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  • #16
    ok here is what i found on why i would choose an llc or corporation verses a dba.

    http://www.businessnameusa.com/info/dba_vs_corp.htm

    all information is copied from here. these are not my own words.

    WHAT IS A DBA

    A dba is just a certificate you are legally required to file. It helps you open a bank account and be legal but it does not protect your personal assets because the business entity is still a sole owner. A sole owner is liable for all civil or financial liability that the business incurs.

    WHAT IS A CORPORATION OR LLC

    A corporation or LLC is a separate and distinct business entity - separate from its shareholders / owners. Thus, a shareholder's / owner's assets, such as a home, personal bank account, or automobile, are not at stake if the corporation is sued and a court judgment is entered against it for civil or financial liability.

    Only the corporate assets are at state. If the corporation has one computer and $1,000 in a corporate bank account, that is all that can be seized. If you file a dba and you are sued, you are liable for all business liability.

    Should you file a dba, Incorporate, or Form an LLC

    In general, if you are one person, and have a lot of personal assets, incorporate or form an llc. You will be protected. If you don't have a lot of assets ( such as a home and an expensive car ), you may want to just file a dba to start. A corporation, depending on the state you want to incorporate, or form an LLC, may cost $100 to $200 more than a dba but it protects your personal assets. A dba does not protect you. If you file a corporation or an LLC, you don't need a dba.

    Note: If you incorporate, the default type of incorporation is a "C" corporation. Then, you can change it to an "S". So, just go ahead and incorporate or file an LLC, you don't have to worry a lot about the type of corporation or LLC.


    goto the link for the rest of the info.

    in my personal opinion. i'd rather spend the extra money for an llc so if i ever were sued. they couldnt touch my personal assets. just the business assets.

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    • #17
      Lawn Mower: $1,500.00
      Trimmer: $500.00
      Blower: $200.00

      Marketing Material: $250.00
      Cell Phone: $100.00
      Gas Can: $20.00
      Mix Can: $20.00
      Trimmer Cord: $30.00

      Eye Protection: $15.00
      Grass Can: $40.00
      Garbage Bags: $30.00
      Rake: $30.00
      Tarp: $15.00
      Garden tools: $50.00


      Total: $2,800.00

      Does not include Truck payments, Gas, or Oil.

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      • #18
        Getting sued

        An LLC is a popular choice for those just starting out. I started out with as a sole proprietorship and got a dba that didn't cost me anything. But I also registered my business name so no one could take it. that cost me $100 for a filing fee. If I remember correctly I get to have that name for 10 years and no one in the state can use it even if i go out of business within that time.

        But in this state, you are not required to have a DBA or register your name or basically anything. Except licenses for spraying but that's about it. As far as banking, you could have the checks made out to you personally.

        The disadvantage of not having all this is that you can't open a banking account under your business name and your business won't have a banking history so you won't be able to get loans under the business. some banks require you to be in business for a few years before they consider lending your business money. So it is a good idea to at least get a DBA so you can open up a business accoutnt.

        As far as being protected from getting sued... Well the person can sue you as well as your company. so It doesn't really protect you if they decide to sue you personally. But i would say most would sue the company if that were to happen.

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        • #19
          Something to think about that most of us have probably skip, is a written business plan; no time like the present to get it done or at least started.

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          • #20
            When deciding between the llc and the dba, how much does insurance come into play? If you have insurance, wouldn't that protect your assets?
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            • #21
              I'm not sure on the difference on insurance rates between a LLC or a DBA. When I talked to my insurance guy, he told me it depends on the expected gross income, employees, etc. But didn't ask how it was structured.

              When you get insurance, you make a list of your equipment and insure them as well.

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              • #22
                I'm not sure on the difference on insurance rates between a LLC or a DBA. When I talked to my insurance guy, he told me it depends on the expected gross income, employees, etc. But didn't ask how it was structured.

                When you get insurance, you make a list of your equipment and insure them as well.
                Not sure how it works there but the tax side of it here between the two is very very different.

                As for insurance it's a wash and here is why, with a Limited Liability company your operating insurance may be less but you have to carry Officers and Directors liability insurance as you can still be sued as an officer of the company.

                Also in addition to faxing receipts of all equipment to the insurance company, I have pictures of everything I own on my laptop, backup hard drive and DVD.

                What bugs me on the insurance side is every piece of gear I own has motion activated GPS tracking monitored 24/7 yet I don't get any brake on rates.

                At the same time I would not set foot on a customers property without Insurance, just too much to loose, as for operating without a license it's against the law here and the fines start at $2,500 and yes they will catch you as the by-law police are out in full force year around, we were checked several times last year not only for being registered but they also went through the material data sheets on all the sprays we use.
                Andy
                Halifax, Nova Scotia

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                • #23
                  Great info Andy, hopefully some of these young guys will step up and get legal. It's plain foolish not to.

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                  • #24
                    just out of curiousity

                    Do they take your equipment as well or just fine you as you go?
                    What I mean is first offense, second offense etc...

                    After a certain point Im sure your done yes?

