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Babbages01
04-11-2007, 12:35 AM
My name is Mike and I live in Denton Texas. I've mowed yards off and on for neighbors and people I know for the past 10 or so years and now I'm trying to expand, but I want to do it legally because well...I don't want to have any problems with tax fraud and whatnot. I have no employees except myself and I have all the equipment I need at the moment. I was hoping some legit Texas guys on here could offer some advice on the following...

1. What, if any kind of business license will I need?
2. Taxes. Will I have to pay them?
3. Insurance is always a good idea, but is it absolutely necessary? About how much does it cost for basic coverage and where can I get it.

I'm in college and I'm not going for the big bucks. I currently do about $300 in business a month but would like to see it expand to around $1000. I generally charge about $40 a yard and I'm not worried about being undercut. I've never had any complaints on my mowing and everyone thinks I do a professional job so I'll just let my quality speak for itself.

Any good advice would be greatly appreciated. Reading through the forums has got me worried about the legality of everything.

RHill
04-12-2007, 12:57 AM
Hi mike,

I am a small operator like yourself, been mowing part time for several years. I don't know if any general business licenses(unless you are going to apply herbicides or pesticides)you must have, you may check with your city or county to make sure about it in your area.

You do need to collect sales tax, you can file a application with the state comptrollers for that. It probably wouldn't't hurt to have a small general liability insurance policy, which you should be able to get from any insurance agent that sell general policies/ Since you don't have any employees, I don't think you have to have worker's compensation insurance. Some commercial accounts may want you to have a insurance policy in case you get hurt on their property while working, otherwise their insurance may have to cover it.

Hopes this helps,

Randy

Duekster
04-12-2007, 05:17 AM
You need a license to sell nursery products, Apply pest control/ herbicides/ Irrigation.

You do not need a general business license or a contractor licenses until you get up to about 20K in a single home improvement/ contractor type job.


If you get the Pest Control license you will be required to carry a small GL policy of a few hundred k.

Just about everything you do is subject to sales tax. It is pretty complicated to keep track of what is and is not taxable so I basically tax it all.

NELawnCare
04-12-2007, 08:09 AM
I'm originally from San Antonio. I pretty sure you need a State Sellers License in order to legally collect sales tax from your customers. But it's best if you visit the Small Business Administration (SBA) in your area and they will tell you EXACTLY what you need. If you don't know where the SBA is in Denton, call your Chamber of Commerce. They work together, they will be able to push you in the right direction.

Take it from experience, you don't want to be tied up in a Fed or State tax complaint. It just ain't worth it!

Babbages01
04-12-2007, 03:30 PM
Thanks for the advice. It would seem my only worry is sales tax for the time being.

I mow houses for a realtor and I was talking about it with him yesterday. He said just keep my sales tax in order on checks and let the cash just magically slip in my pocket. As for insurance, he said don't worry about it now but just be careful. If I throw a rock through a window just pay for the window but if I wanted to start bidding on commercial contracts then I'll need the insurance. I just read the thread on insurance and got a few pointers for that.

Mowingman
04-12-2007, 08:16 PM
I am also in Denton. Have been mowing here for over 25 years. Send me a private message with your email address or phone number and maybe we can get together and talk.

Toy2
04-12-2007, 09:30 PM
Don't waste your time and money on any type of license. The herb. license is a waste, homeowners don't care if you have one or not. Plus homeowners do not want to pay taxes...just a flat price. Stay small to avoid all the BS. Plus lowball to get more yards, otherwise the illegals will end up mowing the yards you really want. Good luck, plus stay in school....

RHill
04-12-2007, 10:53 PM
I agree with the idea that homeowners want to pay a flat price, ie $35. So just figure your price for the work, add sales tax then round up to the next dollar to get a dollar figure to quote the customer.

