Starting a fencing company lets you be your own boss, set your own schedule, and build your business the way you want.
From planning your business to getting your first customers, this guide will help you start a fencing company that’s profitable and in demand from day one.
How to start a fencing company in 12 simple steps:
- Plan your fencing business
- Choose a fencing business name
- Register your business as a legal entity
- Register for taxes
- Get the necessary fencing permits and licenses
- Get funding and open a business bank account
- Define your services list
- Price your fencing services
- Buy fencing equipment
- Get business insurance
- Hire fencing employees
- Advertise your fencing services
1. Plan your fencing business
Start your company by writing a fencing business plan. This helps you identify your customers, figure out how to stand out from competitors, and create a game plan for your business.
Creating a business plan is also essential if you’re getting startup capital from an investor—they want to know their money is being spent wisely.
Make sure your fencing business plan includes:
- Cover page and table of contents showing what the document is and what it includes
- Executive summary that covers the business plan’s main points on a single page
- Business overview introducing and describing your fencing company
- Fencing services list that you plan to offer customers
- Pricing strategy for your fence installation services
- Target market analysis to identify and evaluate your service area, market opportunities and challenges, and ideal customers (i.e., age, income, family status, project size)
- Competitive analysis of other local fencing companies and competitive strategies to help you stand out (e.g., filling a specific niche like wrought-iron fencing)
- Marketing plan for advertising your fencing business and winning new customers
- Employee planning, including what roles you need to hire and when
- Financial projections and cash flow strategy for your first year of business, accounting for up-front and ongoing expenses
Get a more detailed guide to writing a fencing business plan from the Small Business Administration.
How much does it cost to start a fencing business?
Plan to spend $3,260–6,050+ (USD) to start a fencing company. This includes:
- Business license and registration ($75–400)
- Contractor’s license and certification exam, if required in your state ($650+)
- Business insurance ($500+ per year)
- Fence contractor software ($600+ per year)
- Branded uniform, shoes/boots, and tool belt ($85–$250)
- Fence installation tools and equipment ($1,200–3,500)
- DIY website and business cards ($150)
You’ll also spend an extra $5,000–30,000+ if you need to purchase a truck to transport yourself and your materials to job sites.
Should I start my own business or buy into a franchise?
There are pros and cons to joining a fencing franchise. It all depends on what’s best for you and your business:
- Independent businesses cost less money to start and run, and you have full control over every detail. However, you’re starting from scratch and may not have outside support, so you’ll have to learn how to run a fencing business by yourself.
- Franchises have a recognizable name that’s already trusted in your community, as well as marketing support and an established business model. However, buying into a fence company franchise can be pricey—franchises like Big Jerry’s Fencing or Superior Fence & Rail require upwards of $35,000 just for the initial franchise fee.
2. Choose a fencing business name
Your name is one of the most noticeable parts of your service business brand, so it’s important to get it right. Choose a unique name that tells customers what you offer and is easy to remember, like:
- Great Wall Fencing
- Good Neighbor Fencing
- Wire Wire Fence Contractors
- Fast Fences
- Good DeFence
- Post Haste Fences
- Cedarwood Fence Builders
- Smith & Sons Fencing Contractors
- Height of Luxury Fencing
- Denver Fence Pros
Don’t have any ideas for your fencing business name yet? Try making a list of words that suggest a benefit to your customers, like “quality” or “fast.”
Then pick the word that best describes the business, turn it into a name, and ask friends and family for feedback. Choose the name that creates the most trust in your business and brand.
When you choose a name, do a Google search to make sure it’s available in your area. Then use a logo builder like Looka to design a logo to represent your business in marketing materials.
3. Register your business as a legal entity
Once you’ve chosen a name, you’ll need to register your fencing business to ensure you’re operating legally. The first step is choosing your business structure:
- Sole proprietorship allows you to own and run your business as an independent fence contractor.
- Register as a partnership if you’re running the business with one or more other people who are legally considered self-employed.
- Registering as a limited liability company (LLC) will protect your personal assets from liability in case you run into any legal situations.
READ MORE: Should I incorporate my small business?
Next you’ll need to register your company name. Here’s how that process looks in a few different countries:
- United States: If your fencing company name is available, register your entity name, buy a domain name for your business website, and register your DBA if needed. You can also trademark the name to keep anyone else from using it.
- Canada: Register the trade name and trademark it to protect your brand. (You can skip this step if your business name is the same as your personal name.)
- United Kingdom: You don’t need to register your business name in the U.K. However, check name availability and trademark the name to make sure it’s unique.
