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CFD192
01-28-2010, 09:21 PM
This is Chris and I have just recently took over a previous mowing business. I already have yards and the equipment, my main concern is getting everything ready for taxes so I can advertise. I don't want to advsertise before getting my tax id and that stuff. So I was wondering if you could help me out a little with the process? I was also wondering the difference between LLC and sole pro. and which is better. I got a little gun-hoe and already filed for an federal EIN but it was sole pro. Is the bad? Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Would really like to get things rolling to advertise for the upcoming year.

Chris

Steve
01-28-2010, 10:34 PM
Hi Chris,

Welcome to our forum.

my main concern is getting everything ready for taxes so I can advertise. I don't want to advsertise before getting my tax id and that stuff. So I was wondering if you could help me out a little with the process? I was also wondering the difference between LLC and sole pro.

The simple difference is the sole proprietor business is YOU. You and the business are one. You use your social security # as your tax id.

With the LLC you are creating a separate legal business entity that will need it's own Tax ID.

It makes record keeping a little more complicated and that is why many start ups tend to go with a sole proprietorship at first.

You do get the benefit of separating liability for problems your business causes from you personally, however, if there ever was a lawsuit I am sure you as the owner would be sued as well.

I got a little gun-hoe and already filed for an federal EIN but it was sole pro. Is the bad?

Do you need one? Check this out http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=97872,00.html

Ultimately, what's your view on why any of this would stop you from marketing?

CFD192
01-28-2010, 10:51 PM
I just didn't know if I could advertise with a business name through business cards or flyers with a business name if I hadn't got all my information in line yet. I have made up a few different business cards and flyers just haven't went that extra step of going door to door. I am planning on it soon....this also bring up another question of "is now a great time to start the advertising?" Most mowing businesses in the area haven't yet, which I thought now would be great to get the extra step up on other businesses.

Steve
01-28-2010, 11:09 PM
We just had a great talk about when to start advertising here

http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=10714

One thing to consider is, ideally you should never stop advertising. Think of yourself as a walking and talking billboard for your company.

Everyone you meet should know you are running your lawn care business. Hand out cards to friends and family members. Tell them to hand them out to their contacts.

I bet you know a lot of people. Harness your social network and put it to use. Get them talking about you.

StartALawnCareBusiness
01-29-2010, 10:29 AM
Honestly Chris, I think you should seek the services of a qualified CPA. State laws vary from state-to-state. Any information we can tell you here is pure conjecture and may not apply to the laws in your location.

A CPA will often give you a consultation for free and then will charge you as little as $75/hour. This price is well worth having the professional knowledge needed to get your business rolling ASAP.

Good luck:

Keith

CFD192
01-29-2010, 11:29 AM
Keith,

Thanks for the information. Most if not all the accountants I have talked to had little or no advise for me. I went ahead and filed for a federal EIN as a sole prop. and have also filed out the "APPLICATION FOR IDENTIFICATION NUMBER SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP OR GENERAL PARTNERSHIP" form for my state. My question now is, do I still need to file anything with the county. I read where you did if you were doing a DBA but with this would i still have to do this or not? Thanks in advance Chris

Steve, Thanks for the advice and link for the advertising. You are right in that I do know a fair amount of people. I am a city firefighter and get to know alot of people. I am taking in mind about keeping business cards on hand.

Steve
01-29-2010, 10:33 PM
"APPLICATION FOR IDENTIFICATION NUMBER SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP OR GENERAL PARTNERSHIP" form for my state.

I don't have any idea what that does. I dont know what the identification number is.

My question now is, do I still need to file anything with the county. I read where you did if you were doing a DBA but with this would i still have to do this or not? Thanks in advance Chris

When you register a dba with the county you can get a commercial bank account and then you can get insurance and you are ready to go.

The amount of minutia that exists is freaking amazing. Some states require a contractor license for landscaping. Some local communities require a contractor license.

I tend to subscribe with the start small and scale up as you go. No one knows all the hoops that gotta be jumped through. Take it step by step and don't let it overwhelm you or you may never do it.

CFD192
01-29-2010, 11:16 PM
Steve,

Thanks...I guess I just need to keep calling until I find the right person with the right information!

I am just trying to get my duck in a row, have worked for a person who didn't have any business name or anything, he just mowed. Well this past year he gave it all to me and I just wanted to start off on the right foot! I worked all last year, by myself and was very pleased with the amound of income with just the little amount I did. I have 12 yards all at min. $35 and have done several other odd jobs. I am very glad I came in contact with this site. It has helped me very much to find out about bidding and the fact that I am low balling the other small end jobs(gutters, edging, mulch, and hedge trimming). I have just be going on a $15 an hour for everything. This year, I just wanted to get everything in line since I will be the owner and taking over entirely. Thanks for your help

Steve
01-29-2010, 11:27 PM
I think if you can cover the basics. Get a business name. Get insurance. Pay taxes, everything else will fall into place.

No one knows every little freaking thing that some legislator has come up with to but yet another blockade in the path of an entrepreneur who is trying to get a business started.

One of our forum members has been in business for quite some time when he gets pulled over and told he can't use these certain types of straps to hold down his equipment, instead he needs to use this type.

It's crap like this that can stall anyone's effort to get started.

But if you focus on getting started, all this other stuff will be picked up on as you go, one way or another.

Keep asking questions and learn as much as you can, but don't let it put off your desire to get started. And always keep in mind that somewhere there is some law that you had no idea that was going to require you to wear a pink baseball cap on wednesdays between the hours of 3 to 5 pm because a legislator had figure it would refract the rays of the sun in a proper way and ward off drunks from wanting to drive in a school zone when kids are being let out LOL

It has helped me very much to find out about bidding and the fact that I am low balling the other small end jobs(gutters, edging, mulch, and hedge trimming). I have just be going on a $15 an hour for everything.

Oh boy! Make sure you play with the online calculators and estimators (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?p=43299#post43299). You probably should be charging triple that per hour!