How to open an auto body shop

How to open an auto body shop

For many, owning a business is part of the American dream and the path to personal wealth. If you’re a mechanic or working on becoming a mechanic, reaching that dream might start with the idea of opening your own auto repair shop. You can set working hours, work with clients on pricing, specialize in interesting vehicles, and take control of the future of your career. When you work in a garage without ownership, your earnings are added to your salary or hourly wages. When you own a shop, your only profit limit is your garage capacity. Before you start looking for money to increase your garage doors, planning is key.

1. Get certified

You’re not required to have ASE certified to work on cars, but without it, you might find it substantially more difficult or expensive to obtain liability insurance and find financing for your new business. ASE certified tells potential customers that you know what you’re doing. It gives car owners confidence and can be a very important marketing tool. Before you qualify to take the certification test, you’ll need a minimum of two years of work and educational experience combined, with at least one year obtained on the job.

2. Know the costs of commissioning

Before you spend a dime to open your shop, you need to know the total estimated cost to start it. If you don’t, you might run out of funds before gaining your first customer. While it is impossible to predict certain costs in advance, the most common and expensive line items are easy to predict. The total cost is approximately $ 47,000 in equipment, insurance, and rental, according to Appointment-Plus. Buying a building and making changes can significantly change this number, depending on the construction costs. The decision to buy an existing auto shop can also impact your bottom line.

3. To specialize or not to specialize

ASE certifiedHow to open an auto body shopis divided into 16 different specializations with Master Technician status available in:

  • Car
  • Collision repair
  • Medium – heavy truck
  • School bus
  • Transit bus
  • Truck equipment

You can also specialize in repairs for specific car manufacturers or types of repairs. If you specialize, you can earn a reputation for being the best brake shop, but in many other cases you have failed. Before opening, you need to know the range of services you intend to offer. If you want to specialize, you’ll need to do some serious market research to make sure there is enough demand to support your new shop.

4. Get legal advice

Starting a business takes more than just finding a position and serving your customers. You’ll need to obtain a business license, look into the regulations surrounding liability insurance requirements, open accounts to handle payroll and tax reporting, file your articles of incorporation, and other pre-sale steps. An attorney is invaluable during this process, helping to make sure every “i” is dotted and “y” crossed out. You don’t dutyhire a lawyer, but by doing so you can save yourself from many mistakes along the way.

5. Make an appointment for the interviews

Se hai un negozio molto piccolo, puoi fare tutto il lavoro da solo, ma probabilmente avrai comunque bisogno di almeno un dipendente per gestire le tue telefonate e i tuoi clienti. If you have a couple of lifts and want to maximize your capacity, you’ll need additional mechanics to help service vehicles. The recruitment process should begin at least one month before the inauguration. You’ll want enough time to check references, find the best candidates, and negotiate compensation packages.

6. Spread the word

Marketing is another important part of opening your door. Be sure to schedule a grand opening to allow residents to stop by and view the store. You can advertise special discounts for the first day or the first week to attract customers. You’ll also want to have a standard service list of pricing and a shop rate finalized, so you can estimate your revenue potential.

Become your own boss

Opening a garage may be your ticket to the American dream, but it requires a lot of work and general mechanical skills. Before you start looking for funding, take a look at your educational options. At ATI, you can enroll in the Automotive Technology with Service Management (AOS) program to learn how to use diagnostic equipment, conduct inspections, and maintain critical systems. Contact us at 800-468-1093or request information today.

How to open an auto body shopMost of the people who have graduatedmechanical colleges will work as an employee in a mechanical workshop. However, people with an entrepreneurial spirit may decide to open their own auto repair shop. And these business people surely realize that starting a garage from scratch is more than just a car repair. You must be well versed in advertising, accounting and marketing and be aware of the costs of starting a business. Auto dealers can make purchasing easier by purchasing an existing auto repair shop that will have many of the necessary equipment and perhaps even some customers in the area. No matter how you do it, there are key elements to opening an auto repair shop that every novice entrepreneur needs to keep in mind.

