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FOX8701
02-08-2010, 01:16 AM
How many people who have full time jobs actually cut lawns on the side? Just as a part time gig? Do you run your "business" without insurance? I know its risky, but just looking to see how many actually do it. Cause really if you have 10 or less lawns a week, its almost not worth filing it for taxes, etc

P.Services
02-08-2010, 01:31 AM
Baah who needs to have insurance or pay taxes. Your right.
Posted via Mobile Device

QualityLawnCare4u
02-08-2010, 08:00 AM
Funny you should ask as I am sitting here looking at the insurance bill and can't pay it yet, then I think back to that wonderful morning I cut a gas line trimming shubbery and hear that wonder hissing sound on a quarter mil house with no insurance.... yeah, I will find a way to pay it!!

AI Inc
02-08-2010, 08:01 AM
Way to many, some will learn the hard way.

climber338
02-08-2010, 09:14 AM
insurance is cheap compared to a mess up. Get it because its worth the monthly payment rather than going bankrupt. Dont think for one minute that you will not mess up because everybody messes up every once and a while and insurance keeps you safe.

Darryl G
02-08-2010, 09:22 AM
Yah, it's worth loosing everything you have and going to jail to save a few bucks. That way you can undercut all the legitimate businesses and steal their customers.

terrapro
02-08-2010, 09:45 AM
It is not an if you get caught, it is when you get caught.

10 lawns should be around $250-$400 per week, just income tax alone should be $40-$60 on that. Now multiply that by a minumum of say 28wks and you are well over a grand in taxes at the end of the year. Do that for a few years and you are going to have a large chunk of change you will owe when you get audited.

Plus you just posted on a public forum that you are interested in breaking the law. :hammerhead:

jjarvis4
02-08-2010, 10:00 AM
Didn't have insurance when I started at age 16 and had less than ten yards. Now I have insurance because it is relatively inexpensive compared to what I make and also gives me that peace of mind.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
02-08-2010, 12:20 PM
Would be best to have GL - not safe to do biz without it.
Most commercial bids aren't even possible without presenting an Insurance Cert with the bid.

creativedan
02-08-2010, 12:49 PM
GL million $ policy $350-$450 a yr and you can write it off on your taxes

SangerLawn
02-08-2010, 01:08 PM
Just wait until you sling a rock out of your chute and take the eye out of some kid….you will absolutely also love it when a company owner such as myself find out your not paying taxes and we turn you in….thats right…if we have to pay taxes then you need to also

Darryl G
02-08-2010, 01:26 PM
Not only is it not safe to do business without insurance, it's irresponsible! Sorry, no excuse for it.

And don't you love it when a new customer complains that their last guy never charged them sales tax so they shouldn't have to give it to you? I tell them I don't charge sales tax, I just collect it for the State. Some people make a real issue of it.

Here in CT lawncare/landscaping services are taxable (darn near everything is) and they will come at you hard for not collecting it. If they catch you doing business without a tax number, you're screwed. The labor board is the same way..they don't mess around.

EcoGreen Services
02-08-2010, 01:29 PM
I really can't understand why anyone would. Especially in the lawsuit happy climate we live in.

My commercial liability insurance in 4.5% of revenue for $2,000,000 per occurrence, $5,000,000 aggregate . Mind you I have high deductibles.

Why would you take the chance ?

Also, why would anyone hire someone who wasn't insured ? Ignorance about the potential liability I guess

There was a case here a few years ago when a homeowner hired a local 15 year old kid to cut his lawn. The boy was using his dads riding mower. It flipped over on him in the ditch and the boy was pinned and tragically drowned in 4 inches of water. The parents sued the homeowner and were awarded $4.5 Million. The homeowner who was a fairly wealthy executive only had $2 Million coverage and lost EVERYTHING. 2 expensive homes, his marriage broke up and now his wages are garnisheed for the rest of his life.

There was another case where a "contractor" left a wood chipper running unattended. A 7 year old girl got her arm caught in it and lost her arm. The family was awarded $1.5 million on appeal. "The contractor" was uninsured.

It's only a "Savings" until something goes wrong.

buffalonick
02-08-2010, 02:01 PM
I asked this same question about three months back and from the responses i got i looked into insurance, i found in my area i can get a 500k policy for $250 for 12 month or a 1 mil policy for $400 for 12 months, both with 20% down. So for anywhere from $20 to $35 a month you have an insurance policy. What is that? One less trip to mcdonalds every two weeks, 4 less lottery tickets a month, or even buying a less expensive haircut. Its senseless not to have it.

And as far as taxes go, its gonna catch up to you at some point, either you slip up and toss to much untaxed money into a bank or you buy something extravagant, it takes 30 minutes to apply for your state tax license.

Its easier doing things legally than to worry about doing illegally.

M RASCOE&SONS
02-08-2010, 03:37 PM
get yourself some general liability insurance,it will give you peace of mind incase something happens.also regester with the gov for tax number and if your state ls like connecticut make sure you have a hic liscence (home improvement contractors lic).good luck.

whitebp1
02-08-2010, 03:57 PM
I posted the following in another tread on here reguarding insurance. for simplicity sake i copy and pasted it to this thread. this has been the only insurance claim i have ever filed:






example true story my second year in business i was 23, just married and had a baby on the way.i had gen liab comm auto etc etc my insurance agent talked me into the umbrella policy ( i thought long and hard bout it and consulted several people i knew parents older firned etc etc before deiding to go ahead with it only b/c i didnt know if i could afford it or not through the winter months) i had 1mil gen liab and 5 mil umbrella.i was out mowing with a mulching kit on the mower (not side discharging) the neighbors came home and were getting out of the vehicle i was approx 60 or so feet away mowing and my mower kicked up a rock and hit one of the kids just below the eye. i had mowed this yard probally 30 times before this day and had never seen a rock in the yard. long story short with all the bills and lawsuits from it almost maxed out the 5mil umbrella. it was a pretty shitty deal and still is. luckily enough the kid is ok and is able to see still but has a pretty nasty scar left over from it aside from the trauma.




moral of the story is GET INSURANCE anyone in business is just plain dumb w/o it. ITS CHEAP dont believe me talk to an agent you'd be surprised. it only takes one rock, one time, one split second, to change your life FOREVER.

Darryl G
02-08-2010, 04:17 PM
But to get insurance you need a legitmate business and to have a legitimate business you need a tax number and once you have a tax number you need to declare you income and then your costs will go way up and you won't be able to lowball your competitors and steal their business. And nobody will hire anyone with no real skills in a rusty old pickup truck with a push mower in the back if they can't get them to work cheap.

EcoGreen Services
02-08-2010, 05:04 PM
But to get insurance you need a legitmate business and to have a legitimate business you need a tax number and once you have a tax number you need to declare you income and then your costs will go way up and you won't be able to lowball your competitors and steal their business. And nobody will hire anyone with no real skills in a rusty old pickup truck with a push mower in the back if they can't get them to work cheap.

In Canada it will actually lower your costs and taxes.
We pay GST (General Sales Tax) on everything we buy. Without a Tax number you can't claim back all the GST you pay. You can't claim equipment and depreciation. Last year alone I paid over $5,000 in GST. Without being registered that money would be out the window. Being able to claim back taxes and depreciation on capital equipment saved me tens of thousands of dollars. And you insurance premiums are a legitimate business expense.

Don't know how the US works.

John Deere Mann
02-08-2010, 05:21 PM
Having no insurance is like not having blades on your mower deck. Its not going to work!

whitebp1
02-08-2010, 05:36 PM
Having no insurance is like not having blades on your mower deck. Its not going to work!


Nice one!! I like that!!

Darryl G
02-08-2010, 06:25 PM
Hmmm..guess I've been doing it wrong all this time. I put my blades under my mower deck, not on it :p

John Deere Mann
02-09-2010, 12:05 AM
Having no insurance is like not having blades under your mower deck. Its not going to work! oops made a mistake!:hammerhead:

TreeClimber57
02-09-2010, 08:38 AM
GL million $ policy $350-$450 a yr and you can write it off on your taxes

Agreed. Mine is 4 1/2 times what you quoted, but is more than a mil, and has more than just basic GL.

DLONGLANDSCAPING
02-09-2010, 11:26 AM
im 17, i have 30 customers and i am going to pay taxes this year. Will all the new equipment i bought i can write off a lot of it onto my taxes. What do you guys recomend i get , insurance wize. 500,000? 1 million? 2 million? I contacted nationwide and got a quote for 800 dollars per year. I thought that was a little rediculas, and the guy wanted it 100% upfront. I am already paying 80 dollars a month for just auto insurance.

One thing i do, so i dont get caught not paying taxes depsositing 5000 per month, is i cash half of them and put it in my dads safe, and put half into a compounding monthly CD. So every month i put my money into a 2.3% cd making money on the money i already earned. and i have 4 different CD's i am doing this with, so every 4 months, i go to each bank. Is this not smart? i am going to pay taxes this year, just for the time being i was doing this. Remeber i am only 17

Darryl G
02-09-2010, 12:40 PM
Ok, so you're depositing $5K a month and skipping out on taxes on it and worried about spending $800 dollars a year? This is the stuff that P's off us legitimate contractors. I don't care if you're 17 or 117. Pay your taxes and get insurance please. And it's certainly not smart to announce what you're doing on the internet.

I have a 1 mil policy with a 2 mil aggreagate and theft coveage on my bigger mowers. You should put your truck under you business policy too if you're using it for business. If you've just got it insured as a personal vehicle, there's a really good chance your insurance company will turn down any claims realted to work usage of it. It's usually an exclusion. Insurance companies love to find ways to entirely dismiss claims.

John Deere Mann
02-09-2010, 01:09 PM
Ok, so you're depositing $5K a month and skipping out on taxes on it and worried about spending $800 dollars a year? This is the stuff that P's off us legitimate contractors. I don't care if you're 17 or 117. Pay your taxes and get insurance please. And it's certainly not smart to announce what you're doing on the internet.

I have a 1 mil policy with a 2 mil aggreagate and theft coveage on my bigger mowers. You should put your truck under you business policy too if you're using it for business. If you've just got it insured as a personal vehicle, there's a really good chance your insurance company will turn down any claims realted to work usage of it. It's usually an exclusion. Insurance companies love to find ways to entirely dismiss claims.

