How to Start a Plumbing Business

Starting a plumbing business can be relatively easy if you have the necessary information needed to be in compliance with state, city, and county regulations. Learn how to start a plumbing business below.


Starting a plumbing business has many benefits, which include some of the following:

  • Many homeowners and business owners do not have the necessary experience to maintain or repair their plumbing system. 
  • A plumbing company offers a variety of services from small repair jobs to more extensive repair and replacement of systems. 
  • Job security is assured because plumbers need the necessary experience to attain a license plus they have the required tools to handle plumbing issues most people are incapable of doing. 
  • Job growth is estimated to increase by 16 percent through 2018 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


A few things to consider about starting a plumbing business include:

  • As a plumber, be prepared to work flexible hours, weekends, and at night as well as work in conditions where you'll get dirty. 
  • Holidays and emergency situations are not exempt from the need of a plumber to visit a home or business. 
  • Plumbers must be adept at working well with their hands assembling parts and fittings as well as experienced in using a soldering gun, welding equipment, and caulking. 


The following provides the basic steps necessary to start a plumbing business.

Step 1. If you are not already a licensed plumber with experience and branching out on your own, you must first gain knowledge and experience in the trade. 

Step 2. One option for gaining knowledge and experience is to become an apprentice for a plumbing company. You will not only gain the skills and experience, but you could also develop potential clients that can serve as a base when opening your own plumbing business. 

Step 3. Another option is taking plumbing-related courses. These are usually found in institutions such as trade schools and community colleges. 

Step 4. Once you're ready to start the business, you'll need to write a business plan. The plan should include your business objective, market research, initial start-up costs, client analysis, pricing breakdown for tools, materials, equipment, and transportation, and pricing for employees such as payroll and insurance, if applicable, and a breakdown of the projected costs and estimated revenues of your business. 

Step 5. Select a name for your business and register it according to the requirements for your state. 

Step 6. Acquire a license according to your state's requirements. This may include a contractor's license, plumbing license, and a plumbing permit. 

Step 7. A tax identification number will also be needed as well as liability insurance. If your plumbing business will also be selling parts, equipment, or products to customers, a retail license is also required. 

Step 8. Once the business is registered with the state, all paperwork required by the state has been filed, and licenses and permits acquired, it's time to create a marketing strategy. You can do this yourself or hire a professional marketing specialist. 


Q. Do I need a license to start a plumbing business?

A. Yes. Plumbers are required to be certified in their field, which includes having a license, insurance, and be bonded. 

Q. What type of equipment is needed to start a plumbing business?

A. Basic equipment needed includes transportation, which can be either a truck or van, office supplies and office furniture, work phone, computer and printer, pipes and fittings, extension cord, and a variety of tools such as circular and reciprocating saws, propane torch, pipe wrenches.

Q. Where do I find out about local permits and licenses I may need for my plumbing business?

A. Check the local U.S. Small Business Associations directory for local resources and contact the clerk's office for your city or county. The Small Business Administration is also a good resource.

Q. How do I go about marketing my business?

A. Several key steps to include in your marketing approach include promoting word of mouth advertising, providing business card, giving out flyers, create a catchy logo and brand customers will remember, utilizing all avenues of social media, setting up a website that focuses search engine optimization to keep your business ranked high on the internet when customers/clients are searching for a plumber. 

If you need help with starting a plumbing business, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.