Starting A Business

How to start a Small Excavating Business

Are you looking for a checklist of how to start a small excavating business? We break down things to consider in the post below!

An excavation is an organized effort of digging or unearthing the ground to gain access to space that was not otherwise accessible. Sometimes, this will be done for reasons of engineering, where a structure under the ground must be accessed for repair or modification. In addition, excavation is often spring-loaded for any loose material that has been dug up and leaves the work area.

Register the business

The first step to starting an excavating business is to register the business with your state. To do this, a business license must be obtained from the county in which you plan to operate. Most counties will require that the filed documents include a fictitious business name statement. This is essentially like filing for DBA (doing business as) status with the state on every legal form that required it.


You want to make sure you have insurance for your excavating business since you will be working on other people’s property, and in most cases, you will be working with heavy machinery. The required insurance includes General Liability, Auto Liability, Workers Comp, and some counties require contractor’s license insurance. It may sound expensive but remember you protect your assets from any lawsuits or unforeseen accidents while operating your business.

Marketing and Social Media

If you are interested in an excavating business, you most likely have some experience in the field or have some clients you know would use your services. Once those are lined up, the next thing you want to do is market your business through social media and word of mouth. Post signs and your contact information on the fencing around where you will be working. Make sure you have a website set up so clients and potential clients can learn more about you.

Equipment Needed

Excavating is hard work, requiring heavy equipment that is not always cheap to buy or rent. It takes a lot of time and money to set up an excavating business, making sure you have the money and time before investing in a business. In addition, you need to make sure your equipment is insured and safe for employees as well.


Because of safety precautions, you need to do the correct permits for whatever work you will be doing. This will help keep you and your workers safe and keep the client happy.

Worker’s Compensation

Because you are an official employer of other laborers, you must carry worker’s compensation insurance. You need to pay for this insurance every month to be covered if something should happen during the business. This provides payment from the insurance company to injured employees, survivors of deceased employees, and the family members of employees who die on the job.


It would help if you kept in mind that you are an employer and a business owner. Employees will expect some benefits such as health insurance or vacation time (if applicable). You must also pay for any workers comp and taxes as well.

Permits and Licenses

To operate any excavating business, you must have all the proper permits and licenses. These are Business License, Contractors License, Worker’s Comp Insurance, General Liability Insurance, etc.

Registering Fictitious Names

You will need to register with the county you live in if you are working on a property that is not yours. This allows you to do business under any name you choose, and it also protects your clients from debt collectors who may come after them for payments.

How to Start a Small Excavating Business Conclusion

So, in conclusion, it takes a lot of hard work and planning to start an excavating business. If you are interested in this line of business, be sure to follow all safety precautions and laws for your area.

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