Requirements for woodworking business

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Forum topic by rpete posted 10-31-2016 09:03 PM 1254 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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28 posts in 3163 days

10-31-2016 09:03 PM

I am considering starting to offer some classes in woodworking as a side project to help finance my hobby. The idea is to hold classes focused on introducing kids to woodworking. One of the classes I specifically thought of was a baseball/softball bat clinic where a kid and parent could come learn how to use a lathe, etc, learn about what makes a good bat, end up something functional that the child can enjoy.
I have some questions regarding what requirements I would need to meet to do this. I’m only looking to do 20 or so clinics a year so nothing major. My wife is self employed so we are familiar with the general business license requirements, etc. What about insurance? Any other advice?

8 replies so far

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Bill White

5072 posts in 4109 days

#1 posted 10-31-2016 09:18 PM

Ya better have a GOOD insurance carrier. You’re gonna have some serious liability issues.
I applaud your desire, but ya gotta think about the other areas.


View joey502's profile


544 posts in 1666 days

#2 posted 11-01-2016 12:20 AM

I would seek professional advice. Insurance is needed, seek the advice from someone familiar with this type of coverage. I am sure an attorney can also help explain what you need to protect yourself and business.

View tncraftsman's profile


93 posts in 3287 days

#3 posted 11-01-2016 03:04 AM

I think insurance and liability/risk coverage will be your biggest obstacle. My local woodshop has classes and demo but they are lecture only not hands on.

However our art school has a hands on course which was an adult education class thus you were a student.

You might see if you have a votech/art school that would let you teach such a class. They may be willing to cover the liability under their insurance.

View shipwright's profile


8086 posts in 2946 days

#4 posted 11-01-2016 04:49 AM

When I opened my school I was able to get a rider on my home owner’s policy to cover the liabilities involved with hand tool marquetry which, fortunately was all I really wanted to teach. Had I wanted to involve students using power tools it would have been a full blown industrial insurance policy and would have cost more than I would have brought in with a small scale part time school.
Working through another entity like a Woodcraft, Lee Valley, etc or an existing school that already has a policy is a reasonable route to explore if you are contemplating power tools.
I wish you the best of luck. Teaching your skills to others is very rewarding.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View HowardInToronto's profile


77 posts in 1850 days

#5 posted 11-02-2016 04:09 AM

What a great idea. Congratulations. You are to be commended for wanting to execute on this idea. Keep up the momentum. Don’t let naysayers slow you down.

Shipwright had a creative and useful answer. Teaming up with another organization that already offers classes is pretty smart.

But your best bet would be to call an insurance agent. Ask them very pointedly about their knowledge and expertise insuring your type of intentions. Keep shopping and asking for referrals unitil you find somebody who knows what they’re talking about. Don’t let their personal biases or laziness get in the way of your research.

Then research lawyers too. Same thing. Specialize and knowledgeable about small manufacturing environments and schools for waivers and contracts etc.

You’ll spend a couple hundred dollars and you’ll come out the other end with knowledge from an expert. Much more useful than opinions and guesses from well-intentioned people who are not in your shoes.

But do make a point of coming back here to let us know about your progress and all the iterations you’ll go through.


View youdidntbuildthat72's profile


18 posts in 670 days

#6 posted 01-10-2017 04:54 PM

i would make it an llc so they can’t come after your house or personal money. You want your business assets as far separate from your personal assets as possible.

Safety equipment for each of the students, eye wear, dust mask, etc. Safety course before using any tool, maybe some extra adults for supervision? see if a local wood workers club has some volunteers who would be willing to help???
Good lighting.
Structure or some form of lesson plan to follow. Try to stay on topic and time don’t go down rabbit holes if possible.
Will add make sure you tell the parents or make sure they know this isn’t a baby sitting service. They don’t just drop the kid off and pick them up later.
Hope those help.

View Puzzleman's profile


417 posts in 3092 days

#7 posted 01-12-2017 02:40 PM

I agree that you need to seek professional help.

The people here are not legal nor insurance professionals. Discuss the idea with them and use their feedback in your decision process. People here are not full time business people but rather hobbyists so their feedback is just opinions and it is worth what you are paying for it.

Seek Professional Help.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

View UncannyValleyWoods's profile


542 posts in 2012 days

#8 posted 01-12-2017 02:46 PM

When I opened my school

- shipwright

Holy cow man…That looks like amazing fun. Bravo!

-- “If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.” ― Lenny Bruce

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