Starting a roofing company can be very profitable. With proper planning, execution and hard work, you can enjoy great success. Below you will learn the keys to launching a successful roofing company.
Importantly, a critical step in starting a roofing company is to complete your business plan. To help you out, you should download Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template here.
14 Steps To Start a Roofing Company:
- Choose the Name for Your Roofing Company
- Develop Your Roofing Company Business Plan
- Choose the Legal Structure for Your Roofing Company
- Secure Startup Funding for Your Roofing Company (If Needed)
- Secure a Location for Your Business
- Register Your Roofing Company with the IRS
- Open a Business Bank Account
- Get a Business Credit Card
- Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
- Get Business Insurance for Your Roofing Company
- Buy or Lease the Right Roofing Company Equipment
- Develop Your Roofing Company Marketing Materials
- Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Roofing Company
- Open for Business
1. Choose the Name for Your Roofing Company
The first step to starting a successful roofing business is to choose your business’ name.
This is a very important choice since your company name is your brand and will last for the lifetime of your business. Ideally you choose a name that is meaningful and memorable. Here are some tips for choosing a name for your roofing business:
- Make sure the name is available. Check your desired name against trademark databases and your state’s list of registered business names to see if it’s available. Also check to see if a suitable domain name is available.
- Keep it simple. The best names are usually ones that are easy to remember, pronounce and spell.
- Think about marketing. Come up with a name that reflects the desired brand and/or focus of your own roofing company.
2. Develop Your Roofing Company Business Plan
One of the most important steps in starting a new roofing company is to develop your business plan. The process of creating your plan ensures that you fully understand your market and your business strategy. The plan also provides you with a roadmap to follow and if needed, to present to funding sources to raise capital for your business.
Your business plan should include the following sections:
- Executive Summary – this section should summarize your entire business plan so readers can quickly understand the key details of your roofing business.
- Company Overview – this section tells the reader about the history of your roofing company and what type of roofing company you operate. For example, are you a shingle roofer, metal roofer, or slate roofer?
- Industry Analysis – here you will document key information about the roofing industry. Conduct market research and document how big the industry is and what trends are affecting it.
- Customer Analysis – in this section, you will document who your ideal or target market are and their demographics. For example, how old are they? Where do they live? What do they find important when looking for services like the ones you will offer?
- Competitive Analysis – here you will document the key direct and indirect competitors you will face and how you will build competitive advantage.
- Marketing Plan – your marketing plan should address the 4Ps: Product, Price, Promotions and Place.
- Product: Determine and document what products/services you will offer
- Prices: Document the prices of your products/services
- Place: Where will your business be located and how will that location help you increase sales?
- Promotions: What promotional methods will you use to attract customers to your roofing company? For example, you might decide to use pay-per-click advertising, public relations, search engine optimization and/or social media marketing.
- Operations Plan – here you will determine the key processes you will need to run your day-to-day operations. You will also determine your staffing needs. Finally, in this section of your plan, you will create a projected growth timeline showing the milestones you hope to achieve in the coming years.
- Management Team – this section details the background of your company’s management team.
- Financial Plan – finally, the financial plan answers questions including the following:
- What startup costs will you incur?
- How will your roofing company make money?
- What are your projected sales and expenses for the next five years?
- Do you need to raise funding to launch your business?
3. Choose the Legal Structure for Your Roofing Company
Next you need to choose a legal structure for your roofing company and register it and your business name with the Secretary of State in each state where you operate your business.
Below are the five most common legal structures:
1) Sole proprietorship
A sole proprietorship is a business entity in which the owner of the roofing company and the business are the same legal entity. The owner of a sole proprietorship is responsible for all debts and obligations of the business. There are no formalities required to establish a sole proprietorship, and it is easy to set up and operate. The main advantage of a sole proprietorship is that it is simple and inexpensive to establish. The main disadvantage is that the owner is liable for all debts and obligations of the business.
A partnership is a legal structure that is popular among small businesses. It is an agreement between two or more people who want to start a roofing company together. The partners share in the profits and losses of the business.
The advantages of a partnership are that it is easy to set up, and the partners share in the profits and losses of the business. The disadvantages of a partnership are that the partners are jointly liable for the debts of the business, and disagreements between partners can be difficult to resolve.
