Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Lawn Care, Landscaping, and Property Management Forums > General Talk

General Talk If it doesn't fit anywhere else, post it here.

When starting out. Should I get a business license?


General Talk

If it doesn't fit anywhere else, post it here.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 12-10-2009, 03:33 AM
psparaco psparaco is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Rosedale, Maryland
Age: 37
Posts: 199
Rep Power: 6
psparaco is on a distinguished road
Default When starting out. Should I get a business license?

If i were to try to get any commerical lawn accounts for 2010 season. Do most require the landscaping company to have a business license? Since i started my own business in april 2009. i never got a business license cause i was just doing residential clients and most just gave me cash or check. Plus i wasnt bringing in that much that would justify getting a license. i know as i grow. i will require the whole 9 yards with taxes, licenses, insurances, etc. I figured, if i could land 1 commerical account. i could ask for half the season's fees up front and that could pay for all the licenses, bigger equipment, a truck, trailer, etc. just exploring my options for next year since fall cleanup is just about over and the only thing i have left is snow removal. if and when it snows lol. " I never got a business license when i was a teenager either and i ran my business from age 15-19. I am now 32 and i know i need the licenses, insruances, tax id's etc. i just dont know when to get it all. I would guess if i had any commericial accounts, it would require all that but i dont know. any help would be appreciated.

paul
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 12-10-2009, 05:39 AM
picframer's Avatar
picframer picframer is offline
Andy
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,885
Rep Power: 9
picframer will become famous soon enough
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
It's the law where I live as is insurance, min 2 million liability for any commercial work and there is no real reason to not have a registration and license.
__________________
Andy
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-10-2009, 08:31 AM
CHEESE2009's Avatar
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
Dr. Scott - Ruler of the Underworld
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Switzerland, Grindelwald
Age: 73
Posts: 4,475
Rep Power: 10
CHEESE2009 is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by psparaco View Post
I sent a private message to steve and he asked me to post it here. this is what i wrote him

"If i were to try to get any commerical lawn accounts for 2010 season. Do most require the landscaping company to have a business license? Since i started my own business in april 2009. i never got a business license cause i was just doing residential clients and most just gave me cash or check. Plus i wasnt bringing in that much that would justify getting a license. i know as i grow. i will require the whole 9 yards with taxes, licenses, insurances, etc. I figured, if i could land 1 commerical account. i could ask for half the season's fees up front and that could pay for all the licenses, bigger equipment, a truck, trailer, etc. just exploring my options for next year since fall cleanup is just about over and the only thing i have left is snow removal. if and when it snows lol. " I never got a business license when i was a teenager either and i ran my business from age 15-19. I am now 32 and i know i need the licenses, insruances, tax id's etc. i just dont know when to get it all. I would guess if i had any commericial accounts, it would require all that but i dont know. any help would be appreciated.

paul


Well personally for just beginning I can't say you're on the wrong track.

I'm not 100% sure about this, but I believe a license is required if you make a certain amount of income on what you do.

You're plan is pretty solid. Residential customers never demand to see a license for lawn maintenance.

The only flaw would be you're pricing.

On the Forum:

Business owners can say, because you aren't paying taxes you are able to lower your price & low ball everyone. Though personally it's not a big concern.

I suggest to go about your ways until you decide to get into commercial lawn maintenance.

It's hard to build a business when your funds are being depleted at the very beginning.

And almost impossible to take out a business loan with no way to prove how to pay the bank back.

Example: "I want to borrow $XXXX, I have 5 clients for lawn service"

It will never work.

You gotta get your customers, even getting your business registered they will tell you it's not required until you have a steady amount of customers, & prove that it will be able to bring in a continuous source of income.

Anyway, this question is very difficult to answer. Everything depends on your location, goals, & whoever you talk to.

