In the beginning of 2017, a survey put together by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA) revealed that almost 75% of construction firms in Michigan are expanding their hiring this year. The growth in the state’s construction industry has been one of the primary contributing factors to the decline in the unemployment rate. In fact, construction and utilities are creating more jobs than any other industry in the Great Lake State. With that said, before you rush to start a construction company in Michigan, here are four topics you might want to research first:
1. Education and Licensing
Even if you’re already a competent contractor with experience running a team of construction workers in another state, it may be a good idea to take a pre-license course before you obtain your Michigan builders license because there will probably be some differences that you’ll need to prepare for. Pre-licensing courses are designed to help you pass the Michigan Builders Exam the first time around, while also helping you retain more of that knowledge for practical use in the field. After you’re confident in your ability to pass the exam, you can then register as a licensed contractor in the state.
2. Choosing a Name and Business Structure
Once you’ve obtained the necessary education and licensing, the next step is to officially register the business and choose a marketable name that hasn’t been taken yet. Most people choose to incorporate their business as a limited liability corporation (LLC) or Subchapter S. It’s important to learn the pros and cons of each before making a decision in that regard.
3. Building Code and OSHA Regulations
Before you start thinking that being a construction contractor is simple, keep in mind that you’ll have to adhere to local building code and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. That’s quite a bit of knowledge to become familiar with, so if you’re clueless about these topics then be prepared to take a building code course.
4. Insurance Coverage
As a contractor managing a team of workers at potentially hazardous construction sites, it’s imperative that you obtain the necessary kinds of insurance coverage to protect your construction company from lawsuits. Of course, if you followed the guidance in tip #3 above then you shouldn’t have any problems maintaining a safe workplace. Still, there’s always the possibility that something could go wrong, which is why it’s important to have adequate coverage for liability and workers compensation insurance. Also, since you’ll be self-employed, you’ll need to secure your own health insurance plan as well.
Handling the Business Side
After you’ve handled the four critical aspects above, you’ll be ready to do business, but your first clients and projects aren’t just going to come stumbling into your office and word of mouth will only get you so far. Thus, the final step in building a lucrative construction business in Michigan is to launch a marketing campaign targeted at the type of building projects you’d prefer to start with.