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Mowin4Dollas
01-16-2013, 09:17 PM
I will not be legit this year, but should I still create a website? As of right now I am a high school student trying to build his lawn business. Should I make one?

bruces
01-16-2013, 09:35 PM
I say why bother ?as your not legal,if the tax man sees it you could be hit hard ,if other legit lawn guys see it they could report you ,basically I dont see an upside for you .

LawnBoy0311
01-17-2013, 05:40 AM
I say go for it. Check your local/gov laws. But to be a so called "legit" business, the one thing everyone overlooks is revenue. You MUST make a certain $ amount before you can even claim a business as "legit". Let's say your lawn care company only makes 3K, the government looks at it as a hobby. Make sure you keep great records of everything though- just incase they decide to come after you.


Right now, there are thousands of websites in the US that aren't a real business.

CHEESE2009
01-17-2013, 06:37 AM
Do it.

Even if you aren't legal, Governments don't focus on websites.

I forget where my source is, but I know they can't do anything unless it clearly states that you are asking for money. Avoid giving prices on your site.

Just show your services, and provide contact info.

Mowin4Dollas
01-17-2013, 08:40 AM
I will be well under 10k this year. I keep a notebook of all transactions. Do you think I will be ok?

Steve
01-17-2013, 12:43 PM
What is keeping you from being 'legit?'

Mowin4Dollas
01-17-2013, 01:06 PM
My age. I can't get a business license or an insurance policy. The parents aren't going to sign for one.

brian'slawncare
01-17-2013, 01:10 PM
you and I are in the same boat. I'm not a 'legit' company right now because then I would have to deal with all kind of things like insurance and taxes. I chose to opt out of the website for me, because I'm pretty sure local governments use the internet :rolleyes: I had one to get me going for the first two years, but now I spread by word of mouth...It really depends on where you live. Where I live, my local cops have nothing to do (small ohio town) so they have time for this kind of stuff and need the money from fines. If you already advertise in other ways, go for it because those will getcha too.

pburghlawns
01-17-2013, 03:01 PM
I say go for it. Check your local/gov laws. But to be a so called "legit" business, the one thing everyone overlooks is revenue. You MUST make a certain $ amount before you can even claim a business as "legit". Let's say your lawn care company only makes 3K, the government looks at it as a hobby. Make sure you keep great records of everything though- just incase they decide to come after you.


Right now, there are thousands of websites in the US that aren't a real business.

Great stuff!! Thank you sir!

Mowin4Dollas
01-17-2013, 04:33 PM
Should I be worried about it? This is what I'm torn on.

stevef1201
01-17-2013, 04:39 PM
I will be well under 10k this year. I keep a notebook of all transactions. Do you think I will be ok?

Use quick books from intuit. It is easy to use, and keeps track of everything. you can get the quick start for free, and give it a try. I upgraded last year, and my tax man said he wished everyone used something this simple.

bruces
01-17-2013, 06:27 PM
no matter what the others say ,YES you should be worried ,you do not want the government sticking their noses in your life ,and when your working under the radar ,you do not want to draw any attention to yourself .A long time ago ,I took some work that another contractor thought was his ,he called on me [I was 12 and hand dug around a neighbours foundation to replace his weeping tile ] ,I ended up paying $4000.00 in fines .I think I earned about $1400.00 for the job .This would of been 1977 !

Mowin4Dollas
01-17-2013, 06:45 PM
Alrighty. Well that's scary.

CHEESE2009
01-17-2013, 10:37 PM
For just grass cutting alone, it's no big deal. Don't do anything to alter the clients property because that can get you into trouble.

Focus on pure maintenance. In the worst case scenario, damaging someones lawn is a cheap fix.


Again,

Do:
- cut grass
- lay sod
- seed
- topsoil
- pick up leaves
- trim small hedges, go for bigger if you feel confident
- weed flower beds
- add stones/mulch to flower beds

Don't:
- Dig holes, unless laying sod
- Build on and/or construct/alter property (incl: irrigation, beds, window-wells)
- Plant plants
- Fertilize (grey area; do if you feel confident, avoid destroying the lawn)
- Pressure wash
- take apart gutters to clear debris

Greg'slawnandlandscape
01-18-2013, 12:00 AM
I wouldn't use a web site I use email fax and a phone and for advertisement I use flyers. Even with a site you have to advertise it to get customers. A big advertisment is truck decals and a nice truck (just on that's clean and looks good)I'm in the same boat I'm only sixteen but I spent a total of 16 hours calling insurance company's one after another to get insurance without my parents signing and eventually I found sia and they have taken care of me ever since when I try to get a commercial property they fax the insurance paperwork for me.

Cashin H&P
01-18-2013, 07:05 AM
In my opinion, If you can not be a legit business, you should not be a business. What happens when you kick up a rock with your mower and it shoots out at a kid hurting him? how are you going to pay the possible medical fees? If I were you I would work for some one until your old enough to get the proper lic. and insurance.

If you are under 18 and you cause a problem at a customers house your parents are responsable, meaning the customer can sue your parents not just you.


Like I said just my opinion but I dont think you should advartise your self as a business if you cant do it right.

jsslawncare
01-18-2013, 08:09 AM
I'd go for it.

Cheese2009- Planting plants is the same as laying sod.

CHEESE2009
01-18-2013, 09:58 AM
I'd go for it.

