How To Start a Roofing Company – Roofing Business Resources

Table of Contents

If you want to start a roofing business, you must realize that running a profitable roofing company is a lot more than knowing how to find a leak or replace a roof. Just because you can do a great job installing shingles, managing a crew as a foreman, or selling roofs, doesn’t guarantee that you will be effective at running a roofing company.  Being a successful roofing business owner involves discipline, organization, both business and general roofing knowledge, patience, perseverance, people-skills, and a number of other traits.  A majority of roofing businesses fail within the first few years of business. This is usually not because the owner wasn’t skilled in their roofing craft, but because they were not skilled in running a business.

On this page, and throughout The Roofer’s Helper website, you will find valuable tips and helpful information to get your business off the ground.

There are basically 3 steps for how to start a roofing business:

  1. Plan your roofing company. This is a major step, and will help guide the direction of your business.
  2. Register your business with proper government institutions.  You need to make sure your business is operating legally in your area.
  3. Promote your business.  A solid marketing and sales strategy is critical to attract new customers.


Develop a Business Plan

Before diving in to any business, you should develop a business plan.  Roofing equipment and vehicles can cost a lot of money.  Don’t forget about insurance costs, not only for you, but for any employees.  A business plan doesn’t have to be anything complicated, but is something that will help organize your goals and priorities and help you make wise decisions.  It is important to know how much you will need to spend to get started, and how much you will need to make (after expenses) to support yourself.

Not everyone wants to have a multi-million dollar roofing company with hundreds of employees.  If your goal is to have a small to medium sized  business, then the goals you set will be much different from a business plan for a large corporation.

Either way, you need to have a solid plan set in place that will help you achieve the goals you set for your business.

The larger you want your company to be, the better you need to be as a business owner, as the responsibility will be greater.  It is not wrong to dream big, but if you are a new business owner, it is best to start small and work your way up. 

Finding a mentor can be a huge asset when starting your roofing company. The ability to learn from another successful roofing business owner can save you time, and help you avoid many costly mistakes.


When starting your business, an important part of planning is research.  Depending on your location, a running a successful roofing business can potentially be difficult.  You may want to find answers to these questions before starting your company:

  • What is the competition?  How many other roofers are in business in my area?  What are they charging? Would commercial roofing be a better option than residential?
  • What types of roofs are in your area?  Are these the types of roofs you want to repair/replace? Is there a certain type of installation/repair you can specialize in?
  • How old are the homes in your area?  Is there a great need for new roofs, or mostly repairs?
  • How many homes are in your proposed service area? Are there enough potential jobs to sustain a full time business?
  • What are the economics of your area?
  • If a full-time roofing business can’t be supported, are you willing/able to offer additional services (snow removal, painting, siding, windows, etc.) in order to produce a full-time income?

Below are some additional points to consider in the research/planning process:

  • Set short and long-term goals – Plan your roofing business before you spend a dime.
  • Decide what services you will offer – Decide the scope of your business.  How many different services and options will you offer customers?
  • Find a niche – What will be your specialty?  What will set you apart from the competition?research online how start a roofing company
  • Choose a business name – Put some thought into deciding your company name.  You could always change it later, but a name change could hurt your business.
  • Decide what you will charge for your services – What you charge will vary depending on location, economics, products used, and your skill level, among other things.  You can’t just set your prices based upon what some other roofer charges 1,000 miles away.

Financial Considerations

It can be scary to start a roofing business from scratch.  Even if you already have experience as a roofer, or in managing a roofing company, you will need to consider the time it will take to get your business off the ground, and to make the income you will need.  Often a new business will take longer to grow than you planned, and may bring in less income than you planned.

It is generally advisable to not quit your job and then start your roofing business.  If your business doesn’t make it for whatever reason, you may regret letting go of the job you had.

A safer financial decision is to keep your day job (if possible), and start your roofing company slowly.  This can be difficult, as you will have to work around your normal work schedule, but a lot can be done on weekends, evenings, or mornings, depending on what your work schedule is like.  Another option is to at least keep a part-time job (such as an evening shift) to help provide funds to pay the bills while your roofing business is growing.

Another possible option is to obtain financing.  You may want to consider a business loan depending on what your needs will be for equipment, vehicles, and a business location.  Once again, be careful that you don’t get over your head in debt.  Be sure to get a loan only for what you absolutely need to get started.

how to set roofing business goals

Get Organized

As soon as you start your roofing business, you will need some sort of organizational structure so you can keep your customer communications and roofing-related paperwork in order.  You won’t necessarily need a full office when starting out.  An office desk dedicated to your business paperwork would be helpful.

Get a daily planner or use your smartphone to schedule estimates, jobs, and other work-related appointments.  An easy way to lose customers is to arrive late or even forget a scheduled appointment.  A schedule will help you plan your day, week, and month, so you can make best use of your time and your customer’s time.

