Starting a house painting business can be worthwhile, but it takes a lot of work to get started. Carefully setting up your business infrastructure, including everything from figuring out your name and putting together a website, to securing proper business registrations, taxes, and insurance will help you get off on the right foot.

This article will guide you on starting a house painting business, including all the steps to make sure you’re legally protected and ready to market your services.

Establish a name and get it registered

To get started, you’ll want to come up with a name for your house painting business. Once you’ve selected a catchy business name, perform a search to ensure it’s not already registered to an existing business.

Your location and business structure, such as a sole proprietor, will dictate where and how you register your house painting business as an official legal entity. For a majority of small business owners, this requires a simple application process.

Federal agencies business registries

A majority of small businesses don’t require a business registration with the federal government. Some small businesses choose to do so for the benefit of trademark protection and tax-exempt status. Depending on your vision for your house painting business, if the trademark on your logo is appealing to you, you can file one with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

State agencies business registries

Usually, state agencies consider your business to be active when you do one of the following:

  • ‌Your house painting business is physically present in that state
  • You’ve had frequent meetings with clients
  • Your business’ revenue comes from the state
  • You have employees who work for you in the state

‌Every state has its protocols for registering your business. While some states want physical paper documents mailed to them, others will request electronic registrations online.

Create a solid business infrastructure plan

Your house painting business should include a solid infrastructure plan that defines and establishes the financial goals you have for your business. A business plan should include:

  • Detailed plans of each stage of your house painting process
  • Your anticipated time frame to complete each business stage
  • Funding to reach your business goals

A solid business plan will help you secure financing with a loan manager. The U. S. Small Business Administration provides examples of business plans for you to follow as a valuable resource.

1. Figure out your assets and expenses

Your house painting business may require a considerable amount of assets in cash and equipment. How your house painting business utilizes its assets demonstrates whether it’s profitable or not. Assets quickly show how likely you can get cash if you face unexpected circumstances.

Any new assets you purchase for your company should be included in your business proposal. Keeping excellent records is always good business practice.

Your house painting business will also have expenses. Here are some liabilities you should include, but are not limited to:

  • Paint and paint supplies
  • Insurance
  • Registration fees
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Costs for purchasing equipment, tools, and vehicles
  • Costs for renting equipment, tools, and vehicles
  • Costs for leasing equipment, tools, and vehicles 
  • An advertising budget

2. Form a legal structure

There are different types of legal structures that you can consider for your house painting business. Here are three of the most common:

Sole proprietorship ‌

With one person responsible for your house painting business, this is the simplest legal structure. You are your own boss. ‌An example of a sole proprietor is eBay. The advantages to being a sole proprietor include:

  • Easy setup. Little paperwork is required.
  • Low cost. Minimal license fees and taxes.
  • Tax deductions. This includes deductions on health insurance, for example.
  • Easy exit. You can quit when you want to.


Two or more business partners create a partnership. ‌An example of a partnership is Microsoft. There are two types:

  • General partnership. Equal ownership of your business.
  • Limited partnership. One person has control and the other contributes, pending agreements.

Limited liability company (LLC)

‌This legal structure restricts owners’, partners’, or shareholders’ personal liabilities with the benefit of flexibility in the partnership agreement. An example of an LLC is Pepsi-Cola.

3. Obtain required certifications, licenses, permits, and registrations

A good business loan proposal will cover all the legal aspects of your business in the event of unforeseen hardships. It’s good practice to ensure that you’re compliant with all the rules, regulations, laws, and safety standards. This will show that you’re organized and professional. These requirements include:  

  • Certifications
  • Licenses
  • Permits
  • Registrations

A majority of small businesses require federal and state licenses and permits. Each license and permit requires fees that you’ll include in your business infrastructure. Look over the federal U.S. Small Business Administration list for how to apply, and check with an issuing agency about requirements for your businesses.

Legal paperwork that complies with government protocols will vary from city to city and state to state. Hiring a lawyer is a good investment to ensure that you’ve prepared for and complied with all legal aspects of your house painting business.

4. Find the perfect location for your house painting business

The location of your house painting business is one of the most important decisions you need to make as an entrepreneur. Consider what size of space you’ll require. Do you plan to be a home-based business, or do you plan to expand across various states? Consider how much you’ll need of the following:

  • Office space
  • Storage space 
  • Vans or trucks
  • Trailers

5. Register for taxes

Before you launch your business, you’ll need to register for state and federal taxes. Hiring an accountant may be another wise investment before you launch your house painting business. While audits are not too common, you’ll still want to be organized when it comes to your business ledgers, licenses, and insurance.

6. Understand your insurance responsibilities

Insurance is another important factor that needs to be put in place before opening your house painting business. Insurance agents are your best resources to make sure you have adequate coverage. Here are some of the types of insurance your house painting business may require: 

  • ‌General liability insurance
  • Worker’s compensation insurance
  • Commercial auto insurance
  • Contractors’ tools and equipment coverage

7. Set up your accounting

Good bookkeeping is essential. Keeping careful track of your expenses and sources of income allows you to see your house painting business’s overall financial health and potential. Small business accounting programs, such as QuickBooks will help you keep accurate and detailed accounts of your assets and liabilities while simplifying your annual tax filing.

8. Network with suppliers, business associates, and other contractors

Networking is crucial for helping your business grow. Form genuine and positive relationships with building inspectors, suppliers, business associates, and other contractors. Growing your network will build your reputation within your community and the house painting industry. A dependable network can help you bring in more clients, referrals, and additional resources that will keep your business thriving.

9. Decide whether to hire employees, contractors, or both

Do you plan on hiring staff, working with fellow contractors for larger house painting contracts, or both? There are benefits to all three options.

With regular, steady employees, you know that your house painting business will always have those people available to complete jobs. Meanwhile, contractors can be a lower-cost option versus salaried employees with benefits. You may also want to consider hiring contractors alongside your regular employees during your business’ busy seasons or for larger painting jobs.

Weighing the pros and cons for every aspect of your house painting endeavor will further prepare you for creating a viable and lucrative business.

Establish a marketing plan and build your online presence

Once you’ve got the nuts and bolts of your house painting business infrastructure in place, you’ll want to think about your marketing plan — both online and off. A marketing plan is one of the critical components to building any business.

Businesses that are online have a significant advantage. Studies have shown that up to 80% of people will research a business online before visiting or making a purchase with them. That’s a large customer base you can grab just by having an online presence.

Determine what type of advertising you’ll be doing and on what platforms. If potential clients don’t know about you, they can’t hire you. As such, ensure you allocate extra money to your projected advertising costs in your business loan proposal. Some things to consider when figuring out your marketing plan and advertising budget:

  • Signage for your job sites
  • Radio, TV, and newspaper advertising
  • Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube 
  • Online marketing, such as a website and blog 
  • A logo to establish your brand 
  • Email marketing
  • Promotional items such as business cards, brochures, and a business portfolio

Create a user-friendly website

Your house painting business website will be one of the most powerful tools when it comes to recruiting clients. After all, the majority of consumers go online when they’re looking for a local business.

Your website doesn’t need to be complicated. At the least, you’ll want to have a clear Contact page and a list of your services. You can also include an online store to make purchases easy and include coupons and other discounts. Also, make sure that your website is mobile-responsive since many people will be searching for you on their phones.

Including a blog on your website can help you build and establish your business’ reputation even more. Offer helpful tips to new homeowners, discuss trendy new colors or design styles, or give some interesting background on your business.

Build an email list

Along with a website, you’ll want to start building out an email list. Using that list, you can attract potential new clients and bring back past ones through newsletters and email campaigns that offer special discounts, deals to loyal customers, and valuable tips.

For example, you could send out an email newsletter that discusses helpful tips on how to prep a room to be painted or how to maintain your freshly painted home.

Create a calendar to schedule your emails in advance. Sending out emails on a regular basis will keep your business top of mind. The next time someone on your email list is considering a new paint job, they’ll already be thinking of you.

‌Take advantage of social media

You can’t ignore the power of social media in revealing your talents and helping to develop an image.

Set up business accounts on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Post photos of your painting jobs, share blog posts, advertise your services, and engage with your followers. Tagging current or potential clients can help you make social connections as well. You can also consider setting up a YouTube account, where you can post short videos that showcase your knowledge and expertise in house painting.‌

Get started on your house painting business

Now you know how to start a house painting business. By carefully following the steps above, you can feel confident about starting your house painting business.

To help you get started — building a website, creating an email marketing campaign, generating awareness on social media, or boosting sales with Google Ads — check out more on the Constant Contact blog. With the right marketing in place, Your house painting business will be getting clients in no time.