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                    • #25
                      Great info Andy, hopefully some of these young guys will step up and get legal. It's plain foolish not to.
                      I think if many that do things without a license and Insurance really thought about what could happen and if it did happen they would probably go ligit.

                      Last year on a tractor forum the guys were talking about things they ran over while mowing, it was something to read. I think the one post that really stood out was a fellow mowing very tall grass and hit a golf ball that launched and went through the windshield of a car, scary but if you consider the gear we all run it will launch whatever we run over.

                      Then we have the commercial vehicle insurance, I have been pulling trailers for over 28 years and consider myself well experienced yet I had a few heart pounding moments last year. One was when I was on the highway last fall pulling a 16 foot trailer with a tractor and the Dr. Lawn vac, a gust of wind came out of no where, even though I am running 6 ply tires, weight distribution system and sway bars, the trailer started to sway like crazy, without thinking I reached down and locked up the trailer brakes but in those few seconds it was enough to snap the sway bar right out of the plate and I was only going around 50 mph.

                      Another time I was pulling the 3 ton excavator and took an exit ramp off a four lane highway, there was a serious accident in a blind spot off the ramp, I might have been going 25 to 30 mph at the time and as soon as I saw the police standing on the road and a car upside down I locked everything up however there was no way I could get stopped in time and had to go between a concrete median and the car that was upside down, I cleared by less than a foot, I was wild as there were 4 police cars present yet not one was on the highway slowing traffic taking this exit so I stopped and had quite a discussion with the police and they quickly moved a car to the highway.

                      At any given time stuff can happen and it would be quite an embarrassment to get a stop work order while on a clients property because we were not licensed or worse yet and something did happen without insurance to protect us.
                      Andy
                      Halifax, Nova Scotia

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                      • #26
                        yep

                        I think if many that do things without a license and Insurance really thought about what could happen and if it did happen they would probably go ligit.
                        Do you advertise that you are legit and carry insurance? Do people even question that your company is?

                        We all know that some are and some are not legit. The question that i always think about is does that scare away people if you say you are, or does that help you? I have my insurance and license and its very affordable, but when I advertise I, always hinder the thought Do I add that in that I am?.

                        The more people who know you are, are they ready to sue you or come up with some crazy story that you broke there window or did damage to there roof or gutters or whatever to get something for free?.

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                        • #27
                          Do you advertise that you are legit and carry insurance? Do people even question that your company is?

                          We all know that some are and some are not legit. The question that i always think about is does that scare away people if you say you are, or does that help you? I have my insurance and license and its very affordable, but when I advertise I, always hinder the thought Do I add that in that I am?.

                          The more people who know you are, are they ready to sue you or come up with some crazy story that you broke there window or did damage to there roof or gutters or whatever to get something for free?.
                          Yes I advertise LICENSED & INSURED and I have had many customers ask. It is an excellent closing tool when you can say you carry 2 million in insurance.

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                          • #28
                            We do state that we are registered and insured. Just a rough guess but on lawn care all the gated communities we do ask for proof, residential homeowner maybe 25%, commercial all ask for documentation.

                            I have never had a claim nor have I had a client state that we broke something, however I sleep well at night and during the day when I have staff at several sights it is simply something I don't have to worry about.

                            We do everything above the table, I refuse to do cash jobs under the table, aside from audit issues you never know who the prospect works for, just a headache I don't want.

                            I don't think it hinders our business, prospects bulk at having to pay tax which has cost us a few jobs but that is the way things go.
                            Andy
                            Halifax, Nova Scotia

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                            • #29
                              Do they take your equipment as well or just fine you as you go?
                              What I mean is first offense, second offense etc...

                              After a certain point Im sure your done yes?
                              I asked one day as I was curious. A stop work order is issued and you would have to load up and leave until you have your house in order, if you left the site until the officer left and then came back and were caught then your equipment is seized and you would be facing two fines, that is a lot of mowing just to get even again.

                              So you would have the down time, up to three weeks while you did the paperwork to become registered and insured and may the good lord help you in the event of an audit and it is determined you were self employed without being registered. IMHO you could kiss your customers good bye as clients will not wait two or three weeks for you to come and mow their grass.

                              It's something that is taken quite serious not only by the city but by the provincial and federal governments, yet some still manage to get away with it. I think what they do is show up with a truck or van with no company name and maybe one employee, mow and leave. In this case if the by-law people were driving by they would probably not even stop as you could be the homeowner.
                              Andy
                              Halifax, Nova Scotia

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                As for insurance it's a wash and here is why, with a Limited Liability company your operating insurance may be less but you have to carry Officers and Directors liability insurance as you can still be sued as an officer of the company.
                                This is fascinating as I don't think it has been brought up yet. Can you tell us a little about this kind of insurance and when it comes into play?

                                Also in addition to faxing receipts of all equipment to the insurance company, I have pictures of everything I own on my laptop, backup hard drive and DVD.
                                Would you have to do this for both a dba and an (llc/scorp)? Or is this based on the way you register your business?
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