Good luck with you business

txgrassguy
04-13-2007, 11:29 AM
Typically a Doing Business As, aka DBA, is recommended particularly to avoid due diligence problems.
Also a DBA will assist in lowering insurance premiums regarding Commercial Liability Insurance. Provided you do not acquire a TDA License category 3A, your GL premiums should be quite affordable.
Market your business according to your desires, I would recommend the investment in silk screened t-shirts, decent non magnetic logos on your truck/trailer/equipment to market brand your business.
Ignore the comments about other, lower priced LCO's around where you operate.
Separate you and your business from this segment of the market and it ceases to become an issue.
I would also recommend networking with professional nurseries in your area, let them know of you and your business, your capabilities and desire for work.
Talk to your local chamber of commerce, rotary and other not for profit groups as these people are usually involved in the community, typically represent most of the known businesses and can either point you in the direction for more work or assist in your networking.

Babbages01
04-19-2007, 04:12 AM
I am also in Denton. Have been mowing here for over 25 years. Send me a private message with your email address or phone number and maybe we can get together and talk.


So I must be stupid since I can't find a way to PM you on here. Anyways, my email is curiousmichael at gmail.com

bohiaa
04-19-2007, 09:36 AM
HAy Mike:


I grew up in the Garland area and started a company there. it did ok I wasn't really into it. I let it go. Now I'm in the Houston area and going strong.

1st thing is to file a DBA.

do it before purchaseing anything, there is a start up tax break. BUT you MUST have a DBA on file. I screwed up and got a trailer before I filed.

as for taxes, I'm in the learning process myself, and would love to talk to ya sometimes about it......

curtwallace@verizon.net.

NELawnCare
04-19-2007, 09:59 AM
Don't waste your time and money on any type of license. The herb. license is a waste, homeowners don't care if you have one or not. Plus homeowners do not want to pay taxes...just a flat price. Stay small to avoid all the BS. Plus lowball to get more yards, otherwise the illegals will end up mowing the yards you really want. Good luck, plus stay in school....

This is great advice for a new guy asking start up questions :rolleyes: . Tell him all the information he needs to get fined by the state and have IRS creeping up his backside.

This is a ridiculous statement by Toy2 and I would suggest avoiding any of his advice. Get caught one time spreading chemicals without a license and receive a fine for $3k per application. Doing business like this is why the rest of the legitimate business owners on this Forum are complaining about silly-low quotes and hack lcos.

Babbages01
04-19-2007, 03:27 PM
Yeah, I'm sticking to the basics and what I'm good at:mowing, shrubs, cutting back trees and generally making things look nice.

It took me 20 minutes at Home Depot to decide on which fertilizer to use on my own lawn because I was so worried about killing off my grass. I'd rather not get into a situation where I may kill off all or parts of my customers' lawns because I enjoy my customers and would rather not lose them.

Toy2
04-19-2007, 09:48 PM
NE, I guess you have never set foot in Texas or you would know lawn care is a different world down here. Stick to cash, IRS can't even handle the workload they have, who is going to bust me with 50 gallons of Roundup, TQEC or you? Whatever.....DBA is a joke as well......
Viva the Hacks and Beaners!!!!

Cash only!!!!

firefightergw
04-20-2007, 12:22 AM
I agree. Go to the Denton County Courthouse and register a DBA (business name). In Collin County that process only cost about $10.00. I have my liability insurance through Safeco Insurance and it cost about $45 a month. Do a search on Safeco and find an agent in your area. You will find, however, that if you intend on pruning trees, your insurance will sky-rocket. You'll have a choice to make, to include this service or not.

In Texas, as long as you do not bring in more than $5,000 in annual revenue, you do not have to collect sales tax. If you know you are going to exceed this amount, you can call the State Comptroller's office and file the necessary paperwork to get your Sales and Use Tax Permit. It is very simple to do. I have never had a problem with customers paying sales tax. I used to charge $25 a week on most lawns and the total was $27.06 with tax. Never had a problem.

I would not apply pesticides or herbicides without a license. It's not worth it. Good luck to you!

firefightergw
04-20-2007, 12:23 AM
NE, I guess you have never set foot in Texas or you would know lawn care is a different world down here. Stick to cash, IRS can't even handle the workload they have, who is going to bust me with 50 gallons of Roundup, TQEC or you? Whatever.....DBA is a joke as well......
Viva the Hacks and Beaners!!!!

Cash only!!!!

Sounds like one of the Branch Davidians survived.

lurch
04-20-2007, 12:36 AM
you can only pm after your tenth post...

NELawnCare
04-20-2007, 07:08 AM
NE, I guess you have never set foot in Texas or you would know lawn care is a different world down here. Stick to cash, IRS can't even handle the workload they have, who is going to bust me with 50 gallons of Roundup, TQEC or you? Whatever.....DBA is a joke as well......
Viva the Hacks and Beaners!!!!

Cash only!!!!

You're WRONG! I lived in San Antonio from 1982-2007. Bet you feel stupid now. You are just one of those scumbags that causes problems for everyone else that runs a legitamate business. With an attitude like that, it may be safe to assume you're probably an illegal resident. You're just a two-bit clown that conducts business in an illegal manner.

RHill
04-20-2007, 10:53 PM
As I understand texas law you can fertilize without a license as long as it doesn't have any herbicide or insecticide in it (such as weed & feed)

twj721
04-21-2007, 12:48 AM
Sounds like one of the Branch Davidians survived.

I was thinking along the same lines I thought man David Kores survived WACO

twj721
04-21-2007, 12:51 AM
If you are a member of the Texas Farm Bureau you can get a lib policy through them Good luck and have fun life is too short to stress over samll stuff

Toy2
04-21-2007, 07:43 PM
NE, what's wrong? Couldn't make it in Texas?? It figure's....... typical white boy, run out by beaners.....once a lawnboy, always a lawnboy.....$$$$$ under the mat...always.....:walking:

CutsForLess
04-21-2007, 10:23 PM
Babbages the only thing I think you need is a social security number for you federal taxes, no need for a tax number. You might want to check into insurance for some of the commercial jobs.

bohiaa
04-22-2007, 11:14 AM
Sounds like one of the Branch Davidians survived.

I nearly frll outta my chair when I read this ........:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
:clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:

TXNSLighting
04-22-2007, 03:55 PM
NE, what's wrong? Couldn't make it in Texas?? It figure's....... typical white boy, run out by beaners.....once a lawnboy, always a lawnboy.....$$$$$ under the mat...always.....:walking:

your an idiot! know one listen to this guy.

NELawnCare
04-22-2007, 06:56 PM
NE, what's wrong? Couldn't make it in Texas?? It figure's....... typical white boy, run out by beaners.....once a lawnboy, always a lawnboy.....$$$$$ under the mat...always.....:walking:

I left because there are too many illegals taking good work from legal citizens. Sounds like you.

Toy2 is a typical Forum lurker. Joins the site, and intensionally plants posts to turn a good discussion into a flame thread. This clown should be banned.

Toy2
04-22-2007, 07:27 PM
Chill NE, I'm sorry I speak the truth, yes I have a DBA in Mclennan county, yes I have a herbicide license and yes I still carry insurance on my business, and what has it produced? Nothing?

So the advice to the new guy is, don't waste your money until you have too.....

For every one LCO doing right in Waco, there's ten that are milking the system, so yes I joined the rest of the pack, and around here white people like brown people mowing...deal with it.....get the best, cash only....so if they are willing to pay, I'm fine with it.


Sorry we forced you out of the State, its only a matter of time before we catch you!

Adios!!!

NELawnCare
04-22-2007, 09:23 PM
Chill NE, I'm sorry I speak the truth, yes I have a DBA in Mclennan county, yes I have a herbicide license and yes I still carry insurance on my business, and what has it produced? Nothing?

So the advice to the new guy is, don't waste your money until you have too.....

For every one LCO doing right in Waco, there's ten that are milking the system, so yes I joined the rest of the pack, and around here white people like brown people mowing...deal with it.....get the best, cash only....so if they are willing to pay, I'm fine with it.


Sorry we forced you out of the State, its only a matter of time before we catch you!

Adios!!!

Case in point!

txgrassguy
04-22-2007, 09:56 PM
NE - I know that zipperhead toy's comment was directed towards you but I find it ridiculous none the less.
Just ignore him, he is so far down the scrub food chain he couldn't catch squat with a rocket taped to his sorry ass.

zz4guy
04-23-2007, 12:13 PM
I was going to sign up for my fert license last week, but then I thought "what the hell for?"

To give the state $40 more it doesnt need? I know what I'm doing and the chances of getting caught with the few customers I have is slim to none.

But insurance is a good idea. You can afford to fix a window, but probably not a big hospital bill.

And as far as under the table I do once in a while. What the government doesnt know wont hurt it. :usflag:

NELawnCare
04-23-2007, 02:54 PM
I was going to sign up for my fert license last week, but then I thought "what the hell for?"

To give the state $40 more it doesnt need? I know what I'm doing and the chances of getting caught with the few customers I have is slim to none.

But insurance is a good idea. You can afford to fix a window, but probably not a big hospital bill.

And as far as under the table I do once in a while. What the government doesnt know wont hurt it. :usflag:

I feel bad for the folks in Texas that try to conduct legal business. This is exactly why your rates are driven down and you guys are forced to maintain lawns for $20 a property.

allprogreens
04-23-2007, 03:22 PM
Start selling & installing synthetic lawns

Texas is our largest state for selling the synthetic lawn products

All the photos below are from installaltions in TX

Chris
All Pro Greens
www.allprogreens.com

http://www.allprogreens.com/gallery/lawnturf/big033.jpg

http://www.allprogreens.com/gallery/lawnturf/big038.jpg

http://www.allprogreens.com/gallery/lawnturf/big039.jpg

http://www.allprogreens.com/gallery/lawnturf/big040.jpg

http://www.allprogreens.com/gallery/lawnturf/big042.jpg

LawnTwister
04-23-2007, 07:30 PM
Hey txgrassguy, you posted a comment awhile back stating any Texas guys starting out could follow you around for a couple days. Let me know if they offer is still available and how to contact you. I am trying to decide if this is what I really want to do. Your help and time would greatly be appreciated.

txgrassguy
04-23-2007, 07:38 PM
Lawn Twister, my office phone number is 830-693-0598.
I am in the office by 0645 most mornings and out by 0800 and in the field.
My administrative assistant doesn't come in until 1:30pm - it is then I receive the bulk of my messages.
Call for more details.

CutsForLess
04-23-2007, 08:20 PM
NE lawncare I dont have any yards I do for $20, I have a $40 minimum if they want my services. I think people will pay for good work and it shows by the amount of jobs I keep all the time. Just because I dont have a tax number or insurance does not mean I lower my prices I just make more money. I have evrything the state of Texas says I have to have, plus I do good work. If it is ever required for me to get these things then I will but until then its business as usual. I abide by the law( except maybe tax time) and stay busy with a $40 minimum. That is a law that should be passed no yard mowed under $35.

zz4guy
04-23-2007, 08:27 PM
NE lawncare I dont have any yards I do for $20, I have a $40 minimum if they want my services. I think people will pay for good work and it shows by the amount of jobs I keep all the time. Just because I dont have a tax number or insurance does not mean I lower my prices I just make more money. I have evrything the state of Texas says I have to have, plus I do good work. If it is ever required for me to get these things then I will but until then its business as usual. I abide by the law( except maybe tax time) and stay busy with a $40 minimum. That is a law that should be passed no yard mowed under $35.

Man can you sleep good at night w/o insurance? I'm sure you know way more what you're doing in this biz than I do. But in this sue-crazy John Edwards Trial Lawyer world we live in how can you afford not to have something to cover your butt?