Couldn't agree More! All lawn Bussiness(delonglanndscaping) who ever don't want to this job the right way should just stop and find something else to do! The bussiness who are doing it right should just start turning people in the I.R.S. Just like this guy(delonglandscaping) who ever is skipping paying the taxes.We have this guys info make a copy of the form and send it to the I.R.S. I'm sure they would love to see this and go 6 years back:nono::hammerhead:

Darryl G
02-09-2010, 02:26 PM
Yah, and the best part is now he wants to write off his equipment that he bought with what is essentially stolen money. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

lawnwizards
02-09-2010, 03:47 PM
Yah, and the best part is now he wants to write off his equipment that he bought with what is essentially stolen money. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

quit yer griping darryl. the kid is 17 years old. i applaud him for getting off the couch and working instead of playing video games all day long. if you are so worried about a kid that doesnt even live in the same state, then maybe you should reavaluate your business.

delonglandscaping, pm me if you have any questions about insurance. some people on here wanna appear almighty to the newbies.

Darryl G
02-09-2010, 04:27 PM
Hey, I'd have all brand new equipment and be banking a ton of money too if I didn't have insurance or declare my income. What he's doing is criminal and his father is helping him do it and that's OK?

The age of 17 is a good time to learn to play by the rules.

I'm responding to questions and discussions on a forum and giving my opinion and if you read what I said I did give him plenty of advice. So no need to take that tone with me. Where you come from maybe it's OK to stuff your pockets with cash and evade the system, but don't fault me for following the rules and asking others to do the same. :p

John Deere Mann
02-09-2010, 04:57 PM
Well at least some people on here know how to run a business the right way. May we all should change our business name to Cash Is King and put it all in our pockets. Boy watch out next year everyone is going to have new equipment:dizzy:

lawnwizards
02-09-2010, 06:00 PM
Well at least some people on here know how to run a business the right way. May we all should change our business name to Cash Is King and put it all in our pockets. Boy watch out next year everyone is going to have new equipment:dizzy:

if you run your business right then you dont have to worry about people like that, right? the kid is trying to do the right thing. get off his back already and help him. thats what this site is for, not to belittle people.

Darryl G
02-09-2010, 06:41 PM
I did try to help, Mr. Wizard, and you're the one griping. What do you think this is, quoted from my messages :

"Pay your taxes and get insurance please. And it's certainly not smart to announce what you're doing on the internet."

"I have a 1 mil policy with a 2 mil aggreagate and theft coveage on my bigger mowers. You should put your truck under you business policy too if you're using it for business. If you've just got it insured as a personal vehicle, there's a really good chance your insurance company will turn down any claims realted to work usage of it. It's usually an exclusion. Insurance companies love to find ways to entirely dismiss claims."

Sounds helpful to me!

Where have you offered anything to help Mr. Wizard? Show me because I can't find it! Except maybe this : "delonglandscaping, pm me if you have any questions about insurance. some people on here wanna appear almighty to the newbies."

You've got a bad attitude and a sharp tongue Mr. Wizard, hiding there behind your computer screen and getting nasty with long time members here. I bet you wouldn't dare talk to me like that to my face. It's people like you that set a bad example for kids in my opinion.

BearWise Landscapers
02-09-2010, 06:48 PM
I saw that this thread was just started yesterday and already has plenty of responses, so I don't know that need to add anything, but here are a few articles related to the topic:

Purpose of Insurance (http://www.BearWiseLandscapers.com/articles/2009/purpose-of-purchasing-insurance-policies/)

Types of Insurance for Landscapers (http://www.BearWiseLandscapers.com/articles/2009/what-types-of-insurance/)

Understanding Insurance Premiums (http://www.BearWiseLandscapers.com/articles/2009/understanding-insurance-premiums/)

Let me know if any of you have practical questions about the types of insurance coverages needed for your lawn care business.

John Deere Mann
02-09-2010, 06:58 PM
Well we have the insurance company here. Waiting on the I.R.S:laugh:

BearWise Landscapers
02-09-2010, 07:18 PM
Well we have the insurance company here. Waiting on the I.R.S:laugh:

John Deere Mann,

Should I change our advertising slogan to "We are quicker than the IRS", or is that not saying anything?

Thanks for the joke, feel free to let me know if I can help in anyway with insurance questions or other general information about insurance.

kharrington
02-09-2010, 11:08 PM
Got it! Harrington Lawns
Posted via Mobile Device

John Deere Mann
02-09-2010, 11:22 PM
Ill be glad to help anybody out when they want to do the job right.

NorthTXlawnguy
02-10-2010, 10:17 PM
Wow, very interesting thread! At least the kid seems to want to run his business legitimately in the future. That is better than some. Many points have been brought up that make good business sense in between the internet bickering...
Many people learn from their mistakes and make wiser choices in life. Some have to learn the hard way. We all don't have to agree, but come on. If you don't have something good to say maybe it is best left unsaid....

DLONGLANDSCAPING
02-10-2010, 10:50 PM
I put my business on the Internet and asked for help at lawn site.com because i know that you all have business experience. Mr.Lawn-Wizard, thanks for being on my side and helping me. Also, Darryl or however you spell it, scaring me got me thinking and i thank you for that, but saying i shouldn't't be in the business if i'm not legitimate. OBVIOUSLY THE REASON I'M HERE IS BECAUSE I WANT TO BE IN THE BUSINESS AND I WANT TO GET LEGITIMATE, i apologize for being a "cash business" but i didn't know any better and you can leave my dad out of this also. All you do is personally attack people who aren't doing it your way, i liked the advice is just could of been handled in a different way.

