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Old 11-18-2004, 12:08 AM
sailinstud420's Avatar
sailinstud420 sailinstud420 is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Grand Rapids Michigan
Posts: 340
Starting a Legitimate Business

I am a senior in high school and next year plan to start a real lawn business, as well as attend a community college. Call me a scrub, I really don't care, but yes I did mow 9 lawns all season uninsured and unlicensed, and I have potential to get a whole lot more!! Can someone please help me on what to do to get a real business going, as far as a license, insurance, taxes, etc goes. What are the bare minimums that I have to do to be a legal business? I am not yet worried about overhead, gas, contracts, equip etc etc. Please leave that out of this discussion for now. I know what i have as far as equip and I know what I need, and do not worry, I am not mowing with murray lawn tractors and electric string trimmers. I want to know who to call and what to ask to get things rolling. The secretary of state perhaps? how about choosing a name and finding out if it is being used currently. Any help is much appreciated!!!
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Equipment:
1990 Dodge Caravan (I took the back seats out...)
Reel mower
Pair of scissors
Broom and dustpan
lots of Misc equipment... too much to list!!

Looking for running or not running equip near GR MI.
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  #2  
Old 11-18-2004, 12:29 AM
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DAVESDLUX DAVESDLUX is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: kansas city, mo
Posts: 6
I live in Missouri and I can go to Missouri.gov for information on starting a new business and checking to see if anyone has a certain business name or not. This was my first year in business and I did'nt get any licenses. If you open a business checking account at the bank they will probably register your business name with the state for you. You should check the internet and see if there is a Michigan.gov and look for starting a small business. Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 11-18-2004, 09:47 AM
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HighGrass HighGrass is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Z5 MA
Posts: 1,240
Hey...I have an idea for ya. Does your school have a business class or economics class? Maybe hit two birds with one stone. Start up the business while you are in your last year of school and see if you can get credit for it!
Sort of like an independent study for extra credit.
My first stop was a CPA. Best money I ever spent.
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  #4  
Old 11-18-2004, 05:53 PM
sailinstud420's Avatar
sailinstud420 sailinstud420 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Grand Rapids Michigan
Posts: 340
Davesdlux, are you saying you operated a business without being licensed? Did you have any kind of insurance? I did that this year, but if I get a bunch of residentials I would prefer to go into it having some kind of insurance.

HighGrass- I have thought of this idea, and am working on it for next semester. It is a good idea though.
__________________
Equipment:
1990 Dodge Caravan (I took the back seats out...)
Reel mower
Pair of scissors
Broom and dustpan
lots of Misc equipment... too much to list!!

Looking for running or not running equip near GR MI.
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  #5  
Old 11-18-2004, 07:54 PM
sailinstud420's Avatar
sailinstud420 sailinstud420 is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Grand Rapids Michigan
Posts: 340
looks like this made it to the third page in a matter of hours, I dont want it to get buried! Can anyone else lend any help?
__________________
Equipment:
1990 Dodge Caravan (I took the back seats out...)
Reel mower
Pair of scissors
Broom and dustpan
lots of Misc equipment... too much to list!!

Looking for running or not running equip near GR MI.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-18-2004, 08:23 PM
Gene $immons's Avatar
Gene $immons Gene $immons is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 1,031
Hello

Check with your county clerk and tell them what you want to do. They are paid to answer your questions. Be sure to tell them if you are going to hire employees. Hiring an employee will make things different than if you plan on working solo.

I would look trrough the phone book and hire a CPA. Hire someone who will have the time to work with you and make sure all of your taxes and form filing is done. Your best bet is to hire a CPA that is a single business owner, like you are going to be. Just pick up the phone and start telling these people what you want to do.

If you want business insurance (most likely a liability policy) call your insurance agent. This is not a must, but you might need to show some proof of liability insurance from time to time, and you will need to have liability insurance if you offer weed spraying.

You will also want to have a name that is unique. Ask the County Clerk about filing a name for your business. I believe the form I used was called "certificate of fictitious name".

If you want to become Incorporated or set up as an LLC, your new accountant will be able to help.

Starting a business is fun and also lots of work. It's no big deal though, just be willing to do what it takes to make the thing grow and you will do fine.
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