There are many helpful software programs that can be used for accounting, estimating, customer communications and more.  Some software is especially designed for contractors.  You probably don’t need to invest in expensive software right away.  This would be a consideration as your business grows.

  • Set up an office- this can even be a home office
  • E-mail- have an email dedicated to your roofing company
  • Business phone- if you don’t have a separate phone, make sure you answer your personal phone in a professional manner.
  • Roofing Estimate and Bill forms- You can order custom forms online, or create your own.
  • Roofing Software – Track leads, sales, jobs, create estimates, and more in a single program.  Try JobNimbus for Free!

Equipment needed when starting a roofing business

You can’t start a roofing company without roofing equipment.  Equipment will probably account for the largest portion of your startup costs.  Starting out, you don’t necessarily need all brand-new equipment.  You will save thousands of dollars in startup costs by purchasing a used truck, used ladders and ladder rack, and other miscellaneous tools. tools needed for roofing business startup Another tip is to only buy tools as jobs require them.  This will help keep you from going into debt for tools and equipment you may end up never using.  Some of the tools and equipment you will need will vary according to what roofing services you plan to specialize in.


When just starting out, you will be able to work solo, or with a small team.   If you are going to grow, you will need to hire additional laborers, sales staff, and office staff.  The larger you want to grow, the more employees you will need.  Obviously, the more employees you will have, the higher the payroll will be, so a good sales team, along with solid marketing is key to bring in enough work to meet payroll requirements and continue to grow.


Pricing can vary among roofing supply companies in various regions.  When starting your roofing company, you’ll want to save every penny possible.  It pays to shop around and take advantage of competitive pricing.  You may notice a significant cost difference in materials when comparing prices at big box home improvement stores and roofing supply warehouses.  You may even notice price differences from one city to another because of local competition.

A good supplier can help keep you aware of roofing trends and new products. Many suppliers will offer a credit line, product discounts, customer management, online ordering, and more.

  • Build a relationship
  • Know your costs


Make it legal

how to register a roofing businessMake sure you are following proper protocol in your region.  This means having necessary insurance, following tax codes, getting proper licenses and permits, etc.  This applies even to a part-time roofing business.

Some steps (not necessarily in order) to starting your roofing company legally:

  1. Select your business structure (sole-proprietor, LLC, Corporation, etc.)
  2. Register your roofing business name
  3. Register your business entity
  4. Register as a roofer or home improvement contractor with your state (US)
  5. Open a business bank account for your roofing company
  6. Taxes- either get an accountant, or do research on filing yourself
  7. Liability Insurance
  8. Worker’s Compensation
  9. City Licenses and Permits
  10. OSHA
  11. Health Insurance

Register A Roofing Company In: The United States

Click on a state to find out how to start a roofing business in your area:

Register A Roofing Company In: Canada

Register A Roofing Company In:  The United Kingdom


In order to grow your roofing company, you will need to work hard, have people skills, and be patient.  You will also need to market your business effectively.  Success and profit won’t come media marketing for a new roofing company


Beside employees, dealing with customers can cause a great amount of stress.  Learning how to communicate well with customers can help boost sales and increase word-of-mouth leads.  Good customers can be one of your greatest sources of free marketing!


roofing company marketing ideas

After you start a roofing business, you need to market it.  Some low-cost advertising to get started can include a basic 1 or 2 page website, setting up a free business listing for your roofing company on Google and other online directories, social media accounts, business cards and a few yard signs.


The Roofer’s Helper on Instagram– Giveaways, the best and worst of roofing, business features, and more!

Helpful roofing-related websites

Roofing education and training websites

How To Market Your Roofing Business

As it is with many businesses, the “fun” part is often the field work, while the difficult part is the paperwork and other behind-the-scenes stuff.  Marketing, especially in the age of the internet and social media, is a necessary part of running a successful roofing company, whether you think it is fun or not.

Marketing and advertising can be very expensive.  Whether you are new roofing company, or a roofing veteran, the last thing you want to do is to go into debt trying to get some customers.  You also don’t want to waste valuable time and money utilizing poor marketing techniques.  Fortunately, there are a number of low cost, or even free roofing marketing tips and tricks to help get the phone ringing and bring in more roofing customers.

Many of the following marketing and advertising ideas can be implemented without hiring a marketing company.  You can successfully advertise without spending a fortune.  Before you take out a loan to purchase a massive billboard or radio ad, check out these marketing ideas that can help you get more roofing jobs:

A Quality Website

A great looking website doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars.  With some basic computer skills, you can even set up your own website for just the cost of hosting fees.  A good website doesn’t need to be complex.  Keep it simple.  A home page, an about page, a services offered page, and a contact page are all you really need to get started.  Ranking in the top search position in Google is another story.  This can often be quite difficult depending on the competition from other roofers in your area, and also battling against the large advertising pockets of major home improvement lead companies that are also competing for the top search positions. The key is to have the website set up properly and use specific keywords closely associated with your business in order to rank high in your local search engine results.  SEO (which is mentioned next) will play a huge part in ranking well.   More on setting up a Website.


