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daddy03w
10-22-2012, 11:33 AM
Hello my name is Shawn. I have been trying to start my mowing business for a few years now and was finally able to get my step dad to get a loan for me. when we talked about it we were doing a partnership but im the one doing all the work, only because my step dad is in maintenance for some apartment complexes. do you all think since i am doing all thus on my own anyway should i break our "partnership" of the business and do it on my own

Southern Greens
10-22-2012, 01:58 PM
For tax and personal liability reasons, it would be best to set up some kind of organization. A partnership is better than nothing, but an Limited Liability Company (LLC) would be better. With this form of organization you can choose to be taxed as a partnership or as corporation.

To set up an LLC, you can go to the Secretary of State's website and do everything yourself. This a little cheaper, but more time consuming. If you want to save time, you can go to www.mycorporation.com. They do all the filing for you.

Oxfordlawn
10-22-2012, 03:25 PM
Partners are for one thing and one thing only....screwing :)

Take the loan money with payback w/ interest terms.

Especially starting as business with a family member...not saying it never works but tensions and bad holiday moments could definitely be in the near future

Steve
10-23-2012, 10:04 AM
Welcome to our forum.

I think you would be better off doing it on your own. Save up a couple of dollars and buy some used equipment to get your feet wet with this new business. See what you think of it and if you like it. Then you can scale it up as you need to.

Any time you get anyone else involved as a partner, it always gets messy and ugly and you don't need that.

Keep us posted on what you decide to do.

LawnCareMan280
10-23-2012, 03:43 PM
Hi


I was thinking if you are just doing the work do it on your own. I use to have a partnership and all my partner did was screwed every thing up. So I would recommend do it on your own. Thanks!


Travis

jsslawncare
10-25-2012, 07:23 AM
Pay back 100% of the money yourself. Most partnership's start out like your's of some sort and end like your's. Seek out advice from an accountant about your tax's.

Sprinkler Buddy
10-25-2012, 11:55 AM
I would talk to your step-dad and share your thoughts with him. I'm sure you both can come to some kind of agreement that works for you both. If not, dissolve the business and start over on your own before it gets to big and you can't afford to buy him out. Money makes even family do some stupid things.

daddy03w
10-28-2012, 03:39 PM
I have been in a long debate about what i am doing next year but my wife and I have discussed and are agreed that i am gonna do my own thing next year and basically tell my step dad that he can have the equipment and do what he wants with it, he will probably sell it to pay part of the line of credit he got.

my mom and step dad got a line of credit to help me get started but we talked about a partnership since i would be doing all the work and he was financing the whole thing to get started. but since we have started we have lost about 10k in some mulch jobs and about another 6k in mowing contracts because i had 3 potential clients that required the mulch jobs before i could get the mowing for the season. My step dad wouldn't give me the upfront money i needed to buy the topsoil and mulch for some decent size jobs.

So i have decided to start on my own with income tax money next year and my wife is on board with me for whatever i need to do.

Steve
10-29-2012, 10:35 AM
but since we have started we have lost about 10k in some mulch jobs and about another 6k in mowing contracts because i had 3 potential clients that required the mulch jobs before i could get the mowing for the season. My step dad wouldn't give me the upfront money i needed to buy the topsoil and mulch for some decent size jobs.

So i have decided to start on my own with income tax money next year and my wife is on board with me for whatever i need to do.

When such situations happen, could you either try and get the customer to pay upfront for materials or simply look to take on smaller jobs right now?

Indy Plants
10-30-2012, 12:07 AM
Steve brings a very valid point and very reasonable. In most cases I expect the customer to pay for materials in advance and they have never questioned it.

Existing customers, improved lines of credit with vendors and more cash flow make it easier to manage however it is pretty standard practice for me to charge 50 to 60% of total project up front with a signed agreement which will typically cover all material cost and part of labor.

There are some very good comments here about legality and an single member LLC offers great opportunity for a business just starting out. Partnership even if set up well are difficult and time consuming to manage and operate.

