I was a painting contractor for many years and never asked for a deposit upfront. A good contractor should have great credit with his suppliers and an even better contract if the deal should go south before the job is done. Get to know your customer and explain how each paint covers so they understand fully before you have to apply 3 or 4 coats. If you didn't bid your job right and the client has already signed the contract then that is on you not the client. Yes I haven had to eat the difference but the client was happy and a return customer for years so I made up for it.
File the necessary business documents. For starters, you’ll need a general business license to begin taking on contract work. You may also have to have other specific licenses that permit you to operate in off-limits zones or handle certain materials. A separate home business permit will be required if you plan on using your own residence as the headquarters for your contracting business.[13]
Stacee, I agree with you completely, from adding water to latex paint to taking whites from job to job. This article makes all painters look like scam artists. You get what you pay for people! There is no denying that there are scammers out there but in my experience, most painters are under paid any ways so if you want a good paint job, you are going to pay for it. If you just want a new color on your walls real quick, and that is what you pay for then that's what you pay for people. Most painters get the crap end of the stick and are left with making an entire house look good when it took a lot more than a painter to build the house in the first place. Good painters do not get enough credit. They are not all scammers who are cutting corners!
They have so many good reviews, but I just have to add one more. I agree with others who say Excel made the process absolutely painless. They were reliable, friendly, professional and did a beautiful job on our 100-year-old house, whose shingles had seen better days. It looks like new now. Little cherry on the sundae: their bid was also substantially lower than the other two (highly reviewed) painting companies that we had bid. We'll definitely use Excel again.
Purchase surety bonds. Surety bonds essentially act as a kind of agreement between the contractor and the person hiring them that the job will be performed to standard. You can obtain these through your current insurer as a separate form of financial protection. As a contractor, many states require you to be bonded before you can begin working legally.[17]

I agree with you Richard, as a painting contractor for very many years, people are always looking to get more and more out of you. I had to give an estimate to a lady a few weeks ago who had more stuff around her home than a thrift store including heavy furniture, stuff all over the floor and junk everywhere. I knew if I accepted the job id be a furniture mover and cleaner. I also agree this article makes it seem like the contractor is out to rip off the customers. Fact is I always leave doing more work than agreed upon. It doesn't bother me since the customer is always satisfied. Just saying
Can't speak highly enough of the service we received from James and his team. I did my due diligence and met with 3 painters. If I'd have met with James first, I might have skipped the other meetings. He talked me out of some extra work that wouldn't have come out the way i'd envisioned and showed me a packet full of successful projects, happy clients that dated back to the 1970s.
We work with homeowners, interior designers, and remodel contractors to complete interior and exterior painting projects.  Our clients choose to work with us because they want quality craftsmanship and superior customer service.  We operate in all areas surrounding Lake Washington (Seattle, Shoreline, Edmonds, Bothell,Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, Renton, and more!)  
His team is very meticulous, very careful, very clean, and very courteous! They're also very accommodating. For instance, I mentioned a couple spots under some angled siding where I thought a little extra filling was needed, and they obliged without question. Same thing with a request for a stain-proof primer under a balcony. Doing these kinds of little things without question or extra charges is really nice!

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