An alternator rebuilding business typically rebuilds starters, alternators and motors for the public or mechanic shops. While many double as general repair shops, some may focus on rebuilding engines on marine, farm and industrial equipment, in addition to automotive vehicles. An entrepreneur interested in starting his own shop should have electro-mechanical training and know the original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, specifications for the products he will work with.

Things You Will Need
  • Automotive Service Excellence, or ASE, certification

  • Liability insurance

  • Auto shop license

  • Employees

  • Parts

  • Manuals

  • Diagnostic tools

  • Tools

  • Safety equipment

  • Storage containers

Gain electro-mechanical training. Rebuilding alternators requires that you recognize how to disable and reconnect wires and how to use testing equipment to test electrical output. Gain certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence by enrolling in a course with a focus on electrical systems.

Contact local authorities to learn the regulations for your auto shop. You’ll need clearance from your state’s Environmental Protection Agency, zoning authority, building department and licensing department.

Secure an appropriately zoned location for your shop. Determine whether it would be financially advantageous to move into an old repair shop or purchase land and construct or purchase buildings or trailers to house each department. Generally, you’ll need a parts-supply building, an office and bays for repairing your equipment. If you will do paint work, you’ll need a separate bay or room, depending on local EPA regulations.

Outfit your facilities with appropriate storage drums for liquids and hazardous materials. Purchase fire insurance, workers’ compensation and general liability insurance. Develop any policies required by your state, such as payment policies and general service contracts.

Purchase tools for rebuilding, rewinding, refinishing and testing units, as well as safety gear, office supplies, chemicals and uniforms. Obtain online service manuals and reference materials on various auto makes and models.

Hire skilled and certified mechanics for your shop. Review the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s manuals and implement safety measures as laid out by state and federal government.

Contact reliable distributors to procure parts for the manufacturers whose equipment you work on for your supply store. See Resources for a link to dozens of suppliers.

Contact your local licensing department or health official to set up an inspection and apply for your shop license.