Unlike many construction specialties, concrete cutting is flourishing as curbs and other structural barriers must be cut out to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. You can enter this trade with some preparation and a modest budget, but you will need to comply with state and local licensing requirements and obtain insurance coverage.
Form a corporation or a limited liability company to limit your liability. Most states permit you to do this online.
Apply online with the IRS for an Employer Identification Number. Even if you start without employees, you will need the number to open a bank account and file corporate income tax returns.
Determine whether your state or county requires a contractor’s license for concrete cutters and, if needed, apply for it. You may need both a concrete contractor’s license and a demolition contractor’s license. Some jurisdictions require experience in the trade before becoming a contractor.
Draft a one-page contract with the help of an attorney. This document, which helps to limit your liability, can be printed on the back side of your sales invoice form when you perform work for consumers.
Open a business checking account for your company. The bank may require documentation such as Articles of Incorporation and the IRS letter assigning an Employer Identification Number.
Set up a credit card merchant account through either your bank or a third-party processor. Acquire a credit card terminal or software that permits card processing through your personal computer.
Purchase a business liability insurance policy with coverage of at least $1 million. If you have employees, also purchase workers’ compensation coverage. When you perform work as a subcontractor or for governmental and some corporate customers, you will need to provide proof of insurance.
Operations and Management
Join the Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association. It offers technical training as well as resources that include a manual on “How to Market Your Concrete Cutting Business.”
Acquire affordable, used concrete cutting equipment. Sellers post equipment for sale on the website of the Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association. Also contact local auction houses that deal in construction equipment.
If you don’t already have one, purchase or lease a truck that is capable of hauling both equipment and concrete debris.
Contact local sanitary landfills, as well as site preparation contractors and developers seeking clean fill for their projects. Determine which options are most economical for disposing of concrete debris that you collect from your jobs.
Place small, affordable yellow pages ads under Concrete Cutting or a similar heading. Many directories also have online versions.
Create a simple website highlighting your services, including photos of your work. If you lack the skill, pay someone else to design it. Use key words or purchase online ads to drive traffic to your site.
List your business in the print and online versions of “The Blue Book: Building and Construction Network.”
Call general contractors and local governments and ask to be placed on their bid lists.
Prepare basic marketing materials to mail or deliver to other businesses that frequently need the services of concrete cutters. These include plumbers, swimming pool builders and remodelers, tree services, and paving contractors.
You may face hefty fines if you or your workers engage in unsafe work practices. State inspectors enforce workplace safety under Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules.