How To Start An Excavation Business? (Step-by-Step Guide 2022)

How To Start An Excavation Business (Step-by-Step Guide)

Today we will discuss How To Start An Excavation Business? The excavation business has seen a significant increase in the last five years, which could be because of the increased demand for excavation services in the residential and non-residential construction market.

Establishing your own excavating business could be a lucrative path to take. However, there are risks and pitfalls related to this venture. One aspect that is a part of this kind of job is the long hours and the unique skills required to manage various heavy equipment like bulldozers, backhoes, or cranes.

Wondering how to start an excavation business? In this article, we will discuss starting an excavation company. You will know how much it costs and how much money you can earn in the excavation business.

Let’s dive into “how to start an excavation business”

Is the Excavation Business Profitable?

Starting a new business like excavation can be pretty profitable. However, you can succeed enormously if you work diligently and plan well. An excavator is an excellent investment as you’ve got enough work to warrant it and if you’re prepared to pay for the maintenance.

Compact excavators can be used to accomplish various tasks and create new revenue streams if they are equipped with the correct attachments and coupler systems. Compact diggers can perform various tasks and create new revenue streams when paired with the appropriate tools and the right coupler. Consider starting an excavation company if you’re seeking increasing revenue.

The business of excavating can be a lucrative and rewarding career. However, this business is not without risks and challenges. It requires a lot of hard work, lengthy hours, and the need for specific abilities to operate and maintain various pieces of heavy equipment like backhoes, bulldozers, and cranes.

How much does the excavation business cost?

How much does the excavation business cost?

Specialty equipment typically costs between $10,000 to $100,000 for excavation equipment. The most commonly used diggers are the ones to begin with. Larger or less utilized machines are available when needed. The majority of smaller jobs for residential use can be accomplished using the mini digger.

An average excavation project costs $90 per hour, and excavators are also available in Queensland and Victoria, offering the same price. However, the cost for hiring earthmovers and diggers in the Australian Capital Territory is the highest in Australia, with an average of $100 per hour.

The following are some typical costs you will face when opening an excavating business:

Costing onCosting Amount
Excavation equipment such as mini excavators, bulldozers, backhoes, cranes, dump trucks, trailers, etc$10,000 – $100,000 +
Space rental large enough to store equipment$2,000 – $5,000 per month
Licenses and permits$1000 +
Insurance$500 – $2000
Initial marketing such as Facebook ads or search engine optimization for your website$500 -$1000
How To Start An Excavation Business

Construction equipment is available for rent hourly, involving hiring an operator.

You may have to pay anything between:

  • $95/hour for a bobcat or small two-tonne digger
  • $105/hour for a 6-tonne digger
  • $140/hour for the combined service of a digger and tip truck

There may be a separate cost for attachments, like:

  • $100/day for a rock grab
  • $180/day for an auger
  • $500/day for a diamond blade rock saw

Certain businesses might also charge an additional float, which is the cost for the piece of equipment from its location to your home and back, so it must be incorporated into your budget.

How much can an excavating business owner make?

Excavating companies have a difficult time predicting their revenue. The revenue of large companies, however, can reach millions of dollars.  

Small companies can make $520,000 in revenue per year before expenses if they do one job per week and average $10,000 per job (which can vary greatly).

You should know that this business is seasonal and will vary based on location. Even if you cannot work, budget for downtimes as bills continue to come in.

How much does the Excavation Business make?

How much does the Excavation Business make?

Excavating contractors within the United States earn an average pay of $87,400. Excavation Business owner salary ranges vary from $52,350 up to $155,200. The middle 60 percent of general and other contractors earn$87,400, while the top 20% earn $155,200.

Job Title    Annual Salary  Weekly Pay
Excavator Owner Operator   $142,440 $2,739
Work From Home Excavator Owner Operator $81,052  $1,559
Remote Excavator       $66,893     $1,286
Work From Home Excavator  $58,910    $1,133

Step-by-Step Process to Start an Excavation Business

Choose the Name for Your Excavation Business

The first step in beginning an excavation business is to pick your business name.

It is an essential option since your company’s name is your name and will endure throughout the life of your company. It is best to choose an appropriate name that is memorable and meaningful. Here are some guidelines on choosing a name for your excavation firm:

Make sure the name is available.

Look up your name in trademark databases and the state’s list of registered business names to determine whether it’s in use. Also, check whether a domain name that matches your needs is available.

Make it simple.

Typically, names that are easy to remember, say, and spell are the most effective.

Think about marketing

Choose an appropriate company name representing your excavation firm’s intended brand or focus.