Just don't put a business name on your truck, or marketing supplies & you should be good to go!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-10-2009, 07:03 PM
Totables
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by psparaco View Post
I sent a private message to steve and he asked me to post it here. this is what i wrote him

"If i were to try to get any commerical lawn accounts for 2010 season. Do most require the landscaping company to have a business license? Since i started my own business in april 2009. i never got a business license cause i was just doing residential clients and most just gave me cash or check. Plus i wasnt bringing in that much that would justify getting a license. i know as i grow. i will require the whole 9 yards with taxes, licenses, insurances, etc. I figured, if i could land 1 commerical account. i could ask for half the season's fees up front and that could pay for all the licenses, bigger equipment, a truck, trailer, etc. just exploring my options for next year since fall cleanup is just about over and the only thing i have left is snow removal. if and when it snows lol. " I never got a business license when i was a teenager either and i ran my business from age 15-19. I am now 32 and i know i need the licenses, insruances, tax id's etc. i just dont know when to get it all. I would guess if i had any commericial accounts, it would require all that but i dont know. any help would be appreciated.

paul
Well Paul, just to answer a few of your questions.

1. I haven't had one company ask for my license, however they almost all have asked for my insurance certificate. In order to get liability insurance you will need to talk to an insurance agent to see what they need for you to get liability insurance. Most commercial customers require at least 1 million in liability insurance coverage. My liabilty insurance runs roughly 1500.00 per year. I have 2 million liability plus my equipment is covered in case of theft so mine is a little higher.

2. I doubt seriously if you will find a commercial account to pay you half the years fees up front. If you do let me know.

3. Federal Tax ID number may be required by your commercial accounts as some will want you to fill out a W-9 form. It doesn't cost you anything to get a federal tax id number. Banks will not open a business checking account unless you have a fed id number as well.

Last edited by Totables; 12-10-2009 at 07:05 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-10-2009, 07:53 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,199
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
If i were to try to get any commerical lawn accounts for 2010 season. Do most require the landscaping company to have a business license?
When you say business license, what are you referring too? Do you mean registering your business name? Or does your area require contractors to purchase a license to operate?

Quote:
Since i started my own business in april 2009. i never got a business license cause i was just doing residential clients and most just gave me cash or check. Plus i wasnt bringing in that much that would justify getting a license. i know as i grow. i will require the whole 9 yards with taxes, licenses, insurances, etc. I figured, if i could land 1 commerical account. i could ask for half the season's fees up front and that could pay for all the licenses, bigger equipment, a truck, trailer, etc. just exploring my options for next year since fall cleanup is just about over and the only thing i have left is snow removal. if and when it snows lol. "
With commercial lawn care accounts now, I would think you may be lucky if they pay a single invoice within 60 days. Some might hold off 90 days! I don't think there is anyway most commercial accounts are going to hand over that much money in advance. Everyone is hurting with this economy now.

Quote:
I never got a business license when i was a teenager either and i ran my business from age 15-19. I am now 32 and i know i need the licenses, insruances, tax id's etc. i just dont know when to get it all. I would guess if i had any commericial accounts, it would require all that but i dont know. any help would be appreciated.
Here is my take on all this, you gotta be prepared to win. There are a few things here that seem to be holding you back and they are very simple steps to take. Why let them hold you back? Why not get insurance and get your tax id and all that. Then there would be nothing stopping you from going out and building the business you want.
__________________
- 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.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-11-2009, 07:37 AM
Totables
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I have to agree with Steve totally. If you want to start a business and do it right, there are some steps to making sure you are legit and doing what it takes. The last thing you want to do is come across a really good opportunity to have it taken away because you didn't follow a few simple rules. I haven't been in the lawn care business very long at all but I have put things together that have kept me from the serious headaches that could arrise later.

1. In NC, you have to have a pesticide license if you are going to spray or lay any type of chemicals. You may want to check in your state to see what the law is. It cost me $55 for the class and materials. But now I don't have to worry. I also spent 2 days in class, but what is 2 days compared to years in college to make the same amount of money you can make in lawn care.

2. Liability Insurance: Check with you insurance agent for a quote. Normally it is really low and they can set up payment schedules for you.

3. Tax Id: This is up to you. But I suggest you call your local IRS office and get a tax id number. Business Checking accounts,etc... will all require this.