Get real estate

First of all: find a location. On motorways and in the city center, body shop areas are key, as these are usually high traffic areas. In Canada, a public garage license is required for companies such as gas stations, car washes, and auto repair shops. The approximate cost of a Public Garage license is only $ 231 per year. Keep in mind, however, that most start-up costs will be much higher. To move, you will most likely need a bank loan of over $ 50,000. To get this loan from your bank, you will need to develop and compose a business plan that will outline your business goals, advertising costs, and other start-up expenses.


While most repairers offer general repairs and services, you can empower your business by offering niche repairs that other auto repair shops may not provide. Some examples of specialist repairs and services include painting, detailing, and accident repairs. As automotive trends shift towards being environmentally friendly, your municipal garage can earn money by specializing in hybrid or plug-in electric vehicles. New final mechanics courses for automotive technicianswill be equipped with cutting-edge knowledge and skills, perfect for forging a specialty or niche in a new auto repair shop.

How to open an auto body shop

Hire the right employees

Finding outstanding employees can be a difficult and time-consuming task. However, it’s important to remember that there are auto mechanical colleges across the country ready to provide garages with newly trained employees. You’ll want to strike a good balance between experienced employees and recent grads, so your garage has an effective ratio of experts and novices. Most workshops use an apprenticeship system. some car mechanic apprenticeship it is a paid position that can last from one to four years. It is assumed that after the internship period, the employee will continue to work in the workshop. By hiring apprentices, a new workshop can establish a fruitful long-term partnership with a qualified mechanic, carefully trained by their experts.

Promote your company

Good advertising will attract customers to your store, but keeping the promises made in the ads will ensure that the same customers return year after year. Online advertising can be very useful, especially if you have your own website where you can show promotions. When it comes to advertising content, a popular path is to offer guarantees to customers, such as guaranteed free repair if the brakes wear out within a certain period of time. Ensuring your work gives customers reason to trust that you will do a good job. You can also choose to create an ethical statement that will be prominently displayed at your workplace or on the Internet. This can outline your obligation to satisfy customers, adhere to established regulations, and fully inform customers of costs throughout the repair process.

Posted by Juan E. Chavez il 20/11/2017

How to open an auto body shop

After completing your auto repair training and a year or two of service experience, your next professional step may be to open your own repair shop so you can go from technician to owner.

To get there, you need to understand the main differences between a technician who works and serves customers in your store.

One of the main questions is of course: how much money will you need to make this happen?

Expenses for opening a mechanical workshop

Unless you have access to unlimited cash, it’s a good idea to plan ahead for your shop opening when you work for another shop or auto dealer. Thanks to this, over time, you will be able to get the basic equipment you will need by taking advantage of good deals on new or even used equipment, such as:

  • Diagnostic equipment
  • Brake lathe
  • Jack and mounts
  • Mechanical tools
  • Car lifts

The more you can buy in advance, the less money you will need to open your shop when the time comes. It’s important to have your own equipment as opposed to paying outside services to do tasks that you can accomplish in your shop, as that will eat into your profits. Check out this Garage Rehab video to see what we’re talking about.

You don’t duty pay top dollar to have quality, reliable equipment. Taking the time to identify low-power branded brands can pay off significantly. Items like brake lathes and car jacks will last for years. someother shop that no longer needs them, or is going out of business, can be your opportunity to pick them up for pennies on the dollar.

Depending on the services you intend to provide, equip your shop with the right equipment to do the job efficiently and profitably.

So how much will it really cost to open an auto repair shop?

How to open an auto body shop

Non tutte le officine di riparazione auto eseguono ogni tipo di servizio, quindi questi sono some suggerimenti di base su quanto aspettarsi per gestire un’officina di riparazioni auto:

  • Insurance – $ 4,000 / year
  • Tools needed – $ 15,000
  • Elevators (installed) – $ 4,000 each
  • Machine / Equipment Diagnostics – $ 5,000 – $ 10,000 – partially dependent on services provided
  • Rental: This can vary greatly depending on store size, location, and even geographic area, but you definitely want to feel comfortable with the expected customer base.

