Starting a Machine Shop

Thinking of owning a machine shop, and wanting to know what you need to do so? Our guide will give you an idea of how much capital you would need to buy one, how much is your expected turnover and profit, your equipment needs, where to look for in buying an existing shop.

A machine shop is a capital-intensive business mainly because of its equipment needs.

Machine Shop Equipment Need

The equipment needed in a machine shop will depend on what the machine shop would do. The equipment could come in different sizes for performing work on or producing materials of different sizes and different grades of refinement too. For practical reasons, it is wiser to have tools that are durable and can do a variety of functions. Generally, a machine would need machine and cutting tools; vise benches; tools for refining, measuring, and adjusting; marking-off table; electric or manually-driven portable tools; and equipment for lifting and moving heavy work. It would further need a storage room for these tools when they are not in use. Storage and space are the factors that you need to consider when thinking about starting this business at home.

Machine Shop Financial Figures

Machine shops can build large projects such as aircraft; provide support spare parts for the aviation and marine industries, among others; provide various services to the semi-conductor or medical fields; or specialize in repairing motor vehicles and trucks, radiators, hydraulic, and brake pipes. Generally, their services encompass prototyping, production of parts, assembly, and testing. Machine shops can be bought from about $400,000 to millions. It can report turnover of $300,000 to millions. Profit in this kind of business is generally 10 to 20% of turnover or $100,000 to $200,000.

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Buying a Machine Shop has a long list of machine shops for sale in the U.S. and all over the globe. One factor to consider when buying a machine shop is the length of time that the shop is operating. A long time of operation could mean a solid client base for you. Other features to consider are the shop's accessibility, the potential for expansion, and profitability record. Sellers usually advertise that a business is earning, if it does. Also look into the reason why the owner is selling, as well as the business' standing with customers, its reputation, and credit record.

Examine the purchase price and determine what is included in your purchase. Does it include inventory and stock value, furniture, fixture, and equipment? Is the owner willing to train you and your men how to operate the machines? As a prospective machine shop owner, it would be advantageous at the start, however, that you have a mechanical background or a trained machine operator yourself.

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  • benjamin smith said on May 15, 2009
    do you know if there is any licenses that i would have to get or any environmental codes i need to start a machine shop.
  • Pete said on July 20, 2009

    The licenses are dictated by your state and county. Usually you will have to register your business (DBA or Doing Business As) with the Secretary of State for your state. Then you will have to comply with city or county business licensing. That will mean a visit to city hall. This means compliance with zoning rules. If you are setting up a shop in a garage behind your house you will have to go to the zoning board to ask for a waiver. Also you will have to file for an IRS employer Identification number.

    As far as environmental as it pertains to a machine shop is concerned there are minimal requirements unless you start handling lots of solvents, in which case your compliance requirements become more complex. You also have heavy EPA compliance if you paint any products in your shop. There are regulations under the Code of Federal Regulations that govern the airborne release of Volatile organic Compounds.

    Also there are regulations at the Federal, State and in most cases local level governing how to dispose of oils and chemicals used in machining. Usually it entails having an EPA approved disposal service remove the material for hundreds or maybe thousands of dollars a barrel. You can search the CFR database. Enter the search term EPA and all the regulations will come up. Also you can contact your state environmental office, sometimes they are helpful. Your county also has an environmental compliance officer that has the information you seek.
  • Chikita L Davis said on October 31, 2009
    I would receive more information about starting from the ground up my own machine shop in Houston, TX. The information i am requesting is everything (personnel, type of machinery (CNC lathes and CNC milling machines), tools, and etc.)
  • Chris Whitefield said on November 11, 2009
    I'm working on a business plan to start a machine shop now. I have a lot of things in place already, but If you have more in depth advice I would love to have a look at it. You never know what you miss till its too late
  • Jorge Bernal said on March 8, 2010
    I am very interested in opening a machine shop in Chula vista, California USA
  • charuhas patil said on June 7, 2010
    I want to start press shop in nasik, maharashtra. will u pls. give me details regarding it. or any other small industry i can start.
  • jason konikow said on June 7, 2010
    sanbernardino, california. my brother and myself are looking into starting up our own machine shop. strictly running coldheaders manufacturing fasteners. together we have 15 years experience and are some of the best @what we do. we dont know how or even where to begin this process of starting our own shop. all necessary information on this subject would be greatly appreciated thank you
  • paresh said on June 28, 2010
    I want to start my own shop of control panel manufacturing. Pl, give me the detailed information about how to start? pune, maharashtra, india.
  • Tom Powell said on July 16, 2010
    need more resources for opening a machine shop in Littleton Colorado, USA
  • Ebrahim yusuf said on July 18, 2010
    as with the above 9 valid questions. I am planning to open a machine shop in Bahrain. The only thing different is that it will mainly be useful for maintenance repair work as we do not have a lot of manufacturing firms that I perhaps can become a part supplier. Would appreciate your advice. Regards, Nooruddin
  • Ahile Paul said on July 18, 2010
    I am very much interested in partnering with any good investors to come down to my home and invest. Here we have abundant raw materials. call me +234 805 808 9522 or mail on
  • Sulaiman Mohammed Deresu said on August 12, 2010
    My profession is machining with mechanical engineering know how, thus designing tools, machinery parts & gauges, and preparing manufacturing process. Know I want to open small machine shop by share.
  • Dillon Jacobsen said on September 20, 2010
    Hi, surprisingly i'm only 18 but am looking at a machine shop that does commercial machining, it has 3 cnc machines and the whole nine yards, at only 130 grand i really want to grab it and the owner would train me and my father who would essentially be buying it. Any advice or tips on looking at it would be great. Thanks Dillon Seattle
  • Bulaihed said on October 1, 2010
    I want to open CNC machine shop by share. kindly, could I have your advice.
  • jrodriguez said on October 9, 2010
    Palm beach gardens, fl. I am a student learning about cnc machines and programing. I want to start a shop from the ground up. can anyone help me please
  • Sagar patel said on January 1, 2011
    Hi, I want to start an coffee brewer machine repair business. How I will design my invoice. Can I repair machine at my home. If I take business license then do I have to pay any monthly charge. Do we have to report IRS before I start my business.
  • shivaji chavan said on February 16, 2011
    hi,i like to start a small scale machine shop,i have experience of lathe,milling and cnc wirecut machine..i like to start my shop near gokul shirgaon m.i.d.c kolhapur, maharastra, india. please guide me first what to email id is srchvn atrate
  • mike said on February 23, 2011
    ii would like to open machine shop. 2 cnc lathes and 1 cnc mill. i will lease the building and machines. what is the starting amount of money i will need. this will be ran by myself , my wife, and son mundeline , ill. U.S.A.
  • Josh said on April 7, 2011
    I am looking to purchase a machine shop in Albuquerque NM
  • ARUN MORE said on June 7, 2011
  • adarsha hn said on June 27, 2011
    i am Adarsha working some pvt ltd in banglore,karanataka, india, i would like to start a cnc machine shop(turning & vmc). i have knowledge machining process. i am thinking about customer who will give a order, how to approach them
  • ajay kumar said on August 23, 2011
    I myself want to start CNC MILLING MACHINE SHOP a (small scale industry) . can you please suggest me how to grab or get cnc milling projects from industry. and the cost of indian made cnc milling machine.thank u
  • Walter Nkwane said on October 15, 2011
    I want to start CNC machine shop supply construction equipments, all related machines for construction industry as well as Block making machine, Batch Plant and Concrete related equipments. I am from Limpopo Province in South Africa.
  • NILESH CHAVAN said on November 8, 2011
    I have decided to open a machine shop consisting of Heavy duty Lathes and milling Machines at Shiroli MIDC or Gokul Shirgaon MIDC located near Kolhapur.Please give few details of new Indian Make Machine costs.
  • Adegbenro Michael said on November 9, 2011
