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MaverickL&L
10-15-2009, 12:42 AM
I want to turn my 5 lawns on the weekend "business" into a full time money maker. Right now i have a DBA. What other steps do i need to take to have a legal, tax paying business in Texas? I've done alot of research online, i just feel like i need someone to tell me what to do in plain english!

mjealey
10-15-2009, 10:04 PM
Here is how it is in Knox County, TN. Should be relatively close to you in Texas.

1. You need to come up with a business name. Then go to your county clerk's office and see if the name is available. If it is not available, then pick a deifferent name. Once you find a name that is not registered, you will be able to get a business license in that name. Here it costs $22.00 and now you are an official licensed business.

2. The next thing I did was go the IRS website and register your business with them as a sole-proprietorship. This gives you an EIN that you will file taxes under when it comes time for tax time. I am a sole-proprietor and it is not required, but i like to have a seperate EIN to keep everything seperate when filing. When it comes to filing, you just have to do a Schedule C in addition to your 1040. It is easy.

Go Here:
https://sa2.www4.irs.gov/modiein/individual/index.jsp

3. Go to your insurance agent and talk to him about a general liability policy for your business. If you are only mowing it will be pretty cheap, but if you do landscaping and some tree trimming it can get expensive. In Knoxville, if you are going to be doing more than $25,000 in landscaping than you have to have a contractor's license. According to county clerk and my CPA. Contractors License can get expensive, but don't even worry about that right now.

Now you are a fully licensed business. You do not have to be an LLC or corporation to be a fully legit business. You can still open the business as a sole-proprietor and be fully legit. Also, in Knox County if your business adress is in the city limits, then you have to pay sales tax on your earnings. If your business is in the county of Knox County you do not have to pay taxes on your earnings. That is something you will have to check out in your county clerk's office. Good Luck!!!!

ed2hess
10-16-2009, 09:51 PM
Got a DBA.........and on lawnsite asking how to start a business:hammerhead:

B Gillespie
10-17-2009, 02:52 PM
There is a difference in a DBA, "doing business as", and an MBA, or masters in business administration. The first costs a few hundred dollars and is accomplished in under an hour, the second is $10,000+ and 14+ months.
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MaverickL&L
10-18-2009, 10:51 AM
ed2hess- thank you so much for your intellectual response! You are such a cool and funny guy. I can only hope that one day I can have enough success to sit around all day and make dumbass comments to new guys like me! Way to get the most out of Lawnsite. What a classy dude...

cpt87gn
10-18-2009, 11:03 PM
go san antonio

Turf Dawg
10-19-2009, 12:11 AM
DBA is a good start, now you need to go to the tax appraisers office and get registered there. I am not sure if it is a county thing or a state thing but they charge you the same tax rate as on your house for your equipments net worth---truck, trailer, mowers, blowers, trimmers, shovels, rakes ect..........

Now you need to go to the state comptrollers office and get you a resale tax number. They will give you a booklet for landscaping that will tell you what gets taxed and what does not. Yes mowing a lawn is taxable. This also gives you the ability to buy material [plants, mulch ect..] at wholesale and then charge the client retail. If you do not have a tax number and pay tax at purchase you cannot mark the items up because they have already been taxed and that is illegal.

Next you will need to get commercial insurance for your truck and trailer, just the automobile insurance you have for a personnel policy will not work if there is a problem. I would also get a commercial liability policy, which you will need if you do commercial work anyway.

If you are going to apply anything other than straight fert and seed then you will need a commercial applicators license with the TDA. And if you buy plants and then transport them from the nurshery to the site you or supposed to have a Texas nurshery and floral certificate.

I know I probably forgot something, but if you really want to be legit, this will give you a good start.