Develop Your Excavation Business Plan

A single of the essential first steps to opening an excavation business is to create a business plan. Making your business plan assures you that you completely understand your market and business plan. The plan will also provide you with a plan to follow and, if required, present it to funders to solicit capital for your company.

Your business plan must include the sections below:

Executive Summary: This section is intended to summarize your complete business plan so readers can quickly grasp the most important aspects of your excavation firm.

Introduction to the Business: This section informs readers about the background of your excavation firm and the type of excavation firm you run.

Industry Analysis: This is where you’ll find the essential details about the excavation industry. Perform market analysis and note how large the industry is and what trends impact it.

Analyzing Customers: In this section, you’ll record who your ideal or targeted customers are and their demographics. For instance, what age are they? What is their location? What is important to them in purchasing similar services to the ones you provide?

Competitive Analysis This page will identify the most important direct and indirect competitions you’ll encounter and how you can gain an advantage in your competition.

Marketing Strategy: Your marketing plan must address the four Ps: Price, Product Promotions, Place, and Price.

Product: Decide and record what services or products you plan to provide

Prices: Document the price of your goods or services.

Where will your business be located, and what will it do to aid in increasing sales?

Promotions: What marketing strategies can you employ to draw clients to your excavation business? You could, for instance, opt to utilize pay-per-click marketing and public relations, search engine optimization, or advertising on social networks.

Operation Plan: Here, you’ll identify the most important steps required for running your day-to-today operations. Also, you will decide on your personnel requirements. In the final section of the plan, you’ll prepare a timeline of growth projections that lists the milestones you want to reach in the next few years.

The Management Team: This section outlines the background of the management team in your company.

Financial Plan: Create a projected financial statement for five years:

  1. What costs will you be able to pay?
  2. How can your excavation Firm earn money?
  3. What are your expected costs and sales over the coming five years?
  4. Do you require money to begin your company?   

Choose the Legal Structure for Your Excavation Business

The next step is to select an appropriate legal structure for your excavation business and incorporate it along with your company’s identity with the Secretary of State of every state where you run your company.

Here are five of the most commonly used legal structures:

Sole proprietorship

Sole proprietorships are business entities where the owner of the excavation firm and the business are one legal entity. The sole proprietorship is accountable for all obligations and debts of the company. 

There aren’t any formalities to be completed for establishing a sole proprietorship, and it’s easy to create and run. The major benefit of a sole proprietorship is that it’s easy and affordable. The major drawback is that the sole proprietor is accountable for all obligations and debts of the company.


The partnership structure is a legal entity that is popular with small-sized firms. It is a contract with two or more individuals looking to create an excavation business together. Each partner shares the gains and losses of the company.

The benefits of a partnership are that it’s easy to create and that the partners can share the gains and losses of the company. The downsides of a partnership are that the partners share responsibility for the obligations of the company, and disputes between partners are often challenging to overcome.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

A limited liability company, also known as an LLC, is one form of business entity that provides the owners with limited liability. It indicates that the LLC’s members are not held personally responsible for the obligations and debts of the business. 

The benefits of using an LLC for an excavation business include managing with flexibility, taxation pass-through, and limited personal responsibility. The downsides of having an LLC are the lack of accessibility in some states and the self-employment taxes.

C Corporation

A C Corporation is a legal corporation that does business independently of its owner. It is a tax ID and may include shareholders. The primary benefit of the C Corporation for an excavation Firm is that it provides the company’s owners with a general liability policy. It indicates that the owners are not personally liable for the obligations and debts of the business. 

The downside is that C corporations are taxed twice. This means that the company has to pay taxes on its earnings while shareholders have to pay taxes on dividends.

S Corporation

S Corporation is a type of business that offers its owners limited liability protection and permits them to transfer their profits from the business into their tax returns, which helps avoid tax doubles. However, S Corporations have several limitations, such as the number of shareholders they can hold and other restrictions.

After you have registered the excavation Firm and your state approves it, they will send you the formal “Articles of Incorporation.” You’ll need this along with other documentation to establish your bank accounts.

Secure Startup Funding for Your Excavation Business

When you were preparing your excavation business plan, you may have decided that you’ll require funding for the launch of your company.

If yes, the primary sources of financing for excavation firms to consider are family savings, personal savings, and friends, as well as credit card financing, crowdfunding, bank loans, and angel investors. Angel investors are investors who lend capital to young-stage companies. They typically invest in the excavation industry they believe has the highest growth potential.

Secure a Location for Your Business

Here are a few steps to take when searching for an appropriate place to locate your excavation firm.