4. If you don't have the equipment to do commercial accounts, then start with the smaller commercial accounts. There are many areas and business that are smaller but pay well and you can do their lawns with the equipment you have. However, you do not want to spend all day on an account four days a month and only make only pay you 300.00 a month.

5. Financing Equipment: NEVER finance anything unless you can justify the payment with accounts you already have. Purchased used equipment if you can.

The key to success in this business is to get off you duff, and get out there a sale your services. Don't be afraid to knock on doors.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-11-2009, 08:29 AM
psparaco psparaco is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Rosedale, Maryland
Age: 37
Posts: 199
Rep Power: 6
psparaco is on a distinguished road
Default

Don't get me wrong. When i started out I wanted to get all the insurances, licenses, etc. but didnt and still dont have the renevue to do it. I was laid off from my engineering job. I made a little over 50,000 a year. so you can imagine its a kick in the butt to lose that much money. I managed to get unemployment but that was no where near enough to keep a roof over my head. So i decided to mow some lawns to make up the difference. I know i am slowly growing with my customer base and need to get all the legalities out the way. I dont have a truck. I manage to put all my equipment in the trunk of my car and the back seat. I know its slow now being almost winter, so I am using this time wisely by mass marketing. going door to door. Putting flyers in mailboxes, knocking door to door. Although i find knocking does no good when most home owners are not home when i am out and i am not knocking on their door after dark. Most wont answer anyway. So i mass print several hundred flyers, folder em neatly and drop them off in their mailbox. My small goals next year are to go full time in the business; get all the neccessary insurances, id's, licenses; buy a used truck and buy a trailer. I have to consider alot. where am i going to park the trailer when not in use? where am i going to store and secure all my equipment? I currently keep the mower outside except in winter. I keep the blower and trimmer in my basement. all fuels are outside always in a certain location away from any combustible areas like exhaust ports for my furnace and/or dryer exhaust. My big time goal is to move to a better area where i can park all my stuff at my place and keep it secure there. But wrapping up. I need to be able to bring in 800 a week (after all expenses, taxes) to come close to what i used to make and i dont don't come anywhere close right now.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-11-2009, 10:25 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,199
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Have you been thinking of services you could offer this late fall and winter? Are you promoting any of them?

Did you get any signs made for your truck yet?
__________________
- 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.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-12-2009, 02:46 PM
psparaco psparaco is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Rosedale, Maryland
Age: 37
Posts: 199
Rep Power: 6
psparaco is on a distinguished road
Default

I did print out a few flyers for leaf cleanup that i designed. Microsoft Publisher works great for that. I had a few who i did run into while dropping flyers off for that, inquire about getting their leaves cleaned up, but none called me back. I only managed to do 3 leaf cleanup jobs.

Now its almost mid december and i dont expect to get any more jobs for leaf cleanup. but as i am out passing out my 2010 lawn care flyers. Anyone i run into, i intend to ask them if they need their leaves cleaned up if they even have leaves.

Most of my current customers are aware that i also am doing snow removal, which isnt a problem since i live on a major bus route and the entire area is flat. so i dont have to worry about hills. the downside to it all. i don't have a gas stage 1 snow blower, nor have the room to fit it in my trunk and/or have the money to even buy one. So i will be limited to using a snow shovel, and a bucket of blizzard wizard i bought from home depot 2 months ago. and charging 1 rate for snow removal and an additional fee for salt application.

I am hoping for atleast 3 snow storms but in the past 10 years here. we get 2 major storms a decade. so snow income i cant rely on.

so i have to look forward to srping and keep working my numbers as for proposed number of clients for 2010 and try to come as close to it as possible. I made a spreadsheet with excel to help me calculate how much i earn mid march thru end of october based on a current and proposed number of clients. expenses from november thru end of february to plan for zero (0) jobs in that time frame so i can afford not to work then. If i do any leaf cleanups, gutter cleanouts, snow removal, etc. thats just extra income i'll have for that time frame. i do have 1 client who wants me to weed out his flower beds once a month which is an additional fee. I know what i want and how to get there. its just getting there is the hard part. but slow and steady wins the race i always say.

paul
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-12-2009, 09:12 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,199
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
I did print out a few flyers for leaf cleanup that i designed. Microsoft Publisher works great for that. I had a few who i did run into while dropping flyers off for that, inquire about getting their leaves cleaned up, but none called me back. I only managed to do 3 leaf cleanup jobs.
How did you go about dropping these flyers off? Did you stick them in doors? Mail boxes? Knock on doors? How many did you drop off?
__________________
- 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.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Business License TouchtonsCLC Starting a lawn care business. 4 10-17-2009 10:44 PM
Advantages of Fulton County business license VS. Atlanta business license? Fresh Cut General Talk 1 10-06-2009 06:04 PM
Starting new business CHEESE2009 General Talk 4 09-10-2009 10:52 PM
Business License jasonw Starting a lawn care business. 7 09-02-2009 07:14 AM
Business Tax Receipt vs. License? ba143 General Business Discussions 11 07-26-2008 09:42 AM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Need input on a bid
phlawncare
Today 08:51 PM
Today 08:51 PM
by phlawncare
0 7
Building credit
Matther777
Yesterday 05:20 PM
Today 06:35 PM
by Matther777
4 94
Spreading Weeds?
WesleySnips
Yesterday 09:46 PM
Today 06:21 PM
by kslawn
3 78
Have you ever had to...
SouthernRootsLawnCare
07-26-2014 02:41 PM
Today 01:36 PM
by Steve
2 106
From Concord NC
SouthernRootsLawnCare
07-26-2014 02:34 PM
Today 01:30 PM
by Steve
1 53
New from Texas
Livingston Lawn Care
07-25-2014 11:17 AM
Today 01:29 PM
by Steve
3 121
Echo Edger 'Neutral'
WesleySnips
07-25-2014 05:28 PM
Today 01:22 PM
by Steve
2 103
Single tree, mow customer
WesleySnips
06-27-2014 10:12 AM
Today 01:21 PM
by Steve
14 618
Left handed edging with...
SGL1
07-23-2014 08:59 PM
Today 07:39 AM
by SGL1
15 323
Echo PE 266 edger
stevef1201
07-01-2014 01:28 PM
Yesterday 10:14 PM
by WesleySnips
5 341
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
Yesterday 01:21 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
80 4,638
Texas lawn care company...
Livingston Lawn Care
07-25-2014 11:29 AM
Yesterday 08:16 AM
by Just for Cuts
7 185
need some help geting...
dalvan0
07-13-2014 09:28 PM
07-26-2014 04:39 PM
by BLC7
7 325
new trailer help
mattthelawnguy
07-11-2014 08:21 PM
07-25-2014 06:31 PM
by mattthelawnguy
13 494
You know it;s gonna be a...
stevef1201
07-25-2014 08:50 AM
07-25-2014 01:34 PM
by Steve
1 97
Customer letters
kslawn
07-23-2014 06:17 AM
07-25-2014 01:20 PM
by Steve
5 207
Got my first lawn job...
SGL1
06-11-2014 09:19 PM
07-24-2014 07:09 PM
by SGL1
29 1,271
Need help determining...
Jbss861
07-20-2014 02:33 PM
07-24-2014 01:11 PM
by Steve
13 389
Should I ?
googus
07-22-2014 04:06 PM
07-24-2014 12:10 PM
by Steve
4 223
My First Apartment...
SSLCtn
05-26-2014 10:17 PM
07-24-2014 06:46 AM
by kslawn
15 920
Crop Rotation Techniques...
eastsidelandcare
07-17-2014 03:47 PM
07-24-2014 06:38 AM
by kslawn
3 223
Selling lawns like...
eastsidelandcare
07-17-2014 03:51 PM
07-24-2014 06:28 AM
by kslawn
3 277
Scag new "Eliminator"......
ExtremeLawncareServices
07-20-2014 10:45 AM
07-23-2014 05:37 PM
by Just for Cuts
9 312
need professional advice...
Fiddlers_green
07-20-2014 07:21 PM
07-23-2014 12:42 PM
by Steve
3 213
