How to Start a Garage Business

Written by tina amo
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How to Start a Garage Business
garage owner (Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The goal of a garage business owner is to satisfy his customers' auto needs. Car maintenance, emergency repair, and auto detailing are some of the services in constant demand and these are what keep garage businesses thriving. Anyone interested in running a garage business must obtain the elements necessary for a smooth operation. These include financing for start-up costs, registration and licensing, and dependable and experienced employees.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Business license
  • Location
  • Equipment
  • Employees.

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  1. 1

    Register your business name. Visit to learn about the requirements in your state (see link in Resources below).

  2. 2

    Obtain a Federal Tax ID. Any employer with employees must have a federal tax identification number, also called the Employer Identification Number (EIN), from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. You can apply for this number online (see link in Resources below).

  3. 3

    Obtain a tax ID and permits from your state revenue agency. Any business planning to sell and collect sales tax must have a sales tax permit or a vendor's license. These are available from your state government (see link in Resources below).

  4. 4

    Obtain a business license. State regulations require a lot of businesses to have a license before they can legally operate. Visit Business.Gov to find out what the requirements are in your state.

  5. 5

    Secure financing. You will need capital to cover the start-up costs of your business, including the cost of purchasing equipment, tools, and a location for your business, as well as the cost of hiring employees. Options for funding include applying for a loan at a bank or other financial institution or seeking investors and sleeping partners. Also consider your personal savings and a loan from family members or friends.

  6. 6

    Check with your city for zoning information when you are ready to search for a location. Cities regulate the location of businesses that generate noise and use hazardous substances. Such businesses cannot operate in residential areas and are restricted to certain commercial areas.

  7. 7

    Purchase tools and equipment. You can purchase your tools, equipment, and supplies from local stores or from online retailers, such as USA Tools, Inc. and

  8. 8

    Hire qualified mechanics. ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) is a certification exam meant to ascertain quality service in the automotive industry. Those who wish to take this exam must show proof of two years of auto repair experience and must retest every five years. Mechanics who are ASE-certified appear more competent to customers and will enhance the quality of your business.

  9. 9

    Advertise your business. Place advertisements in local papers, advertise online, hand out flyers and business cards, and register at the Chamber of Commerce in your city. Also consider providing incentives to tow-truck drivers who can bring customers to you.

Tips and warnings

  • Offer incentives to attract customers, such as discounts on popular services.

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