As part of a £16 billion industry, plumbers are always in demand. So if you’re considering going self-employed as a plumber, you have the potential to make good money. 

But you may be wondering, how much does it cost to start a plumbing business? Starting a plumbing business can be affordable compared to other businesses. Still, you’ll need to consider a few costs before you get started.

This guide covers the costs of starting a plumbing business, including: 

  • What do you need to start a plumbing business?
  • How much does it cost to start a plumbing business?
  • How can you prepare for starting a plumbing business?

You can find an article on how to succeed in your plumbing business here.

What do you need to start a plumbing business?

If you wonder how much it costs to start a plumbing business, there’s a few you’ll need to invest in to get started. 

Registration and Insurance 

You’ll need to register your plumbing business as either a sole trader or limited company. As a sole trader, you will be personally liable for your business. If you register as a limited company, your business becomes a separate entity from you. Registration may come with a fee between £12- £100, depending on your method.

Apart from this, you’ll need to manage your own taxes and pay them based on your income. With a limited company, you will have to pay corporation tax. Also, if you expect your annual turnover to be more than £85,000, you’ll have to register for VAT.

You may also want to consider insurance for your small business. Since plumbing means that you’ll travel to your clients for jobs and work on their water systems, public liability insurance would be beneficial. You may also want personal accident insurance or tools insurance. 

Plumbing skills and training 

To work as a plumber, you will need to receive technical training for the job. Because plumbing requires you to work on water systems, heating systems, and drainage, you’ll need to know how these things work and how to fix them. 

You’ll need an industry recognised certification, which you can work towards by starting as a plumbing trainee or apprentice. You could also earn a Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing and Electric Heating or take a training course

If you find an opportunity to apprentice, this could mean earning money instead of spending it. Training courses can offer quicker qualifications, but they can cost about £1,000 – £3,000.

You’ll then need to apply and test with the Construction Skills Certification Scheme. These certification cards cost £36, and the test costs £22. If you plan to work with heating systems, you’ll also need to be part of the Gas Safe Register

Plumbing tools and supplies 

You’ll need the proper tools and equipment to work as a plumber. Some of the tools you may need include: 

  • Tube cutter (~£12)
  • Adjustable wrench (~£15)
  • Hacksaw (~£40)
  • Mole grips (~£12)
  • Water pump pliers (~£12)
  • Allen key set  (~£7)
  • Tape measure (~£5)
  • Drill (~£180)
  • Bucket (~£4)
  • Claw hammer (~£20)
  • Mains tester (~£5)

The prices of these tools vary, but you can find them for as cheap as the approximate prices listed above. If you find affordable options for all of your tools, you’ll likely need about £400.

Since you’ll be travelling to your clients, you’ll also need reliable transportation. Depending on how many tools you travel with, you may want a van or truck. This will also need car insurance. New cars could cost about £12,000 – £36,000

Marketing Skills 

To find clients for your plumbing business, you’ll also need to market yourself well. This means having the people skills and branding knowledge to reach your target audience. You may want to set aside a marketing budget to design a business website and marketing materials. 

You’ll also want to market yourself on social media and freelance websites, so you’ll want to set time aside for growing your audience. Overall, a starting marketing budget could be less than £100. 

How much does it cost to start a plumbing business?

Now that you know what you’ll need to get your plumbing business started, you can use this information to determine how much it will cost to get started. 

Consider the startup costs 

You’ll need to add up the required expenses and training to determine the startup costs for your plumbing business. Professional Heating Plumbing Industry says the typical startup costs for a plumbing industry are £9,124. Of course, this could be higher and lower depending on what you choose to purchase. 

Understand the projected expenses

Aside from the upfront costs of your plumbing business, you’ll need to anticipate future and regular expenses. This includes the taxes for your business and regular insurance payments. Plus, consider things like petrol costs for your transportation. 

How can you prepare to start a plumbing business?

To prepare for the costs of starting a plumbing business, you can work as an apprentice for a few years. You can also plan to start your business with a business plan and budget. This will help you organise your necessary expenses to succeed. 

You may also want to open a business current account and find the right account software to organise your business at the start and prepare for growth. 

Start your business on the right track with a simple app

When you’re starting your own business, it’s important to keep your personal and business finances separate from day one – to save yourself from time-consuming admin further down the line. 

When you sign up for a Countingup business current account, you’ll receive free accounting software with a range of time-saving tools. 

Simply log into the app to create and send invoices, get financial insights, and confidently manage your new business finances. Find out more here.