How to Start a Commercial Painting Company

by Matt Goetz ; Updated September 26, 2017
Start a profitable commercial painting company.

The commercial painting business involves providing painting services to businesses ranging from hotels and restaurants to parks and hospitals. Unlike residential painting, a successful commercial painting company can complete higher-paying projects for big corporations and franchised businesses. Depending on the type of project, a commercial painting company may have to complete painting jobs after-hours to avoid customer interference during the day. Compared with other businesses, starting a commercial painting company requires little money and overhead.

Start your commercial painting company either as an LLC (limited liability corporation), sole proprietor or a corporation. The one you choose will depend on your own preferences for taxation and liability issues. Contact your state and local governments to find out whether you're required to have a business license. Some states do not require a commercial painting company to have a business license. Inquire about the procedure for registering your chosen business name and how to go about obtaining a tax ID number.

Go to your bank and speak with an accountant about opening a bank account for your commercial painting company. You will need your businesses tax ID number to open your business account. Open a line of credit for your business.

Purchase all of the necessary equipment to start up your painting business. You will need a van or at least a small pickup truck with a ladder rack. Buy just a few ladders to start with, including a 16-foot extension ladder, 6-foot stepladder and a 24-foot extension ladder. Go to the paint store and buy paint brushes, paint handles and rollers, extension poles, taping knives, scrapers and painter's clothes. Pick up a paint sprayer and additional equipment from the store as your business grows. Open a business account at the paint store so you can receive discounted prices for yourself and your customers.

Hire reliable employees, or work by yourself. Eventually, you will need to hire employees in order to complete bigger and better-paying commercial paint jobs. Interview applicants and carefully choose qualified painters with skills and experience. Choosing the right employees could result in a highly profitable, year-round commercial painting business.

Contact local insurance companies and buy liability insurance. Ask the insurance company or local government about the procedure involved for bonding your business. You will need to have your commercial painting company insured and bonded, especially after hiring employees. Contact your local unemployment insurance office and find out how much unemployment insurance costs for your business. If you run out of work in the winter months, you may be able to collect unemployment benefits.

Print business cards and submit them to your local paint store. Advertise your commercial painting company on free classified websites and buy a professional ad in your local phone book. Visit commercial construction sites and place bids on painting projects. Introduce yourself to local businesses and pass out your business cards.


  • Develop good relations with your customers to establish a professional reputation.

About the Author

Matt Goetz began writing in 2007 with work appearing on various websites. He is a professional painter who owns and operates a residential painting business, and also has experience in home remodeling. Goetz obtained an associate degree from the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee trade school in Berkley, Ill.

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