View Full Version : Business license

03-08-2001, 09:44 PM
I called my chamber of commerce today regarding how to get a business license who referred me to the city hall. If I understood her correctly she said I did not need a license within the city limits unless I was going door to door (sales I assumed). Anyone else encounter this where they live? I've already printed up flyers stating "licensed and insured". Thanks for any feedback!

03-08-2001, 10:00 PM
Regards "business license" requirements.
In some locations when you apply for the business license you will also get an automatic increase in your sanitation fees (and possible other taxes and fees),if they are collected by the local government. They can double or triple the normal residential rate. Doesn't matter that you may not generate any more refuse. They don't care. Been through this and just don't believe getting the license is worth it.
The IRS doesn't require it and the license doesn't help cut grass. Just creates more paperwork and cost money.
Just my .02...

03-08-2001, 10:09 PM
Not having one in the city limits sounds a little odd! Not needing one outside the city limits makes more sense. If you don.t get one and get caught by the people that are paid to check folks out the fine will be higher than the license would have been. Having a license just makes you legit.

Randy Scott
03-08-2001, 10:22 PM
You do not need one where I live either. I called the county courthouse and they told me to call my village and see if they require one and they do not. I took the ladies name and wrote it down in case I ever had a problem. I asked her how long she worked there and it was like 10 years, hopefully she knows the laws! :)

03-08-2001, 10:26 PM
If you call the county courthouse they WILL tell you that you dont need one. The county usually does not require you to have one but the city themselves do.

03-08-2001, 11:24 PM
My understanding is that if you live (business address) reside in a county which does not require one, you do not need one. If your address is out of the city limits you are ok. Not to be confused with any pesticide/herbicide licensing.

03-08-2001, 11:48 PM
As far as California goes, any business is supposed to be liscense on the local level, whether it be county or city level. If you ever get a chance to do contract work for a govement agency, they are suppose to double check if you are appropiatly liscense at all levels.

Why pay the Business liscence fee?

1. You follow the rules that, we, as citizen of our communites said that this is a way that we were going to pay for public services.

2. It's a way to learn of new regulations that are to be implemented. Ingorance of the law is not an excuse.

3. If you get a business liscense, more than likely you have the proper insurance. This can be a selling point to your potential clients.

03-08-2001, 11:53 PM
I was told no business license was needed in Maryland too.

03-09-2001, 12:22 AM
I have to ask a question...Since we in our county and city do not require a license for business in providing lawn maintenance, what actual does licenses say for those who need them? What I am getting at is that within our state we have licenses based on operations that we are doing. So irrigation would need a license; landscape architecture needs a license; and of course the tax, pesticide and floral registration and permits. So those who have a business license do they actually read that So and So lawn care is leaglly able to conduct buisness in Springfield?

03-09-2001, 02:20 AM
Most important is your state business license. Then city if required . Here in WA. we need a city license for each city we work plus state master license.

03-09-2001, 03:58 AM
Most licenses follow a reason. Like example: a building Contractor follows local building codes; A Pesticide applying LCO follows state pesticide codes; Resturaunt follows local health codes; so on, etc..

Most licenses are just to make sure the consumer has some way to track the contractor as well as the city to make sure they are bonded or insured if required to protect the consumer or city as well.

I called city and county offices several years ago and was told that one was not needed.

03-09-2001, 05:01 AM
Why do you think you do not need a business license?
You have insurance don't you?

03-09-2001, 05:01 AM
Why do you think you do not need a business license?
You have insurance don't you?

Michael Fronczak
03-09-2001, 08:24 AM
Here in NY the only liscence needed is for pesticides. Yes, I have insurance(a lot), Yes, I have a DBA, Yes, I collect & pay taxes(& unemployment & workers comp..ect).
I just had a discussion with a client from last year, in was a government agency, they were looking for a way to qualify contractors. Last season a contractor bid on their work, his price was around half of the next bidder, they asked him to check his numbers, he verified them. His references checked OK. They ended up kicking him out of the properties around July 1. We were the only ones that would take them on, we were also the second highest bidder. By law they have to go with lowest qualified bidder. I told him only way I know of here is with a pesticide liscence, also told him about the training/certification programs going on, but that I didn't think enough people would have these yet. Because appling pesticides was in the bid, I told him he could probably make it a requiment.

Southern Lawns
03-09-2001, 12:06 PM
Don't need one in NC if you are only providing a service, like Michael you do need a chemical applicators license but that's it. You'll want to register your business name though (usually with the county).

