How to Be a Cable Subcontractor

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Becoming a local cable subcontractor can be simple and a long-term career choice.
Becoming a local cable subcontractor can be simple and a long-term career choice. (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Becoming a cable subcontractor can be a simple process as long as you follow the right path. As a subcontractor, you become the owner of your own business selling and installing cable service within your local area. With minor start-up costs and education investment, a cable subcontractor can be a viable business option.

Find out what cable providers are offered in your area. Try scanning the local phone book or run a ZIP code search online. Typically, there are only a couple of cable companies within a certain region.

Visit the company’s website for information on how to sell its service in your area. Often, there is a link at the bottom of the page that says, “Become a Dealer.” Clicking on this link takes you to a company page that represents many cable companies. This is convenient; one application goes to many companies.

Familiarize yourself with the process of installation. While formal education typically is not required to become an installer, knowledge of cables and electricity is a must. To save yourself money, you can learn to do this yourself, or stick to the selling side of the business and hire out the installation.

Invest in proper equipment. As a local reseller, it is important to invest in professional advertisement, office equipment and installation equipment. Your vehicles should have your company name on the side as constant advertising.

See an accountant to be certain that you file the proper paperwork for independent contractor status. Unlike being an employee of a company, most subcontractors pay their payroll taxes yearly or quarterly. Discuss what options are appropriate in your situation. More than likely, the cable companies will require you to fill out a W9 and issue a 1099 for any money they pay you.

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