  1. Search for towns or cities which need excavation services.
  2. Study the area to ensure it’s a suitable place to set up your company.
  3. Learn about the local laws and regulations regarding zoning.
  4. Contact your local government to inquire about the permits and licenses you might need to start your company.
  5. Locate appropriate websites by contacting the property owners or landlords in the area.
  6. After you have located the location, visit it and determine if it suits your requirements.

If everything is in order, it is possible to move on in setting your business in the location you prefer.

Register Your Excavation Business with the IRS

The next step is registering your business with The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which could result in the IRS giving you an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Many banks will require that you be a holder of an EIN for opening an account. Additionally, you’ll need an EIN to employ employees, as that’s how the IRS manages your payroll tax payment.

You typically don’t need an EIN if you’re a sole proprietor without employees. Instead, you can use the social security numbers (instead of the EIN) as your tax identification number.

Open a Business Bank Account

It is essential to open an account with a bank that is under your excavation business name. The procedure is quite simple and includes three steps.

  1. Find and contact the bank you wish to work with.
  2. Make sure you have all the required paperwork.
  3. Complete the bank’s application form and include all necessary information.
  4. Talk to a banker to discuss your business requirements and build a relationship with them.

Get a Business Credit Card

You should obtain a business credit card from your excavating company to distinguish between personal and business expenses. You can apply for a business credit card through the credit card company or your bank.

You must supply certain information about your business when applying for a credit card for business. This will include the name of your company, an address for your company, and the kind of business you’re operating. It is also necessary to provide details, such as the name of your business, Social Security number, and birth date.

After you’ve been granted a credit card for business, you can make purchases for your company. It can also be used to build credit which is crucial in securing loans and credit cards for your company shortly.

Obtain the necessary business permits and licenses

For starting an excavation business, a business license and permits are required. There may be a different traditional business license based on the kind of excavation you want to perform. Call your city or the county government for more details on your required permits and contractor licenses.

Get Business Insurance for Your Excavation Business

The kind of insurance required to run an excavation business will depend on the company’s nature.

The types of business insurance policies to think about for your excavation business include:

  • General Liability Insurance It is a policy that covers injuries and accidents that happen within your premises. Additionally, it covers any harm your staff members or the items you utilize may cause.
  • Insurance for autos is required if a car is utilized in your business. This kind of insurance covers it. In addition, it will protect you if a vehicle is stolen or damaged.
  • Workers Compensation Insurance If you employ employees, this policy will work with your general liability insurance policy to guard against accidents and injuries in the workplace. Medical expenses and lost pay are also covered.
  • Property insurance for businesses This policy is for the damages to business property that result from fire, theft, or vandalism.
  • The business interruption policy covers loss of earnings and expenses if your business has to shut down because of an incident covered by insurance.
  • Insurance for professional liability This insurance covers your business from allegations of professional negligence.

Buy or Lease the Right Excavation Firm Equipment

For you to begin an excavation business, you will require heavy-duty equipment. It includes a backhoe bulldozer and dumps truck. Also, you’ll need small equipment pieces like shovels, pickaxes, and wheelbarrows. Finally, if you plan to perform any blasting, you’ll require an arsenal of explosives.

Develop Your Excavation Firm Marketing Materials

Marketing materials are required to draw customers to your excavation business.

The most crucial marketing materials you’ll need are:

  1. Logo: Take your time creating a great image for your construction business. Your logo will be displayed on stationery for the company, marketing materials, business cards, and many more. The correct logo can boost confidence in your brand and raise awareness about your company’s brand.
  2. Website: Also, a professional site for excavation firms offers potential customers information regarding the services you provide, your company history, and contact details. It is important to remember that your website’s design and layout can affect how customers view your business.
  3. Social Media accounts: Create social media accounts under the name of your business. Social media accounts linked to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms let customers and other people communicate with your excavating business.

Acquire and install the necessary software to operate your Excavation Business

To run an excavation business, it is necessary to have software that can manage your finances for your business, software for managing your projects, and Computer-aided Design (CAD) software to design your designs for excavations.

What is the NAICS code for an excavating business?

Excavating businesses are classified as Site Preparation Contractors under NAICS code 238910.

To collect and report statistics about different types of businesses, the NAICS code (North American Industry Classification System) is used.

What Licenses Do You Need to Start an Excavating Business?

What Licenses Do You Need to Start an Excavating Business?

State License

Different states have different licensing requirements for excavating businesses, as some require licenses for excavation equipment operators, while others require licenses for general contractors.  

The requirements for obtaining a license often include work experience, passing a trade exam, and having a surety bond. It is not a license for the business, but each person who operates the equipment needs one. 