    I have MSC in Design and Production Engineering. I am a Nigerian and i will like to start small machine shop in lagos. Pls can you help me with the detail requirements of setting up a business of this kind?
  • Richard Marx Makio said on November 18, 2011
    I have various businesses comprising of building construction, cocoa and spice buying, gold buying and real estates. Having traveled to many Asian countries for businesses, I happen to find out that there is a growing demand for Aircraft Parts in the Asian markets. I am now thinking of investing in setting up a aircraft parts manufacturing factory in my country. Can you help me with the costs of machines (machine shops) that will be used in the factory to manufacture the parts of aircrafts and, (not the engines). Can you also forward my inquiry to any Aircraft Parts Manufacturing Engineer or a expert that has similar experiences in the field of aircraft manufacturing who can assist me in seeing up a machining shop that can fully manufacture the aircraft parts. Regards, Richard Makio (Businessman from PNG)
  • mirna ruiz said on December 5, 2011
    We are trying to run a small machine shop in Ogden Utah. We have the shop and the machine, but need help with getting contacts in the area. We need to find small jobs to start. My husband has been a machinist for 20 years, lots of experience and knowledge. Please let me know if you can help us.
  • Rakesh said on January 14, 2012
    I am planning to start a manufacturing unit in Mumbai using CNC Lathe. I would need someone who is having complete knowledge of this industry and thus he can guide me and become my partner. Kindly contact me at +919920014684 or
  • shrikant said on January 18, 2012
    I have decided to open a machine shop consisting of VMC Machines at warje malwadi / pirangut MIDC located near pune.Please give few details of how to get orders for machine shop specially for VMC Machining. Please let me know if you can help me. Kindly contact me at
  • Adolph Simon Kivamwo said on February 4, 2012
    I am a Tanzanian interested in starting a small machine shop in my area. I own a land estimated to 7 acres. I leave in Dar es Salaam, the capital city of Tanzania. Apart from my education level of MBA in marketing, I also have a good background in machine shop--as I attended and accomplish my Full Technician Certificate (FTC) in Mechanical Engineering obtained from Dar es Salaam Technical College and Moshi Technical School in 1991 and 1987 respectively. Anyone to assist me ideas on how I can access important machines such as Lathe Machine, Shaping Machines (Sharpers), Drilling Machine, Anvil, Forging Machines, Furnace Machine,etc can contact me at: , Tel. +255 767 300219
  • sanket sadariya said on February 17, 2012
    hello i want to develop my machine shop , i have 3 milling machine , 2 shapper machine and 1 planner machine . i'm looking for jobworks . plss suggest me companies who gives jobwork. thanks Ahmedabad ,gujrat ,india
  • Angelo Ramos said on February 19, 2012
    Can anyone provide the necessary procedure to approaching possible supply chains? Please contact me at Thank You Angelo. Rochester, NY
  • prashanth said on February 26, 2012
    Hi there I want to start machining shop to do Medical machining in india. I am in this field for 7 years, I am looking like minded people from USA. you can reach me at or Thanks a lot Prashanth- India, Karnataka.
  • dhiraj said on March 15, 2012
    Could you please advise me on starting a machine shop in Nepal and the qualifications, experiences i require.
  • Caleb Israel said on March 28, 2012
    Hello, I'm interested in seating up a full service machine shop, and metal fabrication shop in South Sudan. Mostly auto, truck, marine engines. Some manufacturing.
  • benny said on April 13, 2012
    hello, i'm interested to set a small machine shop here in ghana ,west africa. i have a brother that is more than 20yrs now in machine shop, and my family have a background in machine shop, and i like to help them. please advice me, how i can start a machine shop and where can i bought a machine and some of the material. thanks
  • Pranad said on April 18, 2012 Bangalore, Karnataka, India-Dear Sir, I am in much interest to set up my own business in manufacturing. . like to do contract machining works and CAD/CAM services. looking for investor contact
  • Kamal said on May 10, 2012
    I am planning to start a manufacturing unit in haryana fasteners. I would need someone who is having complete knowledge of this industry and thus he can guide me.
  • Pawar Digvijay said on May 12, 2012
    i want to start machine shop having cnc or vmc machine. plz suggest which machine i want to prefer first cnc or vmc. and how can i get job for that machine.
  • Krastyo Boyrov said on May 28, 2012
    Hello I am form Bulgaria and already have a machine shop with CNC machines but i can't get job for these machine. If someone of you can not deal with orders in time I will be happy to help. It will be better for me and better for you.: I assure you in excellent quality of my products.
  • Prashant Bhagwat said on June 2, 2012
    Hi All, Myself Prashant, I want to start my own factory in Pimpri Chinchwad or Shirwal Satara. I am interested in Press and Welding work. Can any one explain me what is the investment and overall Scope for this business.
  • Vitus said on June 3, 2012
    I am completimg MSc. Mechanical Engineering this year. My dream is to own a small machine. I will be glad if you assist me acquire the machines.I like to know price ranges of lathe, shaping, drill and milling machines and how I can get it in Ghana.
  • Ashok Mohanty said on June 25, 2012
