How To Start A Painting Business in California

How to Start a Painting Business In California

Here are some steps you may have to take (not necessarily in order) to start your own painting company, along with links to more information.  You must do your own thorough research, as laws change regularly.
Getting started– California’s official website about how to start a business in California is found here: California Business Portal

-Choose and register your new painting business name.

Find out more about registering a fictitious name here: California Business Name Availability .  Your fictitious name must be registered with your county clerk.

If you need ideas for your painting business name: Painting Company Name Ideas

-Select your painting business structure.

Sole-proprietor, LLC, Partnership, Corporation, etc.  Find out more here: California Business Entities

-Register your painting business in California.

You can register your new painting business with the state of California here: Register Your Business Entity

-Business Checking Account.

Talk to your bank about a new business checking account using your new painting business name.


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.taxes.ca.gov/ and http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Starting-a-Business

-Get Painting Software

Painting 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!

-Get Liability Insurance.

You will need to acquire a liability insurance policy for your painting  company.

-Register as a Contractor.

To become a painting contractor in California, you may need to apply for a contractor’s license.  The registration application is found here: http://www.cslb.ca.gov/About_Us/Library/Forms_And_Applications.aspx .

-Worker’s Compensation.

Check with your insurance agent about worker’s compensation.

-Get Health Insurance.

You will need to consider a health plan for yourself and your employees.how to start a painting business in California

-City License.

Check to see if you need a license to operate your business in your locale.


You may need permits before commencing certain types of painting jobs.

-Building Code and Inspections.

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


Depending on how many employees you have, you may need to follow OSHA regulations.  http://www.osha.gov