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racerdude711
09-27-2010, 10:16 AM
ok so here's the deal, I'm 17 years old and have been running a lawn care business for the past 3 years. I've kinda been operating my business under the water for the past three years as far as taxes and insurance goes. Last night I just found out that my moms best friend just recently got married to a guy who is the head of maintenance for a huge property management company. They manage 38 apartment complexes within 15 miles of my house. So I talked to him and asked what the chances were that I could potentially get to mow a couple of the apartment complexes. He said it's a possibility, but he said insurance is a must. Also, I probably need to start paying uncle sam as well. Basically I need to no how to go from being under the water, to above the water. And the catch is that I'm only 17, which seems to make things all the more complicated. Any help and advice is greatly appreciated. I need to start running as a legit company.

Steve
09-27-2010, 10:58 AM
When you say 'under the water', that usually refers to being in debt while I am thinking you mean 'under the table' which would refer to not paying taxes on income earned.

It's no big deal. Why not meet up with someone who does book keeping and have them help you get started. If you don't have the cash for that, maybe ask a family member or friend who files their own taxes and they should be able to walk you through the basics.

Filing taxes is not difficult early on. The tough part is putting money aside to pay them.

You may or may not be able to get insurance now, I would contact an insurance agent, do a search on here to see what company others are using.

Also, you might find it more enjoyable to stick with residential accounts now until you feel comfortable enough to take on commercial accounts.

The commercial accounts are going to make you jump through more hoops now than you might want to jump through, where a neighbor or a residential customer, might even pay you in advance for your services.

Let me know if this helped.

jasonw
09-27-2010, 01:52 PM
Is it illegal in your state to own a business at 17? If so you are screwed, if not goto your local city hall, get a business license. Go to the county and file a fictitious business name statement unless your name is in the business name then you dont need the FBS. Start calling insurance companies "Home owners, auto" ask if they offer a business liability policy. Make sure you read read read as insurance companies will try to screw you any chance they get and the time you need it worst is not the time to find you are not covered. Dont let then tell you that your good to go, read read read and if you dont understand dont ask them but ask someone you can trust to explain anything to you. During tax time make it easy and goto H&R Block and give them your income and expenses for this year and let them do your taxes.

StartALawnCareBusiness
09-27-2010, 10:58 PM
An accountant (preferably a CPA) is very important at this stage of your game. A CPA will be able to lead you in the right direction.

I almost guarantee that you will be able to find a small-time CPA willing to do pro-bono work if you tell them you're 17 and trying to go legit. There is a filing deadline looming for most CPAs on October 15. So, if you start calling this week, I bet you could find one willing to give you an hour or two of free time during the next week or two.

Good luck:

Keith
www.StartALawnCareBusiness.com (http://www.StartALawnCareBusiness.com)

racerdude711
09-28-2010, 09:21 AM
K thanks guys, it looks like my best way of doing it is to get in touch with someone who knows what they're talking about, and I know there is a business teacher at my school that was previously a CPA and so I'm sure I could go ask her for help.

Steve
09-28-2010, 08:26 PM
Keep us posted on what you find!