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Asbestos is a hazardous material that was used for many years in construction until its dangers were uncovered. In 2003, it was banned from use in Australia. However, many homes or buildings constructed prior to 1990 contain asbestos. So, there's a sizable market for asbestos removal, which is considered not just a home improvement project, but an important health measure.
In this guide, we've laid out the important things to know before starting your asbestos removal company.
An asbestos removal business removes harmful asbestos material or debris from buildings and construction sites. Asbestos removal is a highly specialised procedure, as the material fibres can be very hazardous when inhaled, and require proper handling and disposal.
It's key to choose a structure that suits your business's needs, as this will determine things like your tax requirements, who is responsible for decisions and who is liable for any business losses that may arise. Here's a quick rundown of the three most common business structures:
Once you've settled on your business structure, it's time to choose a business name and register for an Australian Business Number (ABN). The Australian Securities and Investments Commission's business names register search tool will help you check whether your preferred name is already taken.
If you choose a company structure, you'll also get an Australian Company Number (ACN). You can register a company name too, but it's not compulsory. Again, check whether it's available first.
Asbestos removal is heavily legislated due to the risks involved. Each state or territory has its own regulating authority.
You'll need to be familiar with, and comply with, all components of your state's Work Health and Safety Act. The Safe Work Code of Practice provides practical guidance to the laws. As you're providing a service, you'll also need to abide by Australian Consumer Law.
There are mandatory licencing requirements for anyone conducting asbestos removal. There are two different licence classes depending on the type of asbestos you're working with.
These are the licences you can apply for:
When carrying out friable asbestos removal, an independent licensed asbestos assessor is also required on-site to carry out air monitoring, clearance inspections and issuing clearance certificates.
To apply for an asbestos licence, go to the WorkSafe government website for your state and download an application for the relevant licence:
Legal issues may seem tricky to get the hang of when you're starting out. There are plenty of legal services and advice available online, including document templates to save you having to write your own. Before you get things running, you'll want to have all your important legal documents in place to safeguard your business.
Here are some you'll want to think about:
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
Setting up an asbestos removal business comes with some setup costs, as you will need to buy specialised equipment and protective gear.
Here are some key things you'll need to get started:
Generally, the price of asbestos removal is calculated on a square-metre basis and costs from $30-$150 per square metre, according to Airtasker. The cost of asbestos removal varies greatly depending on each individual job.
Some considerations to have front-of-mind when quoting your price include:
You might consider also doing some research on competitors in your area and see what they charge. If you discover your rates are much higher for similar services, you may want to reconsider what you're charging so you can be competitive in the marketplace.
If you don't already have one, then you'll need to consider putting some time into building a website. Remember that good website design and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) are two crucial factors for helping your website show up when people search for asbestos removal services. Helpful website-building tools like Wix, WordPress and Squarespace can simplify the process.
Tools like Google My Business can also help to get your business to show up via the Google search function and Google Maps. Social media platforms like Facebook can also help draw more attention to your business.
Don't underestimate the usefulness of online marketplaces either. Marketplaces like Airtasker, ServiceSeeking, hipages, and Oneflare help you advertise your services and connect with people looking for asbestos removal.
What kind of insurance do I need?
It's critical to have insurance to protect yourself, your business and your clients from risk. As there's a high level of risk involved with asbestos removal, many standard business insurance policies like Public Liability Insurance and Professional Indemnity Insurance generally don't cover any issues or damage that arise in connection with asbestos.
You will need to look into a specialist insurance product for asbestos liability and, to attain one, you must provide evidence of your removal licence.
How can I get more work?
For best results, market your asbestos removal business using a variety of strategies:
Is owning an asbestos removal business profitable?
It can be, yes. If you're prepared to invest time, money and hard work into your business, you will find it pays off. However, remember there are significant startup costs involved in an asbestos removal business, so it will take some time before you see a return on your investment.Back to top
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