January 2016

How to Start A Roofing Business in Illinois

How to Start a Roofing Business In Illinois

There are a few different steps to becoming a successful roofing business.  You may want to start here: Starting a Roofing Business.

Make sure you research the laws in your area before starting your roofing company.
Getting started- The state of Illinois has a website about starting a business in Illinois here:  Illinois Business Startup Guide

-Register your business name.

You need to register your business name with your county clerk’s office.

If you need help selecting a name for your roofing business:  

-Choose your business structure.

Decide what structure you want for your roofing business– Sole-proprietor, LLC, Partnership, Corporation, etc.  Find out more here:  Illinois Business Startup Guide

-Register your business with Illinois.

You can register your business with the state of Illinois here: Illinois Business Registration

-Open a Business Account with your Bank.

You will need to open a separate checking account for your business with your new business name.

-Find out about taxes and hire an accountant.

You may want to file your own taxes if you are a small company. As you grow, it will be easier to have an accountant do the work. More info about taxes here:

-Register as a Contractor in Illinois.

You must register as a licensed contractor in the state of Illinois.  You can apply for your registration here: Illinois Roofing Contractor License .

-Get Liability Insurance.

In Illinois and many states, understanding the regulations and laws regarding the need for contractor liability and bonds for contractors can be tricky. Having the right coverage is crucial for all roofing contractors.

-Get Roofing Software

Roofing software will streamline your business before you even start, giving you visibility and control over all your leads, sales, jobs, and tasks from a single program to get your company on the fast track toward growth.

You’ll also be able to create estimates, place material orders, automate the boring (but necessary) stuff, empowering you and your team to finish jobs on time and on budget. Try JobNimbus for Free!

We work with ContractorsLiability.com because they’re the one-stop-shop for General Liability insurance and are able to get online quotes in all 50 states. Plus, their expertise means they’re fast when it comes to getting the right bond and liability coverage.  Roofers need to win the job and stay protected at an affordable price. Get A Free Quote Now>

-Worker’s Compensation.

You will need Worker’s Compensation if you have any employees. Get A Free Quote Now>

-Create Your Roofing Brand

You will want to have a memorable logo, company slogan, and other visuals you can use with your marketing materials that will show customers what you are about. 

-Create Your Roofing Website

It is important to have a solid, attractive website that is SEO-optimized in order to attract a steady flow of roofing leads.  Contact us if you need a website built.

-Get Health Insurance.

Since you will be self-employed, you will need your own health insurance.  If you have employees, you will need a plan that will include their health needs also.

-Get Roofing Training.

Get training and certifications in certain roofing applications to provide higher quality work and better serve your customers: Roofing Training

-Follow The Roofer’s Helper on Instagram.

Enter giveaways, see the best and worst of roofing, get your work featured, and more! Join over 150K roofing fans! >>Follow the #1 roofing account on Instagram!

-City License.

You may be required to obtain a license to do business in a particular locale, whether you are a resident, or not.


Depending on the locale, you may need to apply for permits before commencing certain types of roofing jobs.

-Building Code and Inspections.

You must be aware of building codes for your particular job, and may be subject to inspections.


Depending on how many employees you have, you may need to follow OSHA regulations.


Depending on your startup budget, you may need to apply for financing to help pay for equipment.

-Roofing Marketing.

To get your roofing business going, you will need to use multiple marketing techniques that work best with your location and the services you offer: Roofing Marketing Ideas

Making Money as a Small Contractor

You may have the idea that in order to make a decent living, you will need a large crew, secretary, brick-and-mortar location, fancy trucks and advertising, etc.  Not true. At all.  The fact is, you can make a comfortable living as a contractor with no employees!  This doesn’t mean you will be able to do every job by yourself, but it does mean you can avoid having the hassle of employees, payroll, worker’s comp., OSHA, and all the other headaches that go with having a larger business.

So, how can this be done?  Through careful planning of your business model.  If you focus on small interior or exterior repairs, and other one-man jobs, you can quickly become the go-to small contractor in your area.  This doesn’t mean you can’t tackle a larger project.  If you would like to take on some larger jobs, it is best to hire a reliable sub-contractor to do the work for you.

As per the law (at least in the United States), the sub-contractor must be fully insured.  If the contractor has a crew, all crew members need to be covered by insurance.  If not, you could risk serious ramifications if a problem would arise on the job.

Here are some ways to become a successful contractor:

  • Be a specialist-  Set yourself apart from the rest by specializing in one particular area.
  • Be personable- No one likes a grump.  You don’t have to be Joe Salesman, but at least be polite and have a smile.
  • Communicate- Whether in person, by e-mail, text, or phone, make sure you communicate clearly with the customer.  This also includes writing clear estimates.  Confusion is a great way to get way to lose a customer, and a possible referral.
  • Be Honest- If you can’t do the job, tell the customer you can’t do the job.  If it will be weeks before you can get the work done, let them know.  If they want you to do a job that isn’t one of your strong points, make clear what kind of work you will do in that area.  If you mess up, fess up.
  • Meet or Exceed Expectations-  There is no better way to thrill a customer than to exceed their expectations on a completed job.  Whether it is finishing the job under the estimated cost, or throwing in a few freebies (upgraded product, additional repairs) any extras you include after agreeing on a price will elevate you and your business in the customer’s eyes.  Unmet expectations will leave a sour taste in the customer’s mouth and will possibly hurt future sales.