50-State Construction Licensing Compliance Guide
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Guide Contents

Painting Contractor Company License

Are you looking to start a career as a painting contractor or expand your business to new states? There are state and local requirements you need to abide by, including licensing. Here is what you need to know about starting a painting contractor company.

Painting contractor companies are responsible for estimating, planning, preparing, painting, and managing their jobs. Most painting contractors submit bids for jobs before starting an actual project. Typical job duties include:

  • Applying paint on interior and exterior surfaces
  • Consulting with clients or customers
  • Removing old paint
  • Selecting materials
  • Mixing colors
  • Filling holes
  • Sealing corners
  • Cleaning work sites

In most instances, no formal education is required to work as a painting contractor. However, on-the-job training is often provided. In addition to on-the-job training, painting contractors should have good communication skills.

If you have been working in the construction industry as a painter and are looking to start your own business, you will need to understand the business registration process, as well as any state licensing and renewal requirements. At Harbor Compliance, our business licensing experts are prepared to help and make sure your business has what it needs to operate legally.

Registering a Painting Business

Starting a painting business is similar to starting any other type of business in the construction industry. To get your business off of the ground, you will need to:

  • Register your business name.The name you choose for your business must be unique and not previously registered. You can check with your local business bureau to verify if the name is available before you register.
  • Select a business structure.The most common business structures for painting contractor companies are sole proprietorships, limited liability companies (LLCs), partnerships, and corporations.
  • Register your painting business.Once you have chosen a name and selected your business structure, you can register your painting business with the state in which you plan to operate.
  • Appoint a registered agent.You will need to appoint a registered agent to receive notices of lawsuit and other legal or government notices.
  • Open a business checking account.In addition to registering your business, you will need to open a separate bank account for your company with the new business name.
  • Learn about taxes.Your taxes will be affected by a number of factors, including your entity structure and the amount of money your business makes. Depending on your situation, you may want to consider outsourcing your taxes and other financial needs to a professional accountant.
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Insurance for Painters

To protect your business from financial troubles in the event of a claim or lawsuit, it is crucial to have the proper insurance coverage. A falling ladder or other accident could cause injuries to homeowners, bystanders, or employees. You cannot predict if or when an event will cost your business thousands of dollars in damage. However, the right insurance coverage can help.

The amount of coverage and types needed will depend on the kind of work you do, your location, and the number of employees you have. State requirements vary, but the most common types of coverage include:

  • General liability insurance.Liability insurance provides coverage that protects your business from claims that result from normal business operations like property damage, physical injury, defense costs, and personal and advertising injury.
  • Surety bond.A surety bond is a three-party agreement that guarantees compliance, payment, or performance of an act.
  • Workers' Compensation.If you plan to employ individuals at your company, you will want to obtain workers’ compensation insurance to protect your business and employees in the event of an on-the-job accident.

Painting Contractor License Requirements

A painting contractor's license allows you to take on painting jobs commercially and residentially, as well as hire employees and bid on contracts. The state in which you operate will determine your eligibility and the process for licensure.

Once you have registered your business and have the necessary paperwork in order, you can apply for any required licenses or permits. In some states, you will apply at the state level for your licensing. Other states leave it up to counties, cities, towns, and municipalities to determine licensing or permit requirements.

Regardless of where you need to apply, the application process can take time. If you are concerned about managing the process on your own, you can seek guidance from the business licensing experts at Harbor Compliance. With our professional licensing services, you will understand all of the stages of corporate compliance and have access to full-service support and expert software insights. We make preparing and filing applications easy, and we handle communication with government agencies on your behalf. With our proprietary compliance software, you can track your registration status, license numbers, filing history, fees, and renewals 24/7.

License Renewal

Most painter contractor company licenses need to be renewed on an annual or biennial basis. The business owner is responsible for renewing the license or appointing another person to handle the renewal process. Some states offer online renewal platforms, while others require hard copy filing.

Keeping on track with your business’s license renewals can be complicated, especially as a growing company. At Harbor Compliance, our Entity Manager software ensures accurate due date tracking and facilitates on-time filing. This way, your business will continue to be compliant with state and local requirements, and you will have the time you need to continue working and expanding your clientele.

Explore Licensing by State

Click on a link below to view licensing information in your state.

Meeting the painting contractor company license requirements is not always an easy process. Fortunately, Harbor Compliance License Manager helps construction professionals maintain their licenses by automating repetitive tasks such as tracking renewals. Through License Manager, you can also access Compliance Core™ - our extensive, proprietary database of nationwide licensing information - to research the requirements for the states in which you work. These tools reduce the time you spend researching state requirements and prepare your organization for success.

Associated General Contractors of America
Professional association providing advocacy and organization for construction firms and workers.

National Association of Home Builders
National association for the promotion of the housing industry.

National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies
National organization that represents and promotes the interests of state level contractor licensing agencies.