If you plan to specialize in the services you offer, your needs may be different (need for more or less diagnostic machines, air conditioning service equipment, gearbox lifters, motor lifters).

Other expenses to consider

How to open an auto body shop

There are several other considerations to include in the cost of opening a hardware store:

Commercial permits– Find out if commercial permits and any site inspections are required in your area.

Opera – even if you’re a one-man operation, you may need help with manning the phones, handling billing and customer accounts, balancing the bank statements, or even maintaining the workshop. Don’t underestimate the cost (and value) of hiring additional manpower to keep the shop running efficiently.

Certificates – many stores advertise that their mechanics are ASE certified. It might not matter to you at first, but getting and keeping certifications can increase your perceived value to your customers.

advertisement – you may be the greatest mechanic around, but no one will know you’re there if you don’t get the word out. With your auto repair company, you now have marketing responsibilities. You may want to invest in print ads, distribute discounted oil change coupons, or even create a website that makes your presence visible. Check out this article to find out how to promote your shop.

Remember that word of mouth is one of your most valuable marketing tools. Recommendations from satisfied customers will attract friends and family to your store.

Prepare for the unexpected

How to open an auto body shop

When running your own repair shop, you need to be prepared for more than just the problems with repairing your customers’ vehicles:

  • Customers who don’t pay on time
  • Unexpected leave for employees due to sickness, holidays, etc.
  • Peak and slowdown periods (fluctuations in demand for your services – save money from peak periods to survive the lean periods)

Remember that even a great chef may fail to run a restaurant. Make sure you’re prepared as a mechanic to handle the demands of running a business efficiently.

Is there something we missed? Quali pensi siano some fattori importanti che potremmo aver trascurato durante l’apertura di un negozio? Let us know!

How to open an auto body shop

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Opening a machine shop can be a rewarding career, especially if you want to do something with your own hands. People need their cars to get around, so there’s always a need to keep them running smoothly. If you want to open a shop the right way, it will take time, some training and solid planning to get started.

Get certified before opening a mechanic shop

You don’t technically need any education to open an auto shop, but your business will garner a certain amount of respect if your mechanics are certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Of course, you can always hire mechanics who followed that path, but odds are that if you’re interested in opening a mechanic shop, you’re a mechanic yourself.

GetASE certified, you’ll need two years of on-the-job training. You can do this through formal education such as a business school or community college, or you can accelerate your path by taking an ASE accredited certification program. After you’ve accumulated two years of credit, you duty pass a written test, and it’s not the easiest, either. Only two thirds of people pass the exam the first time.

Choose a Specialty (If somey)

True, you can be a successful all-round mechanic, but specialty storesit can actually attract more customers if they play wisely. Maybe you live in an area with very congested freeways and confusing exits. Wouldn’t you want to open a mechanic shop that specializes in collision in an area where collisions are likely to happen?

Oppure potresti notare che ci sono some negozi nella zona specializzati in ingranaggi. You can fill this hole. With ASE certified, you can pick a specialty from specific car manufacturers for things like truck equipment, heavy machinery and collision repair.

Location is everything

If you want to open a car shop, know that location is everything. Your company probably won’t succeed if you choose to set up your business in an area with few cars or where few people drive. For example, a mechanic opening a shop on Baldhead Island in North Carolina is sure to go bankrupt unless he is into golf carts because cars are not allowed on the island.

In the case of a traditional mechanics shop, the locationnear a highway or where people regularly break down is the best solution. Also, make sure you have enough space for all the necessary elevators and to park your customers’ cars.

Get funds and materials

Opening auto shops isn’t cheap. You’re likely going to spend around $4,000 per lift and $4,000 on related insurances each year. For starters, your tools can cost around $ 15,000, and the diagnostic machine itself costs $ 5 to $ 10,000.

With all the start-up costs, you can spend approx$ 25,000 to $ 75,000 just to open your own storeand this can increase if you buy your item instead of renting it. Overall, this isn’t much compared to most businesses, but it’s certainly not a small chunk of change.