After college i want to make this my career, making me scared was a way to encourage, i guess you could say, to make me think about if i really want to be in this business, and i honestly do, its the only thing that makes sense. When i was 11 i wanted to be a house architect, when i realized i love being out side and i used my cottage 1980 bobcat 48" classic that my uncle started his business from to pay for his sailboat when he graduate college, i loved making stripes like the golf courses do. It made it an enjoyable thing to do up at my cottage when the lake was to rough to go out on the boat. After 4 years of mowing up there and starting my lawn business at my home, i realized i shouldn't have to get a 8 year medical degree(what my mom wanted me to do), i should get a 4 year landscaping architecture degree and business degree and do what i love. i don't mind getting bashed if its going to help in the long run, but honestly i didn't know **** until i posted that thread, i didn't even know it was a big deal i wasn't paying taxes yet because i knew eventually i would . Sorry to all the business out there that "go by the book" and i'm sorry if i insulted you for doing it illegally.

Mt.Lawn-wizard, thank you sincerely for all the help, advice and sticking up for me. I think its pretty cool that I'm 17, not sitting in quiz-nos or subway like my friends are doing making 7 dollars an hour, and on top of making money, i love what i am doing , and every week the day before i start working, i get excited and cant wait to mow!

Again, I WANT TO GET LEGAL, hence the whole reason i am here. To get help, not reprimanded

TreeClimber57
02-11-2010, 02:50 AM
THE REASON I'M HERE IS BECAUSE I WANT TO BE IN THE BUSINESS AND I WANT TO GET LEGITIMATE,

Again, I WANT TO GET LEGAL, hence the whole reason i am here. To get help, not reprimanded

Good stuff!! I wish all who began in this business felt the same way, and followed through. Unfortunately not always the case, and you will find that because of those few it does make this business a bit more difficult (perhaps a lot more in some areas).

I know of one individual who is working in my area, uses a residential lawn tractor, has no insurance.. does a good job but prices way too low. I think he pays taxes though, I know he has a book keeper hired to do his work. The unfortunate reality is that other potential customers see prices from these low overhead, low charging people and then use that as a benchmark thinking everybody else is too expensive. You will find that out someday.. and have to sit on other side of fence. Honestly, you will eventually find that costs are high if you do everything by the book, the lawn care side of my business runs at a cost of around $30/hr (that is without paying a cent to the employees). That is fuel, depreciation (on vehicles, trailers, mowers, etc), computers, telephone service, internet, building cost, electricity, etc... Then I need to pay employees, the associated payroll costs/taxes and then hopefully finally take some home myself. Gets back to the old threads on cost of doing business.. I wish all learned how to do it correctly, and followed the book.. it would make life a lot easier for us all.

Some of it is about being legal, some of it is common sense.. insurance for example is not necessarily mandatory in a legal sense. But you will not get any commercial accounts without it, and if you get one claim against you then the premium cost for the year may look like a bargain. A lot think they have never had a claim.. if they are careful then why spend the $.. guess what.. everybody makes a mistake eventually!

Keep it up.. learn from those who have been through it.. and apply as necessary.

stotts1
02-11-2010, 08:44 AM
delonglandscaping, you have a great attitude, keep it up good things will happen! :)

Cummins343
02-11-2010, 09:15 AM
I went 7 years without owning insurance. I do now, but during that 7 years I didn't have ONE single accident. Highest $ yard I cut during that time was $90. I've never had 1 customer out of about 50? ask me if i carry insurance. I don't show it on my truck or trailer either.

John Deere Mann
02-11-2010, 09:45 AM
Good stuff!! I wish all who began in this business felt the same way, and followed through. Unfortunately not always the case, and you will find that because of those few it does make this business a bit more difficult (perhaps a lot more in some areas).

I know of one individual who is working in my area, uses a residential lawn tractor, has no insurance.. does a good job but prices way too low. I think he pays taxes though, I know he has a book keeper hired to do his work. The unfortunate reality is that other potential customers see prices from these low overhead, low charging people and then use that as a benchmark thinking everybody else is too expensive. You will find that out someday.. and have to sit on other side of fence. Honestly, you will eventually find that costs are high if you do everything by the book, the lawn care side of my business runs at a cost of around $30/hr (that is without paying a cent to the employees). That is fuel, depreciation (on vehicles, trailers, mowers, etc), computers, telephone service, internet, building cost, electricity, etc... Then I need to pay employees, the associated payroll costs/taxes and then hopefully finally take some home myself. Gets back to the old threads on cost of doing business.. I wish all learned how to do it correctly, and followed the book.. it would make life a lot easier for us all.

Some of it is about being legal, some of it is common sense.. insurance for example is not necessarily mandatory in a legal sense. But you will not get any commercial accounts without it, and if you get one claim against you then the premium cost for the year may look like a bargain. A lot think they have never had a claim.. if they are careful then why spend the $.. guess what.. everybody makes a mistake eventually!

Keep it up.. learn from those who have been through it.. and apply as necessary.

Why are you saying that quote Insurance for example is not necessarily mandatory. Just say your 16 and you throw a rock and hit someone in the head. The next thing is you get a bill for $ 200,000 and you don't have insurance and cant pay the bill. They are going to sue you and if that isn't't enough they well sue your parents for it. Why work so hard for what you do and take a dumb risk and loose everything. To me insurance is very important!

