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Starting your own Engineering Business

Starting your own Engineering Business

Starting your own Engineering Business

What is the minimum items that you need to do to get a engineering business started? This is what I have come up with....any other ideas?

1. Federal Tax ID
2. Business License
3. COA? (I think is only required for more than one person depending upon the state you are in)
4. LLC or PC?

RE: Starting your own Engineering Business


RE: Starting your own Engineering Business

Well yes...I have that....BTW...I have 12 years of experience and have a 6 figure fee client already waiting for me to do this. Would like to start up with a Mechanical Engineer also....I am located in Greenville, South Carolina if interested.

RE: Starting your own Engineering Business

Insurance: Errors and Omissions.  Minimum of $1 million.

Frank Lucca M.I.Exp.E.

RE: Starting your own Engineering Business

Office space.

Kind of tacky inviting customers over to your garage for a meeting.


For some pleasure reading, the Round Table recommends FAQ731-376

RE: Starting your own Engineering Business

Pay the $35 it takes to get your own email domain name.  Nothing says "on the cheap" like a common domain, especially Yahoo, AOL, and Hotmail.  It really does look better to have [your name]@[your place].com.  Try to avoid .net and .org.  They tend to confuse.

I use Yahoo for my domain service.  I can access my mail anywhere that I can gain internet access.  Plus, they have built-in virus check, so infected files need never touch my computer before they are scanned/fixed/deleted.

All this machinery making modern music can still be open-hearted.

RE: Starting your own Engineering Business

You need a lawyer, an accountant, a tax advisor, a financial planner an insurance agent and a business advisor.

First start on your business plan with your business advisor.  Then get the lawyer and accountant involved. Finally get the insurance agent to find the proper coverage’s that you need.

Failing to follow the advise of these experts can and most likely will result in you spending much more than necessary and/or having your personal assets put at risk.

They will be able to tell you all the ins and outs of starting your own business setting up the financial books, structuring the corporation etc.

Some other items not yet mentioned, office stationary, have your letterhead, envelopes, business cards etc coordinated to present a professional image. (Paper Direct has a nice selection.)

You also need the office supplies and equipment, computers printers etc.

Look into a wide format engineering drawing plotter. (I use and like a HP 500 with a 24” roll feed.)

Look into the necessary reference books and codes that you need for your business. (These can get extensive and expensive.)

Be careful hiring staff. You have to pay them before you get paid yourself. I generally only hire staff on a project basis and then usually as independent contractors.

Look into a web page. Reserve your company_name.com if possible. That way if you ever change ISP’s you can take your e-mail and web page with you.

If you hire a web page designer (or any other sort of artistic design service like a logo.) make sure that you include as a term of the contract that you are acquiring all copyrights and associated rights to the web page or you may never be able to change it. If the web page design service hires out the actual work make sure that the service acquires these rights and passes them along to you.


Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion

RE: Starting your own Engineering Business


I agree legal, tax, and insurance advise is mandatory

But a financial planner and business advisor are excessive overhead when starting a company

Who best can decided how to control finances and plan a company's future than the owner himself.  

The owner should have a clear understanding of financial, advertising, and future business plans before making the plunge into self employment.  

I am not going to pay a business advisor and financial planner to twiddle their thumbs and tell me how to run my business....What do they know about my business?


RE: Starting your own Engineering Business

I agree with Craig, to start bussiness we should have market /client and relation. In Indonesia, that is most ,friends to support starting bussiness as client.
Then we complete with legal rewuiremnet.

RE: Starting your own Engineering Business

One of the most important things in keeping a business going succesfully is your network.  Get a good start at the beginning in setting up your contact database.  The longer you wait, the more difficult the task becomes.

RE: Starting your own Engineering Business

Business Plan, Cash Flow, Break even projections, how do you handle bad debt? Lot's to think of that you never had to worry about when employed by others. Basic accounting/book-keeping. You need to keep your biusiness in order, to be able to see at a glance how well it is doing and you don't want to pay some accountant a years salary to sort out a carrier bag full of receipts when you can do this yourself. Just let him fo the annual report.
Every business starts by spending money and not making money. While i begrudge some of the expenses, deciding to drop the accountant and tax adviser may be good or it may be bad. They can tell you whether you will be better taking a salary from your company or drawing cash. These guys might be a good investment. Investigate then decide.
Look for a business startup course at your local Educational establishment. Look for any local Business Enterprise Support units i.e. any establishments that are designed to provide free advise and support to business startups. ( I know, nothing is free and free advise is worth what you pay for it, but indirectly you do pay for these things)
Use the library. You know, the paper & books type, the internet is great but rather non-specific when it comes to location. Just look at the other threads on insurance, for example wehere it matters which Canadian province they are in. Your local library will have plenty of local reference material. (or use the library at the nearest business college, or nearest college for the discipline you are in.
You need to find out about standards. The data protection act. Do you need a quality assurance certificate for your business?
Don't forget to tell the wife/husband that you're committed 24/7 for the forseeable future, no holidays, no shopping trips and so on but if it all works out you'll sell the business for a fortune and retire early.

RE: Starting your own Engineering Business

Local SCORE (service core of retired executives) office is also great source and the SBA has massive information. Check out their website.

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