3) Limited Liability Company (LLC)
A limited liability company, or LLC, is a type of business entity that provides limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners of an LLC are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The advantages of an LLC for a roofing company include flexibility in management, pass-through taxation (avoids double taxation as explained below), and limited personal liability. The disadvantages of an LLC include lack of availability in some states and self-employment taxes.
4) C Corporation
A C Corporation is a business entity that is separate from its owners. It has its own tax ID and can have shareholders. The main advantage of a C Corporation for a roofing company is that it offers limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The disadvantage is that C Corporations are subject to double taxation. This means that the corporation pays taxes on its profits, and the shareholders also pay taxes on their dividends.
5) S Corporation
An S Corporation is a type of corporation that provides its owners with limited liability protection and allows them to pass their business income through to their personal income tax returns, thus avoiding double taxation. There are several limitations on S Corporations including the number of shareholders they can have among others.
Once you register your roofing company, your state will send you your official “Articles of Incorporation.” You will need this among other documentation when establishing your banking account (see below). We recommend that you consult an attorney in determining which legal structure is best suited for your company.
4. Secure Startup Funding for Your Roofing Company (If Needed)
In developing your roofing company business plan, you might have determined that you need to raise funding to launch your business.
If so, the main sources of funding for a roofing company to consider are personal savings, family and friends, credit card financing, bank loans, crowdfunding and angel investors. Angel investors are individuals who provide capital to early-stage businesses. Angel investors typically will invest in a new roofing business that they believe has high potential for growth.
5. Secure a Location for Your Business
There are a few things to consider when looking for a location for your roofing company. First, you’ll want to find a spot that is accessible and visible to potential customers. You’ll also want to make sure that the location is zoned for commercial use and has enough space to accommodate your business. Finally, you’ll need to consider the cost of leasing or purchasing property in the area.
Once you have a few potential locations picked out, it’s time to start doing research. Make phone calls and email inquiries to get the specific information you need from each property owner. Inquire about the number of years left on their leases, restrictions they place on businesses operating within the space, and any additional costs or fees associated with renting or buying their property.
6. Register Your Roofing Company with the IRS
Next, you need to register your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which will result in the IRS issuing you an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Most banks will require you to have an EIN in order to open up an account. In addition, in order to hire employees, you will need an EIN since that is how the IRS tracks your payroll tax payments.
Note that if you are a sole proprietor without employees, you generally do not need to get an EIN. Rather, you would use your social security number (instead of your EIN) as your taxpayer identification number.
7. Open a Business Bank Account
It is important to establish a bank account in your roofing company’s name. This process is fairly simple and involves the following steps:
- Identify and contact the bank you want to use
- Gather and present the required documents (generally include your company’s Articles of Incorporation, driver’s license or passport, and proof of address)
- Complete the bank’s application form and provide all relevant information
- Meet with a banker to discuss your business needs and establish a relationship with them
8. Get a Business Credit Card
You should get a business credit card for your roofing company to help you separate personal and business expenses.
You can either apply for a business credit card through your bank or apply for one through a credit card company.
When you’re applying for a business credit card, you’ll need to provide some information about your business. This includes the name of your business, the address of your business, and the type of business you’re running. You’ll also need to provide some information about yourself, including your name, Social Security number, and date of birth.
Once you’ve been approved for a business credit card, you’ll be able to use it to make purchases for your business. You can also use it to build your credit history which could be very important in securing loans and getting credit lines for your business in the future.
9. Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
In order to start a roofing business, you will need to obtain the following licenses and permits:
- Business License: allows you to operate a business in your city or state.
- Contractor’s License: allows you to perform construction work in your state.
- Roofing Contractor’s License: allows you to perform roofing work in your state.
- Tax ID Number: allows you to collect taxes from your customers.
- Sales Tax License or Seller’s Permit: for selling products.
- Zoning Approval: typically at the city or county level, this provides authorization for construction or use of a building or land for a particular purpose.
- Fire Department Approval: a process by which the local fire department reviews and approves the installation of a fire alarm system.
10. Get Business Insurance for Your Roofing Company
The type of insurance you need to operate a roofing company may vary depending on the size and type of company.
