Starting a CNC Shop

K.N.'s picture
MSC Administrator
Starting a CNC Shop

More and more we are hearing interest from CNC machinists and programmers who want to start their own shop. We spoke with Todd Adlon, president of American Manufactured Inc. in Millerstown, PA, about his journey in taking a leap of faith and starting his own CNC machining business after 20 years in the industry. You can read his story here: Are you thinking about starting your own shop? Share your story here.</p>


Me and a long time friend have been working for an aerospace shop for 12 yrs now and want to go out on our own soon. We both combined have the knowledge to run a small shop, be productive and efficient. The trouble Im having is understanding the legal side of things like getting a business license, taxes and such. I also dont really know how I would be able to fund this endeavor starting from zero. If there is any direction I could be pointed to so that I can learn more about the business side of running a legitimate shop that would be great.

Beth M.'s picture
Beth M.
MSC Metalworking Tech

Continue to be proactive. Get a lawyer and an insurance agent who both specialize in small business. The money that you spend upfront will always be less than the money you’ll spend on fines and lawsuits. They will deal with local authorities & sit in with you on zoning variance meetings where concerns would be traffic, hours, and noise, if you plan on running the business from a home. There would also be OSHA concerns. Certification & compliance may be subject to a variety of municipal, county, and state regulations.

Your equipment & electricals would need initial inspections. If dealing with aerospace accounts, up to date long form certifications would be required on all gages, guaranteeing NIST compliance and renewed yearly.

We would love the chance to help you with tooling & gage requirements. Please consider us for everything from your mats to your lighting & everything in-between.

Do you have a buddy that has been through this? They can advise you of loopholes they have discovered and missteps they have made.

My only other bit of advice, and you likely know this already but it bears repeating, is to not base too much of what you do based on advice you gather on the internet. Including (maybe especially) mine. I can talk your ear off about carbide and machine tools from 42 years in the business, but I am nowhere near an expert on a start-up. You can get some great direction and insight, but when it comes time to make decisions that involve legalities and sizable amounts of money, get expert advice.

Best of luck to you!!


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