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I.M. Green
09-19-2008, 11:50 AM
I was curious what can we do if know for certain that someone is operating without a license? I'm not talking about the kid that has a handful of customers. I'm talking about the lowballers that are doing this for a living. Is there some sort of government office to contact or what? In Florida it isn't't hard to be legit, so I'm not sure why there are so many of them that are doing it with out license/registering...

billslawn89
09-19-2008, 02:40 PM
i don't know..good question. i would say some kind of inspector..call city hall to find out. i know when i got all my licenses, i have to have them posted, so it can be seen, at my place of business and i carry a copy of them in my truck for this reason. getting stopped by the police. this is a good question!

I.M. Green
09-19-2008, 10:44 PM
yes we also have to have it posted at the shop and I carry one with me in the truck. I have never been asked for it, but am prepared if I do get asked...

sweetz
09-19-2008, 10:49 PM
I was shocked when I was asked for mine in Gulfport (by St. Petersburg). They told me that they were really cracking down on this, it was a normal police officer also.

DaveinSWFL
09-20-2008, 07:59 AM
For Florida LCO'S, you can go to sunbiz.org and check to see if they are licensed.

lawnwizards
09-20-2008, 08:10 AM
whats a license cost in florida? seems to be a waste of time running around turning people in when you could be using that time to generate new business for yourself.

DaveinSWFL
09-20-2008, 03:03 PM
whats a license cost in florida? seems to be a waste of time running around turning people in when you could be using that time to generate new business for yourself. $35 a year.

DaveinSWFL
09-20-2008, 03:12 PM
I misspoke. The sunbiz.org is for registering your name which is different from being licensed to perform services. I looked at my county site but can't find a site pertaining to doing a search to see who is licensed or not. I appologize for the mistake.

Lawn-Sharks
09-20-2008, 04:55 PM
I was told by the tax collector to talk to code enforcement! When i spoke to them on the phone about the matter they seemed like they didn't give a sh*t, so i said hot damn! In 2009 it's gonna be like Christmas in September, When i don't pay to renew my license!! Why pay for something i only need in theory, that will never be enforced...They replied well what about the tax man? huh..These guys don't worry so what about him? if i don't have a license that means I'm not working...right- then theirs nothing to claim! (free money) isn't that what your telling my by showing me your lack of enforcing the Law! I can work for free and not have to fear nothing because you expressed to my that you have not focused your attention on stopping these individuals from working illegally...But don't worry i'll keep on paying for my license so that you can keep collecting a pay check, while I'm out busting my hump trying to compete with the unlicensed lawn companies...Click!! Ahhh, I'm never good at making friends

Lawn-Sharks
09-20-2008, 04:56 PM
I misspoke. The sunbiz.org is for registering your name which is different from being licensed to perform services. I looked at my county site but can't find a site pertaining to doing a search to see who is licensed or not. I appologize for the mistake.

I think the site your looking for is myflorida.com??? I could be wrong though.

billslawn89
09-20-2008, 05:05 PM
also i have to have a license in every county i perform work in, that adds up!

Lawn-Sharks
09-20-2008, 05:23 PM
also i have to have a license in every county i perform work in, that adds up!

...........Me to:hammerhead:

h400exinfl
09-20-2008, 05:26 PM
sunbiz.org is where you register for ficticious name, it's county by county as far as licensing goes. But to get a business license you have to have a fictitious name, so if they aren't on sunbiz.org, they aren't licensed in florida. At least, this is how I understand it.

david shumaker
09-20-2008, 05:26 PM
I've never been checked for a license. I get tired of getting undercut by people who have no license, don't have to pay taxes, insurance, etc. I would like to see some sort of certification required like is required for chemical application so I wouldn't have to compete with those working under the table full time. The government has cracked down around here for chemical application and check for licenses and insurance.

Lawn-Sharks
09-20-2008, 06:06 PM
sunbiz.org is where you register for ficticious name, it's county by county as far as licensing goes. But to get a business license you have to have a fictitious name, so if they aren't on sunbiz.org, they aren't licensed in florida. At least, this is how I understand it.

You don't have to file for fictitous name if you put your real name as the business name (ie. Smiths lawn care)

Lawn-Sharks
09-20-2008, 06:21 PM
Heres the link to the license check for florida!
www.myfloridalicense.com/wl11.asp

sweetz
09-20-2008, 07:40 PM
Heres the link to the license check for florida!
www.myfloridalicense.com/wl11.asp

The link doesn't work.

