How to Start a Billboard Company

Updated March 23, 2017

Billboards are one of the most enduring forms of advertising. A billboard advertisement can last for months or even years at a time and draws a lot of eyeballs. When compared to the exorbitant advertising rates charged by television and radio companies the cost to rent a billboard is very cheap. A billboard company is an excellent business to run because of these reasons. If you take the right steps you can have a solid profitable billboard company up and running in no time.

Research your area for competition, available locations and average billboard rental rates. All of these key factors will need to be thoroughly researched to ensure that your market will be able to sustain a new billboard company. For example you will need to have several locations in order to turn a profit.

Apply for a business license. Although many cities and states do not require a business license to start a billboard company it is always best to be safe and contact your local Chamber of Commerce and find out if it is required. You can also apply online directly at

Contact your city, county and state to find out which areas in your location are zoned for billboard erection. Each state has different zoning laws so always research the laws for your area before doing anything.

Search for commercially viable locations. Find locations that have a lot of traffic and a clean line of sight so that your billboard will be easily seen. Negotiate lease terms with the property owners. Usually each lease should be individually tailored to the property owner and location.

Sign and complete leases with the property owners of your locations. Whenever possible you should add lawn maintenance and power supply as part of your lease agreement to save time.

Choose the type of billboards that you would like to create. Your options are traditional, mechanical and digital. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages and you should choose the option that best suits your particular business needs.

Hire a construction company to create and erect your new billboards. Find a reputable company that has experience erecting billboard structures because quite often they must be installed on uneven ground.

Hire a graphic artist to work with clients who do not have the capability to create designs. This is a much-needed function since many of your clients may be small businesses in your area who do not have the resources to create designs in house.

Make a billboard rate card for your company. Always include multiple options and fee structures to entice new customers. The rate card should include rental time and traffic statistics if available.

Hire an attorney to create billboard leasing contracts. The contracts should include stipulations such as the penalties for breaking the contract, the contract length and monetary terms.

Obtain insurance for your billboards. This is needed to cover any losses incurred from damages due to accidents and natural disasters.

Advertise your billboard company. You can advertise in print, online and through your own billboards until they are rented out.


Have lights on your billboards whenever possible so that they can be seen at night, too.


Make sure the insurance for your billboards include all of the different types of natural disasters that can happen like fires, earthquakes and floods.

Things You'll Need

  • Copies of zoning laws
  • Leasing contracts
  • Insurance
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About the Author

An avid technology enthusiast, Steve Gregory has been writing professionally since 2002. With more than 10 years of experience as a network administrator, Gregory holds an Information Management certificate from the University of Maryland and is pursuing MCSE certification. His work has appeared in numerous online publications, including Chron and GlobalPost.