    Hi, I want to set-up a machine workshop in place surrounded by 7-8 small to big Steel plants in Odisha, India. Please let me know the type of machines & Land requirement as well as capital requirement. Regds. Ashok
  • yash said on June 25, 2012
    i want all information about setting up an workshop...
  • Navi Chavan said on July 16, 2012
    am an dipoma mech Engg having 8yrs of Exp in Automotive industry, am interested in starting small scale industry of mechanical parts of low budge of pre-m/cing, Turing, milling operations, centreless Grinding near MYSORE-BANGALORE , Is anyone can guide me about how to approach Govt Schems ,how to take orders,procedure for loans. Feel Free to contact me at 9886713262/email me at
  • olanrewaju Bakare said on July 17, 2012
    I am a practicing mechanical engineer with over 8 years of experience and am based in Nigeria, I took interest to Machining when I got into A project involved in the production of block making machines. I am now setting up a Machining Workshop, please let me know the type of machines as well as capital requirement to start up this business. I am with view of commercial production of the block machine as well as provide various services, repairs motor vehicles & trucks and production of parts for every industry as required. Thanks Lanre
  • A K Singh said on July 22, 2012
    I wanted to open one machine shop in Visakhapatnam, Andhrapradesh, India. I want to invest Rs.10 million. Field of operation shall be Steel plant , power plant equipment manufacturing. Please guide me about the machines required to purchase.
  • Ramesh said on August 13, 2012
    I am Ramesh and in-charge of cnc machine shop in a ltd company in banglore, karanataka, india, i would like to start a cnc machine shop(turning / vmc). i have the knowledge of machining process. to start with a small scale what is the minimum investment required and where and how to get orders for the above setup
  • Lucas Stoltz said on August 14, 2012
    I am wanting to start up my own machine shop and have no idea as where to begin. I am a cnc programer and operator and have been in the field for over 15 years. any info will help thank you. i am located in Stow Ohio.
  • Elisha said on August 22, 2012
    Hie i would like to start a machine shop mainly for fasteners and may be precision machining , i am in Zimbabwe ,BULAWAYO, I am a sales man but would love to do this. i would love to know the best way i can go about this, what machines do i need at minimum cost. what is my target mar.ket. Many Thanks and Kind Regards. Elisha
  • Lincoln Onoja said on September 12, 2012
    I will be setting up a small scale juice processing company,(Nigeria) and would love you to help in giving me a comprehensive details of its financial evaluations in respect to equipments needed, place of purchase at minimum cost and work force possible. Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you. LINCOLN ONOJA.
  • Chris nguyen said on October 11, 2012
    Hi, I would like to open a machine shop with 1 cnc lathe and 2 VMC. the shop will be operated by myself and my 2 brothers, we all have 20years of experienced on operating, setting up machine and programming. We will solely be making oilfield products. The machine shop will be located in Houston, TX. any information you can send me will be greatly appreciated.
  • NANDAKUMAR PATIL said on November 3, 2012
  • felix Obanla said on December 2, 2012
    I want to have a lathe, milling, welding, shaping machine shop at Ajilete Yewa Ogun state Nigeria. Ajilete is along Idiroko Rd, it is about 1hr 30min from Lagos and the same distance to Cotonu
  • S.RAJASEKAR said on December 3, 2012
    i am interested to start a machine shop in india tamilnadu state at mannargudi please send your guideline about getting work contract i am having 30 year experience.
  • ct dhawale said on December 11, 2012
    please send me details about cost of cnc machines of various types with software , premises required for this business and cost of new enterprenures to invest in this business and skilled persons required in the business with market available in small scale industries. i am interested to set up new business in this field with minimum price to set up this.
  • jv said on December 14, 2012
    Milwaukee, wi. I'm in the process in starting a machine shop and I need some guidance on how to land government contracts and find customers willing to work with a small shop. I have a mechanical engineering degree and have been working in cnc for 8 years.
  • Amrut Kulkarni said on December 15, 2012
    Dear Sir, We want to start a machine shop. Pl.advise us about the same
  • SAGAR DHENDE said on February 1, 2013
    I am Sagar and in-charge of cnc machine i would like to start a cnc machine shop. i have the knowledge of machining process. to start with a small scale what is the minimum investment required and where and how to get orders for the above setup. My business location is MIDC Wagale Estate thane (W) 400606. Please give reply Shortly.
  • Paul M said on February 12, 2013
    I'm wanting to start my own small scale machine shop in the Austin Tx area. I've been a machinist for 23 years and want to work for myself now. Pl. advise on start up process. Thank you..
  • Collins Sweat said on February 20, 2013
    I want to open a machine shop in Nigeria, please advice me on how to start and where to get a lathe machine to buy. thanks.
  • Ravindra D Rote said on February 26, 2013
    I want to open small machine shop in Dombvali east at sagarli
  • jamal uddin siddiqui said on February 26, 2013
    i want to open a small workshop with low budget for fabrication and lath works in bahrain how is the scope of work and how much investment will be please guide me i will be thankful to u sir
