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Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 3
Junior Member
Hi all, hope your well.My husband and I have finally decided to go into business (electrical contractor). anyway we are just in the beginning stages of appling for the licenses but are eager to know about insurance, medical insurance and things along those lines. Also he mentioned taken a refresher course because the past few years he has been working more with fiber optics and may have forgotten about comercial and residental. Anyone think a course is a good idea or simpy a book for studying codes? Also and input on approx. how much money is involved in starting your own business? Some of you may be thinking my hubby should have friends who are electricians.....He does but he is also union so most of his electrical buddies are union and work under the shops license. Any info is greatly appreciated.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,333
Likes: 7
We need to get a NY member involved for some stste required specifics, as I'm across the river in NJ

How much $$$ to start-up?? Depends on what you want to get involved in. Truck, tools, office, phones, stationary, "shop", etc., etc. I started from the house, 1 van, lone ranger, found a used truck, hired 1 guy; continued on a little at a time.

Resi don't require a lot of "special" tools, but comm & industrial require either a rental account, or an investment. (Bender/puller/punches/crimper/meters, etc.)

Insurance is a BIG $$$; Business liability, workers comp, 4 trucks, and the F700 Bucket run $25k. Medical is another issue; 50% for my employees, (Blue Cross/Blue Shield)10K+/-

Business Liability insurance is mandatory in NJ, you need a certificate to obtain a Business Permit (at a 1M min. I think.)

I keep office expenses at a minimum, and use "Quick Books" for billing, payroll, bookeeping, etc.; have an acountant, 4 times a year +/-$1500.00

THen there is fuel, maintenance, payments for the trucks/vans.

Don't be alarmed, a whole bunch of us guys did it, & survived. Lastly, expect "some" payless paydays as the boss/owner.

Good Luck!


Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
As long as he is comfortable enough with the format of the code (understands how & where it works), he's a few steps up on most newbies. That's the idea of most licensure tests - gauging your familiarity with "The Book". Class v. study book? It depends on what works best for him. There are several on-line refs for both.

Insurance - if he's going to be the Proprietor and sole employee (IRS & state defenition of a one-man shop) then he should be able to get away without workman's comp/unemployment, etc. Like Hotline said, med ins. will be the wallet-buster, but, if he can get away with it (hasving it through your work, perhaps), the first few years shouldn't be too bad. Here in IL Bus. Lia. Ins. ($1mil/$2mil/$100k med) runs about $400/year, ins. for truck is another $500/year. License (City, but good statewide) is $100.

When I first started, I'd always throw a portion of my profits into tools. I still try to, but now that I'm "legit" (i.e. non-pirate) the business related costs have gone up - but so's my hourly [Linked Image]

Good luck.

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 4,081
Likes: 3

As far as costs go that's going to depend on what you want to do as John already mentioned.

Suffolk County Master's License costs $200/yr. Figure $400 - $500 for Business Liability Ins as a minimum. As Doug mentioned as a Sole Proprietor Workman's Comp is not mandatory. For Medical Insurance figure between $800 and $1200 per month for a Family plan.

Good Luck to you,
[Linked Image]

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 218
Check with your tax advisor, I think I remember hearing that in 2003 the insurance is going to be deductable if you are self-employed.

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 4,081
Likes: 3
Check with your tax advisor, I think I remember hearing that in 2003 the insurance is going to be deductable if you are self-employed.
Which Insurance do you mean, Medical?


[This message has been edited by Bill Addiss (edited 10-02-2003).]


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