Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will have my time build up this summer to take a few days to side carpentry jobs. I know I need my city contractor license and state homebuilders license. But do I need to get Workman comp? To cover myself if I get hurt on the job? I will be most doing light framing like sheds, small garages, and trim carpentry like installing crown, base, and shoe molding. I don't if I will start house framing this year or not. If so it will be 1100 or 1200 sq ft homes with simple roof lines but I don't if its a market for starter homes. I just ready to quit my $9.35 and hour job yet as I am trying to build up some credit and a little savings for my future business.
 

·
Repair & Renovation
Joined
·
3,257 Posts
By me, you don't need to unless you have employees..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
568 Posts
In Ohio business owners aren't required by the state to carry workers comp on themselves. Not sure of the requirements where you are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I wont have none at first, just a helper from time to time. What about general lia? I need to start on my business plan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
568 Posts
I think pretty much every state has requirements regarding liability insurance. Even if not, having liability insurance is a really good idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,729 Posts
My question would be about that helper that just works "from time to time". What covers him when he works for you? Is he one of those mysterious 1099 (non)employees or what?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,076 Posts
You need to distinguish between what the law says you must do, and what your risk-tolerance says that you can do.

If you have employees, you must pay worker's comp and taxes for them: you can get in a mess of financial and legal trouble if you don't. If you only occasionally hire a laborer, a worker's comp policy may be too expensive - some worker's comp policies have a minimum annual premium in the thousands of dollars, which would cover maybe $20K of labor cost. If your annual labor costs are lower, you can stay legal by hiring through a payroll service or temp agency that will pay taxes and workers comp for you.

You should also pay your own taxes, of course.

General liability insurance may be less about legal requirement than financial risk. Different states have different requirements. In California you don't have to carry it, but I believe that you need to inform residential customers whether or not you do.

G.L. can be expensive - you can get a nearly instant quote from an agent to find out how much - and most carpenters and contractors starting out, who don't have much on the way of assets, probably don't carry it at first. If something goes wrong, insurance companies or customers may not come after you if they see that you have no assets. To some extent you can manage the risk by taking appropriately small jobs. If you take on house framing jobs your liability exposure is significant, and G.L. really makes sense. Most guys doing the occasional door replacement as a side job, or starting off doing interior finish work, probably don't carry G.L. See what your state requirements are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My question would be about that helper that just works "from time to time". What covers him when he works for you? Is he one of those mysterious 1099 (non)employees or what?
I am saying if I get a big job I might need help, but I hope to get enough work to hire some help full time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
534 Posts
Make sure you have enough money saved ahead before you quit your job. You need enough to carry you through when you don't get paid for a month, or need a new tool. If you hire someone they are not going to wait to get paid. Lots of new business ventures fail because they don't have enough operating capital, and end up spending tax money or employee deductions ect. When the govt money is due, it must be paid or pay high penalties and interest will result. I would suggest having enough money to hire a good accountant as well as having liability insurance. One accident and you could lose everything. These are some of the main causes of failure.
Good luck
 

·
Wormdrive Operator
Joined
·
3,318 Posts
I will chime in since I have this past year started my part time business.

I have my business license and liability insurance. I dont need a contractor license in my area here in Canada.

I have been mostly framing basements but have done a deck and some other odd things too.

Forget about the fulltime employee until you start framing houses. Say for example you need to do layout for a basement frame, just get a temp agency guy for the day and work his butt off, then frame the basement yourself.

Also dont spend much on advertising. I blew two or three hundred bucks on door hangers and didnt get a single call.

Edit. I wanted to add this. Dont wait until the summer, start it this minute!! You have a saw, level and hammer? Get going! Once you do a couple good jobs and have a fat wad of cash in your wallet you will wonder why you didnt start sooner. Seriously, put an ad on craigslist right now.
 

·
Punching above his weight
Joined
·
10,901 Posts
Dude, I started what I consider to be a fairly serious business venture all alone, with a modest set of power tools, and a Jeep Cherokee.
Still here, still in the Jeep, same modest set of tools.
Listen to Heavy D. Get those CL ads going right this second. They'll let you post one every 2 days or so. Do that. Keep doing that. Tell everyone you know. Call all your friends and tell them. Tell them to tell their friends. Bring up your new business in every conversation you have. Tell your bartender, grocery store clerk, gas station attendant, passerby, literally anyone who will listen. Today I got a call from a coworker of a friend of a friend. Boom. Money.

Get out there! Go go go! Start now while everything is slow. It's going to take several months for people to know you exist.
 

·
Punching above his weight
Joined
·
10,901 Posts
Oh, also worth mentioning that there was a week where the Jeep was out of commission. I worked out of my wife's Hyundai. Make it happen, baby!
 

·
stacker of sticks
Joined
·
8,502 Posts
Easy Gibson said:
Oh, also worth mentioning that there was a week where the Jeep was out of commission. I worked out of my wife's Hyundai. Make it happen, baby!
When I started out I was in a ranger side step, it was down for 3 or 4 days so my mom let me use her g6. You can get 10' 2x4s in it with the trunk closed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
818 Posts
I put 10 2x4s, a couple 2x6's, and several bags of concrete in my vw rabbit. A different time, I had a square of shingles in there. It's funny what I'll do with that car to save money on fuel, when I do have a truck.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top