If you don’t have this kind of funding yourself, you may want to consider approaching a bank or the Small Business Administration for a loan. Make sure you have it solid business planin place to get the best rates ever.

Meet the legal requirements

Every business has to go through the same legal circuits. You have to legal economic entity (LLC, S Corp, etc.), register with the IRS and get an employer ID number to pay taxes. You will also need to obtain a license to operate from the local authority and obtain the required insurance.

For an auto shop, you’ll need a general liability plan, but you’ll also need workers’ compensation if you plan to hire employees. Commercial auto insurance isn’t required, but it is a good idea. This protects your company if any of your employees get into an accident while driving a customer’s car around your lot. Once you have the right insurance, you can start hiring employees.

Evaluate your auto services wisely

Auto shops typically make the most of their money on 10 popular services that cost an average of $ 144.10 per job. Includes:

  • Oil and grease (an average of about 20 jobs per week)
  • Alignments
  • Diagnostics
  • Braking services
  • Air conditioning repair
  • Recycling / recharging of refrigerant
  • Electronic engine control services
  • Emission control services
  • Replacing the spark plug
  • Repair and replacement of the alternator

Make sure your prices hold upcompetitive. Air-conditioning services typically earn the most, averaging $ 276 per job. Braking services come in second at an average of $223 per job. Oil and grease are the cheapest, averaging $ 30 per job.

Advertise your auto shop

some auto shop won’t succeed if no one knows it’s there. Advertise your shop online with services like Yelp, Google and somegie’s List. Also, consider calling towing companies and encouraging them to report customers since they are dealing with damaged cars after all. Coupons for discounted services like the $ 10 oil change will help you attract new customers who can become repeat customers.

  • Corporate Insurance in the United States: Corporate insurance for body shops and repair shops
  • National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence: Instructions for completing the ASE Work Experience form
  • Universal Technical Institute: the path of the mechanic towards ASE certification
  • ProjectionHub: financial forecast for a workshop for the first 3 years
  • Advanced Technology Institute: Opening an Auto Repair Shop: 6 Things You Should Know

Mariel Loveland is a small business owner, content strategist and writer from New Jersey. Over the course of his career, he has collaborated with numerous startups creating content that helps small business owners bridge the gap between technology and sales. His work has appeared in publications such as Business Insider and Vice.

How to open an auto body shop

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No matter what the state of the economy is, car accidents always happen regularly and people will always need body repairs. For this reason, opening an auto repair shop can be a potentially lucrative career opportunity. While running an auto repair shop can be tough work, it can also be very rewarding to work with new people every day and help them solve a legitimate problem. Before getting involved in this industry, you will duty complete a few important steps along the way.

Find out everything you can about car bodywork and painting. People who can repair damage to a vehicle are valuable, and the skill is sometimes hard to learn. Most likely, you will need to join a professional or technical auto repair program. You can also work for a while at another auto repair shop to learn the basics.

Create a business plan for your auto body shop. This should include information on the services offered and the ultimate business goal. You should also take into account financial forecasts such as anticipated income and expenses. It should also include a detailed analysis of competition in the area.

Secure financing of an auto repair shop. You can try to get funds from investors or you can get a loan from a commercial lender. You will need to use the business plan to help your investors or lenders see your business vision.

Find the location of your auto repair shop. For the location, you will need a garage with several niches, as well as a part of the office. This may involve buying or building a store or renting an available one. Try to find the store in a prominent place, as convenience will be important to your customers.

Configure the legal aspects of your business. This includes setting up a corporation or limited liability company so that you can limit your personal liability. You will also need to purchase a license to operate in your city and register the company name with the district chancellor.

Buy an insurance policy for your workshop. This should include civil liability protection in general as well as property protection. You will also need employee insurance for your employees.

Hire mechanics for your business. In most cases, you will need to hire mechanics who have been certified and have undergone a training program.

Develop a relationship with your parts supplier. Part of your competitive advantage will revolve around how affordable your services are and getting a good deal on parts can help.

Buy the equipment you need for your shop. This will include jacks, tools, and an initial parts inventory.

Advertise your body shop company. Thanks to these companies, you can sell en masse to radio and television, as well as to the press. You can also offer discounts and coupons to new customers.

The auto industry is reaching its peak after 7 years of slowdown. In 2007, cars in the United States are selling as much as they did in 2000, so there is an opportunity to earn money by opening an auto repair shop.

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If you are looking for profitable business ideas, you may want to consider having plans to make money in the auto parts and body repair industry.

Many entrepreneurs looking for business ideas for startups and business opportunities have already realized the potential profits of running a service center. Se stai pensando di avviare un’attività nel settore della riparazione della carrozzeria e della riparazione della carrozzeria, sarà molto utile imparare le numerose guide aziendali e i suggerimenti per l’avvio per aiutarti ad avere successo nel settore della riparazione della carrozzeria. Here are some guides for entrepreneurs on how to open an auto repair shop:

Choosing the right location for your body shop

When opening an auto repair shop, it is important to choose the location that is best suited to the repair shop. This is to ensure that potential customers can easily see your workshop. Make sure you install your bodywork and bodywork in places that most of your customers will have access to. For example, many successful auto repair shops have opened auto repair shops near the parking lots of high-traffic commercial establishments.

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Increase the number of your customers

Choosing the location of an auto body shop and auto repair shop is important, but many business owners realize that it is not easy to choose the perfect location to sell parts and consumables for auto repair shops.

Therefore, it is important to know other ways to increase the auto repair shop customer base, especially if you are unable to choose the ideal location when starting your auto repair shop equipment business. Among the innovative business schemes that auto parts business startups can consider is by taking advantage of the network of colleagues and auto dealers that you duty spread the word about your auto parts shop.

You can also offer discounted rates for your auto body rust repair and body parts so people will find it more cost effective to avail of your shop’s products and services. You can always add free services to your customers, for example 5th oil change is free, 10th regular service is 30% of the regular service fee, 20% of the referral service fee and more.

Good customer service and high quality work and products are also key as your satisfied customers are more likely to return to your shop in the future and will even tell their friends about the satisfactory services your auto shop offers to your customers.

The success story of a 20-year-old boy’s workshop

How to open an auto body shop

funny car photo by diter from Fotolia. com

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Body shops help drivers keep their vehicles in good condition and repair defects, both minor and serious, as they arise. In California, auto repair shops must be licensed before they can operate legally. Whether you plan to work on the vehicles yourself, the initial license you need is to run the shop, not to work in the shop. To do this, you need to fill in the forms according to the specific type of service you intend to offer. somed since the review process takes four to six weeks, you’ll need to get to get started soon if you want to open for business in the near future.

Contact the California Auto Repair Office by calling 1-800-952-5210, via their website, or by visiting one of their offices (see Resources). An auto repair office issues an Auto Repair Dealer Registration (ARD) which is required in California before starting the shop. To complete the registration form, you will need a social security number, which you can obtain through the California State Board of Equalization (see Resources).

Get and submit the Smog Check Station form when you submit the ARD form. This can be obtained from the California Auto Repair Bureau through the same channels in step 1. This is required for your auto repair shop to be licensed for a smog control station which is common in California. When filling out the form, specify whether you are running smog tests or repairs only. Pay the $ 100 fee for submitting the form.

Send the Brake Station and Lamp Station modules when sending the ARD module. They can also be obtained from the California Auto Repair Office through the same channels you used in step 1. In the forms, you must agree that only authorized brake inspectors can work on the brakes in your shop. There is also a list of specific equipment you need to have (see Resources). Dopo aver inviato i moduli, la tua officina di riparazione auto sarà autorizzata a testare, ispezionare e riparare le lampade e i relativi sistemi elettrici sui veicoli, nonché a testare, controllare e riparare freni e sistemi frenanti.

