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  • How to start?

    Hi I am John new to the forum. I retired from the Navy last year after 20 years and am currently a federal civilian. I will be relocating to San Antonio in March when my wife returns from Afghanistan.

    So I have a strong desire to start a lawn care business (Sole owner) not trying to get rich just thought I could make some good money and enjoy the outdoors.

    My questions how much federal tax do you have to pay? Do you pay each quarter?

    As a sole proprietor do I need an FEIN or do I use my SSN?

    Can I start with a zero turn mower, push mower, edge trimmer, blower and trailer. I own a 2006 Dodge Ram Quad Cab so that portion is taken care of.

    Sorry for so many questions but this is a serious step to take and I dont want to mess up with taxes. I know a Church that got behind on taxes and owe the IRS over 70,000.


    Retired Chief

  • #2
    Hi John, great to have you on the board.

    You raise good questions concerning taxes. *Of course, no one here can answer your specific tax questions. *

    A self-employed LCO can often use a SSN and often is required to pay quarterly estimated tax payments. *So, your questions are on the right track. *

    I readily advise getting a CPA to help professionally guide you in the correct method of legally setting up your business. *A CPA might only charge you $100 to file all paperwork (local and federal) and explain reporting requirements to you. *This will be money well spent.

    Read this page on the IRS website will help answer your questions:

    Do you already have your equipment? *The equipment you mention is plenty when you are starting out.

    If you haven't already purchased your equipment, tell us what type of lawns you are looking at doing (flat, small, hilly, fescue, etc) and we can give you some great guidelines.

    Thanks and good luck with your lawn care business.

    Start a profitable lawn care business.


    • #3
      I do not have any equipment. I own 3.23 acres in Georgia and was planning on doing this in the next 5 years as my wife will retire from the US Air Force. I was thinking on starting in San Antonio, Texas next year and then shift to GA but I am not sure of the legal requirments.

      I was planning on getting my equipment piece by peace before I start. Regardless if I get the equipment for my business I will need it all to maintain my land so I think its a win/win situation.

      I was doing some reading on the IRS web site and according to them if I am sole owner then I would have to pay quarterly taxes to IRS (1040-ES Forms) at 15.3% if I make less then $102,000.

      So my plan is to cut residential homes in GA and or TX and to bring in at least $2,000 per month.

      I am new to this is $2,000 resonable by myself? I am very skilled in internet web sites, advertising and making brochures, cards, ect so I have that aspect covered as well as advertising. Right now I pay around $200 to a neighbor to cut my 3.23 acres in GA about ever 2 or 3 months.


      • #4
        Do the math on $2000/month and subtract taxes, insurance, equipment, fuel, maintenance & repairs, labor, etc. to end up at the bottom line.


        • #5
          Thanks for the reply. Actually I guess I would like to make 2,000 after the taxes, fuel, ect... I will be doing all the labor myself.


          • #6
            Hi John,

            Welcome to our forum. Why not get started now on a small scale to get things running?

            Get a small push mower and start doing some small lawns in your area and then scale up?
            - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
            Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.


            • #7
              I would however my wife is in Afghanistan right now fighting in the war and I have twin boys that are age 4 so my time is consumed. I am thinking I will do this when we move to Texas in March.

              I am in the posistion right now where I can piece together some tools and equipment before I start.


              • #8
                Hi John,

                I can't even imagine how all this must be for you.

                Could you benefit from doing one or two lawns in your area? Would that help you feel like you have your business machine moving?

                If not, I can understand.

                Maybe there is another business idea you could start now that wouldn't take time away from your twins?

                Could you offer a lawn care business phone answering service? We have been talking about that on here for a while and haven't found anyone to offer it yet.

                Maybe there are other services you could offer to get your business up and running now?
                - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.


                • #9
                  I thank God for His strength in my life. I also have over 20 years of military service so I can deal with it. My wife will be coming home next month for 2 weeks mid-tour then we will head to Georgia to visit family and cut our 3.23 Acres of land. *

                  I am currently working on a professional logo design and will post it once I make the final preps. I tend to think to have my logo, name up and running first and foremost. I have money coming in so I am taking this from the approach to make my professional appearance first and do my homework before getting out and mowing.

                  You know before I joined the US Navy in 1987 I had over 5,000 in my bank account from cutting grass and shoveling snow. I had my faithful customers.

                  I think if I present my professional appearance then I can gain the more customers. So I am in the process of making my logo, business cards, web site and will get a magnetic sign for my truck before I move forward. I think this is the best approach for me.


                  • #10
                    Excellent. I am looking forwards to seeing what you create!

                    Can you tell us how you feel your time in the military will effect your ability to start your business now?

                    How do you think you will do things differently than before you were in the military?
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                    Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.


                    • #11
                      The military teaches discipline as well I was a Chief, I managed and evaluated many people. However, I was a hard worker before I joined the military as stated I had saved over 5,000 from cutting lawns as a teen.


                      • #12
                        Did many of your friends leave the military and start businesses of their own or no?
                        - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                        Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.


                        • #13
                          No one just retired and stayed in Japan working for CSC he is a network manager making 6 figures. Another person I know is managing a pool company in FL the rest are still in the military serving. I would still be in the Navy if my wife was in the Air Force but I had to retire to raise my boys now since I already gave 20 years to our country.

                          Well I have an update. I have my logo being designed now and will be done in the next 24hours. I plan to get a mower, edeger and blower and make some flyers, business cards and hit a few homes in the area to test the waters.


                          • #14
                            Here is the logo. John you did a great job at it too!

                            Do you have any pics of you when you were in the military?

                            If you do, I'd love to see them.

                            I think your pics and story will help inspire other veterans to get their lawn care usiness started as well.

                            This would be a great story to include in a future GopherHaul episode.

                            - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                            Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.


                            • #15
                              Thanks. Sorry I dont know your name are you the guy on all the videos named Steve?

                              I have to look for pictures but are you thinking of making me a youtube video star? Just kidding I think its great I found your videos months ago on youtube and got started in the adventure. I got to run but will get back online in a day or two. I got to put my twins to bed now.



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