NorthTXlawnguy
02-11-2010, 10:06 AM
I think treeclimber is stating the literal example that you are not required to carry insurance unless the customer (residential or commercial) require it. I also would recommend against this in most, if not all, cases. I did work in insurance for a few years and had commercial contractors that where large enough to self insure for some of their exposures. This is also a possibility, but you need fairly deep pockets to do so.
Everything in life is sort of a gamble, but insurance makes the gamble much less risky in business, driving, home ownership and many other areas.
For the young guys it may seem like a lot of $, but it needs to be figured into your cost of doing business. Where I found the biggest challenge for many contractors was understanding that the more revenue you have the more ex;posure the insurance company has, therefore a higher premium. Same thing for workers Comp. when you hire employees. The rates are determined by occupation (don't lie if you do tree work...)and are figured based on payroll. The more payroll, the more exposure, therefore the more you pay for insurance...
I hope this is helpful to the young/new guys in business.
Oh, and if you do have a claim, you can expect rates to go up in many cases. The insurance companies are in businees too, and you need to remember at the end of the day/week/month they are trying to earn money as well. There #'s are often staggering, but they also insure so many people it is just part of the deal.
Now for my take on the other side of the coin. Some argue that you should not carry to much insurance. How much is that, well you need to look at many examples. If you own very little, what can be taken in court and how many attorneys will take a case if there is nothing to earn? 2 of the main questions in a deposition are what are your assets, and how much insurance do you have? Well you might have a home worht 500k, and have a mortgage of 450k and a truck you owe on...Or you may have the house paid off...Do you have 500k in liability or 2 million? That is often a starting point for lawsuits. then you have to look at precedents based on the case and on and on.
What I am saying is make as educated a decision as possible so you can sleep good at night. This will be different for many of us.

I am not currently licensed in insurance nor am I an attorney! This is just my .02 from my experiences over the years. Ands it is snowing in TX which is dampening my spring spirit today...grrrr

TreeClimber57
02-11-2010, 06:47 PM
Why are you saying that quote Insurance for example is not necessarily mandatory. Just say your 16 and you throw a rock and hit someone in the head. The next thing is you get a bill for $ 200,000 and you don't have insurance and cant pay the bill. They are going to sue you and if that isn't't enough they well sue your parents for it. Why work so hard for what you do and take a dumb risk and loose everything. To me insurance is very important!

Did I say it was not necessary.. if it was understood that way then I apologize. I tried to imply that it was not legally necessary.. not that it was the right thing to do. I would fully recommend that everybody is properly insured, most of us can not take the hit of a large claim, and this is the only way to prevent potential disaster.

TreeClimber57
02-11-2010, 06:53 PM
Ands it is snowing in TX which is dampening my spring spirit today...grrrr

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas... oops wrong time of year!! Enjoy the little white flakes while you can.

JMLandscaping
02-11-2010, 06:55 PM
OK im 18, dont technically have a business. Do mostly firewood and building gardens around town. However I am growing and will be getting insurance this year. I am all for going legal and insurance is a great thing.

However...How many people here, especially the big shots downing us little guys just woke up got a Tax ID, Insurance, Licenses, contractors policies etc and THEN started working.

I may be wrong but I think most of us start out with a daily driving pickup and mostly equipment we already own. Just my input

DoetschOutdoor
02-11-2010, 08:10 PM
The difference in how the people that harp on having insurance and the people that dont IS, we older people(Im 24 and calling myself old) didnt come on LAWNSITE and brag about our "businesses" while not being legal. I operated without insurance or being legal until I was 20 years old but I sure as hell didnt visit forums, post pics, give advice to other "business" owners, create t shirts, websites, and the like that alot of scrubs here on lawnsite do.

JMLandscaping
02-11-2010, 08:24 PM
Yeah I agree with you im still 18 and I work plenty and am trying to get my name out there...But my truck isn't lettered, you wont see a picture thread with all my equipment. I don't run any ads..but im getting there, Im kinda tired of this 16 year olds that think there Donald Trump with a 21

TreeClimber57
02-11-2010, 08:39 PM
got a Tax ID, Insurance, Licenses, contractors policies etc and THEN started working.

Me for one.

But this is not the first business I have been in.. I have been working in the business world long before I got into lawn care.

JMLandscaping
02-11-2010, 08:41 PM
Yeah what about your first business?

John Deere Mann
02-12-2010, 01:24 AM
Did I say it was not necessary.. if it was understood that way then I apologize. I tried to imply that it was not legally necessary.. not that it was the right thing to do. I would fully recommend that everybody is properly insured, most of us can not take the hit of a large claim, and this is the only way to prevent potential disaster.

don't want to cause any problems*trucewhiteflag*

Darryl G
02-12-2010, 03:14 AM
don't want to cause any problems*trucewhiteflag*

You better not, that's my job!!!:rolleyes:

John Deere Mann
02-12-2010, 09:09 AM
You better not, that's my job!!!:rolleyes:

I left it to you out of words.:laugh:

EcoGreen Services
02-12-2010, 09:38 AM
I guess this is the main reason to focus on commercial work that requires a copy of your certificate of insurance.
Weeds out the lowballing scum sucking budda's with a pickup and a 42" Murray riding mower and a 21" pusher.

Although I do enjoy the lawn renovation work when they destroy lawns with their dull blades and improper cutting height.

