8 Steps to Start Your Paper Shredder Business from Scratch

keyKey Takeaways:


  • Conduct thorough market research to identify potential clients before diving into the paper shredding service industry.
  • Invest in reliable shredding equipment like cross-cut paper shredders or mobile shredding trucks to ensure secure and efficient shredding services.
  • Differentiate your business by offering additional services such as document storage or recycling options to attract more customers and increase sales.
  • Prioritize hiring trustworthy personnel who have undergone background checks to safeguard the confidentiality of shredded documents.

The paper shredder market revenue is forecasted to reach $2.86 billion by 2025. So, this might be the right time to start if you have been thinking about a paper shredding business. Document shredding services are crucial for business security as there are chances of identity theft. 

As companies need to maintain document security, they’re choosing to shred and recycle office paperwork. A shredder is used to cut down company papers to pieces before dumping them off. Individuals, private companies, government offices, small and big paper shredding businesses are using it to get rid of their sensitive documents.

To help you understand in detail, we have explained the benefits of owning a shredding service and the steps to get started. Read on to find out how route optimization can be a savior if you opt for a mobile shredder business.

Why Should You Start a Shredder Company?

You can start any business as long as it is growth-oriented and beneficial for everyone. However, providing a shredding facility doesn’t just make lives easy for companies or individuals; it also opens up an opportunity to help the environment.

You can start an industrial paper shredder service and make paper recycling easier. Recycling paper helps make different paper-based items and minimizes the usage of fresh paper in producing new products. Thus, you can reduce environmental damage and help businesses recycle shredded material.

It is also a great way to save energy on a big scale. With the help of your shredding company, loads of document shreds can be directly sent for pulp formation to recycle paper. This eliminates the entire shredding process, thereby saving energy used in this step. 

Not to forget, the paper shredding industry is eco-friendly as it helps reduce the number of trees used in making fresh paper. Thus, it helps nature and gives time for the renewal of tree cover.

Apart from these environmental safety benefits, a shredding business offers a great return on investment. It is one of the best options for startups as it doesn’t need more employees and requires low operating costs. 

The paper shredding or document destruction industry is also stable and sales-driven and has shown growth consistency. Buying the right equipment, such as mobile shredders, can broaden the chances of reaching a wider customer base.

How to Start a Document Shredding Business? 

The requirement for paper shredding services will continue until we are so advanced that there are paperless offices! 

But where do you find your target market and generate revenue? Market analysis will help you understand the key areas and potential clients that use enough papers to use your service. In addition to this, here are the 8 effective steps that will help you begin your mobile paper shredding business.

Step 1: Decide your shredding business model

You can either have one or both of these options in your shredding business:

A. Mobile shredder 

Mobile shredding service is an option that requires a shred truck with the necessary equipment. In this setup, customers can book an appointment for you to carry your shredder truck or van to their premises.

A route planner can help you find the best routes to reach offices or industrial areas on time. You can also hire a shredding technician to transfer the documents into the shredder and do the job. In this method, customers can remain secure as their confidential documents would be shredded in front of them.

Up to 20% Shorter Pick-Up Routes

Use Upper’s sophisticated routing algorithms to cut down your driving distance to reach your clients. Make your mobile shredding services speedy and profitable.

B. In-house shredding company

Here, you can offer pick-up or have customers drop off their paperwork to be shredded at your business workplace or home office. This option is cheaper when starting a new business.

This is because it doesn’t require you to reach the customer’s location and waste fuel. However, you may need a storage location with ample space to ensure the smoothness of operations on your service site.

While both these options are viable, there will be a lot of bags filled with shredded paper. Hence, you’ll need to take the shredded documents to a recycling center on a regular basis, so that they don’t occupy more space in your trucks or workplace. 

Step 2: Come up with a shredding business plan

A workable business plan is required for any new or established entrepreneur. Your planning must include the following factors to get started:

  • Objective or goal behind starting a shredding business
  • Target customers and where you can find them
  • Startup costs to buy machinery and mobile shredding vehicle(s), hire staff, and cover promotional expenditures
  • Funding from any financial organization (if required)
  • Transportation costs 
  • Strategic planning to promote your business

Once you have a clear picture of the above factors, you can set pricing packages that meet your expectations. You can also consult experts to form an excellent business plan.

Step 3: Buy or rent the required workspace

Depending on your business model, you may need a commercial location to keep your equipment and carry out secure shredding services. Here are some of the key points to note down while selecting the property:

  • If you’re shredding confidential material on the site, the space must be secure and well-ventilated. 
  • You’ll need an area for sorting before carrying out document shredding.
  • The layout must be designed in a way that keeps loading docks and other areas nearby for easy handling. 
  • Keep the work location close to your target clients.
  • Ensure that you have a space to keep carts or pallets used for moving the documents within the work location.
  • Determine whether you would need more space in case your services grow in the future.

