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How to Start a Cell Phone Repair Business

Written by:

Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

How to Start a Cell Phone Repair Business

Fast Facts

Investment range

$2,450 - $6,700

Revenue potential

$58,000 - $117,000 p.a.

Time to build

1 – 6 months

Profit potential

$53,000 - $105,000 p.a.

Industry trend




Nearly every US adult has a cell phone that they rely on every day. But even pricey smartphones are delicate and can be easily broken with a simple slip of the hand. That’s why cell phone repair is a growing $4 billion US industry. If you’re a tech person, or want to learn cell phone repair, now is a great time to start a cell phone repair business, even from your home, and make good money. 

But first, you need to acquire some knowledge about how to start a business. Fortunately, this step-by-step guide outlines the entire entrepreneurial process required to launch a successful cell phone repair business. 

Step 1: Decide if the Business Is Right for You

Pros and cons

Starting a cell phone repair business has pros and cons to consider before deciding if it’s right for you. 


  • Good Money – Profit margins for phone repair are high
  • Flexibility – Run a mobile phone repair business from home
  • Large Market – With so many phones in use, demand is high


  • Crowded Market – Many large companies offer cell phone repair
  • Skills Needed – Necessary to be a tech pro

Cell phone repair industry trends

Industry size and growth

cell phone repair industry size and growth
  • Industry size and past growth – The US cell phone repair industry was worth $4 billion in 2020 after steady growth the previous five years.((https://www.ibisworld.com/united-states/market-research-reports/cell-phone-repair-industry/)) 
  • Growth forecast – The US cell phone repair industry is projected to grow modestly over the next five years. 
  • Number of businesses – In 2021, 9,413 cell phone repair businesses were operating in the US. 
  • Number of people employed – In 2021, the US cell phone repair industry employed 26,896 people. 

Trends and challenges

cell phone repair industry Trends and Challenges

Trends in the cell phone repair industry include:

  • Used iPhones, even if they have been repaired, can sell for six times the price of other brands. It’s estimated that about 30% of iPhones suffer damage in the course of any given year, and those phones are worth repairing due to their value. 
  • Ironically, as technology improves, smartphones are becoming more delicate, increasing the need for repairs.

Challenges in the cell phone repair industry include:

  • Evolving technology means that phone repair companies need to continuously educate employees about new models.
  • Because of the large investment some people make in their phones, more people are buying insurance coverage from their service providers. Those companies usually replace the phone rather than pay for repairs.

Demand hotspots

cell phone repair demand hotspots

What kind of people work in cell phone repair?

cell phone repair industry demographics

How much does it cost to start a cell phone repair business?

Startup costs for a mobile phone repair business range from $2,400 to $6,700. Costs include a website, tools, and phone repair training. This assumes that you will run your business from home as a mobile repair outfit. 

You can take cell phone repair training and get a certification through the Cellular Repair School. Courses cost about $400 each and the program can be done online in four months. 

You’ll need a handful of items to successfully launch your cell phone repair business, including: 

  • Nylon spudger
  • Fine tipped curved tweezers
  • Screwdriver kit
  • Plastic triangle opening tool
  • Precision knife set
  • Anti-static brush
  • Suction cup pliers
  • Magnetic mat
  • Magnifying glass
  • Soldering iron
Start-up CostsBallpark RangeAverage
Setting up a business name and corporation$150 - $200$175
Business licenses and permits$100 - $300$200
Business cards and brochures$200 - $300$250
Website setup$1,000 - $3,000$2,000
Cell phone repair tools$500 - $1,000$750
Cell phone repair training$400 - $1600$1,000
Total$2,450 - $6,700$4,575

How much can you earn from a cell phone repair business?

cell phone repair business earnings forecast

Cell phone repairs generally range from $50 to $100 for an average of $75. Your profit margin should be about 90%. 

In your first year or two, you could work from home as a mobile phone repair service and do three repairs a day five days a week, bringing in about $58,000 in annual revenue. This would mean nearly $53,000 in profit, assuming that 90% margin. As your business gains traction, you could do six repairs a day, five days a week. With annual revenue of $117,000, you’d make a fantastic profit of more than $105,000.

What barriers to entry are there?

There are a few barriers to entry for a cell phone repair business. Your biggest challenges will be:

  • The training required if you’re not already a cell phone technician
  • Competing with large companies that offer phone repair

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Step 2: Hone Your Idea

develop a business idea

Now that you know what’s involved in starting a cell phone repair business, it’s a good idea to hone your concept in preparation to enter a competitive market. 

Market research will give you the upper hand, even if you’re already positive that you have a perfect product or service. Conducting market research is important, because it can help you understand your customers better, who your competitors are, and your business landscape.

 Why? Identify an opportunity

Research smartphone repair businesses in your area to examine their services, price points, and customer reviews. You’re looking for a market gap to fill. For instance, maybe the local market is missing a mobile repair business or a low-end phone repair service. 

You might consider targeting a niche market by specializing in a certain aspect of your industry, such as Apple iPhone repairs, or electronic device repairs.

This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away. 

What? Determine the types of phone parts you’ll repair

Your services will depend on your training and skills. You can do smartphone repair, electronic device repair, cracked screen repair, or even computer repair. 

How much should you charge for cell phone repair?

Your prices will depend on the extent of the repairs. Most cell phone repairs cost between $50 and $100. You should aim for a profit margin of about 90%. 

Once you know your costs, you can use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price points. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.

Who? Identify your target market

Your target market is extremely broad, since nearly everyone has a cell phone. You should spread out your marketing to include sites like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. 

Where? Choose your business premises

In the early stages, you may want to run your business from home to keep costs low. But as your business grows, you’ll likely need to hire workers for various roles and might want to rent out a space for a phone repair store. You can find commercial space to rent in your area on sites such as Craigslist, Crexi, and Instant Offices.

When choosing a commercial space, you may want to follow these rules of thumb:

  • Central location accessible via public transport
  • Ventilated and spacious, with good natural light
  • Flexible lease that can be extended as your business grows
  • Ready-to-use space with no major renovations or repairs needed
cell phone repair business idea rating

Step 3: Brainstorm a Cell Phone Repair Business Name

Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:

  • Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out
  • Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better 
  • Name should be relevant to your product or service offerings
  • Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions
  • Including keywords, “smartphone repair” or “mobile phone repair”, boosts SEO
  • Name should allow for expansion, for ex: “Master Tech Phone Repair” over “iPhone Repair Specialists”
  • A location-based name can help establish a strong connection with your local community and help with the SEO but might hinder future expansion

Discover over 240 unique cell phone repair business name ideas here. If you want your business name to include specific keywords, you can also use our cell phone repair business name generator. Just type in a few keywords and hit “generate” and you’ll have dozens of suggestions at your fingertips.

Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these. 

Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead with domain registration and social media account creation. Your business name is one of the key differentiators that sets your business apart. Once you pick your company name, and start with the branding, it is hard to change the business name. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider your choice before you start a business entity.

Step 4: Create a Cell Phone Repair Business Plan

Here are the key components of a business plan:

what to include in a business plan
  • Executive Summary: A brief overview of your cell phone repair business, summarizing its mission, goals, and key elements.
  • Business Overview: Detailed information about the cell phone repair industry, target market, and the specific niche your business will serve.
  • Product and Services: Outline of the cell phone repair services offered, including types of repairs, warranties, and any additional products or services.
  • Market Analysis: Examination of the cell phone repair market, identifying trends, potential customer base, and demand for your services.
  • Competitive Analysis: Evaluation of competitors in the cell phone repair industry, highlighting strengths, weaknesses, and strategies to gain a competitive edge.
  • Sales and Marketing: Strategies for promoting and selling your cell phone repair services, encompassing online and offline marketing, pricing, and sales channels.
  • Management Team: Introduction of key individuals overseeing the cell phone repair business, emphasizing their relevant skills and experience.
  • Operations Plan: Details on the day-to-day operations of the cell phone repair business, covering location, equipment, suppliers, and workflow.
  • Financial Plan: Financial projections, including startup costs, revenue forecasts, and a break-even analysis for the cell phone repair business.
  • Appendix: Supplementary information, such as detailed market research, resumes of key team members, and any other supporting documents for the cell phone repair business plan.

