How to Open an Auto Body Shop. If you've always been interested in repairing cars and are always helping your friends out with free repairs or correcting your mechanic, consider opening an auto body repair shop. It is a solid business--there's always a steady stream of customers who need repair work after collisions, detail work or auto body paint jobs.
Create a list of auto body repair services. Your shop will need to repair common scratches on auto bodies as well as collision damage from accidents. Body alignment, brake system repairs, panel replacement and electrical repairs are also common services. If you can't perform all these repairs yourself, you'll need to hire one or more mechanics.
Organize a business plan listing all the tools and equipment you will need. Shop rent, salaries, insurance and other concerns need to be itemized before you can secure financing.
Locate a space for rent. Auto body repair shops are sometimes housed in low-rent or industrial areas or in close proximity to gas stations or expressways. Scour ads and ask friends if they know of available repair shops for rent.
Use your line of credit or secure a small business loan to open your shop. Money-wise, an auto body repair shop is a low-risk business venture. Plan your business well, hire the right people and you're well on the way to turning a profit.
Set your rates. Be competitive, but don't go too low. Do research on rates charged by similar shops in your area and set your prices in the same range.