  • Sachin Dhanke said on February 27, 2013
    I start machine workshop(small scale industry) i experience by cnc,vmc & cunversol lathe, milling, grinding machine etc. I want to start business in thane M.I.D.C. Maharastra, India.Pl. Guide me start this business.
  • rohail asgharl said on March 1, 2013
    i am looking for a machine set for a general workshop that has a good knowledge for operating a lathe machine general work will be making bushs threading in inches and mms. welding is also required. a general all rounder is required. basic salary 15000 to 20000 indian rupees overtime is there accommodation is provided contract is for two years. after finishing his contract a return ticket will be provided plus 42 days salary. job is in bahrain mobile 0097339459185
  • kamble rohit said on March 21, 2013
    i have complete diploma in mechanical and i would like to starting lathe machine shop. i have well experience in cnc , vmc ,lathe , machining process 5 years and i want to start business in (kolhapur dist, ichalkaranji. laxmi industrial estate please give me a guidance of starting a new business )
  • shoaib said on March 21, 2013
    I want to start shoe pattern upper cutting workshop with cnc cutting machine (portable) in low budget, in City Agra Uttar Pradesh, help.
  • Dom Steel said on April 17, 2013
    I would like to set up a machine shop in Solwezi district of Zambia. This machine shop will predominantly serve the growing mining industry in the region. The equipment will be powered by a diesel generator, which I believe you can provide a quotation for as well. A detailed business plan will be welcome as it will position myself for financing
  • Kwasi Owusu said on May 11, 2013
    Want to establish one stop modern machining centre in Takoradi City, Western Province, Ghana for heavy duty pipes, replaceable parts, assembling etc. Kindly advise asf:- Design, Construction & Equipment & Tools.
  • ali salem said on May 16, 2013
    i have workshop in kuwait aljahra city i want operator milling & lathe & welding machines plz contract. 009667798988 or
  • Shawn Terrell said on June 11, 2013
    I would like to start a machine shop producing solar products. How difficult is it getting a quality control manual approved for machine manufactured parts.
  • Segmat said on July 31, 2013
    Looking to set up a modern oilfield machine shop in one of the oil producing countries in west Africa. Could you recommend the minimum basic CNC equipment(s) and other equipment I will need to get off the ground and brand names. Also would you recommend used/refurbished equipment?
  • Carl Adams said on September 4, 2013
    Hi my name is Carl Adams and I'm the president of Adams machine. And tools located in York pa po box 7283 zip 17404 thanks very much
  • Atef ahmed said on October 18, 2013
    Hi every body I have big knowledge in oilfield machine shop and I look for a job. Please email me if someone look for a operator programmer CNC on
  • tobias said on June 25, 2014
    i am tobias 21 year i am in namibia i would like to start up small workshop in windhoek capital city of namibia .. looking for anyone could help with CNC LATHE ,CNC MILLING ,DRILL we can even do business venture n work together i study fitting and turning any1 interested contact
  • Suresh said on June 26, 2014
    Oilfield drilling tools manufacturing company in India looking for investor with all API 7-1, 5ct, vam , fox , NScc , armco and tenaris, ns-1 licenses. Location Mumbai. Apprx. turnover - 25 millions / year
  • Lav R Ganorkar..Chandrapur(M.s.) said on July 2, 2014
  • Sagar Dhaygude said on September 23, 2014
    I want to job for cnc vmc programmer in pune shirwal location, I have 4 years experience in this field & I Providing training & consulting of CNC programming to various companies as well as individuals since 4th Jan. 2013, so please guide me & help me...
  • VENKATESH said on October 4, 2014
    I am successfully running a CNC Machine Shop in Tumkur. Very Good Orders and running round the clock. Present Company Value is 60lakh and ISO Certified having very good Customer Base. While expanding the business i need like minded partners for sharing our daily work.Individually handling the business will be a tough task. Minimum 2 partners - each of investment of 20 lakhs and should be active partners.
  • Arif Hussain T said on November 2, 2014
    Operating and maintenance and installations. Like lathe milling boring etc machines in workshop
  • Zandile Nchanja said on November 3, 2014
    Hi everyone. I am interested in establishing a Brick/ Block Manufacturing Business in Botswana. I am in need of machines and business ideas. I have recently gone around shops here and it seems like there is no machine shop that stocks Brick Molders. Please help.
  • mallinath said on December 4, 2014
    what are the commercial products in demand in the machining field to setup a cnc machine shop in india please do reply me ,thanks
  • Damilola Ogundele said on December 8, 2014
    Hello people_ I want to set a spare parts business for airplanes and I need guides to setting up myself
  • DANISH IMAM QUADRI said on January 19, 2015
  • Ortho said on April 12, 2015
    Looking for business to buy in India, Bangalore, Plz send details to
  • P K KRISHNAN said on March 21, 2016
    I want a project report for making automobile components and railway engine and carriage components .Can you make it ? if so what fee?I can give you all data inputs
  • salim said on November 7, 2016
    i want to start business with machine shop and with 1 vmc machine so plz guide me how to take orders and how to manage the company


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