How to Start a Solar Energy Company


Authored by Malcolm Tatum in Small Business
Published on 01-26-2010

With so many people giving alternative energy sources more consideration these days, the idea of starting a solar energy company may be just the way to meet a need in your community, before everyone else jumps on the bandwagon. Of course, opening a business of this type means some hard work, with a lot of preparation and investment before you ever officially open the business. Here are some of the points you need to consider if this type business sounds like a good business venture for your area.

First, you need to get a firm understanding of the type of solar energy systems that are on the market today. Ideally, you will want to establish working agreements with a supplier that offers quality products at a competitive rate, and has an excellent reputation in the marketplace. In order to properly evaluate systems and the ancillary equipment like solar panels and storage batteries, you must know how they work, what is involved in the setup of a system, and that type of warranties are available on the equipment and the installation. Once you have this knowledge under your belt, it will be easier to move forward with the establishment of your business.

Chances are you will need to comply with at least some local regulations in order to offer your services to the community. Along with obtaining a business license, there is a good chance that local laws and regulations that are relevant to utility companies and suppliers will also apply to you. Check with local authorities to determine what standards you must meet and what regulations you must comply with in order to operate with the full support of the community. This will save you untold hours of legal time later on, not to mention allow you to avoid incurring penalties and fees at a later date.

Along with obtaining your business license, make sure you are bonded and insured. This will go a long way toward inspiring trust and confidence among prospective customers, as well as provide you with protection in the event that something goes wrong with an installation. Many people refuse to do business with anyone who is not bonded, so making sure that you advertise this fact will make it much easier to attract new business.

With all the paperwork in place, establish vendor connections. Some people who start their own local solar energy companies will contract with several different manufacturers of social energy equipment, making it much easier for them to find the right system for a client’s needs and budget. Make sure none of the agreements you sign restrict your ability to represent the products offered by other manufacturers, but do try to get exclusive representative rights for your local area. This maximizes your ability to offer a wide line of solar energy products while minimizing the opportunity for direct competition by others offering the same brands of equipment.

Since you will probably be responsible for the installation of the equipment, make sure you only used licensed professionals for the job. This means making sure any electricians you employ for a particular installation is fully bonded and has the proper insurance. Doing so helps to provide even more security for you, since between the coverage you carry and that the electrician carries, there is a good chance you can ride out any type of problem that could come about.


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