IN2MOWN
09-20-2008, 10:04 PM
I was curious what can we do if know for certain that someone is operating without a license? I'm not talking about the kid that has a handful of customers. I'm talking about the lowballers that are doing this for a living. Is there some sort of government office to contact or what? In Florida it isn't't hard to be legit, so I'm not sure why there are so many of them that are doing it with out license/registering...


You can get over it and worry about yourself.

I.M. Green
09-20-2008, 10:34 PM
MOWN - sounds like good advice that you yourself could follow! I don't think anyone here was picking a fight or slammin anyone, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who hates competing with these guys?

topsites
09-20-2008, 10:40 PM
You don't have to file for fictitous name if you put your real name as the business name (ie. Smiths lawn care)

No sir, that's not entirely untrue but the lawn care part of "smith's lawn care" is still fictitious,
only by using your real name and your real name only do you not need to register the business,
but yes you still need a license (and I think we're fine here).

For those of us who recall, one part of it was registering the name, the other part involves
the actual license in that name, there are two parts to it: Registration, and licensing.

So as an unregistered entity when you answer the phone you can say your real first and last name,
as one of the reasons most folks get registered is so they can include what they do as part of the name itself,
the problem with not registering "smith's lawn care" is that someone else named smith will end up registering that
and then what?

So the other reason is so that nobody else can register the same name business in your county,
thou I will say this bit has gotten some heated argument as well when "smith's lawn care"
and "smiths lawn care" are considered different :p

And registered or not you still have to pay taxes. :p
So it's just the same old load of crap.
Might as well spend the puny $35 and be done with it,
it's really not a big deal nor is it that much money,
way I see things.

topsites
09-20-2008, 11:01 PM
I wanted to say something I noticed over the years...
And that is how legitimate or not someone is affects not only
that person's business but everyone they transact with.

It's a bit like...
Running an illegitimate operation is a little bit like the black market, the
more illegitimate the operation is, the closer to a black market this becomes.
Now black markets might hold a certain attraction, but I also understand
that we just don't meet the same kind of folks there than say at the Mall,
get my drift?

In conclusion...
Someone operates under the table, then more than likely some to more than a few
of their customers are not entirely 'legit' either, that is, they may see no
problem with breaking a few rules and a few laws themselves.
If being involved with folks like these doesn't concern, why then ...

But speaking for myself I prefer to keep my distance from certain
shady elements of society, not because I think I am better than that,
but because I just don't want to be associated in this way.

And so I really don't have but so much of a problem with illegal operations,
probably as much so because this rarely if ever comes around my way,
I'm not saying it never happens but as a rule I just don't have the time to
worry about it.

IN2MOWN
09-21-2008, 08:07 AM
MOWN - sounds like good advice that you yourself could follow! I don't think anyone here was picking a fight or slammin anyone, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who hates competing with these guys?

Really? Who was I whining about that works near me that isnt doing things the right way?

Personally I dont care because these are the guys that will be out of business VERY soon.

IMO if you have the time to investigate another company and tattle on them then you dont have enough work to do.

Worry about yourself and let the others detroy themselves.

h400exinfl
09-21-2008, 08:20 AM
My feeling is that because this biz is so over-saturated around here that the price almost dictates itself. You either service that particular neighborhood or not. Now, once you go to commercial work, the scabs are weeded out because businesses won't deal with anyone who doesn't prove to be legit. In the retirement communities, where it's only a numbers game anyway, the only real difference in cost between legit and not is a $35 license, insurance is not required by the county to mow only, neither is workers comp. etc. So, by having higher concentrations of work in one of these neighborhoods it's easy to keep the costs down. What seems to cost the most (to me) is running around town from single cut to single cut in different, spread out neighborhoods.

