting car service at the airports in the DC area.
Many limo companies start as someone purchasing and renting a single limo or a vehicle and paying for the conversion. Dependent upon the improvements, and who performs them, you are looking at $40,000-$200,000 dependent upon the vehicle. With a new vehicle the first few years of maintenance may not be covered by the dealer as the vehicle has been modified. You will have issues and need to decide how to handle breakdowns. I met someone in NY with a 7-series BMW that does something similar but didn't mention his day job. If I had to guess it would have been insurance sales.
Skills required - Sales, Leadership, Management, Business Law Knowledge, Mechanical Ability, Limo license or CDL license, ASE certification, Computer skills, Marketing Skills
Skills required may be hired or outsourced at the beginning - LICENSED personnel may be required in some fields.