How to Start a Painting Business in 9 Simple Steps 

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Discover the basics of starting a painting business and the steps to build a strong business foundation.

Do you want to start your own business rather than work for someone else? If so, you should think about starting a painting business.

What makes this better than others? In part, this is due to the fact that it requires little investment, outperforms its rivals with greater ease, and has a great future growth potential.

Don’t believe us?

As per the report from IBIS World, there has been increase in the painting industry of 4.2% in last few years and currently value at $43 billion.

Having your own painting company can be a rewarding and exciting painting experience if you enjoy working for yourself and earning a living.

So, if you’re keen on starting a career in the painting industry, but you are unsure where to begin, then you’ve come to the right place. This step-by-step guide will help you how to start a painting business

📝Key Takeaways:

  • Find out how to start your own painting services business in nine simple steps.
  • Learn how to scale your painting company to new heights by solidifying your business fundamentals.

9-Step Guide: How To Start a Painting Business 

Let’s look at how to start a painting business quickly.

Step 1: Learn the basics 

It is important to know about the niche and market of any business before starting it, and the painting business is no different. Before diving into this field, learning everything about it is essential. Without experience in painting, you can make critical mistakes, costing you money and losing clients in the long run.

In most cases, a potential client will be able to tell that you are a novice, and most will hire painting contractors that can stand out. So, it is very much important for you to have strong brand awareness, and for that, you must have in-depth knowledge on how to market painting business effectively in order to beat your competitors and prove your worth.

Providing a satisfying customer service experience and operating the business requires basic knowledge. 

Thus, working for someone for several years is a good idea. To succeed, you need to know a lot of things. Before starting your own painting business, you should get hands-on experience in painting.

Step 2: Draft a business plan 

starting a painting business with no experience

Once you understand the basics of painting businesses, you can draft a business plan, which is the most crucial step in starting your own. A well-thought-out business plan is a key to a successful painting business. 

According to reports, the business plan can increase a company’s chances of growth by 30%. In your business plan, you should outline your vision for the business, including estimated expenses, marketing strategies, and services you plan to offer.

Step 3: Register your business name

Choosing a business name for your painting company is the next step in starting your painting business. If you want your business to grab attention in this highly competitive market, you must have an easy-to-remember and memorable name.

You will need a business address to run your business. Renting or purchasing a P.O. box enhances your name in the industry. 

Whenever someone looks for a business, there are two things they look for:

  • An attractive website
  • Address of their company

You should contact the Secretary of State or the government if you want to register your business’s name. Select your business structure whether you want to run your business as a corporation, a limited liability partnership, or a limited liability company (LLC).

There are also other types of corporations that you can choose, such as C-Corps and S-Corps, which require more paperwork, and tax filings must be filed separately from your return for companies that choose these types of corporations.

You only have to upload the required legal documents to the portal, and your new business is good to go.

Step 4: Choose your target audience 

how to run a successful painting business

When setting up a painting company, you need to understand the residential or commercial market and target audience to determine who your clients would be. By doing so, you can enhance your company’s branding and focus more on your company’s business models.

When it comes to painting companies, there tend to be two major customer bases: first, those who perform residential painting and others who perform commercial painting.

So it’s up to you which market you will target based on your skills and vision. 

Painting tends to be one of many services available in the market that a painter can utilize, including complete prep work, fine detailing, small carpentry work, specialty wall coatings, refinishing, acoustic ceilings, and pressure washing/roof cleaning. These services work best for any painting company to grow.

Step 5: Get a Painting business insurance policy and a license

Once you have a list of services, you must obtain a business license. 

Painting businesses may require insured and licenses by some municipalities but not others. Workers’ compensation insurance is necessary for all states except Texas, where employers are not required to carry it. 

Most of the time, even if you are not expected to take one or both of these steps, it will be in your best interests to do both in most cases. 

In case of any accident while on the job or if there is a legal dispute involving your company or one of your employees, certain types of small business insurance will help protect you and your employees and provide financial support in the case of a lawsuit. 

It is important to note that the type of coverage you purchase will depend on the type of policy you purchase, and you can choose from a wide variety of options if that is what you prefer.

Usually, for you to do professional painting work legally, you will need a business license from your local government. States and local governments typically enact and enforce rules governing the implementation of these programs. 

To begin working, you’ll need to ensure you are fully licensed and in compliance with local laws before you can begin. 

The consequences of working without the right permit may lead to you being placed on the wrong side of the law and being fined for your actions. It is here where a lawyer’s expert opinion can be of great help once again.

A license allows you to perform professional painting services legally.

Aside from obtaining a license, you should obtain business insurance as well. In this competitive world, many insurance companies offer a list of liability insurance policies from which you must choose the best.

Step 6: Set up a business bank account

painting business plan

When your business has been officially registered with your local or state government, you should open a business checking account so as not to mix your finances with your business’s. 

So whenever you make a company or business-related transaction, it is recommended to do it through your business account. 