A basic website is foundational, but will only be effective if people visit it. An SEO-optimized website can be an incredible source of roofing leads and can potentially lead your roofing company to dominate your market.  SEO (Search Engine Optimization) utilizes various techniques such as proper website structure, quality content, targeted keywords, links to your site, and more in order to improve your chances of being found in a search.  While the cost to maintain SEO can be expensive, the long-term results can often be more cost-effective and productive than any other form of marketing.

A Catchy Tagline or Logo

A creative tagline or logo associated with your business name can help personalize your business and is a great marketing tool to attract customers.  Sometimes the tagline or logo becomes more memorable than the actual business name.  Find out more about business names here .

Door Flyers

Well-designed flyers targeted at the right neighborhoods can be very effective in advertising your roofing services.  Targeting is the key.  Don’t waste your time placing flyers in neighborhoods full of renters..  Create flyers for specific roofing services and place them at homes that could use those specific services.

Reference Incentives

Offer current customers kickbacks for referrals they give you, if the referrals turn into paying jobs.  A 20 dollar bill is a small price to pay for a guaranteed job.  Free gutter cleanings may also be a incentive.

Free Online Listings

Many local and nationally-based websites will allow you to post a free business listing.  Take advantage of Google Business listing, which is like a mini-website.  You can also set up free listings on Yellow Pages and other similar websites.  Check with local community websites to see if they offer free business listings.  You may consider an placing an ad listing on Craigslist, although results may vary depending on your location.

Positive Online Reviews

People are drawn to positive reviews. Ask loyal customers to leave a positive review for you on your Google business listing and/or Facebook page.  Google is preferred, as many more potential customers will see it. It is also a good idea to provide them with a link to the review page to make the process easier. Make sure you also display some of your best reviews on your website!google reviews for roofers

Facebook Ads

While you may need some help creating an ad, Facebook is an excellent option to advertise your roofing services.  You can choose how much you want to spend, and specify who you want the ad to be seen by (age, location, etc.).

Yard Signs

You see them everywhere.  They work.  Make sure the sign is simple and clear, and displays only the most important information.  Name, short business description (unless your business name is enough), phone number, and website should be enough.

News Media

An excellent way to get your company seen is through a television or newspaper story.  Let local media sources (big and small) know when you are doing something newsworthy, such as giving away a free roof, donating to charity, etc. Also, you can provide useful homeowner information that a media source may deem worthy to publish such as the importance of insulation and venting, ice dam prevention, how to know when to call a contractor for repairs/replacement, etc.  These types of stories are published all the time.  Your business name could be mentioned on television or in a newspaper or magazine, which would promote you as a local expert.

Vehicle Advertising

When you doing a roof job, neighbors often wonder who the contractor is.  You will leave no doubt if you have clear contact information on your vehicle.  You could use something as simple as magnetic signs on your truck, or decide to pay for lettering or even a full, graphic-heavy wrap.

Charity Giveaway

Charity auctions are a great way to get positive exposure while helping a good cause.  Offering a free service such as gutter cleaning, or a gift certificate are both good options.

Prize Drawing

This is a great option for your local county fair or community day.  Have people sign up with their emails.  You could offer a particular service or a gift certificate to the winner.  You could also choose to offer all contestants a consolation prize such as 10% off any roofing service.

Community Sponsoring

Help sponsor a local sports team, or advertise at a community event such as a charity walk.  Sponsoring costs can add up quickly, so weigh your options before verbally committing.  Having your business name fully or partially featured on a shirt or banner can help bring exposure to your business, while also benefiting your community.

Social Media

If you are already involved in social media such as Facebook, and don’t have a business page, what are you waiting for?  Use your connections with friends and family to promote your roofing services.  Facebook and Instagram are currently the best social media platforms to use to promote your business although TikTok and YouTube effective as well..  In addition, social media advertising is also an option that can bring solid leads.  Social media advertising must be done properly, or it can quickly drain marketing funds while providing little or no results.

Connect with other contractors

When you need help with something out of your skill set, reach out to other contractors for assistance.  Have a list of contractors you can refer to homeowners such as electricians, plumbers, masons, handymen, etc.  Make sure you tell the contractor when you refer them.  These fellow contractors will be happy to get a recommendation, and will hopefully do the same for you.

Build a referral network

Get to know as many real-estate agents and insurance agents as possible.  They have access to an incredible amount of homeowners who will need roof repairs and/or a new roof, and can be a great source of leads. You could potentially offer a finder’s fee when they refer a paying customer to you.

Build an email list

If your customers are willing, use their email address to send reminders such as yearly roof inspection or other services.  If you enjoy writing, you may consider creating an email newsletter.  You could include tips on roof, gutter and home maintenance that may lead to new jobs.


If you are mainly a shingle contractor, and business is slow, you may need to consider offering other services such as flat roof repair, gutter work, or another service you may feel comfortable doing.

The previous suggestions showed some lower budget options.  If you have more money to spend, a nice video can be used in a number of ways- website, social media, and even local television.

How To Choose a Roofing Company Name

Choosing A Roofing Business Name

 Roofing-related company name ideas:

Roofing Company Name Ideas

Roof Cleaning Business Name Ideas

Gutter Business Name Ideas

Here are a number of ways (in no particular order) to help you decide on a roofing company name :

1.  Create a Business Plan:  With a clear business plan including your long-term goals, narrowing down your choices for a business name will be easier.  Find out more about getting started on a business plan here.

2.  Choose a Business Structure:  Sole-proprietorships and Partnerships often are not considered legal entities, and may have less restrictions on name registration.  Structures such as LLC’s and Corporations will have more requirements.  More on business structures here.

3.  Choose a Specialty:  For example, if you have decided you will specialize in slate, then it might make sense to have the word “slate” in your business name.  “Joe’s Slate Roof Repair” or “Elite Slate Roofing”.  When people see your business name, there will be no doubt that not only are you a roofer, but that you specialize in slate.  More on choosing a niche here.

4.  Reach a Broader Audience:  If you have a variety of skills, or are not sure which direction your business may go, you may not want to limit your business name to a specialty.  Perhaps you are a “jack-of-all-trades” who can do construction, electrical, plumbing, gutters, siding, or more.  Maybe you think in the future you might want to branch off into offering additional services.  Certainly “Joe’s Slate Roof Repair” could also do bathroom renovations, but nobody would know that just looking at your name.  That type of information would either have to be portrayed in your marketing materials, or else passed along by word-of-mouth.  In this case, you may want to advertise more as a general contractor who mainly does roofing.  You could choose a more general business name such as “Joe’s Home Services” or “Elite Contracting”.

5.  Consider Your Target Audience:  What type of customer is your primary target?  If you are in an affluent area, a name such as “Affordable Roofing” probably won’t attract the wealthier clientele.  In this case you would stick with a strong general business name, such as using your own name, or using a name that indicates quality and prestige.  If you are in a lower income area, you may wish to choose a name that indicates value or affordability such as “Affordable Roofing” or “Budget Roofing”.

6.  Use Your Own Name:  Do you want your own name in the business name?  “John Smith Roofing”  “Walsh Commercial Roofing”.  Using your own name adds a personal touch that may appeal to customers.  You will most likely have less restrictions in registering your business name if your full name is used (“John Smith Roofing”).  If just part of your name is used (“Walsh Commercial Roofing”), you may still have to file a fictitious name and/or a DBA (doing business as).

7.  Use a Simple Name With A Catchy Slogan:  You may also choose a simpler business name and focus on a catchy slogan that will define your business.  “Your Roof Repair Expert”, “Philly’s Roofing Pro” or some other phrase can be a tagline associated with your business.  While “John Smith Roofing” may not sound too fancy, a tagline associated with your business name can give you a big boost.  You can see how having “John Smith Roofing– Philly’s Roofing Pro” on your business card, advertisement, or plastered on the side of your roofing vehicle may have a greater effect than just “John Smith Roofing”.

8.  Choose a name near the front of the alphabet:  An old-school technique for deciding on a business name would be to choose a name that would show up alphabetically near the front of the traditional phonebook.  Examples for this would be “ABC Roofing” or “Apex Roofing”.  This technique may not be as beneficial, as it used to be with the innovations of modern marketing strategies utilizing social media and search engines such as Google.


9.  Choose a name that easy to remember:  Using a short simple name may be more beneficial than a long, difficult-to-spell name.

10.  Don’t just settle on any business name, thinking you can just change it later on:  Obviously, you could change your name at some point down the road, but doing so could hurt your business.  Previous customers may have a hard time finding you.  You may miss out on referrals as your old business name is no longer used.  You will have to spend time and money changing all marketing materials, your website, and branding to reflect your new name.  It is better to take your time and decide on a name you will be happy with years down the road, rather than one you will be regretting a few years into your business.  Not all businesses fail or struggle because they decided to change their name, but that possibility should definitely be something you should consider now, rather than later.roofing business name

11.  Make sure your business name is legal: After choosing your name, you will need to register with the proper institutions.  You should make sure the name you are choosing isn’t trademarked, or used by someone else in the area.  Registering your business name may not only be necessary on a local level such as with your city, but also with other government agencies for tax purposes.

12.  Choose a good website address to complement your business name:   While it would be ideal to have your business name as the actual web address (ex., it isn’t necessarily crucial.  Other options could be “Walsh Roofing”, or some other variation not even including your name such as “”.  You could even choose a web address that reflects your specialty such as “”.  The key with choosing a website name is to keep it easy to remember and easy to spell.  If your website is set up properly, customers will have no problem finding you, no matter what the web address is.

Five Keys to Selling A Roofing Job

Trying to sign up a roof job, especially when you are new to the roofing business, can be intimidating.  If you are a new roofing company owner, you will quickly find that filling your schedule with jobs may take some effort. Here are a few tips to help give you a better chance at lining up some new customers.

First Impressions

Whether with a cold call, or responding to a request for an estimate, the first impression you give a customer can go a long way in the process of selling a roof job.  You may get an emphatic “NO!” before you open your mouth just based on appearance alone.  Roofers already tend to have the reputation of being rough, dirty, and shady.  You can really set yourself apart by presenting yourself as the opposite of that stereotype.  You don’t have to wear a suit and tie, but make sure your appearance is somewhat neat and tidy.  This is crucial with a cold call.  If you are only doing roofing sales, neatness will be much easier.  If you are mixing jobs with calls, you may have a tougher time staying clean.  Save the tar-stained shirts or pants for days you are only doing jobs, if possible.

A smile and friendly tone will help break the ice with the potential customer.  If  you know you are not good with words, there are plenty of resources to help you with your communication skills.

A neatly written or typed estimate can also help with professionalism.


A pet-peeve of mine in the sales industry is the cut throat “a-sale-at-any-cost” mentality.  In my opinion, I would rather under-promise and over-deliver, than to exaggerate my skills and not follow through.  The pressure, especially when you may need work, is to promise more than you are able to really do, and at a lower price, just to get the job.  This is a dangerous practice.  You could potentially get in over your head, and not be able to deliver a product that the customer deserves and has paid for.

If the customer asks you to perform a certain roofing service, be honest about your skills in that area.  Don’t be afraid to tell them you aren’t an expert in that particular area, and that if you completed the job, it may not be “museum” quality.  Customers appreciate honesty.  You would be surprised at how many customers told me they appreciated my honesty in telling them my strengths and weaknesses.  Many have asked me to go ahead with jobs even after I was trying to talk myself out of them.  Don’t be so eager to take on a job that you know you can’t complete, or that you can’t do well, without giving the customer an honest set of expectations.  Trust me, your customers will appreciate this, and you will get referrals because of it.

Be honest about the condition of your prospective customer’s roof.  Don’t tell them they need a new roof when you can clearly see the roof has plenty of life left in it.  That is unethical and just plain dishonest.  You wouldn’t want someone doing that to you.  You might get away with it, but beware.  It could come back to haunt you.

Don’t forget to be honest about the timeline of the job.  If you know you can’t do a job this week, don’t make a promise you’ll do it this week just to sign up the job.


It is important to be organized and knowledgeable when dealing with a customer.  Know your pricing.  Know your roofing lingo.  Be confident, but honest when talking about the best way to complete a roof job.  I realize some knowledge comes from experience, so it may be difficult to be knowledgeable with an area of roofing you are not familiar with.  This is where a previous trait I mentioned, honesty, can come into play.

I know of one roofer who used the line “That’s my specialty!” when any potential customer asked about a certain service.  In other words, every type of roofing service he was asked about was his specialty.  He had the “fake it until you make it” mentality.  I don’t know if that is the best sales method.  It would definitely help for you to learn as much as you can and get as much roofing-related experience possible so that you can best advise your customer.  If you do choose to have a specialty, put as much effort as possible into learning all you can, so you can truly call yourself an expert in that particular area.  Many customers (but not all) can easily spot when someone doesn’t really know what they are talking about.


All customers want to know they are getting a good deal.  There are a number of ways to give the customer value without having to lose money.  One way you can add value is by throwing in extras, on top of what the customer has requested, at no cost.  This could be telling them you will clean all gutters at no extra charge after doing a roof job, or that you will be using a premium shingle at the same cost you would charge for a standard shingle.  Don’t lie about your pricing.  You don’t have to pull numbers out of your hat.  For me, I always charge the same for 3-tab shingles as I do for architectural shingles.  I prefer installing architectural, and they have a better warranty.  When the customer finds out I charge the same price, they will see they are getting a better value by choosing the architectural.

I generally try to present my estimate with a firm price, so that the potential customer has confidence they are already getting a good price.  I generally don’t like to play games with my pricing, but there are a few exceptions.

One exception deals with my minimum charge.  I have a few different standard “minimum charges” depending on what the roof-related work is (my minimum is less for gutter cleaning than for regular repairs as gutter cleaning takes less skill).  I have adjusted those minimum charges when the job is particularly easy, or small, thereby giving the customer value.

Giving the customer value doesn’t mean that you should always start with a higher price and then give “discounts”, but this technique is common practice in some cultures.  In some parts of the world, it is understood that you will go back-and-forth before settling on a price.  This is similar to going to a car dealer, with both the salesman and yourself knowing that you are not going to pay full price.  This is a somewhat common practice at yard sales.  You don’t pay full price for that used toaster.  You offer much lower and then come to an agreement with the seller.  If you are aware of this when dealing with certain cultures, you can adjust your prices accordingly, so when the potential customer argues with the price, you can lower it to a price you are both happy with.  I realize this is not a common practice in the US, but when dealing with certain cultures, you will find that you may be insulting them if you stay firm on your price.  I lost a few jobs early in my business when dealing with customers from other parts of the world, because I was naive and stubborn (and a little insulted) when my prices were being questioned.


Communication with a potential customer can make the difference between signing up a job or never hearing from them again.  Starting with the first call, make sure you are effectively communicating with the would-be customer.  Make sure you get all necessary contact information, and that you have the correct address.  Set up a clear time to meet for the estimate, if the customer will need to be there.  If you are going to be late, have the courtesy to contact the customer and update them on your status.  Repeat phone numbers, addresses and times back to the customer to confirm the correct information.

After the initial contact, a follow-up is an important step in keeping the communication lines open with the customer.  A follow-up text, phone call, or email can all be appropriate ways to open the door for action from the customer.  Personally, my style is not high-pressure.  I don’t like to look desperate for work.  If you did things right with the other four steps I mentioned, you shouldn’t have to strong-arm a customer into submission.

Be patient.  Not hearing back from someone doesn’t mean an automatic “NO” to your proposal.  I recently had a customer contact me after 2 years (yes, 2 years!) to tell me they were finally ready to have the work done.  I was able to re-write the estimate at a higher amount because of additional work they also now ready to have done.

These five attributes will definitely help you sell more jobs.  Keep in mind, that no matter what sales technique you use, you won’t sell every job.  In fact, if you are signing up just about every job, your prices may be too low.  Pricing will be discussed in another post.

Now, go out and sign up some customers!

Choosing A Business Structure For Your Roofing Company

Choosing A Business Structure For Your Roofing Company

When starting a new roofing business, one of the first steps to take, often before even choosing a name, is selecting a business structure.  The four basics business structures are sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC (Limited Liability Company), and Corporation.  The scope of your business along with your immediate and future goals may help you decide on what structure you will register with.  Below you will find a description of each type of structure and the benefits of each to your new roofing company.

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is the most basic of business structures.  Most small business owners start out as sole proprietors.  In most regions, you may have to register a DBA (doing business as) name, but you may not have to register as a sole proprietor.  You will still need licenses, permits, and tax registration as required by your government agencies.

A sole proprietor is run solely by the business owner.  The owner is completely attached to the business.  A sole proprietor gets all the profits from the business, but is also responsible for any losses, debts, or legal action taken against the company.

As a new roofing company with one owner, you can start your business immediately (after proper government registration) as a sole proprietor.  Keep in mind that because of the risky nature of roofing, you will be responsible for any losses incurred because of your business.   Liability insurance can help protect the loss of business assets, but not your personal assets.


A partnership is a business where the ownership is shared by two or more people.  While the profits are shared, the losses, debt, and responsibility for any legal action taken against the business are also shared.

Business partners will need to decide together how the business will be run, and how the profits will be shared.  It may be wise to create a legal partnership agreement to provide clarity when arguments and misunderstandings regarding the business arise.  You may want to include in the partnership agreement terms for the process of one or more partners leaving the business.

There are three types of partnerships in the United States: General, Limited, and Joint Ventures.

General Partnership

A general partnership has each partner sharing responsibilities, profits, and losses for the business equally, unless specified otherwise in the partnership agreement.

Limited Partnership

A limited partnership allows partners to have limited liability in the business, and limited input on business decisions based on the partners investment in the company.

Joint Venture

A joint venture is similar to a general partnership, but on a short-term basis.  If the parties involved decide to continue long-term, they can then file as a general partnership.

As a roofer in a partnership, be aware that all profits will be shared with the other partners, and any losses caused by the other partners will be shared with you.  Disagreements between partners can cause friction in the company, possibly causing the business to dissolve.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

While an LLC is a mixture of a Corporation and a Partnership, it can still be registered by one owner.  An LLC can consist of many owners or “members”, and provide limited liability protection similar to that of a corporation.

If you choose an LLC, you must have the initials “LLC” in your registered business name.

LLC’s are popular with roofing companies and many other types of businesses as they help protect the owner’s personal assets in the event of a lawsuit or if your roofing business takes on debt.

While there are some registration costs when forming an LLC, the costs are less than when forming a corporation.  There is also easier registration requirements.  Besides sole proprietorship and partnership, LLC’s are very popular with roofers because of the protection they offer.


Corporations are more complex business structures.  A Corporation is generally owned by shareholders.  The Corporation is responsible for legal issues and/or debt the company incurs, not the shareholders.  There are two types of Corporations: a C Corp and an S Corp.   A C Corp is referred to generally as a Corporation, while an S Corp is structured slightly differently.

Corporations cost more money and take more paperwork to start and maintain.  They are generally a better choice for larger companies.  Corporations also have the opportunity to offer stock.

The taxes for a Corporation  (C Corp) are paid out of the Corporation.

An S Corp is similar to a corporation, except the taxes are paid through a personal tax return.

As a new roofing company, you probably don’t need to consider choosing a corporation as your business structure at this point.


Roofing Liability Insurance

Roofing Liability Insurance

Roofing can be a dangerous job, but the risks aren’t always just with the roofer getting hurt.  Mistakes or accidents on the job can cause injuries to homeowners and bystanders.  Misunderstandings, poor communication, or neglect can possibly lead to a lawsuit.

Whether you dropped a hammer and smashed a priceless lawn ornament, or failed to properly flash a chimney, causing thousands of dollars of damage, you need to protect yourself and your business.

Liability insurance helps protect you and your business from potential catastrophes that could possibly put you out of business.  Not only is it important to have, it is actually required by many states in the United States in order for you to be a legal contractor.

Be sure to research the contractor laws in your state to see what your requirements are.

Here are some areas in which a liability insurance policy can protect you.

  1. Personal injury: This involves slander, libel, and other types of damage to a person’s or business’s reputation.
  2. Bodily injury: This deals with protection in case of any job-related injury to a non-employee.
  3. Medical payments: This can help cover medical expenses incurred because of someone injured at your workplace.
  4. Advertising injury: If your customer claims a loss due to any products or services you have advertised.
  5. Independent contractors liability: Independent contractors you have hired should have their own liability insurance, but this adds another level of protection.

Liability insurance for roofers can vary in options and prices.  Roofers have a much higher risk that painters, landscapers, and other contractors that mainly stay on the ground.  Be sure to meet with multiple insurance agents to find the best policy and price for you.

Make sure you are honest about what type of roofing you will be doing.  You need to make sure you have proper coverage in case of any unforeseen disaster. A minimum $1,000,000.00 umbrella policy should be considered.  Most major lawsuits will not be cheap.

If you plan to have employees, you should also discuss your options for Worker’s Compensation, to help protect yourself in the event of injury or death of an employee.

Most states require you to purchase a bond and General Liability Insurance to obtain your license. We work with 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. Learn more >

OSHA Roofing Contractor Safety Standards Compliance Summary

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is a US government agency regulating workplace safety.  If you are a roofing contractor in the United States, with at least one employee, you are required to abide by OSHA safety standards.  If you work alone, you are not required to abide by OSHA standards.  If you have no employees, but use other roofers  as sub-contractors or independent contractors, you are not required to comply to OSHA standards.  OSHA only regulates safety standards for companies with paid employees.

Roofing business owners who fail to comply with OSHA safety standards could face stiff fines.  Fines may increase with continued failure to comply.

Here is a basic summary of some OSHA standards roofing company owners need to be aware of. *Note: This is only a summary, not a complete guide.

Fall Protection

Fall protection must be provided for any employees working at a height of 6 feet or more from a lower level.  Workers must be trained in fall protection by a competent person.  Employers need to certify that workers have been trained.

Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS)

A fall arrest system prevents a worker who falls from contacting a lower level.  The system must be set to prevent a worker from falling more than 6 feet.  The system must be capable of supporting at least 5,000 lbs. per worker and be installed by a qualified individual.

Fall Restraint System

A fall restraint system is designed to prevent a worker from reaching the edge of a work area.  It must be capable of supporting at least 3,000 lbs.

Guardrail System

A guardrail system can be set up around the perimeter of the work area and around roof openings.  The top rail must be 39 to 45 inches above the roof surface.  The guardrail must be able to withstand 200 lbs of downward or outward force.

Other Protective Measures

Safety Monitor

On roofs that are 50 ft. wide or less, a competent person may be used as a safety monitor.

Warning Lines

Warning lines can consist of ropes, wires, or chains at least 6 feet from the roof edge, and must be flagged at least every 6 feet.


Protective covers may be used over skylights and other roof openings.  The cover must be capable of supporting at least twice the weight of employees and equipment and marked with the word “HOLE” or “COVER” as a warning.

