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  • Insurance/Company Name/Being "legal"

    Hi,

    I justed wanted to know if anyone knew anything about the state of PA regulations. Were starting lawn service and basic landscaping services and I am 21 and graduated college. So i guess heres some of questions I been wondering:

    1. Do I need insurance right away and Do I need insurance to have contracts with clients?

    2. Company name, what the process of registering it so no troubles with that?

    3. I see forum saying some people need to be "legal" can anyone help me out about this subject?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    ... 1. Do I need insurance right away and Do I need insurance to have contracts with clients?
    Most commercial accounts require insurance. Residential accounts you can really do what you want but if you blow a rock through someone's $1,000,000 stained glass church window you better have the cash to cover it!

    Too many things can happen that will cost you more than just your business. Get insurance, it is not that much money. Yes, you need insurance.

    Another point is that if you are going to apply pesticides/herbicides you need current insurance to even apply for the license in PA.

    2. Company name, what the process of registering it so no troubles with that?
    If you use your name as the business name, such as DeRoberto's Mowing, you don't need to apply for a fictitious name. If you use "and Sons" or something like that you need to apply for a fictitious name whether you use your name in it or not. If you're going to make up a name such as "Evil Prince of Darkness Mowing and Soul Torture" then you need to apply for a fictitious name.

    You need to apply for an EIN from the federal government to open a business checking account or else the bank won't cash your checks unless everyone agrees to make them out to you and not to the business name. It's free, do it.

    You need to apply for a PA sales tax license so that you can collect sales tax (mowing is taxable in PA). It's free, do it.

    3. I see forum saying some people need to be "legal" can anyone help me out about this subject?
    Here in PA "legal" basically means that you collect and pay sales tax and not much else.

    Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.
    Last edited by mark123; 03-29-2010, 05:31 PM.
    Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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    • #3
      If you're going to make up a name such as "Evil Prince of Darkness Mowing and Soul Torture" then you need to apply for a fictitious name.


      HOLY CRAP AHAHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAhHAHahahhahaahah! !!!

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      • #4
        UNHOLY CRAP AHAHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAhHAHahahhahaahah! !!!
        Fixed it for you.
        Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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        • #5
          You need to apply for an EIN from the federal government to open a business checking account or else the bank won't cash your checks unless everyone agrees to make them out to you and not to the business name. It's free, do it.
          Great post!

          Can you use your ss# when opening a business account if you don't have any employees yet?
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          • #6
            Great post!

            Can you use your ss# when opening a business account if you don't have any employees yet?
            Yes finally got my account today dont know how ive gone so long with out it. You just need articles of organization or something like that they found mine online, drivers license to verify your the one in the articles, and a ss#. I aplied online spent 10 minutes signing signing 4 documents a few questions to get answered and was out the door.

            As for the insurance I would get it as soon as possible but as mark said for residential customers its do what you want.

            Im gunna start another company if you dont mind with that business name if you dont mind??? Evil Price of Darkness Mowing and Landscape for all your landscape nightmares. It could work... it gets up to 112 degrees in the summer.
            Colton
            Mountain View Greenskeeper proudly offering yard care in the East Valley of Arizona.

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            • #7
              Great post!

              Can you use your ss# when opening a business account if you don't have any employees yet?
              My bank required an EIN with the business name. There is some sort of requirement to open an account now due to the Patriot Act that demands identification. That could have something to do with it.

              You can use your ss# for an EIN when filing taxes but to use the name of the business to cash checks written to the business you need the EIN. It may vary from bank to bank though.
              Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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              • #8
                As far as I can tell those of us who dont have employees and dont have EIN numbers the ss# works as a substitute they asked for the EIN but I didnt have. Maybe your right Mark varies from bank to bank but wouldnt know.....
                Colton
                Mountain View Greenskeeper proudly offering yard care in the East Valley of Arizona.

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                • #9
                  There is some sort of requirement to open an account now due to the Patriot Act that demands identification. That could have something to do with it.
                  Holy Crap! Aint that something! The patriot act got into everything! AMAZING!
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                  Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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                  • #10
                    1. Do I need insurance right away and do I need insurance to have contracts with clients?
                    I kind of have the same question, I live in WA and I have my Business License using my SS# (No employees). But for the type of insurance I would want to get, DO I just call my Home/auto Insurance rep and tell her I have a business and I need to be covered? Just in case I break a window or something bad happens. On a posive note, I just picked my first resident cust. yesterday Are there special places that give insurance to businesses?
                    What you see out here on signs is Licensed and bonded???
                    What shall I do.. BONDED?????

                    THANKS
                    www.painelesscreations.com
                    Visit us on Facebook
                    http://www.facebook.com/PainelessCreations

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                    • #11
                      I went through my life insurance guy. He referred me to another guy that put me through 2 months of questions and grilling and then said "We're not accepting new accounts in that area at this time."

                      So I called 3 places after asking my friends who they use. I ended up using Erie Insurance and I even switched my auto insurance there as well. Their price was 1/3 that of two other local insurance companies and they are known for being tops in the industry.
                      Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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                      • #12
                        So I called 3 places after asking my friends who they use. I ended up using Erie Insurance and I even switched my auto insurance there as well. Their price was 1/3 that of two other local insurance companies and they are known for being tops in the industry.

                        Thanks for the tip!!!
                        www.painelesscreations.com
                        Visit us on Facebook
                        http://www.facebook.com/PainelessCreations

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                        • #13
                          Im in the process of getting insured but I myself dont quite understand the whole Bonded and Insured. As soon as your insure are you bonded as well? I guess I could get that info from the insurance guy. Anyways I didnt make a sell with one customer and it was cause I wasnt insured and that didnt feel right to me so Im getting it done before I planed to. Just hated the feeling. Dont know why, I could care less if someone walks cause of my price and its competivie as it is so if they dont like it then go get less quality from down the street... anyways i degress.

                          DO I just call my Home/auto Insurance rep
                          Most of the big guys you get ur home/auto from sub out the liability insurance, but they handle your auto still kinda wierd to me. Still waiting on a reply back from the company I use. congrates btw on ur first customer.
                          Colton
                          Mountain View Greenskeeper proudly offering yard care in the East Valley of Arizona.

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                          • #14
                            Being bonded and being insured are two separate things. I don't often hear of too many lawn care business owners being bonded. You can look into it but unless you are asked to be bonded, it seems a lot of business owners just don't bother with it.

                            Here is a better definition on what being bonded is all about. From here.

                            Bonding insurance, often simply called "bonding," is a way of insuring against loss caused by a lack of competence or by fraud or dishonesty. People who carry this type of insurance are referred to as being "bonded."
                            People who work for companies that require after-hours access, such as a cleaning service, or those who work for companies that deal with large quantities of cash, like armored-car services, might need to be bonded.
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                            • #15
                              In Washington state in order to do any other work than lawn mowing, trimming and pruning you have to be bonded. As far as I know in all states. If you are putting in mulch, bark, gravel or digging a hole in Washington you are suppose to be bonded.

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