If you are an Ohio entrepreneur who is thinking about starting your own contracting business, there are many things for you to consider before you actually can begin getting customers and doing work for them. From deciding what type of business entity you want to have to what type of work you want to specialize in to what you want your business card to look like, the planning you do now will be instrumental in how soon you can get your new business up and running and how soon it will be successful.
Per Home Advisor, the first thing you need to decide is your business structure. There are several from which you can choose, including the following:
- Sole proprietorship
- Limited liability company
Each type has different set-up requirements, record-keeping requirements and implications for how your company’s income taxes will be paid and by whom. In addition, some business types protect your personal assets better in the event that something goes wrong and someone sues you. Also keep in mind that if you intend to have co-owners and/or partners, your business cannot be a sole proprietorship.
Insurance, licenses and permits
You will need to obtain several kinds of insurance to protect you, your company, your vehicles and your workers in the event of accident, injury and/or the claims of dissatisfied customers. In general, your company must have the following types of insurance:
- General liability insurance
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Employers’ liability insurance
- Vehicle liability insurance
You also should investigate the benefits of having contractors’ insurance and business owner’s insurance. Many contractors also obtain an umbrella; i.e., excess liability policy.
The city in which your business is located undoubtedly will require it to have a business license. It also may require you to obtain a surety bond. Be sure to also check out contractor requirements in any other city in which you intend to do work. This is general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice.