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Starting a lawn care business. How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.

Wanting to start a part time lawn business


Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:18 AM
Tovar Tovar is offline
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Default Wanting to start a part time lawn business

I have a full time job working shift work for the cement industry. I am wanting to start doing this lawn business as part time work make a little extra money. What i am wanting to know is what all i would need to do to start something like this i have the mowing equipment to do the job. Would i have to get insurance or anything to do this work. I am only wanting to do this part time gather atleast 20 clients or so and try to keep them. Let me have some input thanks
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Old 07-03-2010, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Tovar View Post
I have a full time job working shift work for the cement industry. I am wanting to start doing this lawn business as part time work make a little extra money. What i am wanting to know is what all i would need to do to start something like this i have the mowing equipment to do the job. Would i have to get insurance or anything to do this work. I am only wanting to do this part time gather atleast 20 clients or so and try to keep them. Let me have some input thanks
I do the same thing. I work full time and do this in the evening, weekends and use vacation days if I have a lot of work scheduled. All you really have to do is register a business name with your state corporate division and get a business license from the city you are based out of. As long as you have no employees you are pretty much set.

Since we do a lot of work in the neighboring towns I have got business license in each town ($50 -$80 per year). We also carry liability insurance that runs about $50 a month. This work well with our advertising and allows us to bid commerical jobs.
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Old 07-03-2010, 02:46 PM
Tovar Tovar is offline
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What are the requirements for a business license? Do you need a landscape degree? Does this interfere with filing taxes at the end of the year for my full time job?
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Old 07-03-2010, 03:14 PM
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What are the requirements for a business license? Do you need a landscape degree? Does this interfere with filing taxes at the end of the year for my full time job?
Each area is different. Some towns require you to purchase a business license. Some don't.

There usually aren't any requirements for such a license to cut a lawn but paying some sort of fee.

Some areas require you to have a landscaping license to offer landscaping services such as planting and other landscaping services. These you will need to take a test for.

This has nothing to do with you filing taxes.

The money you make from your job would be on a w-2 form and you will have already had a certain amount of taxes withheld. The money you make with your business will be taxed too. It's no big deal. Talk to whoever helps you with your tax preparation to get specifics.
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Each area is different. Some towns require you to purchase a business license. Some don't.

There usually aren't any requirements for such a license to cut a lawn but paying some sort of fee.

Some areas require you to have a landscaping license to offer landscaping services such as planting and other landscaping services. These you will need to take a test for.

This has nothing to do with you filing taxes.

The money you make from your job would be on a w-2 form and you will have already had a certain amount of taxes withheld. The money you make with your business will be taxed too. It's no big deal. Talk to whoever helps you with your tax preparation to get specifics.
I agree! The best place I found is your states Landscaping Contractors Board website. They usually provide guidence about what you can and can not do without a license.

Start with the city you live in to ask if you need a license. They are usually more than happy to hear from you. In my experience they don't really review your business or operations. The want their money and to be able to include you in their economic profile.

Talk to a tax professional!! Chances are there are lots of tax advantages that you can capitalize on that you might not think of. My first year I was able to take the offical "loss" from my business and reduce my W-2 income and actually get a bigger refund. Even though I felt like I made good money, with all my deductions I was able to claim the loss. I can't stress enough how important it is to talk to a tax pro, they will earn their fees in tax savings.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:19 AM
JP Landscaping JP Landscaping is offline
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Default try this:

since I'm a tax perparer, and own a landscaping/lawn care biz, I can help.

on the lawn care side: like mentioned before, talk to your state and city to see if you need a license or permit of any sort. Here you don't need one for mowing but you do for landscaping.

I wouldn't get insurance until you have enough clients to be able to afford it. In most cases, if any, the damage you do to a home while mowing is mostly limited to breaking a window or something of that sort from things shooting out of your mower. But, your insurance deductible is typically higher than the cost of repairing the damage so you wouldn't even use your insurance.

On the tax side: Any money spent on the business is a deduction. for example, the money you spend on equipment, advertising, licenses, repairs, etc. Even though you say you already have equipment, you will still be able to deduct depreciation.... meaning the use of the equipment. All the income you get will be offset by all the deductions you take. In most cases you will be able to take a deduction big enough to claim a loss the first year and this will go on your personal taxes. If you do claim a loss, you will owe less taxes and means you would get a bigger refund.

good luck
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:08 PM
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since I'm a tax perparer, and own a landscaping/lawn care biz, I can help.
JP, where do you feel most new start ups, mess up when it comes to taxes? What are some of the big issues they should avoid but quite often don't?
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:20 AM
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What are the requirements for a business license? Do you need a landscape degree? Does this interfere with filing taxes at the end of the year for my full time job?
There are few steps to follow for the license for a business.

-You need to obtain Federal Identification Number
-You need a State of Business License from the your place.
-Contact the Business Licensing and Renewal Service to get more information
-You need to pay annual license fee for each business you operate.
-You can pay the license fee for three years in a single installment.
-Senior Citizens can opt for a discount of up to 75% on license fee on Delaware businesses.
-You may need to file separate application with the Labor Division of Unemployment Insurance and Division of Workers' compensation if you have employees.


There are more condition but these are more things to be done before.
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:30 AM
JP Landscaping JP Landscaping is offline
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For one, if your state requires you to tax your clients, then do so. Otherwise you will end up paying those taxes out of your own pocket.

Take all deductions you can. Meaning: your truck, machinery, gas, etc. all expenses. Even if it's your personal truck or your pesonal mower you can still take the use of it as a deduction. One way is to keep all the receipts of all the maitenance and repairs for the truck and use that as a deduction, or you can use the number of miles you used it during the year for the business.

What a lot of start ups don't do is account for all the expenses the business uses and mix them with their own personal expenses. For example, the insurance you pay on your truck. Many will say, "well I use the truck personally so I pay the insurance." and they don't account for part of it as a business expense. Then when they are figuring their overhead, it looks lower than it really is.
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