How to start your own plastering business. Image shows plasterer's buckets and tools

One of the most appealing things about learning a skilled trade, is the ability to set up your own business once you have a few years’ experience under your belt. 

Plastering is an essential part of the construction industry, and with qualified tradespeople in extremely high demand right across the board, there are plenty of opportunities to secure regular and rewarding work. 

If you're considering how to start your own plastering business, below are a few of the key things you may want to consider beforehand. 

Do you have the right experience and qualifications? 

While tradespeople are often in a position to launch their own business faster than a lot of other industries, being confident in your own plastering skills is vital to making a success of starting your own business.

Much of your business comes via word-of-mouth when first starting out, so any work you do carry out must be done to an extremely high standard. 

If there are specific areas where you know you’re not as strong, or you want to develop your own niche within the industry, consider further specialist training tailored to that. 

Registering your business: Should you operate as a sole trader or limited company? 

Understanding what kind of business you want to operate under is another important decision.

If you’re working alone and are running the business alongside your main job, perhaps as you build a base of customers, then registering as a sole trader is often the preferred choice.   

However, if you’re planning on building out a team, then registering as a limited company could be the way to go. 

In either case, you’ll need to keep accurate financial records. This means keeping track of invoices and expenses—hiring an accountant early to take care of this can be incredibly worthwhile and cost-effective.

Here are the main differences between both business options:

Sole Trader: Setting up as a sole trader is a straightforward process with little to no cost involved. You keep all profits and the only real documentation required is your financial records and end of year self-assessment. However, yours’ and your business’ finances aren’t separate, meaning you're completely liable.

Limited company: Setting up a limited company requires more paperwork, complex accounting and you must be incorporated at Companies House. There are plenty of positives though; your personal and business finances are completely separate, a limited company can be more tax-efficient and you can often be seen as more reputable.

Who do you want to work for?

Naturally, you’ll want to build an in-depth understanding of exactly who your business is aimed at. This will allow you to better tailor your plastering services and increase your chances of finding work.

Domestic work will generally see you working in household settings, while commercial work can cover things like shops and other public spaces.

Acting as a contractor is another avenue you could explore. Contractors offer individuals and businesses a more flexible alternative to full-time employment, instead, being brought in for a set period of time for a specific project. 

Have you considered the relevant insurance and qualifications? 

Like all trades, health and safety is a vital factor that must be considered when setting up a business. 


The insurance policies you require will vary depending on the kind of company you’re running.

Public liability insurance should be considered immediately, as it offers protection should a member of the public be injured, or property damaged due to work you’ve carried out. 

Employers’ liability is applicable when / if you choose to take on staff, as it provides cover should a person get sick, or have an accident at work. 

Other policies to consider include professional indemnity, which can cover financial loss a customer may incur due to your work, along with health insurance and equipment cover. 


Should you wish to work on a building site, you’ll need to get your Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card. This accreditation will be required to work on most major sites across the UK.

Advertising and finding work

Marketing yourself is a crucial part of being self-employed. While word-of-mouth will become a big factor in generating leads, solely relying on this will limit your visibility among potential clients. 

These days, social media is an absolute must for any business and has the added benefit of being free to set up. Ensuring your website is up to scratch can make an enormous difference in generating leads too. 

As well as that, more traditional methods can still be equally as effective. Signwriting vans, business cards and flyers all remain useful in attracting customers within the construction industry. 

Whether you’re looking to take the first steps in your journey as a plasterer, or have some experience and want to become certified, Able Skills offers an array of plastering courses tailored to all experiences. 

Not sure which is right for you? Our team is happy to guide you through, just give us a call on 01322 280 202, request a brochure or visit us at our training centre.