Cheese2009- Planting plants is the same as laying sod.


SHHH! lol...

For example, if he went and planted a row of shrubs and they died within a week, it could be pretty awkward and an expensive/time-wasting problem to fix.

Sod is cheap, if it dies because it was put down wrong, it can be fixed without emptying your bank account... Unless you plan on sodding an entire property...


Also, grass isn't a plant... It's my wife! <3

brian'slawncare
01-18-2013, 11:03 AM
cheese, why not pressure washing? Is there really any liability in that?

Steve
01-18-2013, 11:47 AM
The one thing I was thinking is I would do everything as legit as I could. For example, I'd make sure I paid taxes on earned income.

Then when you are older, you will have a lot of the basics down and can easily register your business name.

You may want to register a domain name now, even if you don't put up a website.

CHEESE2009
01-18-2013, 01:28 PM
cheese, why not pressure washing? Is there really any liability in that?


Depends if you know what to lookout for, aiming up towards some sidings could cause some interior water damage, or make you the suspect of a problem if one ever happened. It's a fat chance, but here are some other crazy things that would be rare, but still interesting:

- Some brick sidings can crumble, sometimes old mortar can come loose.
(if you plan on washing an old brick wall lol, normally for webs and moss)

- Excess water around openings/vents (laundry/attic/ac,etc) can cause mold.

- Cheap window panels can become discolored or crack, especially ones with those tiny cosmetic looking shutters.

- Paint can peel off gutters.

- If any particular thing you spray has a protective coating, it will be removed with a pressure washer, causing early deterioration.



The only thing I use my pressure washer for, is to clear grass from the mowers decks. Too lazy to do anything else with it, maybe shoot a bees nest every now and then...


-

Unrelated.

A homeowner decided to take it upon himself to fix one shingle on his roof that was lifted. He used a nail gun.

What happened after?

He then had to replace his entire kitchen due to water coming in from the roof, and inside of the wall.
Tiles started to lift, and the inside of cabinets became full of mold - it could have been life threatening.

It just goes to show that one simple thing can have a snowball effect.

Cashin H&P
01-18-2013, 02:44 PM
Like I said before if you do not have the proper insurance you should not be advartising your self as a contractor. That is the problem with this industry, lowballers under cutting legit contractors because they can do the work for half of what us legit guys charge.

what happens when your mowing a $40 lawn and you shoot a rock into some kids head? are you going to pay his medical bills out of pocket? No your not I dont care how many lawns you cut you will be never be able to pay that. This is the reason we have General Liabilty insurance. I personaly carry a 1 million dollar policy for the reason I stated above.

If your not doing it legit dont do it at all.

Mowin4Dollas
01-18-2013, 03:44 PM
Thanks guys! I really appreciate it!

CHEESE2009
01-19-2013, 07:46 AM
In truth, I can understand why some people would like to test the waters before going legit.

It's one thing to cut grass, but dealing with clients, managing expenses, and learning about advertising is enough to have some people racing back to school or working under someone else, especially if things things may even become more difficult when the government starts getting involved.

The following is more catered to people who are of legal age:

There are a lot of questions that many of you may not know the answer to, which is why the thought of becoming a legit company haunts your dreams.

All of the problems you face now, can and will most likely be eliminated once you become legit, here are just a few:

- You can create your own contract that keeps you safe. Giving you more power over your clients and their shifty ways.

- People will trust you more, meaning they will be less hesitant when it comes to paying you in advance; you will often have the law on your side if the client refuses to pay you, especially if your clients did not follow your terms & conditions listed in your contract.

- You never really owe YOUR money to the government. Example:

Many people assume that the government wants a cut of your hard earned money, which is wrong. They simply want you to charge your client(s) extra.

Your invoice should look something like this:

Subtotal (your charge): $100.00
Tax (5% for example): $105.00
Total (the amount your client owes): $105.00

When the client pays you that $105.00, you simply give the government the $5 that was never yours in the first place.

The government doesn't want $5 of your $100, leaving you with $95.


Hope this helped!!! :)

CHEESE2009
01-19-2013, 08:01 AM
The things that you may also be stressing over, is managing your finances, and figuring out what to do with all those annoying documents the government keeps sending you...

Normally, they just want to be updated on how much money you are making; solution:

Keep every single bill you receive (gas, equipment, etc), and file them away in a folder. You should have a folder for each month.

E.g.; every gas receipt I receive in January will be kept in a folder labeled "January".

When you write down the amount of money you spent on the paper the gov' sends you, simply calculate your expenses - simple.


-

As for actually understanding the gov's intimidating mumbo-jumbo, I'd recommend for you to get a lawyer (approx $800/yr). You can have paperwork sent to him/her, and he/she will send it to you with easy to understand/simplified instructions.

You can even ask to have all government documents sent to their office first hand.

brian'slawncare
01-19-2013, 08:54 PM
That is all very helpful Scott! One more q: is there much liability when pressure washing say, a driveway or sidewalk?

CHEESE2009
01-20-2013, 05:42 PM
That is all very helpful Scott! One more q: is there much liability when pressure washing say, a driveway or sidewalk?


I wouldn't imagine so. In fact, you can probably use a pressure washer to remove weeds from interlocking brick driveways. :D

The one thing to consider, is if you are mixing cleaning solution in with your pressure washer, some chemicals can kill plants. Water alone can usually take care of dirty driveways.