How to Start a General Contracting Business

Owning your own general contracting business is a wonderful feeling. Yet, starting it can be complicated and it can be frustrating.
Here are some steps and tips to help you remember some of the vital keys you will need to get your business off and running to a good start.

Gather all the tools you will need

Tools are very vital to your business. You will need many things from hammers, screw drivers, drills, saws, edgers, levels, chalk liners, measuring tapes, bits, etc.
You will also need a place to store these and storage boxes for them. Plus, you will need at least one pick up truck to haul the supplies and materials needed for your customers.

Decide on how many employees you plan on having (at least in the beginning).
You need to make this decision now because you will have to file for workers compensation. This insurance is a state insurance for all workers and you must make sure you have this. Once you decide on the number, go ahead and apply for your workers compensation. You can do this over the internet.

Set up a place to call your office. This could be a rental office or it could just be a space in your home. You will need a desk, place to store your files (filing cabinet or storage box), a calculator, possibly a computer, a phone with an answering machine, possibly a fax machine, a printer, a copier (you could save money by purchasing a machine that acts like all three), a desk calendar, etc.

Begin the hiring process of the employees you need. Consider doing a back ground check on all of them. Remember you may want to hire at least a part time helper for your clerical needs.

Advertise in your local newspaper. Tell all your friends and associates that you are now taking estimates on upcoming jobs. Consider putting an ad on your local radio station. Have some fliers made up advertising your business and have these included in your local newspaper. Have some business cards printed up. Place a business sign on your pick up truck. (Check with your local licensing department to see if you have to switch to commercial tags).

As you are waiting for the phone calls to start coming in, be sure to have a list of references handy. Some potential customers may wish to see this since you are starting a new business. Make at least a down payment on some liability insurance for your business (possibly even the office)

Have your calendar ready to start scheduling those upcoming jobs.


  • Have patience for it may take time for your business to grow. Be sure to tell all your friends and family of your new business venture.


  • Be sure to have a little bit of savings to keep you afloat as your business grows.