How to start a painting company | Small business

Brighten your neighborhood and financial situation by starting a painting company. With a few basic tools and business know-how, you can start and grow your own painting business as your satisfied client list grows. Some skills and physical fitness are required, and start-up costs can be minimal. As your business grows and more jobs are secured, you can purchase additional equipment as needed. Job materials are usually covered in advance with customer deposits.

Gain experience and training in painting by taking courses or working for a painting company. Professional training videos, books and courses are available from selected painters’ associations or suppliers.

Create a business plan for a painting company with free help from the US Small Business Administration or Service Corps of Retired Executives websites. A business plan will help you get your paint business through the startup and ongoing operational processes.

Apply for local business permits as well as state tax and contractor licenses. If you are structuring your painting company as a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company, file forms with your secretary of state and obtain tax and employer identification numbers through the Internal Revenue Service. Forms and instructions are available on most local, state, and federal websites and are free.

Buy a suitable work vehicle or trailer for your paint shop or use your own. The type of vehicle will vary depending on the type of paint shop you have, but must be adequately equipped to allow equipment, including scaffolding and ladders, to be transported safely.

Buy paint equipment from your local paint company. Your requirements will vary, but will include good quality brushes, rollers, ladders, buckets, fall cloths, and duct tape.

Take out public liability insurance with your local insurance agent. Your representative will inform you of the amount of insurance that is required depending on the nature of your painting business, scope of work and personal financial situation.

Market your business by buying marketing materials for your painting business – business cards, portable and vehicle signs, flyers, brochures – from your local printer and sign store, and placing classifieds or display ads in local newspapers.




  • If you are physically unable to do the painting job, you can hire people to do the painting while you spend your time selling and appraising jobs.
  • Specializing in one or two painting services and customer types offers the opportunity to become an expert in your market niche.
  • Buy the best tools you can afford for a professional job and avoid having to replace tools prematurely.


  • Always obtain all the necessary city permits before starting work and include their costs in your cost estimate. Failure to obtain permits can result in fines and penalties.
  • Obey all health and safety warnings from the manufacturer on paint and chemical packaging and have safety data sheets from your supplier or manufacturer available on the website for exposed employees and customers. The availability of safety data sheets is part of the OSHA standard for hazard communication and can result in fines and penalties for violations.

Writer bio

Matt McKay began his writing career in 1999, writing training programs and articles for a national company. His work has been featured in various online publications and materials for private companies. McKay has experience in entrepreneurship, business training, human resources, technology, and the music business.

Comments are closed.