How to Start an HVAC Business

an HVAC professional looking at pressure gauges

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning, otherwise known as HVAC, businesses are a cornerstone of our society because most people live in climates and places where having heating or air conditioning is almost a necessity. There are a variety of career paths you can follow in the HVAC business from technicians, which generally doesn’t require as much schooling, to contractors, which requires a license and specialized vocational schooling, to a specialist, who focuses on only one type of issue and works with a team of others, and there is space in the industry for whatever you want to do. There is also space for people of all backgrounds to begin their own HVAC businesses. Whether you’ve been working as a contractor for another business and are looking for a change, or you moved states and are looking to pick up your previous business in a new location, starting a business can be a great way to help protect your livelihood.

Legal Requirements to Start an HVAC Business

The most important requirement is a level of expertise and experience in the HVAC industry, but along with that there are a variety of licenses needed to start an HVAC business. In order to start an HVAC business, a contractor license is a necessity and many licensing programs require a few years of apprenticeship, or technician work, as a requisite for licensing. You will also need to acquire the proper certifications. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the clean air act requires all technicians and businesses to have federal certifications. There are 4 different categories under section 608 of the EPA which can be distinguished by the type of system you are interested in servicing, and you will need to carry at least one before starting your business:

  • Type I: small appliances
  • Type II: high-pressure systems
  • Type III: low-pressure systems
  • Universal: All three types of systems

After receiving all of the applicable licenses and certifications you will need to register your business with the state. The process for this is going to vary by state so it is recommended that you do research to determine exactly what your state’s requirements are. This will also be helpful in navigating other tasks including tax information and specific business licenses that might be required.

Once you have all of your licenses and your state registration, it will be important to look for an insurance policy. Many states require a minimum general liability insurance in order to help protect others in the event of a covered accident that your business is at faut for, but there are other coverages can be important and should be considered.

  • General Liability: As mentioned above, general liability insurance is required by most states and helps protect others in the event of a covered accident which your business causes.
  • Commercial Auto: Personal auto policies don’t always cover accidents that occur while you are using your vehicle for commercial purposes, and that is where commercial insurance steps in. This coverage can help protect you if you are involved in a covered accident during commercial driving. There are a variety of coverage options available for commercial auto insurance which can be customized to the requirements of your business.
  • Inland Marine: Also known as tools and equipment insurance, Inland Marine helps protect your covered tools if they are damaged in a covered event. This can include your saws, drills, pumps, and even whole units depending on your policy.

Reach out to an Infinity Insurance Agency agent today at 1-800-690-3818 to learn more about HVAC insurance and how you can help protect your business.

Financial Requirements to Start an HVAC Business

Starting your own business can be financially demanding and it is important to consider all of those requirements before committing to a business plan. The start-up costs will likely be the most expensive part of the process, as you will need to pay for the licenses and certifications mentioned above. You will also likely need to pay to register your business with your state. Once all of this is completed, you will also be required to pay for any tools and equipment your business will need in order to function and gain customers, and all of this is going to come out of your pocket since you won’t be able to work without them. This includes insurance policies, vehicles, your drills, saws, pumps, and leak detectors and that can all get pricey. This is all considering that many businesses do not turn a profit in their first year, and you may not be able to do other work during this time.

There are a few ways you can prepare for and cover these costs. The first would be to create a very large savings account. Service All-Stars estimates it could cost between $3,000 and $12,000, but if you are buying everything simultaneously it could be upwards of $100,000. If you either wouldn’t be able to save this much money, or you are unable to wait long enough, you also have the option of taking out a business loan to cover some or all of these costs. Every loan is going to be different so you should figure out what loan company is going to be most beneficial for you. It is important to speak to professionals and do your own research before committing to any option to cover costs because each have advantages and disadvantages.

Before starting any business, it is important to understand what that will entail and do adequate research to prepare for the responsibilities associated with owning your company. It is always a good idea to speak to a professional before making any decisions that could impact your business or your livelihood.

If you are starting your own HVAC business, you will need insurance. Visit to learn more about HVAC Insurance today!


This material is for general informational purposes only. The content is provided on an “as is,” and “as available” basis without representation or warranty of any kind whatsoever.  Kemper and its companies do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice and this information is not intended, nor should it be relied on for tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own advisors for such advice prior to making any decisions concerning your business and corresponding tax, legal and accounting obligations.