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The decision-making process that goes into starting a business can take up just as much time as the actual execution of those decisions. Like any entrepreneurial endeavor, starting your own plumbing business requires extensive planning, both before and after the decision to start up the business has been made. Otherwise, the time spent backtracking on decisions made in haste could get your plumbing company off on the wrong foot, wasting both time and resources.
The first step in starting your own plumbing business is to determine whether you will be the sole plumber as well as the company owner, or will employ others. Some entrepreneurs start off as self-employed individuals who work on a contract basis, but gradually hire additional staff as clients increase. They may also transition from doing the actual plumbing work to working behind-the-scenes on the administration tasks of running the business. If you plan on hiring staff for your plumbing business at some point, be sure to do some research on labor laws, including workplace safety, minimum wage rates and payroll deductions.
To ensure you're on the right side of the law when it comes to setting up your plumbing business, check which health and safety regulations and licenses that apply to home plumbing in your area. As no federal law exists in the US for establishing plumber licenses, licensing and taxing regulations for plumbers varies according to state. Building and plumbing codes typically outline the regulations for plumbing repairs and installation work on residences and buildings. If plumbing permits are required, you will need to secure them on behalf of the building’s owners. In addition to licenses and permits, self-employed plumbers may also require liability insurance, so be sure to check with your local insurance carrier to find out which type of liability insurance you’ll require.
Like all new businesses, a plumbing business is required to get a company registration number from the government, even if the business has just one employee. Applications for registering a company can usually be found online at your state or province’s official site, and can also usually be completed and submitted via the web at a cost of under $100 US Dollars (USD). If you don’t yet have a name selected for your plumbing business, you can still complete the registration process and receive a random registration number to identify your company, which can be changed to a proper company name at a later time.
After the official paperwork has been completed for your plumbing business, you can begin purchasing stock or inventory. Required equipment for a plumbing business may include such items as water meters, softeners, and heaters; heat exchangers, backflow preventers, expansion tanks, pumps, filters, and gauges. Once you have everything you think you’ll need to start taking on projects, you can begin spreading the word that you are officially in business. The best way to begin marketing yourself in the very early stages is by word of mouth to family, friends and associates. Starting small before gradually working your way up to other larger forms of promotion, such as TV or radio ads, will help ensure that you’re not inundated with orders you can’t fill.
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