Ladders, Scaffolding, Lifts


Ladders must be regularly inspected for physical defects.  Ladders must only be used on stable, level surfaces.  A stable, level surface may need to be created to prevent sliding or shifting.  The areas around the top and bottom of the ladder must be kept clear.  The ladder should not be set up in a high traffic area unless secured and/or protected by a barrier.

Ladders must be set at a proper angle, and workers must not carry anything that may cause them to lose their balance.

Stepladder may only be used in the fully open position.  Workers may not use the top or the top step as a step.

More on ladders here:


Only trained workers may install, alter, or dismantle scaffolding.  Safe access must be provided.  Each platform must be fully decked.  Workers on a scaffold more than 10 feet above a lower level must be protected from falls.  A guardrail is acceptable.

Workers must be protected from falling objects such as tools and materials.  The area below the scaffold should be barricaded and toeboards should be installed on the platform at heights above 10 feet.


Only authorized and trained workers should operate aerial lifts and forklifts.

Electrical Safety

Workers should be trained in the area of electrical safety.  Overhead electrical lines pose a common risk for roofers.

Building Integrity

An employer is responsible to ensure that the building and roof structure will maintain the weight of all workers and equipment.

Tool Safety

Workers must be trained in the proper used of tools.  Tools should include all necessary guards, shields, and safety attachments.

The following protective equipment should be used when operating certain tools and working under certain conditions:

Eye and Ear Protection, Gloves, Hard Hats, Work Boots, Highly Visible Clothing

Roofing Operations

Proper training and precautions are required when working with hot tar, open flames, torches, propane tanks, and flammable materials such as adhesives.  Fire extinguishers should be within 50 feet.

Hazardous Substances

Employers must be aware of, and protect their workers from the dangers of these and other hazardous substances:


Asbestos may be found in insulation, and roofing and siding product on older homes.


Lead-based paints may be found on wood and metal on older structures.


Silica may be found in concrete and cement roofing tiles.

Vapors and Fumes

Other contaminants may be released during demolition or come from work materials such as adhesives.

Weather Conditions

Employers are responsible to protect their employees from the hazards created by weather.  This includes trauma related to heat and cold, and the dangers of inclement weather such as high winds, rain, snow, and ice.

Emergency Action Plan (EAP)

Worker must be trained in proper procedure in the event of an emergency.  If no hospital or other medical assistance is available within reasonable distance from a jobsite, a person trained in first aid must be available, along with accessible first aid supplies.

More reference materials here: and



How To Register A Roofing Company

After deciding to start a roofing business, you will need to go through all the proper government institutions to make your business legal.  There are different rules and procedures depending on where you plan to operate your business.  Make sure you are following proper protocol in your region.  This means having necessary insurance, following tax codes, getting proper licenses and permits, etc.  This applies even to a part-time roofing business.

Here are links to register a new roofing business in your area:

Start a New Roofing Business in The United States

Start a New Roofing Business in Canada

Start a New Roofing Business in The United Kingdom

More on starting a new roofing business here: How To Start a Roofing Business

Roofing Equipment

Roofing Tools and Equipment

Good, reliable roofing tools and equipment are critical for any roofing contractor.  Some tools end up collecting dust or costing more time or money than they are worth.  It is important to research the equipment and tools you want to purchase to make sure they are safe, reliable, and worth the investment.  Here is a list of various articles, reviews, and links to roofing-related tools and equipment:


Tools Needed For Roof Repairstools needed for roofing

Roofer’s Helper Recommended Tools

Equipment & Accessories


Safety Equipment


Choosing a Roofing Vehicle

Ladder Racks


Gutter Business Name Ideas- Names for a Gutter Company


Here are a number of gutter business name ideas.  Some of these names are used by actual gutter companies, and may not be available for use in your area.   These names can be used for many types of gutter businesses including gutter installation, gutter fabrication, gutter/leaf guard, gutter repair, gutter cleaning, etc. You can check for website name availability and get a FREE domain with web hosting purchase here.

For information on starting your own gutter company: How To Start A Gutter Company.  For more on starting a gutter cleaning business: How To Start A Gutter Cleaning Business.

Gutter Company Name Ideas

  • Gutters ‘N More
  • Gutters Plus
  • Superior Gutters
  • Gutter Guru
  • The Brothers That Just Do Gutters
  • Gutter Helmet
  • Total Gutter
  • Gutter King
  • Supreme Gutters
  • Leaf Guard
  • Only Gutters
  • The Gutter Guys
  • Gutter Clear
  • GutterWorks
  • Gutter Solutions
  • Gutter Boss
  • Gutter Service
  • Leaf Free
  • Leaf Stopper
  • The Gutter Man
  • A+ Gutters
  • Elite Gutter Services
  • Superior Seamless Gutters
  • Gutter Pro