How to Start a Construction Business In Pennsylvania
There are a number of steps to take to start a construction business in the the state of Pennsylvania. You must do your own thorough research, as laws change regularly. Here are some steps you may have to take (not necessarily in order) to start your own construction company, along with links to more information.
Getting started- The state of Pennsylvania has a resource about starting a business in Pennsylvania here: Start a Business In Pennsylvania Guide (PDF Download)
1. Register your business name.
Find out more about registering a fictitious name here: http://www.dos.pa.gov/BusinessCharities/Business/Resources/Pages/Fictitious-Names.aspx
If you need help choosing a construction business name: How To Choose A Construction Company Name
2. Select your business structure.
Sole-proprietor, LLC, Partnership, Corporation, etc. Find out more here: http://www.dos.pa.gov/BusinessCharities/Business/Documents/Business%20Guide.pdf
3. Register your business.
You can register your business with the state of Pennsylvania here: https://www.doreservices.state.pa.us/businesstax/PA100/FormatSelection.htm
4. Open a Business Checking Account.
You will need to open a separate bank account for your business with your new business name.
5. 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: http://www.revenue.pa.gov/ and http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Starting-a-Business
6. Get Liability Insurance.
Find an insurance agent that offers liability insurance. You may want to shop around, as prices and options can vary.
In Pennsylvania, you are required to register as a contractor. In order to register, you must have liability insurance.
7. Register as a Contractor.
There is a fee to register. The registration lasts two years. You can apply for your registration here: https://hic.attorneygeneral.gov/login.aspx . You will receive a certificate in the mail along with your official Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor number. According the the law, “The registration number must be included in any advertisements, contracts, estimates and proposals that you use in Pennsylvania.”
8. Worker’s Compensation.
The insurance agency that provided your liability insurance should be able to help with this. You don’t need Worker’s Compensation unless you have employees.
9. 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.
10. 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 construction-related jobs.
12. 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. http://www.osha.gov