Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

July, 2002

Opening a New Paint Business

Q. Mr. Joseph, I'm having much trouble trying to find out whether or not a new business that I am seeking to start up would be in any way against EPA standards. The business is a mobile painting operation. This business would be located in various locations. I know there is several of these types of business already in this state and others, but still I'd prefer to know if it is legal. And if it is legal, what are the regulations and guidelines?

A. I don't believe that there is anything illegal about what you want to do. However, in terms of EPA and state regulations you must consult the local air quality agency in the state in which you wish to set up the business. For names and addresses go to and select the region in which you wish to set up your business.

Depending on the state regulations, you might need to apply for a permit to operate. I trust that your mobile unit will have some method for capturing the paint particles from the painting operation. The need for a permit will also depend on the amount of paint you intend to use per day, month or year. In some states you will not need a permit to operate, while in others you will.

Also, you will need to check with local fire codes to make sure that your operation will not pose a fire hazard. In this regard also refer to Nation Fire Protection Association Bulletin NFPA-33 which you can purchase by going to their website. It will definitely be worth your while purchasing this document and studying it carefully.

OSHA also has regulations for workers, and you should look at these to make sure that you do not violate them. I do not deal with OSHA regs and so cannot help you further.

You might need other permits for local agencies, but I do not deal in these and cannot advise you further.

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