CutsForLess
04-23-2007, 08:43 PM
ZZ first thing I dont do anything stupid, if a car drives by I stop, if kids are around I stop, i never mow with my chute towards a house, and do not allow any cars in the driveway when I mow, these are some of the things I do. I have had several sprinkler heads get knocked off, but it is not my fault the head did not go back down so I dont pay to repair, if they want to sue over that or any other minor thing then let them, but I will make sure it gets dragged out long enough that it will cost them a whole lot more in the long run. Yes I have broken a window and I did repair it but how often does it happen. You need insurance if you plan on running over a kid or something, I just pay attention to what I am doing. You want to talk about a injustice look at your insurance companies thats the injustice in this country, I refuse to pay for anymore insurance than is mrequired by law, I have never had a claim on a vehicle, my house or anything else I have but I still have to pay the premiums every month, how much does that add up to?

twj721
04-23-2007, 11:08 PM
Man can you sleep good at night w/o insurance? I'm sure you know way more what you're doing in this biz than I do. But in this sue-crazy John Edwards Trial Lawyer world we live in how can you afford not to have something to cover your butt?

SOME PEOPLE JUST HAVE NOT LEARNED THE OLD LESSON OF (CYA) me my family jewels are not near big enough to work out in the public with out insurance and I still grit my teeth at times cause I believe that people do some stuff on purpose just so they can sue you . I was mowing at the city park today plenty of parking spot away from where I was mowing but waht does this lady do park near where I was mowing :hammerhead: du here's your sign ,make a pass any where close to my car and the cracked windshield that I have had for months now well it just happend you threw a rock at my car and it crack my windshield .That is the reason if anybody comes up close to where I am mowing I simple get off and try to explain to them that they really need to park in a different spot and not here as I not on purpose might decide to chunk rocks at your car some times they do mow and sometimes they simple glare at me :dizzy:

Mowingman
04-24-2007, 08:34 AM
I have been mowing in Texas for many years, and prices on a lot of mowing jobs are lower now than they were 15 years ago. The best way to make a good profit is to go legal in every way, then bid on the commercial work and municipal work that requires bonding, licensed applicators, liability ins., workman's comp, etc. All the cheap "under the table guys" are unable to bid this stuff, so, you can often win these bids with a good profit margin. I now only do commercial and municipal work. Have dumped everything else, and profits are up.

Toy2
04-24-2007, 08:44 PM
You fools think that paying taxes and being legit is going to save you, then your only buying time before you lose. I know of a few firefighters and police officers who mow for cash, is this wrong?

No.

A 12 year old kid could mow, and spray weeds with roundup, who is going to bust him???

NE got run out of the State by low comp....

So wake up fools!

Lawn twister, if you want to ride along with Lawn Ltd of Waco, I'm sure they will let you, but you better brush up on Spanish.

As for a job choice, stick to something else and mow because you want to, not because you have to!!

txgrassguy
04-25-2007, 10:20 PM
This is meant for Toy2 ad only Toy2 -
Toy2, First of all you are a piece of crap -I'm not a fool.
Secondly, if you had half of a mind, which I seriously doubt, You - you piece of human excrement - would alert the proper State Agencies towards violators.

The fact that you don't means you are the beaner loving scrub that you are.

And if you want to discuss this in person b i t c h than call me.

Babbages01
04-26-2007, 03:58 AM
Seems I've got a nice thread going.

So anyways, I got my DBA name and filed today for my sales tax license. I have someone calling me back on an insurance quote tomorrow, but the initial one was $900 a year (sound about right?)

Now that I have these things I feel more comfortable. I know I provide a quality service and price accordingly but being able to tell a customer I follow the law and good common sense just makes my service that much better.

In my opinion, it only took me half an hour to get all of this stuff done and that's worth it. I can say I do everything by the books and if you don't it may come back to bite you later and in fact, no matter who it is if you can't do it legit then I think you should find a new business.

I'm not just the college student rolling around with a mower in the back of his truck anymore and it kind of pisses me off that if I go through this small amount of trouble to be legal then why can't everyone else.

bcg
04-26-2007, 12:06 PM
$900/yr for a surplus lines policy with $300/$600 is about right for Tx. Our rates are high compared to the rest of the nation.