How to open an auto body shop

How to set up a sheet metal workshop: a complete overview


This type of business repairs cars that have suffered a collision and vehicles that need to be repainted, rusted or in need of a complete refurb.

Most of the time, you’re dealing with people who have had an accident. People who have been in an accident are usually upset or shocked.

One of your qualities as an entrepreneur is the ability and patience to listen to all the stories. Listening to the stories creates strong relationships with your customers, which is a good opportunity for you.

One thing you might keep in mind with this type of business is that you need to stick to your schedule. If you promise you’ll have the vehicle finished in two weeks, then it’s important that you follow through on that promise, because people are depending on that vehicle.

Skill sets and features:

  • Attention to details.
  • Provide accurate estimates.
  • Good skills of measuring and assembling parts.
  • Metal production.
  • Straightening of the metal.
  • Demolition of areas to be repaired.
  • Installation of new parts and alignment.
  • Body rectification and repair.
  • Preparation of the body.
  • Painting skills.
  • Straightening of the frame.
  • Replacement skills
  • Common business skills

Employee Comments:

  • Bodywork mechanic
  • Metal producers
  • Painters
  • Common employee positions needed to manage some businesses

Hours of operation:

Di solito si tratta di un affare dalle nove alle cinque, anche se dovrai fare gli straordinari per svolgere some lavori mentre sei occupato.


  • Air compressor with enough storage space and enough power to meet your needs.
  • Pneumatic tools: pneumatic ratchet, pneumatic chisel, impact wrench, various pneumatic tools.
  • Plate for frame and body.
  • Spray booth.
  • Spray guns and filters.
  • Double action coffee grinder.
  • Sliding hammer.
  • Pin welder.
  • Dolls set.
  • A variety of clamps.
  • A specialized set of car body repair hammers.
  • Suction cup dent pullers.
  • MIG or TIG welding machines.
  • Gas torch.
  • Metal forming tools.
  • Car jack.
  • Motorized goods lift.
  • Jacks, stands, floor jacks.
  • Diagnostic scanners.
  • Fender covers.
  • Air conditioning tools.
  • Battery chargers / starters.
  • Car trolleys.
  • Seals.
  • Headlight sights.
  • Gear pullers.
  • Pressure washers, pressure washers, equipment for handling pieces / racks, vacuum cleaners, floor fans.
  • Sandblasters.
  • Store the presses.
  • Bench grinders, work tables and benches, shelving and baskets.
  • Feeler gauges, various gauges, micrometers.
  • Various keys.
  • Various sockets.
  • A set of ordinary tools, such as hacksaw, hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, vises, hex wrenches, chisels, measuring tapes, rulers, files, diagnostic lamps, extension cords, etc.
  • A wide variety of specialty tools that you will purchase over time and as needed.

Operating expenses and costs:

  • In addition to our list of typical business expenses, your shop will require a budget for the running costs of consumables such as paint, body putty, oxygen, acetylene, sandpaper wheels, drill bits, rivets, etc.


Marketing ideas:

  • Offer a borrower to your customers, whether you are hiring a car rental or investing in cheap vehicles.
  • Offer free towing to customers who maintain their cars in your shop.
  • Make a deal with local businesses – give them flyers or business cards and offer them a repair percentage for every report they send you. On paper, offer the customer a discount on services
  • Contact local towing company owners and offer them a referral rate or commission for every customer they bring you.
  • Create a vehicle maintenance booklet, such as car details. These types of packaging are useful for keeping the car looking like new and protecting it from rust. Możesz skontaktować się z lokalnymi firmami i wypracować umowę, w której polecają Twoje usługi, a w zamian polecasz im klientów.

Pros and cons:


  • It can be a profitable business.
  • It can get repeat customers by doing a great job at a reasonable price.
  • Stable business model.


  • Deadlines are difficult to meet.
  • Opera z wieloma problemami.
  • Dirty work with a lot of dust, especially when sanding.
  • The paint emits poisonous fumes.
  • Most repairs take time.
  • The season has an impact on business – for example, a cold, snowy winter will cause more collisions than summer, which will have fewer weather-related collisions.