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Business Tax Receipt vs. License?


General Business Discussions

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Old 07-01-2008, 05:42 PM
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Post Business Tax Receipt vs. License?

Hey everyone,

I am a student that has started a lawn maintenance service a few months back to help students pay their tuition here in Tampa ,Fl. Our catch phrase, Let your grass pay for my class!
I want to license and insure the business now.
How do I go about doing this? What is the license/tax receipt called that I need? Any information would be greatly appreciated!:-)

Thanks a million!
Brad
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:25 PM
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Hi Brad,

That is an awesome idea. We were talking a little while back and it made it into a GopherHaul show, where students could charge more for lawn care because people felt good about a person paying their way through school.

Quote:
I want to license and insure the business now.
How do I go about doing this? What is the license/tax receipt called that I need? Any information would be greatly appreciated!:-)
One of our friends on here Chuck (musician/lawnman) is in FL too. Maybe he could help you out with what licenses and insurance you need. I will send him a message.

What's next on your list of things to do Brad? What will you be doing to get customers?
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:13 PM
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Brad,

You need an occupational licence (usually available at your local court house/ building dept / tax office ) to get this you will need to register a dba (doing business as.... Brad _______ dba : Brads super duper lawncare etc.) or if you choose to you can incorpoate instead (INC., LLC.)
Information in that can be found here at http://www.sunbiz.org/index.html
For liability insurance you should shop around a bit, Look it up in the phone book & call around. I have a policy through nationwide for what that's worth.

I hope this helps & good luck!
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:52 PM
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Hi Brad:

Welcome to the forum.

I am not completely sure what type of service you are starting. You are starting a service to help other students make money? Are you hiring them to work for you or are you starting a referral service? Either way, it is a great idea.

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Old 07-01-2008, 11:04 PM
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Good point Keith.

Brad, I'd love to hear you explain this a bit more. Thanks.
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:23 PM
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Thanks guys!:-)
Basically here is the background, I have recently come to Florida to study. I had a sponsor that would be paying for my tuition etc. Unfortunately he backed out, so I was forced to fend for myself and was liable for my own tuition. I brought a green power mower and made a few business cards and flyers online. I began handing those out and it started growing. So basically Its myself and few other students earning their way through college by lawn maintenance( mowing, trimming, edging etc) I want to get licensed and insured so I can expand even more, perhaps in franchising out, you never know:-)

You asked how I am going about bringing in clientelle. I contacted a property investment company( because their are no houses being sold, and because of the high foreclosure rate) there are a high number of vacant properties, I cut a deal with him to go cut all their inventory for a flat rate( ofcourse this covers my expenses).They agreed, and now word of mouth which is the best form of advertisement has been working well. I have been cutting grass for a few banks as well which have been foreclosed on.
If anyone needs info on who we should be talking to etc just shout:-)
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:26 PM
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That is fascinating! How did you go about finding out who to contact at the banks and the property investment companies?

I am kind of amazed they didnt require you to have insurance to work for them! How did you get around that?
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:48 PM
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That is the really odd part, I haven't been asked for proof of anything until this morning( thus the other reason I'm finding out info on license and insurance )
I asked a property wholesaler the same question and he said that it is probably because the bank has so many foreclosed properties, they are basically taking who they can get. so it's worth a shot if you looking for contracts!

I built a connection with a property manager, by maintaining his lawn, then he involved me with his management properties, then he got me in contact with this investment company.Basically just persevering, and doing the best at what you get. Just a tip for everyone, Coldwell Banker deals with the banks foreclosed properties, it would be recommended to get in contact with them a bid on a few properties.

How long does it generally take to become licensed?
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
How long does it generally take to become licensed?
You should be able to walk in, pay the fee and walk out with a license.

Keep us posted on how all this goes.

Did you get a website up yet? Or are you using flyers or door hangers to market your business?

Quote:
I brought a green power mower
What kind of mower did you get and are you marketing that you use green powered mowers?

I'd love to see some of what you created.
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:46 AM
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Default Lawn Care Business Licenses, Insurance, and Bonding.

Brad:

It sounds like you are growing rapidly.

You should go tomorrow morning to your local courthouse to get your business license.

Also, speak with your insurance agent. Dealing with vacant properties increases the chance that you will strike a rock or other object hidden in tall grass. A thrown object can cause damage to person and property.

What is the business relationship among you and the other students? If they are doing business under your business name, you should strongly consider having them bonded to add further protection for your business.

Keep up with your tax obligations too. As Chuck mentioned, you will likely want to look at setting up a dba, LLC, or other business entity and as such you will need to make quarterly estimated tax payments. Contact a CPA for professional help. For a hundred bucks a CPA will likely set you up with all the forms needed to keep you in line with tax obligations.

You're off to a great start. Good luck:

Keith
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