In general, business insurance policies that you should consider for your roofing company include:
- General liability insurance: This covers accidents and injuries that occur on your property. It also covers damages caused by your employees or products.
- Auto insurance: If a vehicle is used in your business, this type of insurance will cover if a vehicle is damaged or stolen.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: If you have employees, this type of policy works with your general liability policy to protect against workplace injuries and accidents. It also covers medical expenses and lost wages.
- Professional liability insurance: This protects your business against claims of professional negligence.
Find an insurance agent, tell them about your business and its needs, and they will recommend policies that fit those needs.
11. Buy or Lease the Right Roofing Company Equipment
To start a roofing company, you will need some essential equipment. This includes ladders, roofing tar, roofing nails, and a hammer. You may also want to invest in a tarp to protect the area below the roof while you are working.
12. Develop Your Roofing Company Marketing Materials
Marketing materials will be required to attract and retain customers to your roofing company.
The key marketing materials you will need are as follows:
- Logo: Spend some time developing a good logo for your roofing company. Your logo will be printed on company stationery, business cards, marketing materials and so forth. The right logo can increase customer trust and awareness of your brand.
- Website: Likewise, a professional roofing company’s website provides potential customers with information about the services you offer, your company’s history, and contact information. Importantly, remember that the look and feel of your business website will affect how customers perceive you.
- Social Media Accounts: establish social media accounts in your company’s name. Accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or other social media networks will help customers and others find and interact with your roofing company.
13. Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Roofing Company
The software that you need to run a roofing company can vary depending on what type of roofing company you want to start. If you’re starting a residential roofing company, you’ll need software for estimating prices, managing roofing jobs, and invoicing clients. If you’re starting a commercial roofing company, you’ll need software for estimating prices, as well as for bidding on and managing projects.
14. Open for Business
You are now ready to open your roofing company. If you followed the steps above, you should be in a great position to build a successful business. Below are answers to frequently asked questions that might further help you.
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How to Start a Roofing Company FAQs
Is it hard to start a roofing company?
Starting a roofing company can be difficult because there are many regulations that must be followed. In addition, the roofing industry is highly competitive, so it's important to have a good marketing strategy and offer high-quality products and services. However, with the right knowledge and skills, starting a roofing company can be rewarding.
How can I start a roofing company with no experience?
First, you'll need to do some market research to determine if there is a demand for roofing services in your area. You'll also need to set up a business entity and register with the state. You'll need to have a business plan and marketing strategy, and you'll need to find qualified roofing contractors to work with your company.
What type of roofing company is most profitable?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the most profitable type of roofing company will vary depending on the specific market and industry conditions. However, in general, a commercial roofing company is likely to be more profitable than a residential roofing company, as the former typically commands higher prices for its services.
How much does it cost to start a roofing company?
To start your own roofing company, it can cost between $15,000-$20,000 for the initial investment. This includes setting up a business license, renting or purchasing equipment, and hiring employees.
What are the ongoing expenses for a roofing company?
The expenses for a roofing company can vary depending on the size of the company, the services offered, and the location. However, some of the most common ongoing expenses include labor costs, roofing materials costs, and marketing and advertising expenses.
How does a roofing company make money?
There are a few different ways that a roofing company can make money. One way is by providing a service where a roofing contractor installs a new roof for their customer. They can also make money by repairing roofs for their customers. Another way that they can make money is by selling materials such as shingles, flashing, ridge vents, and other roofing supplies.
Is owning a roofing company profitable?
Owning a roofing company can be profitable if you are able to find quality employees, stay up to date on the latest trends and technologies, and generate a large enough customer base.
There are many reasons why roofing businesses can be profitable. One reason is that there is a lot of demand for roofing services, as most homeowners need to have their roofs replaced at some point. Another reason is that the cost of materials and labor is relatively low, which allows for a healthy profit margin. Finally, the industry is relatively recession-proof, which means that demand for roofing services remains high even during tough economic times.
Why do roofing companies fail?
There are a few reasons why new roofing companies can fail. One reason is that the company may not have good marketing or may not be well-known in the community. Additionally, the company may not have good customer service or may not be reliable. Finally, the company may not have good pricing or may not be competitive in the market.