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Old 02-24-2013, 02:05 PM
Alex G Alex G is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: east windsor New jeresy
Posts: 22
Questions on starting out

I started out roughly 4 years ago when i was 13 years old mowing neighbors lawns and such. I am now going to be 17 years old come march and want to expand outside my neighborhood. I have questions on how to do this.

First, do i need insurance or licenses? and if so what kind do I need?

Second, I bought a Ford F150 4x4 but its in my parents name as of right now. Should I register it as part of the business? (aka commercial plates)
I have to attach a trailer hitch to my truck because it only has the ball on the bumper. Any info on what kind of hitch I need? I would be towing no more than 3000 pounds ( one walk behind a push trimmer and blower)

I have to decide on a trailer, I know enclosed trailers are more expensive but is it a better investment now to make or later when I grow? Additonally what size should i start out with?

What is the a good software that helps keep track of business expanses, or even helps track clientele activity.

Should I look into becoming an LLC or a sole prop?

Also, since I was 13 I did the job and got paid right after I did it. How does lawn companies get paid. Do they get paid like I did or is it monthly or what?

These are a few questions I have as of right now. Any info on starting my business will help. Additionally, I am located in Central New Jersey if that helps. Thank you.
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  #2  
Old 02-24-2013, 02:10 PM
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LandFakers LandFakers is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CT
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If you wanna do it right your going to want inscurence, and become a liscensed contractor. I would leave the truck the way it is. For a hitch just google "2 inch reciever hitch for (year) F150" That will make it useful up to the tow rating of your truck. Keep starting costs down, I would say start with a 6x12 open trailer. That is good for mowing and moving debris. I do a monthly billing system, but its really up to you on how you want to get paid.
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  #3  
Old 02-24-2013, 04:14 PM
JRJFENCE JRJFENCE is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Perth Amboy, NJ
Posts: 63
Alex, what part of cnj are you in? I'm here too. You definitely need insurance. But I don't think you can get it until you're 18. Lisence you would need would be a home improvement but only if you're going to be doing installs. Again may need to be 18 for this. You will need commercial plates and commercial insurance on your truck incase there's an accident you'll be covered. Your truck will need signage or you will face fines (got one ticket because I didn't have signage on one of my trucks since it had just got out of the mechanic shop) I started off becoming an LLC but I'm not sure if you need to be 18 or not. I do monthly billing but like LandFakers said its up to you. Software wise I started with Microsoft Exel but moved onto Quickbooks in less than a year. Makes it easier at the end of the year to file your taxes.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:12 PM
crichardson crichardson is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Danville, VA
Posts: 96
definitely want a 6x12-16 trailer with the taller sides for moving debris and mulch like an above poster said. and quickbooks seems to be the best thing if you can afford. i just started last year on my own business after working with others for the past 5 years, feel free to message me for any starting questions.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:42 PM
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Vanderhoff Landscaping Vanderhoff Landscaping is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: North Jersey
Posts: 301
I always thought that if you installs such as mulch that you needed a contractors license in nj.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:03 PM
JRJFENCE JRJFENCE is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Perth Amboy, NJ
Posts: 63
Vanderhoff- You are correct: "Landscaper: Cuts grass only. Doesn't need to register. Plants a flower. He's now a home improvement contractor!" (http://franchinoinsurance.com/new-je...on-information)
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:40 AM
Alex G Alex G is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: east windsor New jeresy
Posts: 22
Im in East Windsor. Like 15 minuites away from Princeton/Trenton. what do you mean by signage? Also with monthly billing how do you collect? do you send a form and they send in money or if I need should i get one of those "squares" which is credit on your phone. i believe that is a 2.75% fee though.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:53 AM
JRJFENCE JRJFENCE is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Perth Amboy, NJ
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Oh ok I'm up north about 45 to an hour from you. By signage I mean lettering on your trucks and trailers or magnets. I did invoice at the end of the month last year. This year with, Quickbooks you have the option to accept e-checks for $0.50 per check which isn't bad. I have only used Square for one transaction but it wasn't a big one- $100 or so. Anything bigger than that and I'd rather get a check.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:03 PM
Alex G Alex G is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: east windsor New jeresy
Posts: 22
Makes sense. I been reading around and a lot of other companies suggest getting a 1mill agg. is that too much for a business like mine which is just starting out? And where did you get yours?
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:11 PM
JRJFENCE JRJFENCE is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Perth Amboy, NJ
Posts: 63
God forbid you run your mower and a rock hits a window or door, or like I read on here some where- you are trimming around a central air unit and you hit the wires and now you have to fix that, or you're mowing lawns and hit a fence section or gate- can cost you somewhere between 200-300 per section or about 350 per gate. No I don't think 1mil is too much. My company has 1mil/2mil and I got it from an agent in my town
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