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Currently for the last few years I have been working for a sheathing crew. In these years I have seen others branch off and start their own businesses. I believe now is my time. But due to the competition and them not wanting to loose a hard working employee, no one is interested in giving me advice on getting the details on starting this business. I go in after the framers frame. I lay down the plywood, cut it in, nail it and put the felt down before the roofers come in to finish the job. I am in the state of Florida and I really need to know what insurance, licensing and such I will need, so I will have no issues dealing with OSHA, workman's comp and any other liability that may fall on me, along with the guarantee that I will get paid from the jobs. My gf of years is willing to research, but she has come up with a few odds and ends that are just not solid. Any help and advice or suggestions of who to talk to, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Someone from Florida might help but you are asking anonymous people on the internet about legal obligations. I would do what I did and contact the licensing agencies. I imagine you need a state contractor's license and number. Here, Labor and Industries issues them and they will tell you what you need, namely insurance and a bond. You should find an insurance agent that specializes in business insurance, the guy I found was able to quote numbers in seconds on the phone while other had to check up on it, and his numbers were about half. Plus he had good advice.

You also should check with the city, they may require a license as well. If you are operating out of a home, will they allow it? You may need a shop in a commercial zone. And of course don't leave out the feds. You'll need to start withholding social security on your employees and maybe health insurance now? Then worker's comp, etc. Employees are expensive so they better earn their keep. You'll probably make less once you greased all the palms, at least for a few years.
 

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get a good accountant....he will help you with some of the business questions

get a good insurance guy....he will help you with the workmans comp, etc

no one can guarantee you that you will get paid....that is more about gut feelings than anything else....dont let your greed come before your gut

osha....call osha, they will help you and get you the info you need.....i only work on small projects in the middle of no where....i havent seen an osha guy in 12 years (when i worked on a large condo project)....Osha is something i never think about
 
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