May 4, 2021 Last updated May 4th, 2021 914 Reads share

The Self-Employed Tradesman: How To Start A Successful Contracting Business

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If you are a general contracting employee with an entrepreneurial spirit, you have likely considered starting your own business. Being your own boss, setting your own hours, and deciding which construction projects to take on are all tempting perks of being self-employed.

Construction is a leading contributor to the US economy with over 7 million employees involved in the construction industry nationwide. If you feel like you have what it takes to start your own general contracting business, there has never been a better time to join one of the fastest-growing industries in the world.

If you’re ready to overcome the headaches and hurdles of owning a small business and join the ranks of the self-employed, let’s explore how you can begin to focus on the building projects you’re passionate about and start your own general contracting business.


Consider The Ups And Downs Of Being Self-Employed

Many dream of starting and growing a small business. But do you have what it takes to be self-employed? The Small Business Administration’s Office Of Advocacy estimates there are over 30 million businesses in the US. Can you rise to the challenge of standing out amongst other businesses that offer the same thing you do?

Before you take the leap, consider if you’re well-suited for the self-employed life.  There are many ups and downs associated with becoming your own boss such as erratic hours, lack of a steady paycheck, and stress and anxiety.

There are positives too, such as the power to work on your desired projects and the ability to build a team of like-minded workers to help you with construction projects. Weigh the positives against the negatives to make the best decision for you.


Study Your State’s Laws + Renew Licenses

Do you have all the proper licenses and certifications to be a legal and safe general contractor in your state? Before you go any further in starting your business, be sure you have obtained the proper licenses. Each state is different, so begin by studying the laws and regulations set up where you live. You’ll then need to obtain or renew your contractor’s license before you accelerate any plans to grow your small business.


Stay On Top Of Your Finances + Stay On Track

Starting your own contracting business isn’t cheap. You’ll need to account for potential startup expenses such as new equipment and tools, business licenses, and insurance for yourself and future employees. You’ll also want to look into transportation for your workers and tools, as well as invest in killer website design and advertising to make your business shine.

You should start out with at least $15,000 to cover these initial expenses, and don’t get too caught up in spending before you start acquiring jobs. Be prepared to see little net earnings during the first few years, and continue to put the money you earn back into the business when you can. Set up a fund to pay for tools, equipment, and other startup essentials and stay on top of expenses in your early days to help your small business stay on track.


Build A Qualified Team Of Passionate Workers

Statistics tell us that most entrepreneurs who start their own small businesses left their old jobs so they could be their own boss. Give your new employees a chance to work with the boss you wished you had: you!

Building a team of skilled workers is an essential next step. Look for enthusiastic, qualified applicants that have a positive attitude and a passion for helping others. While you want to hire someone you’ll enjoy working with every day, you also want to make sure your new employees are up-to-date on all safety regulations and certifications.


Knock Out The Legal Details To Cover Your Bases

Let’s knock out the legal details! First, you must name your business and form a legal entity. Naming your business can be tricky; While you’re brainstorming, you want to check web domain availability as well as the state and federal trademark databases to be sure your name isn’t already taken.

One of the most common business structures is the limited liability company or LLC. Forming a legal business entity is essential to protect both your construction contractor business and yourself in case you’re sued. You’ll also need to register for small business taxes under your new business name and start a bank account and credit card for your LLC.



While these tips can assist you on your journey to starting your own contracting business, this is by no means a comprehensive list. Consider this your first taste of what it will be like to be self-employed, and let it propel you to further research whether opening your own contracting business is the right choice for you.


Don’t forget, the key to starting a successful business is to never lose sight of why you started.


Dmitry Kozlov

Dmitry Kozlov

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