I would have to agree with sprinkler buddy about discussing this with your step dad, especially since it sounds like he has an interest in yours and his daughters success

Southern Greens
10-30-2012, 10:29 AM
Starting the business on your own will be much easier. You will no have partners to deal with, but a single member LLC would be a good idea to protect you from personal liability.

daddy03w
11-18-2012, 08:04 AM
When such situations happen, could you either try and get the customer to pay upfront for materials or simply look to take on smaller jobs right now?

The mulch jobs i had were not that big they were small in comparison to some i have seen done by some of the big lawn care companies around me. I have seen some where they are bringing in 3-4 1 ton trucks with stake body or dumpbeds to do mulch. I had one job that was topsoil and mulch replacement but everything else was smaller jobs that would've been maybe 1-3 yards of mulch.
my stepdads issue was that we didnt have a truck that we could use for the business to haul mulch so we would have to have it delivered.

See in total i lost out on almost 20k in jobs because of the mulch issue. I had several potential clients that wanted mulch and yearly mowing but to get the mowing i had to do the mulch also.

i have attached 2 pics of what i was using this year.
i will be using the escape still but not the same trailer and mower.
plan to buy a truck by the end of next year

My stepdad has now locked me out of the garage where he put the equipment and i had to tell 3 clients i could not mow for them anymore this year. but i did tell them that i would be able to work for them next year as a new business. I have also toalked to all my clients and reassured them i will be back next year, and they have all agreed to hire me next year on my own..

daddy03w
11-18-2012, 08:12 AM
Steve brings a very valid point and very reasonable. In most cases I expect the customer to pay for materials in advance and they have never questioned it.

I would have to agree with sprinkler buddy about discussing this with your step dad, especially since it sounds like he has an interest in yours and his daughters success

around here we really dont ask for upfront money.


i think you are thinking about father-in-law by saying "his Daughters" when neither my wife or myself am related to him except by marriage he married my mom..

Organic Ken
11-18-2012, 03:06 PM
Hello my name is Shawn. I have been trying to start my mowing business for a few years now and was finally able to get my step dad to get a loan for me. when we talked about it we were doing a partnership but im the one doing all the work, only because my step dad is in maintenance for some apartment complexes. do you all think since i am doing all thus on my own anyway should i break our "partnership" of the business and do it on my own

It sounds like you already have a partnership and your loosing money. Why are you wanting to dump your partner who put his neck on the line to get you $$ to run the business and now you want to walk and leave him with the loan? Talk about awkward Thanksgiving dinners from now on.

I would sit down with him and ask his advice on how to turn it around and then, once you are profitable, make a plan for buying your way out of the partnership.

Now you see why partnerships are never good. IMHO

daddy03w
12-25-2012, 03:58 PM
It sounds like you already have a partnership and your loosing money. Why are you wanting to dump your partner who put his neck on the line to get you $$ to run the business and now you want to walk and leave him with the loan? Talk about awkward Thanksgiving dinners from now on.

I would sit down with him and ask his advice on how to turn it around and then, once you are profitable, make a plan for buying your way out of the partnership.

Now you see why partnerships are never good. IMHO

he has decided to shut the business down and come to find out from my mom that he never had plans to continue more than just this year. Some other things are in the works that i have found out that my mom may be in the process of moving to Tennessee and my step-dad is thinking about trying to start his business down there. I told my mom dont bet on it because with the prices he has he will not get any clients. he was giving me prices that you only would see on luxury mansions, $100 for 1/2 acre lots something that would take 20 mins.
i lost several jobs because of that.
when i finally got him to look at reality he was pissed and said that its not worth it for him around here unless we could get into some really high dollar sub-divisions, but yet i was the one doing all the work.

he had issues that i never came over to wash and WAX the trailer and mower after i finished at the end of the day.

i have already talked to all the clients i had and all of them are gonna stay with me next year when i get my own equipment.

this is just some of the issues we had but I am starting my business next year and will continue with all the clients with no problems.

Steve
12-26-2012, 12:41 PM
Looking back on all this, what top 5 lessons do you feel you learned from it all that will help you into the new year?

daddy03w
12-27-2012, 06:21 PM
1. partnerships are bad
2. working with family bad

i thought i would give it a shot and see what happens, thought i could get it to work.