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View Full Version : I want a Landscape Contracting License


fredthewolverine
06-10-2010, 12:18 PM
I Live in orem, UTAH.. I am fairly new to this business and I have been working very hard to learn, read, sell and manage everything that goes along with having my own Business. I also network pretty good with a few Landscapers that have combined 30 years experience so if I need their help they help me out, so I am not scared to say "Yes I do that" to clients.
I really enjoy the rewarding feeling I get when a client is super happy with my work. So I am pretty sure I want to make this my career.
I got a call a few weeks ago from a Building Contractor and so I went over and did a bid I estimated the bid at $8,000. After a few adjustments I won the bid!! I felt like I finally accomplished something in my life!! When I received the contract by email it read " Before any funds are paid out I must show a contractors license" so I called my two friends and they said they don't have one either. They explained why 1) They can't afford to work for someone for 2 years that has the license and 2) Very rarely does anybody ask for one. I understand those reasons but I will make a lot of money by having one. So I did some research and found out that to get one besides taking the exam I would need to also either 1) work for someone for two years that has a company with a license. 2) employ someone who has a license and put them on my payroll for two years. 3) Give the person who has a license 20% of my business for two years.
I am willing to do anyone of these but I cant get hired everyone is saying that and telling me good luck. I put an ad out on Craigslist Looking for some one with a S330 contractors license and I have gotten a few replies but they have general contractors license and I checked into it and that will not do for what I need. So I was hoping someone on here can help me out.

Steve
06-10-2010, 08:24 PM
That is a very interesting situation.

I was doing some research on that license

UTAH LANDSCAPING CONTRACTOR (S330) SCOPE OF WORK COVERED: This license allows grading and preparing plots and areas of land for architectural, horticulture, and the decorative treatment, arrangement, and planting of gardens, lawns, shrubs, vines, bushes, trees and other decorative vegetation. Construct pools, tanks, walls, and patio areas when they are an incidental part of the prime contract, fences, walks, garden lighting (must be 50 volts or less), drainage, and sprinkler systems. PRE-APPROVAL: Applicants must gain approval to take the exam by submitting an application to the State Licensing Board. BUSINESS AND LAW: All types of Contractors in the State of Utah must take a Business and Law Exam in addition to the trade exam required for each license. EXPERIENCE REQUIRED: A minimum of two years of full-time experience within the past 10 years.

Holy crap is all I have to say. You need 2 years experience to get a license to plant a freaking bush? WOW!

Well could you consider subcontracting the job to another company that has a license?

Otherwise, I would think you might have to focus on customers not looking for a license for the first 2 years and get the experience needed in order to apply for your own?

What's your view on all that?

JP Landscaping
06-10-2010, 09:14 PM
That's some tough stuff. Here it's easy to get it. To do lawn care you don't need one but for some landscaping installs you do. so I just got mine last week when service magic asked for it. I just filled out a contractor's form with my EIN and company info. A week later I got my license. No test. just a $40 check with the form.

Check to see if you can sub the work out.

fredthewolverine
06-11-2010, 12:43 AM
Yeah it's tough, but I think that if I can hang around until I get my S330 license it will be worth it. I checked that in this County there really isn't that many Licensed Landscapers (license lookup app) looking at the big picture,but there are quite a few Builders so its easy to see how one of the big guys reached out to me. If you work well with contractors you pretty much work on most projects they get. Anyway last month I applied to Utah State University for there Residential Landscape Design and Construction Degree- the only one in the State, and today I got an email that I was accepted. I'm Pretty stoked about that. I'm going to call my advisor and see if when I get the degree if that somehow will qualify me, but I understand there is no substitute for experience. But my next step right away will be to find and network around, and find out who I can talk to directly who is in charge of hiring for the city. As a lawn maintenance whatever and see if I can get hired by them for now and if that would Qualify me. So Im going to try and work on that degree, like I said I am new to this industry and I have TONS to learn so I'm not upset. But I definitely see myself calling my Congressman or Senator if after Graduating and gaining experience from working for someone or my business, if after all that I still can't qualify then I will write letters. But my main Priority is to just keep bugging the landscapers for a job!! Even if that means putting my biz on hold I think at the end it will be worth it.

The Cleaning Doctor
06-11-2010, 07:13 AM
Start calling and writing them now. Government moves slower than a snail on a glue strip.

OR

Do the landscaping for FREE and cut the grass for $400 per cut.... LOL

MAKLawnCutter
06-11-2010, 10:10 PM
Start calling and writing them now. Government moves slower than a snail on a glue strip.