new to me box truck
jrayb39667
03-06-2014 10:20 PM
07-23-2014 12:40 PM
by Steve
15 1,420
Lawn Service back in...
LawnCareMan280
07-18-2014 09:00 PM
07-23-2014 11:48 AM
by Steve
4 249
Overspray?
stevef1201
07-21-2014 04:20 PM
07-23-2014 11:39 AM
by Steve
3 159
Hello Everyone! Newbie...
SLKlawn
07-17-2014 06:22 PM
07-22-2014 01:53 PM
by Steve
6 295
Proper height for lawn
rob lederhilger
05-26-2014 08:01 AM
07-21-2014 02:53 PM
by LawnDoctor
9 674
Blade sharpener
Just for Cuts
07-04-2014 12:31 PM
07-21-2014 01:48 PM
by Steve
9 522
What's my business worth?
Chaz
07-16-2014 01:35 PM
07-21-2014 01:45 PM
by Steve
4 305
1.5 Acre Jungle
WesleySnips
07-15-2014 05:57 PM
07-20-2014 11:31 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
21 619
Gopher schedule software
Ray
07-18-2014 04:13 PM
07-18-2014 04:13 PM
by Ray
0 197
2006 Chevy fuel pump...
KevinsLawns
07-17-2014 08:39 PM
07-18-2014 11:51 AM
by Steve
1 191
Halfway point of year!
Steve
07-01-2014 12:08 PM
07-18-2014 11:38 AM
by Steve
14 753
I got told to leave and...
gwilson98
06-16-2014 02:07 PM
07-17-2014 11:43 AM
by Steve
16 1,070
Hey guys this is the...
prmenter@gmail.com
07-07-2014 08:23 PM
07-16-2014 08:10 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
28 797
Mowing the hills
prmenter@gmail.com
07-08-2014 12:22 PM
07-16-2014 05:00 PM
by Just for Cuts
18 722
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
07-15-2014 05:38 PM
by icon2000
1,184 320,689
Classified Ad Template...
bcfb
06-05-2013 02:40 AM
07-15-2014 11:16 AM
by Steve
15 3,744
Husqvarna pz 60
CDLAWNCARE
07-06-2014 06:50 PM
07-15-2014 08:53 AM
by kslawn
10 469
Lowballers
Chaz
07-11-2014 03:55 PM
07-14-2014 12:27 PM
by Steve
5 383
My new side job
Sprinkler Buddy
05-10-2014 05:23 AM
07-14-2014 12:15 PM
by Steve
10 842
Illegal spraying
GoGreenerKS
07-04-2014 09:11 AM
07-13-2014 10:36 PM
by GoGreenerKS
10 579
New Mower and Trailer
Chaz
06-25-2014 12:04 PM
07-13-2014 06:25 PM
by SGL1
7 592
What Fertilizer to Use?
acrajchel
04-07-2014 01:56 PM
07-12-2014 07:36 PM
by SGL1
21 1,914
Fuel and fuel additives
SGL1
07-06-2014 10:23 AM
07-11-2014 07:53 PM
by SGL1
15 580
Questions for a patchy...
jumcgee
07-09-2014 08:42 AM
07-11-2014 12:34 PM
by Steve
1 235
toro proline blades wont...
boog
06-25-2014 06:26 PM
07-11-2014 05:28 AM
by kslawn
18 682
Contents of Marketing to...
prmenter@gmail.com
07-09-2014 05:25 PM
07-10-2014 03:23 PM
by Steve
3 333
» Popular Tags
4wd advertisement article marketing auger bid butterfly gardens charge christmas lighting christmas light service courtesy call customers decorating escrow estimate exmark ferris first truck fundraiser gopherhaul grass gravely gravely 34" zero turn hills holiday holiday decorating holiday lighting how much to charge introduction john deere quik trac lawn lawn care lawn care business book lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care website leaf leaf removal lighting managing a lawn care business marketing mow mulch new buisness new mower outdoor environments payment podcast property management company push versus ride redmax reo scag scripts seo snow starting a business starting a lawn care business start up lawn care business steve stihl subcontractor theft toro trailer turfgrass consulting walker winter zero turn
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:29 PM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:29 PM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy