How to Start a Sheet Metal Business

by Jerry Garner; Updated September 26, 2017
Book About Cutting Sheet Metal

The sheet-metal industry is highly diversified and generates more products than most people realize. Everything from air-conditioning ductwork, automobile gas tanks and railroad box cars are all made of sheet metal. This diversity allows sheet-metal businesses to withstand economic turmoil. If you are considering starting a sheet-metal business but didn't know where to begin, follow these steps.

Decide what type of sheet-metal business you want to start. Some metal workers will focus on manufacturing a specific product, such as ductwork. Others offer a more generalized service and create anything the customer may desire.

Pick a name for your sheet-metal business and register it as a company. Pick two alternate names in case your first choice is already being used. The city clerk's office will provide you with a form to fill out, copy your identification and collect a filing fee. I

You do not need an office building or expensive retail location for your business. A plain metal building in the country or in an industrial section of the city will be perfectly suitable. You want to have enough space to warehouse your sheets of metal in various thickness levels, as well as a large workshop for cutting, shaping and welding the raw material into a finished product.

In addition to storage racks, you will need metal benders, cutters, cutting torches, grinders and welders. You will also need an abundance of basic tools, such as hammers, drills and drill presses. Other tools may be needed as well, depending on the type of business.

Look for workers who have experience with sheet-metal fabrication. You may also consider hiring people from the local vocational school, but experienced employees should make up the majority of your workforce. You will need cutters, welders and general labor to transform sheets of metal into a commercial product.

Advertise your company to other businesses. Talk to construction, heating and air companies, or anyone else who may need a product fabricated from metal. You may periodically construct something for an individual, but the overwhelming majority of your work will be generated from businesses that need specific products.

Tips

  • Never throw away the bits of scrap metal generated from your cuttings. You never know when you may have a project that can make use of those small pieces.

About the Author

Jerry Garner has been writing semi-professionally for more than 15 years. The body of Garner's work includes informative articles, news and current events and historical essays. He is an avid sports fan and frequently writes about outdoor activities online.

Photo Credits

  • mrbill, Flickr.com Creative Commons License
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