FOX8701
02-12-2010, 02:00 PM
well this topic certainly got out of control, but i do see what the general crowd says, legal is, well legal. and insurance, if you are going commercial you need it. If your state doesn't require it, then its up to your own sense.

But i still don't believe that everyone who was cutting lawns before there business got to where it is now, started out with insurance and filing taxes since day 1. And that's where I come in. Starting out is hard to do, especially if you have 10 or so less lawns; factor in paying taxes, bare minimum insurance, and everything else that comes into a "lawn business" and your actual profit margins will be slim to none. So for those starting out like myself, it can be quite difficult to get everything set in stone from day 1. So those who want to cry about not being legal and whatever else you want to throw in there, you just rethink how you started yourself off. I know its not the right thing to do, nor is it the safest, but everyone has to start somewhere.

DoetschOutdoor
02-12-2010, 02:10 PM
If you are only mowing 10 lawns then you are prolly under the age of 16 and not really even on my radar. No one would expect a 15 year old to go get insurance and they prolly wouldnt be able to anyways. I could care less if you have insurance. Just pay your taxes if you say you have a "business". And alot of commercial sites dont even require insurance. I have only done a few commercial accounts and only had 1 HOA prez. ask for proof of insurance.

Stevegotcrabgrass
02-12-2010, 02:42 PM
Me for one.

But this is not the first business I have been in.. I have been working in the business world long before I got into lawn care.

I am in the same boat......

Stevegotcrabgrass
02-12-2010, 02:51 PM
well this topic certainly got out of control, but i do see what the general crowd says, legal is, well legal. and insurance, if you are going commercial you need it. If your state doesn't require it, then its up to your own sense.

But i still don't believe that everyone who was cutting lawns before there business got to where it is now, started out with insurance and filing taxes since day 1. And that's where I come in. Starting out is hard to do, especially if you have 10 or so less lawns; factor in paying taxes, bare minimum insurance, and everything else that comes into a "lawn business" and your actual profit margins will be slim to none. So for those starting out like myself, it can be quite difficult to get everything set in stone from day 1. So those who want to cry about not being legal and whatever else you want to throw in there, you just rethink how you started yourself off. I know its not the right thing to do, nor is it the safest, but everyone has to start somewhere.

You are probably right, but that doesn't make it the right way to do things. Taxes are based on income. So if you are not making a lot, i.e. 10 lawns, you wont be paying a lot of taxes. Insurance is less than 100 a month. Sales tax is paid by the customer, you are just an agent of the State, The rest of your expenses would be incurred anyway. So being legit isn't a ton more money.

We started 100% legal. Fed EIN, State Sales Tax ID, 2 Million of Coverage, LLC State of NY, etc. But we had experience in setting up a business. You can do it all in 1 day except sales tax. You can apply in one day but you won't get your certificate of authority for a couple weeks. LLC you also have to publish in News Papers which takes time. Other than that all can be done in one day. And yes, everyone starts somewhere. I am just giving you advice on the RIGHT way to do it. And it will make you FEEL better about having a legit business and that helps in the way you sell your product or service to the public. Good luck to all you younger guys and keep asking questions. Keep the good work ethic and you will be fine in whatever you do.

Darryl G
02-12-2010, 03:03 PM
I started out with a $10k personal investment as an LLC with a tax number from day 1. It took a little while to get insurance being a new business but I got it before I started doing any work. The thing is that if you don't have a minimum of 3 years experience in the business, nobody wants to touch you. I was able to convince them that my experience supervising heavy equipment operations at hazardous waste sites was applicable experience. I remember saying to the agent, come on, who he hell doesn't know how to operate a lawn mower, lol.

I just have too much to lose to not be insured and it's a good feeling to not have to worry about getting caught evading taxes. There's enough stress as it is being a business owner.

But it's kind of funny to hear ppl saying that if they paid insurance and taxes then they wouldn't be making money or would have to raise prices. That's the problem I have. The illegitimate lawn cutters coming in and lowballing because they don't have the overhead a real business has. It seems every guy with a pickup truck is a "landscaper" these days. The customer doesn't realize the value of having a fully comitted legal lawn care company until something goes wrong. They look at it as a commodity, not a service, and go with the lower price. It's a service business and you get what you pay for like any other service business. Am I loosing customers to these guys, no. Am I loose out on potential customers to these guys, yes, because I just can't compete with their pricing.

Stevegotcrabgrass
02-12-2010, 03:21 PM
I started out with a $10k personal investment as an LLC with a tax number from day 1. It took a little while to get insurance being a new business but I got it before I started doing any work. The thing is that if you don't have a minimum of 3 years experience in the business, nobody wants to touch you. I was able to convince them that my experience supervising heavy equipment operations at hazardous waste sites was applicable experience. I remember saying to the agent, come on, who he hell doesn't know how to operate a lawn mower, lol.

I just have too much to lose to not be insured and it's a good feeling to not have to worry about getting caught evading taxes. There's enough stress as it is being a business owner.

But it's kind of funny to hear ppl saying that if they paid insurance and taxes then they wouldn't be making money or would have to raise prices. That's the problem I have. The illegitimate lawn cutters coming in and lowballing because they don't have the overhead a real business has. It seems every guy with a pickup truck is a "landscaper" these days. The customer doesn't realize the value of having a fully comitted legal lawn care company until something goes wrong. They look at it as a commodity, not a service, and go with the lower price. It's a service business and you get what you pay for like any other service business. Am I loosing customers to these guys, no. Am I loose out on potential customers to these guys, yes, because I just can't compete with their pricing.

