Business Formation

How to Start a General Contractor Company

Information for New Business Owners

Deborah Sweeney

By Deborah Sweeney

General contracting is a specialized industry, with a host of regulations and policies that must be followed. With construction being one of the fastest-growing industries for small businesses in recent years, many people are looking for form their general contracting businesses to take advantage of this booming industry. Most construction companies hire general contractors to direct and oversee projects, and as the economy improves, so does the state of both the construction and general contracting industries. General contracting is also a specialized occupation - you'll need training, experience, and a license before you can call yourself a general contractor - which limits the amount of competition you will face. It is also crucial to consider the importance of forming an LLC or corporation to protect your personal assets and legitimize your new business.

Choosing an Entity

You should not overlook the benefits of forming an LLC or incorporating to limit your liability in case of any unforeseen circumstances, for instance if your firm goes under or you are sued. By forming a business entity, you can separate your personal assets from those of the business, so that you will not be held personally responsible for the debts of the business. Because of the liability protection, the ability to issue shares, and the fact that only salaries are subject to taxation, many contractors opt for filing as a corporation. Of course you can file your business with any entity that suits your unique needs. This is a crucial step that once completed, offers you peace of mind and valuable protections for you and your family. You may also need to file an EIN (Employer Identification Number) or get a DBA ('Doing Business As')

Business Licenses and Insurance

Similarly to most other industries, there are certain licenses you will need to obtain before you can open your doors. You may be required to obtain a vendor's license, as well as other business licenses required by your city, county, and/or state authorities. MyCorporation offers a business license package that can help you determine your business licensing requirements, so you wont need to risk conducting business without a required license.