03-09-2001, 01:15 PM
My problem with the requirement of a local business liscense is: the local goverment does not enforce that law, whether it be the local police or a liscense officer. I am only speaking for my area only.

In my area, local police, fire, ect.. can't afford to live here on their pay. At one time, I knew every police and fire personel in my city. Just when you get to know a person, he moves to another part of the state or even out of state.

I wish that they would do an enforcement drive once a year, like around spring time.

Chopper Lover
03-09-2001, 07:02 PM

You asked why he did not think he needed a license.

Depending on where you live there may or may not be requirment to have a license. Where I live there is no licensing procedure for general lawn maintenance. It just does not exist. Only when you get into things such as structural landscape creations (building something), or pesticides/herbicides is there a license and/or certification.

I guess what I am saying is there may not be a category to be licensed under depending on what service you provide. That may be why some of the group do not need a license.


07-08-2003, 03:40 AM
I live in Long Island NY and its my first year. I have 15 accounts and I love the lawn business. In NY what do I need to go legal so i dont get into any trouble. Do I need a license? Do I need insurance? and do I need anything else? Please let me know? Thanks

07-08-2003, 10:47 AM
The bank required a business license before I could open a business checking account. That's the most compelling reason I have found to date.

07-08-2003, 12:46 PM
In PA, no license is required. Landscape Architect does etc. Plumber and Electrician don't either!!

I do mainly home improvement. No License is needed. I do have a business name and my house has a zoning variance to run a business. PA as a state does not have a uniform building code. It is up to the individual municipalities - pretty f'uped if you ask me.

I can do anything including build a house!

I am asked frequently if I am licensed. This has to due w/ how close I am to MD and the require a contractor be licensed. (Pass a test w/ 7 years experience and pay them about 750 a year)

I am insured and approved to work in PA. is my response.


07-08-2003, 01:54 PM
we dont require a business license where i live. do you NEED insurance? thats up to you.

07-08-2003, 05:16 PM
The city I live in requires a business license for each city that you work in. The county and the state do not require it. They just passed a law July 1 that requires panhandlers to get a business license. 50 bucks minimum and .50 per hundred of gross revenue a year over 15,000 for all licenses

Mark P
07-08-2003, 10:03 PM
:) No Business License required in Evansville Ind, 3rd largest city in IN. Don't bother me none......Marks Mowing Service

07-09-2003, 09:46 PM
When I first started up, I inquired with the city, county and state. The city and county told me that if I wasn't doing business in a store type location, no license was required. The state sent me a letter, which I still have, telling me no license was required for lawn maintainence. There is a fert license and a landscaper license requirement, and a nursery license I think. There are no requirements for licenses in Michigan for me, and that's great. Also, there is no sales tax on services provided, so I don't need a sales tax license, either.


07-09-2003, 10:16 PM
In the 2 counties I have lived in you had to have a license. We pay around $10/year for the license. Then they tax you on your equipment. Around 4 cents per $100, I believe.

07-09-2003, 10:24 PM
my state says if your just mowing lawns and raking leaves you don't need to get one.but if you do that and landscape design or lawn installs shrub plantings.you need a home improvement contractors lic

07-09-2003, 10:42 PM
Originally posted by GeorgiaGrassMan
The bank required a business license before I could open a business checking account. That's the most compelling reason I have found to date.

Try a diffrent bank.

I went to BofA and they required it.

I went to FirstCharter and they didn't.

07-09-2003, 10:55 PM
Originally posted by GeorgiaGrassMan
The bank required a business license before I could open a business checking account. That's the most compelling reason I have found to date.

Try a diffrent bank.

I went to BofA and they required it.

I went to FirstCharter and they didn't.

07-10-2003, 02:52 AM
"What do licenses say" - that was a question.

City license usually says nothing. In Beaverton, Oregon, its a source of revenue for the city. Another source of revenue is the water bill.

No tests, just pay the fee, and the city has some extra operating cash. If a city requires no business license, then they are getting their operating cash through another means.

Oregon has a landscape contractor license. Not for mowing, but for planting and installation.

To get it, you need to pass about 5 industry related tests that are like major college finals. Only about 1 in 10 people pass all segments first time.

And you must have a bond and insurance.

To qualify to sit for the exam, you must verify 2 years of experience, or, also allowed, verify an associate degree in place of those 2 years.

So that licensed means that you are experienced, have passed a difficult competency test for landscaping, and have bond and insurance.

It does not mean you are a bozo if you don't have it. For example, there are horticulture geniuses at University Campus grounds crews, or as Superintendents of Country Clubs. They have no license, but have their act together.