How To Become A General Contractor

9 February 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

A general contractor is a type of company that is hired to contribute, oversee or entirely take command of the construction or renovation of a building. Many general contractors are one man teams that perform most of the work themselves. Other contractors have entire teams of specialists that regularly work with them from job to job. A general contractor may also simply oversee the hiring and management of several subcontractors for each phase of construction.

Are you interested in stepping into the role of a general contractor? There a few simple steps you need to follow in order to get started.

What Do You Need to Be a General Contractor?

There are a few basic requirements that you should be able to satisfy before deciding to be a contractor:

  • Experience. Being a general contractor is not an entry level job. You need to understand the various types of tools that you and your team will be using. You'll also need to know how contracting companies work. It's highly advised that you work for an existing general contractor before becoming one yourself.  
  • Relationships. You'll need to build relationships with architects, clients, suppliers and trade specialists. While not a strict requirement to start a business, it should be your focus from day one. These relationships will help you grow a successful business by providing jobs and keeping you connected to skilled specialists.  
  • Capital. You're probably not going to be able to fund everything you'll need to start your new business out of pocket. You need a source of capital to buy your first tools, hire people initially and market your business. Consider taking on investors or securing a small business loan. You'll also certainly need to take on lines of credit.

Legalities, Marketing and Expansion

It's not enough just be skilled and have the right tools; you also need to take care of all the required legal credentials. At minimum, you'll need a business license from your state. You may also require specific general contracting permits based on where you live. You'll also want to create your federal and state tax accounts.

Once you're legal and have a strong source of financing, you can proceed with finding your first clients. If you have existing relationships with local construction companies, it might be as simple as letting them know you're open for business. Once you've nailed your first few jobs, be sure to ask for referrals. You're now in the growth stage and on your way to being a well-known and respected general contractor. Visit for more information.