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doug1980
06-03-2009, 02:32 AM
Well I took the plunge...I registered my company name and got my business license. But now I'm unsure if I should get bonded or not. Also unsure where to get liability insurance. I doubt I will make very much this year since it will be on the side maybe 5 customers total. What should I do know to be fully legal and operational?

Steve W
06-03-2009, 06:07 AM
Well I took the plunge...I registered my company name and got my business license. But now I'm unsure if I should get bonded or not. Also unsure where to get liability insurance. I doubt I will make very much this year since it will be on the side maybe 5 customers total. What should I do know to be fully legal and operational?

I would suggest that you check with your agent that handles your home owners or you Truck policy. They can help you most of the time.
And as far as being bonded, If your not gonna grow much more than that I would not get a bond.
Good LucK!

Steve W

jasonw
06-03-2009, 08:03 AM
i called the place that dose my car insurance, its just the broker I called and they really sucked. Asked all sorts of questions, Said they would call a few insurance places and get back to me with a quote. Never heard back. I do not call and remind people they were suppose to call me. Its there responsibility to call me if they say they will so I assume they don't want the business and will call a different place today.

Steve
06-03-2009, 10:37 AM
Doug,

Congratulations on getting going.

Check out this post on lawn care insurance and let me know if it helps.

http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=8583

StartALawnCareBusiness
06-03-2009, 10:42 AM
Doug:

Congrats with your business name registration.

I believe "bonding" is a word that is thrown around a lot without a clear understanding of what it means.

There are specific types of bonds. One type of bond is a surety bond. A surety bond is, basically, a promise of payment by the bonding company to the organization you are under contract to. In other words, if you agree to a lawn maintenance contract for 1 year and then quit after 1 month, your bond agreement may help protect the organization against loss by your quitting. Whether it protects YOU or not depends on other factors such as the verbiage in the bonding agreement.

In my opinion, apart from bonding employees, surety bonding is the most prevalent need for lawn care companies bidding contract work. It placates the organization you are under contract with...which is good. Do you need to be bonded for your 5 clients?

Before you throw money after designations such as "Bonded" to your lawn care company, do your research so you know what you are actually buying and if it is needed and will benefit you and your small business.

Steve
06-03-2009, 10:51 AM
Keith,

Just starting out, do you think a new lawn care business owner should get any sort of bond or is it just too soon?

Should you get to the point where the customer is requiring a surety bond or an employee bond before you get either?

doug1980
06-03-2009, 10:55 AM
Thanks for all the replies. Yeah actually I was not going to worry about the bonding then did my research and well couldn't decide that's why I posted here. I think for now I can wait but eventually I want to have commercial accounts and my main goal is to bid on military bases then being bonded may be benificial.

StartALawnCareBusiness
06-03-2009, 11:14 AM
Keith,

Just starting out, do you think a new lawn care business owner should get any sort of bond or is it just too soon?

Should you get to the point where the customer is requiring a surety bond or an employee bond before you get either?

Steve: In my opinion, a sole-proprietor mowing 5 neighborhood residential lawns doesn't have a great need for being bonded. His primary concern, at this point, is determining his licensing requirements and securing proper business insurance.


I think for now I can wait but eventually I want to have commercial accounts and my main goal is to bid on military bases then being bonded may be benificial.

Doug: If you plan to bid military bases, bonding will be an absolute requirement. They won't let you "guess" whether you need it or not...trust me. Also, bonding will be down a LONG list of other requirements for which they will hold you accountable. Double, triple, and quadruple checks on your credentials will be made before your bids are accepted. Sometimes it's nice not having to wonder if you're in compliance. ;)

Steve
06-03-2009, 11:28 AM
With bids on such properties as military facilities, which kind of bond would be required do you think? Also would this be something where you would wait to see their requirements before you got it?

Also do the surety bonds cover all your customers or do you buy one bond per client?

doug1980
06-03-2009, 01:36 PM
Yeah luckily with my Military Career I was in charge of dealing with the contractors that mowed and applied pesticides/herbicides on my Base. Since I was the Pest Control Supervisor for 6 years I gained a lot of knowledge on how the military bidding goes and all that is required. It also helps that I am still a DOD certified applicator for pesticides and herbicides. For now though I went the Sole Proprietor route until I get a bit larger then I'll go LLC.

Steve
06-03-2009, 04:26 PM
Since I was the Pest Control Supervisor for 6 years I gained a lot of knowledge on how the military bidding goes and all that is required. It also helps that I am still a DOD certified applicator for pesticides and herbicides.

Do you have any kind of stories that you can share with us on different things that have happened when dealing with contractors?

What has helped them and what hurt them when dealing with the base?

What advice do you have to others who want to go about it in the right way.

doug1980
06-03-2009, 04:45 PM
Do you have any kind of stories that you can share with us on different things that have happened when dealing with contractors?

What has helped them and what hurt them when dealing with the base?

What advice do you have to others who want to go about it in the right way.

Well stories....sure got tons of them. :) It seemed like a huge pain dealing with the military. As was said, they are very picky and you must have references and your business squared away. One thing for sure never be the highest or lowest bidder...EVER! You will never get it. As far as the pesticide and herbicide application you will have to be very accurate and document every chemical and A.I that is applied and submit it to the Pest Control Shop or Public Health. Integrated Pest Management is a huge deal for the Military these days and is watched very closely. It can be very good money since we all know the Government Pays very very well for services. But it can be a huge headache too.

Steve
06-03-2009, 04:50 PM
Did you ever get a chance to look at the bids and see the price ranges and see how they break down their bids?

If so, did you learn anything from that you can pass on?

Also, is there anyway you could get your hands on a bid that was approved and show us how it was presented? Is this public information or no? Or could you block out any contact info? So we could learn what an accepted bid looks like?

Little's
06-03-2009, 11:44 PM
Great thought Steve, that would be great to see, if possible.

picframer
06-04-2009, 05:27 AM
Keith,

Just starting out, do you think a new lawn care business owner should get any sort of bond or is it just too soon?

Should you get to the point where the customer is requiring a surety bond or an employee bond before you get either?

Personally I do not think bonding is necessary, it covers employee theft at a clients house or business, this is something I am not worried about.

We carry all other insurance(s) workers comp etc.