Well Said.

John Deere Mann
02-12-2010, 04:02 PM
I started out with a $10k personal investment as an LLC with a tax number from day 1. It took a little while to get insurance being a new business but I got it before I started doing any work. The thing is that if you don't have a minimum of 3 years experience in the business, nobody wants to touch you. I was able to convince them that my experience supervising heavy equipment operations at hazardous waste sites was applicable experience. I remember saying to the agent, come on, who he hell doesn't know how to operate a lawn mower, lol.

I just have too much to lose to not be insured and it's a good feeling to not have to worry about getting caught evading taxes. There's enough stress as it is being a business owner.

But it's kind of funny to hear ppl saying that if they paid insurance and taxes then they wouldn't be making money or would have to raise prices. That's the problem I have. The illegitimate lawn cutters coming in and lowballing because they don't have the overhead a real business has. It seems every guy with a pickup truck is a "landscaper" these days. The customer doesn't realize the value of having a fully comitted legal lawn care company until something goes wrong. They look at it as a commodity, not a service, and go with the lower price. It's a service business and you get what you pay for like any other service business. Am I loosing customers to these guys, no. Am I loose out on potential customers to these guys, yes, because I just can't compete with their pricing.

Why is it when you write something i always have to agree with you!:laugh::laugh::laugh:

MowinginEureka
02-12-2010, 05:56 PM
I bought an existing business. From day one, I applied for my tax ID, got my EIN, workers comp, liability insurance (1 mil, 2 mil aggregate), auto insurance(1 mil full coverage), and hired a payroll company to make sure everything went correctly. I just got my spray license and I am working on my contractors license (just dont bid anything over 500!). I pay 5k a year in insurance costs. The amount I make to pay my own bills, (some of which are business incurred, like phone, trash, electricity) is usually less than 3k. And in California, that's poor, especially in an area where people use houses as grow houses and that jacks up the rent. I pay 1275, and thats cheap. My gas is 4.19 a gallon. But yet, I don't even try to compete with the guys that charge 30 bucks an hour or less. I KNOW they are not paying workers comp, insurance, taxes, or anything else. I charge 37.50 and barely pay my bills every month. Sucks to be legal, but peace of mind is worth every dang cent.

mike174
02-13-2010, 12:55 AM
How many people who have full time jobs actually cut lawns on the side? Just as a part time gig? Do you run your "business" without insurance? I know its risky, but just looking to see how many actually do it. Cause really if you have 10 or less lawns a week, its almost not worth filing it for taxes, etc

$1,000,000 in coverage is less than $900...best money you can spend to help you sleep at night. (about 50% cheaper if all you do is lawn maintenance, landscaping costs closer to $900)

MowinginEureka
02-13-2010, 01:34 AM
Where are you guys getting your insurance?! Maybe its the insurance regulations here in CA, my liability insurance is 2000 and I've gotten quote in the range of 2,000-3,500. We are required to pay liability insurance based on our exposure and payroll. Basically they require you to pay a rate based on 36k dollars in payroll PLUS an actual payroll you have... So basically I pay liability insurance for one employee like I'm paying him 60k a year...Lol. Sucks to be legal here! And all I do IS lawn maintenance!

Darryl G
02-13-2010, 02:13 AM
I go through an independent agent. I was with National Grange Mutual to start with and now I'm with Peerless Insurance Company. Much better rate through Peerless but it was quite a detailed questionaire and follow up interview process. They seem kind of picky on who they'll insure.

A few things I learned about insurance, as it did take me some time and effort to get insured at first: A lot of insurance companies only insure in certain states or will deny you for any number of other reasons. Some won't take new businesses at all because they represent an unquantified risk. Some may have clauses that are difficult to work around, like not wanting any written snow plowing contracts. You really have to have a good agent who understands your business and to have some patience. And the last thing you want to do is lie on your application. That's a great way to get your claims denied.

integrityman
02-13-2010, 10:25 AM
I got insurance from day 1. For 500k liability t was around $300 a year for the first year. I had no problem picking up insurance staright out of the gate.

NorthTXlawnguy
02-13-2010, 10:50 AM
darryl seems to the facts here, at least in most cases. Different states my have different exposures and regulations on insurance companies as well (I do not know for sure). Independent agents usually have several companies they represent and can often get you a good price for the insurance you need. And he is definitely correct that many insurance companies will not insure for snow services as they feel the exposure is to great. There are also companies that specialize in snow removal insurance and you can often get a policy for the lawn service from one company and the snow plowing from another. That way you are covered if you do both. As for new businesses, some companies won't write them a policy, and others may. After a couple years or so of being insured with no lapses/claims, you can often find a better deal as Darryl did!
Companies rates can vary from year to year as well based on there claims for an area and occupation. Thsi is where an independent agent can be a big plus as they can shop your policy around when this happens and many captive agents may not have as much flexibility to do so.

mike174
02-14-2010, 01:47 AM
Where are you guys getting your insurance?! Maybe its the insurance regulations here in CA, my liability insurance is 2000 and I've gotten quote in the range of 2,000-3,500. We are required to pay liability insurance based on our exposure and payroll. Basically they require you to pay a rate based on 36k dollars in payroll PLUS an actual payroll you have... So basically I pay liability insurance for one employee like I'm paying him 60k a year...Lol. Sucks to be legal here! And all I do IS lawn maintenance!