If you’ve never created a business plan, it can be an intimidating task. You might consider hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.

Step 5: Register Your Business

Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.

Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business! 

Choose where to register your company

Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you’re planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to cell phone repair businesses. 

If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state. 

Choose your business structure

Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your cell phone repair business will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely. 

Here are the main options:

types of business structures
  • Sole Proprietorship – The most common structure for small businesses makes no legal distinction between company and owner. All income goes to the owner, who’s also liable for any debts, losses, or liabilities incurred by the business. The owner pays taxes on business income on his or her personal tax return.
  • General Partnership – Similar to a sole proprietorship, but for two or more people. Again, owners keep the profits and are liable for losses. The partners pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) – Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. Again, the owners are not personally liable for debts.
  • C Corp – Under this structure, the business is a distinct legal entity and the owner or owners are not personally liable for its debts. Owners take profits through shareholder dividends, rather than directly. The corporation pays taxes, and owners pay taxes on their dividends, which is sometimes referred to as double taxation.
  • S Corp – An S-Corporation refers to the tax classification of the business but is not a business entity. An S-Corp can be either a corporation or an LLC, which just need to elect to be an S-Corp for tax status. In an S-Corp, income is passed through directly to shareholders, who pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.

We recommend that new business owners choose LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation service. They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization, and answer any questions you might have.

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Step 6: Register for Taxes

The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number, or EIN. You can file for your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship you can simply use your social security number as your EIN. 

Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.

The IRS website also offers a tax-payers checklist, and taxes can be filed online.

It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure you’re completing them correctly.

Step 7: Fund your Business

Securing financing is your next step and there are plenty of ways to raise capital:

types of business financing
  • Bank loans: This is the most common method but getting approved requires a rock-solid business plan and strong credit history.
  • SBA-guaranteed loans: The Small Business Administration can act as guarantor, helping gain that elusive bank approval via an SBA-guaranteed loan.
  • Government grants: A handful of financial assistance programs help fund entrepreneurs. Visit Grants.gov to learn which might work for you.
  • Friends and Family: Reach out to friends and family to provide a business loan or investment in your concept. It’s a good idea to have legal advice when doing so because SEC regulations apply.
  • Crowdfunding: Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer an increasingly popular low-risk option, in which donors fund your vision. Entrepreneurial crowdfunding sites like Fundable and WeFunder enable multiple investors to fund your business.
  • Personal: Self-fund your business via your savings or the sale of property or other assets.

Bank and SBA loans are probably the best option, other than friends and family, for funding a cell phone repair business. 

Step 8: Apply for Licenses and Permits

Business Licenses and Permits

Starting a cell phone repair business requires obtaining a number of licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments.

Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as (DBA), health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific licenses and permits. 

You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more. 

You could also check this SBA guide for your state’s requirements, but we recommend using MyCorporation’s Business License Compliance Package. They will research the exact forms you need for your business and state and provide them to ensure you’re fully compliant.

This is not a step to be taken lightly, as failing to comply with legal requirements can result in hefty penalties.

If you feel overwhelmed by this step or don’t know how to begin, it might be a good idea to hire a professional to help you check all the legal boxes.

Step 9: Open a Business Bank Account

Before you start making money, you’ll need a place to keep it, and that requires opening a bank account.

Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your cell phone repair business as a sole proprietorship. Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.

Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account.

Step 10: Get Business Insurance

Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.

Here are some types of insurance to consider:

types of business insurance
  • General liability: The most comprehensive type of insurance, acting as a catch-all for many business elements that require coverage. If you get just one kind of insurance, this is it. It even protects against bodily injury and property damage.
  • Business Property: Provides coverage for your equipment and supplies.
  • Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken due to mechanical issues.
  • Worker’s compensation: Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
  • Property: Covers your physical space, whether it is a cart, storefront, or office.
  • Commercial auto: Protection for your company-owned vehicle.
  • Professional liability: Protects against claims from a client who says they suffered a loss due to an error or omission in your work.
  • Business owner’s policy (BOP): This is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one insurance policy, a combination of the above insurance types.

Step 11: Prepare to Launch

Launching a Business

As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business. 

Essential software and tools

Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks. 

You may want to use industry-specific software, such as Fixably, RepairShopr, or RepairDesk, to manage your bookings, schedule, workflows, invoicing, and payments. 


  • Popular web-based accounting programs for smaller businesses include Quickbooks, Freshbooks, and Xero
  • If you’re unfamiliar with basic accounting, you may want to hire a professional, especially as you begin. The consequences for filing incorrect tax documents can be harsh, so accuracy is crucial. 

Develop your website

Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism.

You can create your own website using website builders. This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech-savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.

They are unlikely to find your website, however, unless you follow Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices. These are steps that help pages rank higher in the results of top search engines like Google. 


Here are some powerful marketing strategies for your future business:

  • Local SEO — Optimize your website with details of your repair services and customer testimonials to improve visibility in local search results. Regularly update your Google My Business and Yelp profiles to strengthen your local search presence.
  • Professional Branding — Develop branding that emphasizes efficiency, expertise, and reliability, essential in the tech repair industry.
  • Direct Outreach — Forge partnerships with local businesses and educational institutions to offer specialized repair services and establish long-term contracts.
  • Social Media Engagement — Utilize platforms like Facebook and Instagram to showcase before-and-after repair photos and share maintenance tips.
  • Tech Tips Blog — Regularly publish helpful articles about common device issues and the latest mobile technology trends.
  • Video Tutorials — Produce concise video content that provides DIY repair tips and advice on phone care.
  • Repair Workshops — Conduct educational workshops in local community centers to teach basic device maintenance and repair skills.
  • Community Event Participation — Engage with the local community at events and fairs, providing on-site consultations and services.
  • Targeted Local Advertising — Place ads on local online platforms and community boards to attract nearby customers.

Focus on USPs

unique selling proposition

Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that set it apart from the competition. Customers today are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they are able to quickly grasp how your cell phone repair business meets their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire. 

Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its USP: “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your cell phone repair business could be: 

  • Mobile smartphone repair – we make house calls!
  • Apple iPhone repair without the Apple prices
  • Cracked screen? Fixed in one hour, guaranteed


You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain. But your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running a cell phone repair business, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in smartphones for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections. 

The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in phone repair. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership. 

Step 12: Build Your Team

Building a Team for a New Business

If you’re starting out small from a home office, you may not need any employees. But as your business grows, you will likely need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for a cell phone repair business include:

  • Repair Technicians – assist with cell phone repairs
  • General Manager – scheduling, accounting
  • Marketing Lead – SEO strategies, social media

At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need. 

Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Jobs.com. You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed, Glassdoor, or ZipRecruiter. Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent. 

Step 13: Run a Cell Phone Repair Business – Start Making Money!

Running a Business

Cell phone repair is not an industry that will go away anytime soon. With 97% of the US population owning cell phones, any phone repair business should have no shortage of customers. If you’re not already a repair technician, you can learn to be one quickly and start your own repair business for a very small investment. You can even run your business from home as a mobile repair service and make a good living while providing a valuable service. 

You’ve had your business education now, so it’s time to get your successful cell phone repair business going!

Cell Phone Repair Business FAQs

Is a cell phone repair business profitable?

A cell phone repair business can be very profitable since the demand for your services will be high. You just need the proper training so that you can do quality work that will bring in business.

What are the most difficult phones to repair?

The Samsung Galaxy S22 is one of the most difficult. The Microsoft Surface Duo, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra also make the list.

What are the most popular iPhone repairs?

The most common iPhone repairs include cracked backs and screens, water damage, battery issues, and faulty charging ports.

What is the most expensive thing to repair in an iPhone?

Replacing a cracked back is the most expensive iPhone repair. It can cost $400 to $500 or more depending on the model.

Can you start phone repair business on the side?

A cell phone repair business would be a great side hustle. You’d just set appointments for dropoffs and pickups when you’re available, and do the repairs in your spare time. 


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How to Start a Cell Phone Repair Business