If you don’t, your personal assets could become vulnerable if you run into financial difficulties or your company is sued.

A business bank account can be easily set up, so you won’t need to be a bank expert to do it. 

In today’s technologically advanced world, you can open a bank account online directly from the comfort of your home.

Step 7: Purchase essential painting materials

Before purchasing any painting materials to start a painting company, a few factors need to be considered.

  • Is there a specific budget you have decided on for your business plan?
  • Are you going to use your employees, or will you hire subcontractors?
  • Is there anything you are specialized in when it comes to painting?
  • What is the charge that your competitors take from your customers?

Using a subcontractor position will not require you to invest in equipment or vehicles, so there will be no costs associated. Having suitable marketing materials is all that you need to make your business a success.

However, if you decide to hire employees to do the painting for you, you will be required to create a checklist of essential painting equipment you will need to buy to complete the painting projects.

Aside from payroll taxes and workman’s compensation insurance, additional expenses may include paid time off and contributions to healthcare. All of these must be considered.

Generally, you should purchase the following essential painting tools for your potential painting business:

  • Ladders
  • Wire-brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Caulk and masking guns
  • Paint sprayers
  • Brushes rollers
  • Drop cloths
  • Coat

It is essential to keep a note of all the purchases made to keep the business organized. To keep track of all the expenses, it is recommended to use InvoiceOwl, as it lets you keep track of the inflow and outflow of cash. It even provides a feature to estimate paint jobs.

Give it a try for a free trial, and you are all set to keep your finances in order.

Step 8: Hire employees

Hire employees

Hiring employees are the most significant part of any business setup process. Hiring painters will considerably enhance your customer experience and business performance if you intend to start a painting business. To hire, follow these steps:

Create a job posting: The importance of hiring excellent painters cannot be overstated. A well-written job description can lead to more quality candidates applying for the position instead of a poorly written one.

Title of the job: If you describe the job title, make sure it is as specific as possible. You will see it as soon as an applicant opens the application. It would be better to write “Crew manager needed” or “Pain crew leader needed” rather than “Painter needed.”

Detail of the job:  Explain the expectations of the potential employee clearly and concisely. Describe to your employees the roles and responsibilities they will play in your organization. Is there transportation available to them? Tools? Insurance? An in-depth description of the job should be provided.

Skills and experience: List the expectations you have for the candidates. It is best to start with the most important aspect of the job. It is expected that many workers will apply for the job. Look for those who are specialized in the field of painting and focus your attention on them.

With the use of resources, problematic areas can be quickly geared, and a challenging project can be dealt with quickly, such as the possibility of wall repair or wallpaper removal. 

Furthermore, it can also help you generate profits by overseeing the process that involves them. 

Step 9: Planning a marketing strategy for your painting business

The idea of marketing your painting business is one of the most important keys that will enable you to attract your first painting customers in the shortest time possible. In reality, this option does not work for every homeowner with basic painting needs, which limits their ability to repeat business with the company.

As a general rule, you can enhance the level of service you provide to your painting clients and increase your profits through many marketing methods. Here are a few tips on how to target the right market to achieve the best results:

1. Establish a presence on social media platforms: Make sure you research an audience that you want to reach on social media platforms and determine what kind of content you should share with them. By scheduling your social media campaigns, you’ll keep them consistent. Engage your audience and post a variety of content. In addition, run social media ads that are paid.

2. Try printed advertising: Create business cards and use them. Whenever you meet your clients, it is advisable to share your business card. Put up posters and banners, as well as loyalty cards. Local advertising is important. Invest in a good printer as well. Business cards are easy to print.  

In addition, you can also engage in referral programs and marketing materials that will help your company attract more clients to use their services more often.

The total marketing costs will vary depending on the type of marketing. To determine the marketing expense, you can adapt to InvoiceOwl software. This will get you the costs accurately, without any error, because this leading painting invoice software is fully automated. This won’t let you miss any payment and gives you a report of each expense.

Managing Daily Estimates and Invoices Becomes a Cake Walk

Try InvoiceOwl today and create estimates and invoices for your painting business in just a breeze!

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Is painting a profitable business?

    Certainly. Because of its low startup costs and high-profit margins, it currently has high profitability and future growth potential. Painting is a perfect industry for small business owners who aim to be profitable.

  2. Is starting a painting business hard?

    Getting started in the painting business is relatively easy.
    There is typically no rigorous education or certification process required of painters like other tradespeople, such as metal workers or carpenters do.


When you have all the paperwork in order, a legal license in hand, insurance in place, and a marketing plan in place, you are ready to get your paint rollers out..

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel

Jeel Patel is the founder of InvoiceOwl, a top-rated estimating and invoicing software that simplifies the invoicing and estimating processes for contractor businesses. Jeel holds a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Toronto, which has provided him with a strong foundation in business principles and practices. With understanding of the challenges faced by contractors, he conducted extensive research and developed a tool to streamline the invoicing and estimating processes for contractors. Read More

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