Step 4: Register your paper shredding business

After you decide on a unique business name and logo, you will need to register your shredding services business. You can register your business as an LLC, partnership, or corporation. A legal advisor will explain things in detail and help you with the setup process. 

You would also need a business checking bank account to manage your business finances. This will help organize your business and increase your credibility, as you can properly pay your taxes on time.

Step 5: Secure your shredding services 

Shredding documents that are confidential would need you to comply with privacy laws. So, to provide a paper shredding service for business documents, you may need a license and permit.

You will shred tons of confidential or personal information. So, to be out of trouble, you will need to protect yourself. To do this, you may need to get the right liability insurance. Additionally, keep a surety bond with your customers, which is a financial guarantee so they can remain secure about their paperwork.

Step 6: Purchase shred truck and related equipment

For the office setup, you will need equipment, including a shredder, paper baler, disposal bags, and pallets. Moreover, you may need shred bins that usually come with a locking lid and are in the form of wheeled carts. Choosing the type of shredder is also important so that you can choose from:

  • Shredder 
  • Pierce-and-tear
  • Grinder
  • Disintegrator 
Purchase truck and equipment to start a paper shredding business

Clients feel the most secure when you shred papers into small fragments. However, these shredders are slower and more expensive than the ones that only strip-cut papers. You can choose from the industrial shredding machines based on the output you want. You can choose from the industrial shredding machines as per the output you want.

Ensure that you check previous clients’ testimonials and warranty periods before purchasing. If you are starting a mobile shredding business, you will need one or more shred trucks, depending on your requirements. These must be equipped with an industrial paper shredder and a power supply unit. 

Step 7: Take training on shredder usage and maintenance

Using huge paper shredders and the associated tasks needs practical training. Getting into a training program will teach you various techniques for using the shredder safely. You can check with the supplier if they are offering training programs for you and your employees.

It is strongly recommended that you regularly maintain the shredding machine. For details, refer to the service contract provided by your supplier. This will ensure that you use the machine with utmost reliability while offering shredding services to your clients.

Step 8: Market your shredder business

Your ideal clients are businesses like law firms, insurance companies, and administrative offices that need regular document shredding services. They are always looking for secure solutions to ensure confidential data destruction on a weekly or monthly basis.

Building a website and marketing your services through social media campaigns can help you get clients for your shredding services. You can also target customers by sending promotional emails to big and small businesses.

Offering monthly or yearly subscriptions to your customers is a great way to get repeat orders. Customers can visit your office or take your shred trucks to them on the scheduled date and time. This will ensure that you have repeat clients, and their positive testimonials will increase your customer base.

Start Your Mobile Shredding Journey with Upper Route Planner

Starting a shredder company can help you go a long way in generating revenue and establishing your brand name. If you go for a mobile paper shredding business, you will be burdened with a lot of manual work to plan routes. To surpass these challenges, you need something extra.

With Upper Route Planner, you can create highly optimized routes and assign them to yourself or your shredding truck drivers in a single click. Such a process takes only a few minutes, thus reducing your hours of route planning. You can do this for multi-stop shredding services by importing your customer’s addresses from an excel spreadsheet. 

Such a powerful route planning companion also comes with a facility to take proof of delivery on successful shredding completion. This will naturally enhance your reputation as you would be able to take e-signatures, add photos and notes once the job is done.

Let Upper Handle Your Shredding Business Route Planning

Got a shredding service order after a month? No problem! Upper lets you schedule routes for your mobile shredding services in advance.


A paper shredding service owner can shred the following:

  • Clean paper
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Brochures
  • Blueprints
  • Mails
  • Photographs
  • File folders – you don’t need to remove paper clips, small binder clips, staples, or rubber bands

As a shredding company owner, you need an AAA certification from the National Association of Information Destruction (NAID). This is because you would be destroying sensitive paper records. Under this, a shredding service business must adhere to strict protocols and conduct regular audits to handle confidential documents safely.

A shredder’s lifespan can be between 5 and 10 years, depending on its usage and the type of machine you buy. However, you need to use it with utmost care and maintenance. The instructions and guidelines provided by the manufacturer will help you take proper care of it.

Ready to Start Your Shredding Business?

A paper shredding service needs a lot of focus and proper handling of documents. It also requires you to be aware of potential legal penalties, especially if you shred or destroy sensitive information.

So, it is important for you to learn about the nitty-gritty of the paper shredding industry and all the aspects involved, as discussed above, before you start your journey to shredding papers.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.