How to Start an Asphalt Paving Business

Asphalt is made of crushed stone and gravel, or aggregate, mixed with a binding agent. This material is used to pave roads throughout the world, creating the blacktop road surface that we are familiar with. Those who wish to start an asphalt paving business must not only become familiar with the paving process, but must also learn the basics of business, marketing and accounting to keep their business afloat. With plenty of motivation and hard work, you can transform your skills into a successful asphalt paving business.

Gain experience in the paving industry. If you've never worked in the asphalt paving industry, find a job that you can work for at least a year that will expose you to the day-to-day operations of asphalt paving.

Consult a lawyer about forming a corporation, LLC or other business entity. Fields such as paving are too risky to leave your personal assets on the line. By forming a corporation, you can protect your home and assets in case anything goes wrong with your business.

Purchase or lease equipment. You'll need a paving machine, rollers, mixing machines and basic safety equipment like cones and signs for blocking off the roads. Check to see if you can find used equipment first. Many construction companies don't last past their first year of operation. Their loss can be your gain, in the form of low-priced equipment.

Find a supplier that can give you competitive pricing on asphalt products. You'll need a source for aggregate and binding agents. Look for reasonable payment terms, convenient locations and fair pricing when selecting a supplier.

Get insured. All construction companies, especially those doing work on public roadways, must be properly insured. You'll need liability coverage, workman's compensation and coverage for tools and equipment to get you started.

Hire and train employees. You'll need equipment operators, flag men, estimators and project managers. Consider also hiring an accountant to handle taxes and payroll, unless you feel comfortable performing this work yourself.

Find work. Contact local general contractors and let them know about your company. Ask to be placed on their bid lists so that you can bid future work with them. Also look into your state's office of procurement to see about bidding opportunities directly with the state.

About the Author

Emily Beach works in the commercial construction industry in Maryland. She received her LEED accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008 and is in the process of working towards an Architectural Hardware Consultant certification from the Door and Hardware Institute. She received a bachelor's degree in economics and management from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.