Vehicles need regular service to keep them in good operating condition, and many people rely on their mechanic to perform the service since they are unfamiliar with how to service their vehicle themselves.   When a vehicle breaks down, mechanics are even more in demand since vehicles can’t be operated until they are repaired.  With several million vehicles registered in the state of New York, starting your own auto repair shop can become a lucrative and profitable business. 


Establish a business plan.  Determine what city in New York you want to open an auto repair shop in, and assess the current auto repair shops to make sure enough demand exists for you to open your own shop and be successful.  Make notes of the services provided as well as what services are lacking.  Choosing to specialize in services that are lacking or rare in your city gives you a niche that can help make your business more profitable.  Write out your plans for starting your auto repair shop including how you plan to finance, market and promote it to make it a profitable business.


Apply for funding.  Learn what funding opportunities exist to start your auto repair shop in New York by visiting the website of the U.S. Small Business Administration.  Seek out commercial and business loans from a bank or credit union to provide you with start-up capital for tools, equipment and a facility.  It is possible to start your auto repair shop on a shoestring budget by working out of your garage and acquiring tools, equipment and a facility only as you acquire the money to do so.  This may be a better option for those with poor credit, who are unable to acquire a business loan from a bank.


Purchase or lease a location.  Visit with a local real estate agent in your city to learn what commercial or business properties are available for lease or purchase.  Know whether you plan to lease or buy based on the financing available for starting your auto repair shop in New York.  Search for a facility already converted into a shop complete with garage doors, car bays and storage for tools and equipment.


Register your business.  Access the Internal Revenue Service’s website to complete the online form to get an employer identification number (EIN).  Arrange to collect sales tax on the repairs you make by registering your business with the New York state Department of Revenue.  Visit your local city hall or county government building to obtain a business license to do business at your physical location, and make sure that you get approval from the zoning board if operating your auto repair business out of your garage.  Learn what the requirements are for disposing of used oil and other vehicle fluids by contacting the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. 


Purchase equipment.  Outfit your business with equipment needed to operate your auto repair shop including toolboxes and vehicle lifts.  Buy hand and power tools to make the necessary repairs on vehicles brought in by customers.  Set up an office space with a computer that allows you to track your finances. 


Promote your shop.  Spread the word about your auto repair services through family and friends offering discounts for people who make a referral.  Use radio, television, newspaper and the internet to advertise to the general public.  Consider providing special discounts and deals throughout the year focused on preventative maintenance as a way to drive customers into your location.  For example, spring is a great time to hold a service day specifically designed for flushing AC systems and getting them ready for summer.