- Australia: Register your business name through the Business Registration Service, ASIC, or a private service provider. (Skip this step if the business name is also your personal name.)
Available business structures and registration requirements will depend on where you live and how you plan to run your company. Check with your government’s business registration division to see what’s required.
Pro Tip: Type “YOUR CITY NAME + business laws” into Google to find local, state, and federal regulations for fencing contractors.
4. Register for taxes
Plan to have employees or work with a partner? Apply for an employer identification number (EIN) so you can file taxes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
There may also be requirements for state and local sales tax in your area, including added taxes in certain cities or counties. Double-check your state’s tax guidelines to make sure you’re compliant.
How much does a fencing contractor make?
The mean annual wage for a fence contractor is $43,780/year (USD), or $21.05/hour. As an entry-level fence installer, you’ll likely earn less ($30,190/year) starting out.
However, you can earn up to $61,710 with more experience. Your salary can also be higher if you’re a licensed contractor.
5. Get the necessary fencing permits and licenses
You’ll most likely need a business license to legally work in your area. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Administration to learn what type of license you need and apply for one.
You should also check to see if you need any extra licensing in your state. For example, if you’re in California and doing fence installation jobs worth over $500, you’ll need to register with the Contractors State License Board.
What qualifications and experience does a fencing contractor need?
You need to know how to build a sturdy, attractive, and long-lasting fence before you can start building them for customers.
To become a fencing contractor, work for another fence installation company to get skills and experience like:
- Accurately measuring distance and area
- Estimating time, labor, and materials for fencing projects
- Working with fencing equipment and materials
- Interacting with customers and providing top-notch service
You can also choose to get professionally certified with the American Fence Association. It isn’t required to start a fencing business, but it can help you build trust with customers.
6. Get funding and open a business bank account
You’ll need startup capital to get your fencing business off the ground. Figure out what you have to purchase, including fencing equipment, and then figure out where that funding will come from.
These are just a few options for getting small business funding:
- Business loan: Apply for a small business loan or line of credit that you can pay back later.
- Credit cards: Get a business credit card with a low interest rate and reward points for every dollar you spend. Just make sure you pay it off every month.
- Personal loan: Ask friends and family for a small startup loan, either with interest or in exchange for a stake in your business.
- Government funding: Apply for funding through the Small Business Administration if you’re in the U.S., or get business grants and financing from the Government of Canada.
- Jobber Grants: The Jobber Grants program spotlights small home service businesses who do great things for their communities. It offers $150,000 in available funding, distributed through 25 grants.
Once you’ve applied for funding, set up a business bank account for income and expenses.
This keeps your personal funds separate from business funds—and shows potential investors you’re serious about your business’s financial health.
7. Define your services list
Decide which fencing services you’re able and willing to provide to customers, like:
- Custom fence design
- New fence installation using a range of materials (e.g., wood fencing, vinyl fencing, chain link fence, aluminum fence, wrought iron fence)
- Coordinating local building permits as needed
- Calling utility locators to ensure safe fence installation
- Old fence repair or removal
- Privacy fence maintenance (e.g., staining, pressure washing)
Some customers have limited budgets and want to do as much work themselves as possible, so you may be able to make extra money by selling your materials and labor separately.
By offering a range of options and services, you can attract a wider range of clients with diverse fencing needs—and establish yourself as a reliable and reputable fence installer in your area.
8. Price your fencing services
Have a detailed pricing model in place before you start reaching out to potential clients. That way you can create accurate fence installation estimates quickly and accurately.
Here’s a brief overview of how to price a fencing job:
- Add up material costs. Let’s say you’re building a wood fence. Between boards, nails, stain, cement, and other required items, you’ll need $4,000 in fencing material costs. Add a markup, too—at a 5% markup, this brings you to $4,200 for materials.
- Estimate labor costs. Estimate the number of hours the job will take. Say it’ll take 16 hours to erect this wooden fence. Multiply that by your hourly rate—say, $18—for $288 in labor costs.
- Calculate hourly overhead. Add up the monthly expenses involved in running your business, like your phone bill, marketing costs, and fence software. Divide that amount (we’ll say $1,000) by the number of hours you work each month (say 160) for an hourly overhead rate of $6.25. So for a 16-hour job, overhead is $100.
- Factor in profit margin. Your profit margin is how much income your business keeps after you deduct all expenses. With a 25% profit margin, your profit for this job will be $1,147.
- Add in taxes. Find out your state’s sales tax percentage, as well as any local taxes, and multiply your subtotal by that total percentage. Assuming an 11% tax rate, that’s an additional $630.85.
