Logging Business How to Set up a Lumber Yard


Des: Are you interested in getting into the business of logging and lumber? If so we’re here to help. Read on as we look at how to set up a lumber yard.


Did you know that right now lumber prices are continuing to rise? Are you considering starting a lumber yard business, but aren’t sure what steps to take? 

In this article, discover the process of how to set up a lumber yard. Read on to take your knowledge from 0 to 100 to start your own lumber business today.

What Is a Lumber Yard Business?

If you own a lumberyard, you’ll sell construction materials to both property owners and building contractors. Whether they’re building something new or renovating, you’ll have various types of wood cut down for them. 

You might also have roofing material, wallboard, hardware, and fencing available. You can offer services to cut wood for the length your customer is looking for as well. 

Create a Business Plan

Before you begin, you’ll want to create a business plan that highlights what equipment you’ll need, as well as staff, operations, and your target audience. It can be an expensive business, and you’ll need lumbering insurance as well. 

Buy Land

You’ll want at least an acre of land for your lumber business. This can include your showroom, store, and warehouse.

Check out warehouses that are 20,000 square feet or more. You’ll also want to contact the State Department of Licensing to see what requirements you’ll need as far as permits. You might also need to have a contractor’s license first. 

Ongoing Costs

While there’s money to pay upfront, you’ll need to think about and plan for any ongoing costs to keep your business running. This will also help you in determining how much to charge your customers. 

Some examples of ongoing costs are maintaining your inventory and payroll. You’ll also need to keep up with building maintenance, and any licensing necessary. 

Business Name

You’ll also need to think of a business name. Think of something someone will remember, keep it short, easy to remember, and easy to spell.

What name you do choose, you’ll need to make sure it’s not taken already, and register it. You’ll also want to check and make sure that the domain name is available for you to have a website. 

An example of registering your business is what’s known as an LLC. This protects you against liability in case your business is ever sued. There are DBA’s, Corporations, and LLCs. 


You’ll need to sign up for federal and state taxes as well. First, you’ll need to receive an EIN which is free to obtain. Head to the IRS website to apply for one. 

Items You’ll Need To Buy

When you’re first starting your lumber business, you’ll have startup costs for different items such as retail equipment, supply shelving, pallet jacks, forklifts, etc. You’ll need to make sure that you have the right amount of equipment which will be part of your ongoing costs. 

Check Out the Competition

Before you open your doors, it’s a good idea to check out other lumber yards in your area. See what they have, don’t have, and how much they’re selling their items for. It’s a good idea to make sure your prices and items are competitive to stand out from the crowd. 

Using a Business Broker

If you’re not looking to start a lumber yard from scratch, check to see if there are available lumber yards in your area for sale. While you can do this lengthy process on your own, it’s a better option to reach out to a business broker. 

A business broker with experience in lumber yards will understand the different parts of buying a lumber yard business. They’ll be able to make the purchase as smooth as possible. 

Promoting Your Lumber Yard

Reach out to your local audience by sending out coupons and discounts in the mail. Keep in mind that while you’ll only sell a couple of pieces to a homeowner, a lumber contractor might buy an entire truckload. Consider having a sales team that will go to different construction sites, and offer them different promotions. 

Is Starting a Lumber Business Right for Me? 

If you have the skills and knowledge about different procedures, operations, and building materials for a lumber yard, this might be the right fit for you. If you have the knowledge necessary, you’ll be able to help your customers pick out the right items for them. 

Franchising Instead

Before you start up an entire lumbering business, consider franchising instead. This will help you avoid failure in a business setting much easier. It’s a way to not have to do it all on your own. 

Get Help From the Competition

While a lumbering business in your town might not give you the tools of the trade, a lumbering business in another town might give you the information you’re looking for. As long as you’re not competing with them, they’re more likely to help you. While not all entrepreneurs are willing to help others, some might. 

Make Connections

Reach out to others in the lumber industry to form connections. You’ll need to stay up to date on any current trends and developments in the market. Look into different lumber associations you can join in your area, or online. 

Exploring How To Set up a Lumber Yard

Now that you’ve explored how to set up a lumber yard, you should be well on your way to starting your dream business. You should be able to also decide if it’s right for you.

Want to read more business advice? For everything from starting, to maintaining a business, check out our other articles today.