For example:

Excavation specialists in Michigan must be licensed by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Excavators must obtain a contractor’s license from the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance.

For excavating work, a Consumer Affairs contractor’s license is required in California.

Local Licensing

For an excavating business, a general or specialty contractor’s license is more common at the local level than at the state level. 

Before starting a job, even states that regulate excavators may require a local license. 

Commercial Driver’s License

To operate a large or heavy vehicle, you will need a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), which is issued by your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

The driver of the vehicle will need a CDL if that is the case.

Aside from licensing requirements for excavating work, there are other requirements for starting a business.

Legal Structure

When starting an excavating business, choosing a legal structure is one of the first steps. A legal structure describes how a business is organized. 

Since other licenses your business will need will require its legal name, which cannot be registered until the business entity has been formed, it should be at the top of your list.

The four main types of legal structures are sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability company (LLC).

Business Name Registration

Most states require registration for business names, even if it is not a license. 

Moreover, the process of registering a business name varies by state and entity type.

In general, sole proprietorships and partnerships must register a business name (also known as a Doing Business As, DBA, fictitious name, or assumed name).

Business names are registered with the state when corporations and LLCs are formed.

General Business License or Permit

A general business license or permit may be required depending on where the business is located. Licensing for this activity is different and may be required in addition to the excavating license.  

In some states, a business license is required; however, they are more commonly found at the city level.

Federal Employer Identification Number

The Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) is a nine-digit number that is used to identify businesses with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

A company will need an EIN if it has employees, forms a partnership, corporation, or LLC.

In the case of sole proprietorships and single-owner LLCs without employees, the owner’s social security number can be used instead.

For opening a business bank account, applying for a business credit card, and hiring employees, you will need the FEIN or the owner’s social security number.

Sales Tax Permit or Business Number

Excavating businesses’ work is often considered a service in some states, so a state sales tax permit may be required. 

In most states, construction projects incorporated under a real estate construction contract do not require the collection of sales tax, but improving drainage on a homeowner’s property might.

An account number is established with the state’s Department of Revenue (or similarly named state taxing agency).

Certificate of Occupancy

Before operating a business from a commercial building, an excavating company will likely need to secure a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). Certificates are typically obtained from the city or county.

Buildings must meet local zoning restrictions, building codes, and other local requirements before the certificate is issued.

The excavating business may require a home occupation permit if it operates and stores equipment at the owner’s home.

Check with the local zoning department before purchasing or leasing a location for your excavating business to ensure it can operate legally.

Even though researching licenses and permits isn’t the most exciting part of starting an excavating business, getting it right the first time is crucial. 

Not obtaining the proper licensing can result in fines and temporary closures. Ensure the correct licenses have been obtained by talking to city officials.

What skills are needed to run an excavating business?

In order to start an excavating business, you will need a number of specific skills.

Experience: It is essential that you have experience excavating, and if you have management experience as an excavation contractor, it is an advantage.

Business knowledge and experience: It is necessary for you to have at least a basic understanding of marketing, finance/accounting, and human resources.

People skills: In order to keep your customers as customers and keep them coming back to you, you will have to build a rapport with them.

How to start an excavation business with no money?

How to start an excavation business with no money?

Well, It’s hard to start an excavation business without money. There are many expenses of a business so as it. For example, doing excavation business need heavy equipment. And it needs to be bought new or used.

The chances of finding a grant to start an excavation businessOpens in a new tab. are extremely slim. Many scams and misinformation can be found when searching for business grants. 

It is possible to receive a grant to start a business from an organization. Do not provide sensitive information or pay money for more information, however.

You can find legitimate federal grants at and check with your state’s economic development office to see if they have any grants.

By following the steps, you can start an excavation business in any corner of the world. People even ask if they can start an excavation business without money. Well, there are some ways like taking loans or partners with a valid agreement. We hope the guide “How to start an excavation business?” was helpful to you.

The excavation Business will be very profitable in New York or near New York.

Excavations usually have two basic parts. 1. A base for driving 2. An arm for digging and lifting items. A brand new excavator costs around $100,000-$500,000, and mini excavator costs around $800,00-$1500,000.

Khalid Hasan

I am Khalid Hasan. I have been a successful entrepreneur since 2010. Now, I have a Group of companies. My client list includes many International multinational companies. That's why I launched a blog website thinking that it will benefit everyone. that are all the tricks that are important to succeed in business here it's I will discuss them in detail. My goal is to assist new businesses man in finding solutions to business issues and act accordingly so that they succeed in business. If they are in contact with me or take a quote, I Hope, Those who are Interested to start their own business will hugely benefit from it.

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