Add it all up, and your fencing contractor rate is $6,365.85 for this fence project. Use our free service price calculator to add up these numbers for fast, easy, on-the-spot pricing.
Pro Tip: Be aware of what your competitors are charging for their fence installation services. Your prices don’t have to be cheaper, but they should be competitive in your local market.
How profitable is a fencing business?
A fence building business can be very profitable. If you complete two fence installation jobs each week worth $6,000 or more, that’s $12,000 a week or $624,000 per year.
A typical profit margin for a fence company is roughly 25–40% of the project’s total value. Using the figures above, this means your business can earn $156,000–249,600 a year in pure profit.
9. Buy fencing equipment
Plan to spend $1,200–3,500 (USD) for fence installation, repair, and maintenance equipment. Bring this fencing tools list when you head over to your local fencing supply store:
- Fence stretcher
- Wire tightener
- Fence puller
- Post popper
- Post pounder
- Digging bar
- Wire unroller
- Tension tool
- Cable grip
- Fencing pliers
- Hog ring pliers
- Wire cutters
- Cable cutters
- Bolt cutters
- Pipe cutter
- Tape measure
- 16oz claw hammer
- Fencing stapler
- Post hole digger or auger
- Electric drill kit
- Nail gun
- Circular saw
- Shovel and spades
- Pointing trowel
- Vinyl snips
- Vinyl fence notcher
- Crimping tool
- String line
- Cement mixer
- Work gloves
- Safety glasses
You may not need all these tools for your first fencing job, so start with what you need—and get low- to mid-range items to start. You can always add to and improve your toolkit over time.
10. Get business insurance
Small business insurance for a fencing contractor costs upwards of $500 (USD) per year. At the very least, you’ll need a business owner’s policy that includes:
- General liability insurance in case of property damage or bodily harm
- Commercial property insurance for damage to your equipment or place of business
- Business income insurance to maintain cash flow after an incident or disaster
You can also get business insurance coverage for other situations that could harm your business, like:
- Commercial auto insurance for your company vehicle
- Workers’ compensation insurance in case an employee is injured on the job
- Professional liability insurance for claims and lawsuits over professional mistakes
- Employment practices liability insurance for worker-related claims
- Crime insurance in case of criminal activity (e.g., theft, vandalism)
- Cyber liability insurance in case of a security breach or data leak
- Key person insurance to keep the business open if you physically can’t work anymore
- Commercial umbrella insurance as extra coverage in addition to your other policies
You may also want flood insurance, tornado insurance, or other weather coverage, depending on where you live. Do your research, compare insurance providers, and choose the one with the right policy for your needs.
11. Hire fencing employees
Building a fence is a big job that’s difficult to do alone. You’ll need extra hands to raise fences fast and keep your customers happy.
Here’s how to hire your first employee and build your fencing crew:
- Decide whether you need part-time or permanent employees to help build fences, or if you want to hire them as a subcontractor or employee.
- Create a job description for your new hire that includes a job overview, responsibilities, qualifications, working hours, compensation, and a description of your fencing business.
- Share your job posting on online job boards like LinkedIn and Indeed so qualified job hunters can easily find it and apply.
- When you start getting applications, make a list of your top candidates, schedule interviews, and ask thoughtful interview questions.
- Make an offer to your top candidate, then onboard and train them once they accept.
The hiring process could take a couple of days or several months, depending on how long it takes to find qualified fencers. Don’t rush into hiring just anyone—wait until you find the right person for the job.
12. Advertise your fencing services
You’re ready to get your first customers—but first you’ll need to find them and tell them what you offer. Do that by adding these low-cost fence company advertising ideas to your marketing plan:
- Word of mouth is the most effective marketing channel for a fencing business. Create a customer referral program and ask customers for a review after doing a great job.
- Print business cards, buy a vehicle wrap, and get branded uniforms. This makes your business look more professional and helps potential customers recognize your brand.
- Build a website where potential customers can find out more about your services, see photos of completed jobs in a range of fencing materials, and book services online.
- Create social media profiles like a Facebook business page or Instagram account. Share photos of your work and interact with your ideal customers on these platforms.
- List your business on Google Business, Yelp for Business, Bing Places, and other online directories. It’s also a good idea to create a listing on lead generation sites for contractors, like Angi and Thumbtack.
- Connect with your community by joining your area’s chamber of commerce, meeting other small business owners, volunteering at special events, and sponsoring local fundraisers.
- Invest in digital marketing using Google Local Services ads and search ads. This helps you reach clients who are looking for fencing services online.