An independent insurance agent signed me up with Selective Way Insurance for $1,000,000 in GL landscaping insurance for @ $820/yr. Snow plowing & pesticide coverage is additional $. She said if all I did was lawn maintenance (cut grass) it would be around $450/yr.

Grasshopper49
02-14-2010, 02:32 AM
In TN is not only the insurance, but the city and county business license and taxes, as well as the personal property taxes. On top of that, commercial vehicle insurance. Lots of guys run under the radar to save money. I suggest running a legit business. Not only will you have the insurance when you need it (and you will) but you won't have to worry about another legit company turning you in...then the money you 'saved' (and spent) will mean nothing. If you are in business, run it like a business and pay your dues.
The Grasshopper

MowinginEureka
02-14-2010, 11:56 PM
Yeah, we have to pay taxes on EVERY SINGLE PIECE of our equipment every year. So stupid, its like dmv fees...except for your shovel. You pay to the govt for income tax, you pay to the state for income tax, you pay to the state when yo buy something, you pay for your car to the state, you pay to the city to be licensed, you pay to the county to be licensed, you pay taxes to have employees, you pay for auto insurance, you pay for workers comp, you pay for liability insurance...as well as taxes for you insurance...I'm sure I missed another 3 or four taxes and insurances... geesh

Grasshopper49
02-15-2010, 12:01 AM
and because of that...I can see why so many operate under the radar. What I don't understand...people who hire these guys knowing (maybe) they are not paying their taxes. I have to pay city and county taxes...same rate..sounds like double taxation to me. And yes, the other taxes you mentioned as well. We need to educate our customers to these additional costs when providing pricing. I always provide my certification, license and tax info to customers, and suggest they check others as well if they do not hire me on the spot. Lots of guys here using pesticides without a license too. I always stress my experience, business philosophy and license info and stress that I am legit.
The Grasshopper, CTP
Grasshopperturfcompany@yahoo.com

MowinginEureka
02-15-2010, 12:56 AM
Yeah, forgot about the spray license costs, that was a good 300 or so dollars for me...not to mention the retakes... the prep class... driving 300 miles to take the test/class...hotels...gas...lol....there goes 1000 dollars

John Deere Mann
02-15-2010, 01:32 AM
Yeah, forgot about the spray license costs, that was a good 300 or so dollars for me...not to mention the retakes... the prep class... driving 300 miles to take the test/class...hotels...gas...lol....there goes 1000 dollars

AAAAAAAAAA This is a tax write off!

MowinginEureka
02-15-2010, 05:19 PM
Yeah, but just because you are not taxed on something does not mean that it does not suck to have to pay for it. People say, oh you can write that off...yeah but you still have to pay out of your pocket and its not like it comes back to you at the end of the year...you just simply don't pay income tax on that amount.

John Deere Mann
02-15-2010, 06:11 PM
Yeah, but just because you are not taxed on something does not mean that it does not suck to have to pay for it. People say, oh you can write that off...yeah but you still have to pay out of your pocket and its not like it comes back to you at the end of the year...you just simply don't pay income tax on that amount.

I think were in the same boat. If you made $30,000 your at the end expence was $15,000. your tax able amount is $15,000. What would you rather pay tax on 30,000 or 15,000?

vacgirl
02-15-2010, 08:09 PM
Way to many, some will learn the hard way.
Yes, you're right. Insurance is expensive, and sometimes worthless ( ie., if you destroy rental equipment) but if you're going to own a business your first priority should be legitimacy. Hire a CPA, get insurance, and pay your damn taxes. Or work for someone else. And by the way AI, it's "immoral", not "imoral". But I did look it up just to be sure!

Darryl G
02-15-2010, 08:38 PM
One thing I don't know if anyone has mentioned, and I'm not about to read all the posts again. I think most of us know this, but for those who don't (maybe the younger guys who have never insured anything before), you can pick your deductilbe amount. Your deductilbe is the amount you pay up to on a specific claim. So if you have a $500 deductible and you do $1,500 worth of damage, you pay the first $500 and the insurance company pays for the rest. For small amounts of damage, like a broken screen door window or a run over mailbox or something, you just take care of it out of your pocket. For some claims over your deductible, you may not want to claim them...say if it was $700 worth of damage. All you'd get is $200 and it could put you in a higher risk catergory and cause your premiums to go up much more than $200. You can call your agent and discuss it with them without filing a claim and that won't affect your rate. It's a good idea to call your agent any time you think you might have a claim, even if you don't end up filing it. You want to be the one they hear about it from, not someone else...they don't like surprises. A higher deductile will result in a lower rate, but it's up to you to decide what is better in the long run. I don't think I'd recommend anything under $500 for a deductible.

And if you may want to get theft insurance on your more expensive equipment. If someone rips off your mower and you can't afford a new one, you're essentially out of business. If all you've got is a $250 Craftsamn 21 inch mower and a Ryobi weed wacker, don't bother, cuz nobody is steal them anyway ;)

helidriver
03-03-2010, 07:37 PM
I tell everyone who is a small operator....Merchants ins. grp. wont kill ya and good coverage.