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flinters17
06-28-2011, 11:45 PM
So here's my situation. I plan to start mowing lawns with my brother next summer to earn some money before I go back to college. It's not a permanent thing, as I come home in mid-May and return to school on Labor Day. We plan to get a cheap used riding mower and few other pieces of equipment, with a start up cost of approximately $1000.

We live in a rural area, and would mostly be mowing lawns for elderly people and people who don't have time to mow.

Would we need to register this as a business in order to do this? And if so, would we need insurance to cover us? Or would we be able to offer this as a service that we charge for and not have to register as a business?

Also, would we be able to re-earn our $1000 and then make profit? Or is this whole idea not even worth the time?

Liberty Landscaping LLC
06-29-2011, 11:21 AM
Hi
You would have to talk to someone in your town/county and your state to see what laws cover your area. You didn't mention where your from so it's hard to give further input on insurance and naming of the business. I would say your going to have a hard time finding customers depending on when your season begins and ends if it's prior to may and after labor day. Unless you have someone that can cover your voids. Not sure the age of your brother and what have you. Not sure if 1k is going to cover the mower and equipment. If your going to use a riding mower and not just do your neighborhood your probably going to need a trailer or ramps for a truck too. Don't get in trouble check into the laws. Good luck!

Rodriguez11
06-29-2011, 12:58 PM
Liberty is right about checking with laws in your local area. As far as the MONEY goes, it is going to be up to how much you actually spend, your cost running equipment, truck and repairs.. Also, it will be up to YOU to find the customers to be able to cover all this cost.. But just remember all your fixed cost, being mower, weedeater, blower, etc. and all the variable cost- fuel, oil, blades, weedeater line, etc. Just come up with a figure for what that will cost you and a figure for what you could approx get for yards in your area that you plan to service. Add it all up and compare it and set a goal on how many you need to break even and how many you need to profit.

Fisher
06-29-2011, 04:04 PM
As said above, you will want to check the laws and licensing requirement in your town as well as any area around you. In TN basically any actions, services, or products the generate $1,500 per year in gross revenues require a business license. Not only does this apply for the city and county we are registered in, but also in neighboring counties/towns/cities as they sometimes require you to pay for doing business there as well.

Though if you're small some choose to disregard the laws, licensing, insuring requirements all together. If caught may pay a small fine and have to account for income and taxes later. I am quite certain that there are kids on summer break doing jobs for half of hour rates and possibly netting >50% more than we would on those same jobs.

Rodriguez11
06-29-2011, 04:22 PM
Here I only pay $17 for a business license per year. So it wouldnt be a big deal if that's about the price yalls will be. Check it out and see, but like fisher said there are plenty out there that are doing summer jobs and probably arent going to get messed with because they arent making enough to worry with.

Hedgemaster
06-29-2011, 09:54 PM
Oh, you're the reason I'm only getting $30 for what should be a $40 cut.

"We were paying a college kid $25 to cut it last year."

Just kidding. Sort of.



I can't comment on the feasibility of what you propose, but I can be pretty sure that if you're doing ANYTHING that involves someone handing you money for a service, there are legal requirements that you need to comply with.

flinters17
06-29-2011, 11:13 PM
Thanks for all the tips guys. I called some people today and they told me I'd have to register as a trade name, which costs $50 for five years. Not bad! I'm not real worried about finding enough lawns to mow, I'm sure there are plenty, I'm just hoping a cheap used riding mower and some other gear can do the job. We don't have the kind of money lying around to get the new equipment, and don't want to even think about loans. We found a pretty good riding mower on craigslist that runs really well, so we're just gonna sharpen the blades and tune it up and use it as our primary mower. Not sure what we plan to charge per lawn, but probably around $30-$50, depending on size...

Fisher
06-30-2011, 06:36 AM
Here I only pay $17 for a business license per year. So it wouldnt be a big deal if that's about the price yalls will be. Check it out and see, but like fisher said there are plenty out there that are doing summer jobs and probably arent going to get messed with because they arent making enough to worry with.

But once you get that business license city and county a few other things will happen, at least here it does.

They will send you a personal property schedule to record all your equipment and tools on, they notify the state that there is a new business and the state will send an inquiry to you wanting to know who is a partner a sub or an employee so that you properly pay your SUTA and FUTA taxes. Once they learn this you of course will have to show that you have workers comp. insurance. That insurance certificate here alone and without any actual coverage is $750. In TN even the owner has to be covered with additional premiums or they can pay the state $200 for an exemption.

Steve
06-30-2011, 12:20 PM
Hi flinters,

Welcome to our forum.

Put your feelers out through your friends and family and see if you can line us some people you already know to be customers. Once you get one or two, you should feel a lot more comfortable getting more.

Try using equipment you already have or can get for cheap, before you go out there spending any additional money.

Keep us posted on how all this goes for you.