OR

Do the landscaping for FREE and cut the grass for $400 per cut.... LOL

Priceless... I just looked into the FL Statue... I dont need Sh*t... i am a licensed and insured business in two counties, i cant "design" them... the customer has to "guide" me through their design (loop hole) and i am allowed to install it :).

2 years tho!? are you for real? You should... use a container of liquid paper and change your start up date to like 6/1/07... thats fair, right?

"Slower than a snale on a glue strip" -priceless-

Matt

fredthewolverine
06-11-2010, 11:29 PM
Those are really good ideas especially the one about landscaping but charging for the mowing. But that won't work for contractors I spoke with the owner of the construction company and he said it wasn't anything personal he just does everything by the book. I'm cool with that.
And about changing my start date... I have to have 2 years working for a license landscape contractor and I have to have W-2 PROOF. Yeah it's Crazy out here!!

Steve
06-12-2010, 05:55 PM
I have to have 2 years working for a license landscape contractor and I have to have W-2 PROOF. Yeah it's Crazy out here!!

So ultimately what will you do about this?

fredthewolverine
06-13-2010, 05:12 PM
I am going to try to find a Job working for a qualifying Landscape Company.
2 years of work experience means 4,000 hours. I also found out that when I graduate with my Residential Landscape Design and Construction Degree
That will credit me with 2,000 hours. That will help me out big time. I am more interested with the learning and experience I need to be successful more than the money right NOW. Hopefully the company that hires me will allow me to still work my Biz on the side but if not I will shut my biz down, Because I feel it will be worth the wait and I will come back better. Although I do get calls ones or twice a week for landscaping jobs I only have two weekly clients for lawn care. So it would be best for me to work for someone now. I won't be losing nothing. Until I find a job I will keep doing what I have been, saying Yes to everyone about jobs they want done. And I guess I might start doing landscape installations and charge $400 for the mowing LOL.

Steve
06-14-2010, 07:34 AM
When you become licensed, do they give you some kind of sticker for your truck? I wonder how this is policed.

If it isn't and there are a ton of other businesses out there working without a license, that would really be annoying to put 4000 hrs into it and come out and have to compete with others who didn't.

NewLeafca
06-14-2010, 09:44 AM
When you become licensed, do they give you some kind of sticker for your truck? I wonder how this is policed.

If it isn't and there are a ton of other businesses out there working without a license, that would really be annoying to put 4000 hrs into it and come out and have to compete with others who didn't.

Here in CA you have to have 4 years experience. After you get your license then you have a contractors number that must go on all advertisements. That includes any signs or lettering on your trucks. In CA it is not policed very well. There are some companies that only deal with licensed landscapers and once they find the right guy you can get lots of work. Others will go with whoever they can get to do the job right and cheap. The only time it becomes a problem is if there is a problem on the job site with building codes or what not. Most of the time the don't care or don't check.

4 years is a long time but I found some ways to deal with it. Here in CA you can go to school and get credit for your education which knocks the time in half. However, I found out that you can work for yourself under another company. So this is what I am doing. I found a guy who is a licensed contractor and he was willing to help me out. So as of now his company is the parent company of mine. I still run my company the way I want. However, any bids for bigger projects must be done under his license number and approved by him. When the project is completed he must inspect the work and sign off on it. This still lets me work and get my hours for the contractors license. Plus it lets me learn by doing and thats great cause I don't learn from books.

Steve
06-14-2010, 10:00 AM
Can you do this as a subcontractor and still get the hours? Or how does that work?

In another post, one member said you needed w-2 forms to prove the time you put into it. However as a subcontractor, you would get a 10-99 form and I am thinking that wouldn't cut it.

NewLeafca
06-15-2010, 09:25 AM
Can you do this as a subcontractor and still get the hours? Or how does that work?

In another post, one member said you needed w-2 forms to prove the time you put into it. However as a subcontractor, you would get a 10-99 form and I am thinking that wouldn't cut it.

I don't know for sure if a subcontractor would work. My accountant had to set up a thing with the other company and I get a monthly salary from them. They send me a check from their company and this way I get a w-2.

Steve
06-15-2010, 12:31 PM
I don't know for sure if a subcontractor would work. My accountant had to set up a thing with the other company and I get a monthly salary from them. They send me a check from their company and this way I get a w-2.

Will they be requiring you to work a certain amount of hours per week? Will you be using their equipment or yours?

I found a guy who is a licensed contractor and he was willing to help me out. So as of now his company is the parent company of mine.

Ultimately, what's your view on why he is doing this with you versus simply finding another person to be a fulltime employee of his?

Also, when you say his company is the parent company of yours, did you sign some paperwork to actually sell your business to him?

I am sure many others are interested in this to try and find a way to get their license, so any thoughts you have on this are very helpful.