David Haggerty
09-21-2008, 09:14 AM
Really? That's all you need to be legitimate in Florida? A $35 license?
Here in Ohio you have to collect & pay sales tax. By the county, and each county's percentage is different. That requires you to have a federal EIN number.
Then there's the pesticide certification & license. Which requires $300,000 liability insurance.
I'm out a few thousand before I can leave the house.
Plus all of these agencies have their computer programs tied together. County, state & federal.
I'm straight as an arrow, but it wasn't exactly my choice.

billslawn89
09-21-2008, 10:44 AM
Really? That's all you need to be legitimate in Florida? A $35 license?
Here in Ohio you have to collect & pay sales tax. By the county, and each county's percentage is different. That requires you to have a federal EIN number.
Then there's the pesticide certification & license. Which requires $300,000 liability insurance.
I'm out a few thousand before I can leave the house.
Plus all of these agencies have their computer programs tied together. County, state & federal.
I'm straight as an arrow, but it wasn't exactly my choice.

thats what needs to be done here! i know when i first started out back in 1989 in ohio, they did not charge sales tax for any kind of lawn maintenance, then that was changed, which i thought was a good idea, keeps all the illegal people in check. when i moved to florida a few years back, when and did all my reseach for all the licenses and taxes and i called the state of florida and they said you don't charge sales tax. i go what! anyways i think florida is behind times, LOL verses up north. the state needs to do something because everybody and their brother is mowing with their station wagons pulling a trailer with a crapsman mower..its unreal. i myself go beyond just mowing so its not a problem with me, like everybody said, they will burn themselves out and be gone, especially with the heat. i noticed in ohio, every spring, new wanna be lco's going and cutting grass, then when it got hot in july and august, they were gone, and the phone started ringing for new clients...LOL

h400exinfl
09-21-2008, 10:46 AM
For mowing only you are not required to have liability insurance in order to obtain an occupational license (at least in my county). Because it's a service only you don't have to collect and pay sales tax either. Now, if you are landscaping, my county requires liability insurance. For pesticides, the state does require liability, but I've never once seen or heard of a company that mows and does full lawn and ornamental fert and squirt. At least this is how it was explained to me by the tax collectors office here.

billslawn89
09-21-2008, 10:53 AM
thats one thing i don't do is pesticides, i figured in my area, there are too many big companys and i cannot compete with that with only a handfull af clients that wants their lawns and landscapes sprayed..but i always get mad when i have to refer them to a pesticide company, taking $$ out of my pocket. anyways, alot of other things to do for the clients !!

h400exinfl
09-21-2008, 11:00 AM
You have to work for somebody for 3 years to get the control operators license. Unless, you have a degree in horticultur, entomolgy, etc., then it's only 1 year that you have to work for someone. Either way, it's a very hard to get license.

Lawn-Sharks
09-21-2008, 11:04 AM
No sir, that's not entirely untrue but the lawn care part of "smith's lawn care" is still fictitious,
only by using your real name and your real name only do you not need to register the business,
but yes you still need a license (and I think we're fine here).

For those of us who recall, one part of it was registering the name, the other part involves
the actual license in that name, there are two parts to it: Registration, and licensing.

So as an unregistered entity when you answer the phone you can say your real first and last name,
as one of the reasons most folks get registered is so they can include what they do as part of the name itself,
the problem with not registering "smith's lawn care" is that someone else named smith will end up registering that
and then what?

So the other reason is so that nobody else can register the same name business in your county,
thou I will say this bit has gotten some heated argument as well when "smith's lawn care"
and "smiths lawn care" are considered different :p

And registered or not you still have to pay taxes. :p
So it's just the same old load of crap.
Might as well spend the puny $35 and be done with it,
it's really not a big deal nor is it that much money,
way I see things.

I never implied that he didn't still need a license, i was replying his statment about a fictitious name. the way that the state of florida explained it to me is that if i use my real name as the business name, then i didnt need to apply for a fictitious name (ie. Joe Smith= Smiths lawn care) but you will still need to get articles of Inc. or LLC before you can get a license through the state of florida... In Florida you can have the same business name as the LCO next to you- You can not own a fictitious name! you only have rights to your Inc or LLC name and if you don't believe me go to sunbiz.org and look up my comapny name Lawn Sharks and get ready to count the names!, but none of them can use my Inc. name

Lawn-Sharks
09-21-2008, 11:12 AM
The link doesn't work.

Ya! i screwed up when i posted it, it was the wrong link anyways. The website i was trying to post was for licensed contractors for the state of FL..Not for lawn service.

sweetz
09-21-2008, 01:53 PM
Ya! i screwed up when i posted it, it was the wrong link anyways. The website i was trying to post was for licensed contractors for the state of FL..Not for lawn service.

Ya, I figured I'd just let you know.:waving: