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Alabama Business Help

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by JT25, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. JT25

    JT25 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    I am trying to get a lawn service started this year. I want to be completly legit and legal no matter how small of a company i have. I'm not sure on licenses though. Will i need one for each town, or county or is there a state license for lawn care? I only have about a million other questions, but i will start with this one. Any help will be greatly appreciated, asspecially from alabama guys. thanks
     
  2. Pro-turf lawn

    Pro-turf lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    im just 15 so you probally wont care but I dont think there is a state license for mowing. but one is required for pest and fert. what type of marketing are you using
     
  3. topturfhsv

    topturfhsv LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    I have a business here in Huntsville, AL. and they told me that when I bought my county license that also covers my state license. However, I still have to buy a license for Huntsville and cities that are within Madison County. You will have to buy a license for Jefferson County and if you plan on working within the city limits of b'ham you will also need a license for that.
     
  4. matt25738

    matt25738 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    I'm in Bham as well and unfortunately you will need a license for every city you do business in, that means Vestavia, Hoover, Homewood, ect all require separate business licenses (and this is just to mow)..... The joys of living in Alabama.
     
  5. JT25

    JT25 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    Thanks for the replies. I figured that I would have to get one for each city. This will stink. I guess I will have to focus my marketing to small areas. I want to go door to door, and maybe door hangers or flyers. there are many new subdivisions around the i want to focus on. Any one have tips on area focused marketing. Also, anyone have a 32"-36" walkbehing they want to get rid of, I've been looking but havent had any luck.
     
  6. topturfhsv

    topturfhsv LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    It does cost a little extra for your business licenses in different cities, but its like having insurance just part of doing business...there's plenty of work without alot of windshield time or at least that's the case here in huntsville if your market your business right and keep your word with your customers. all the ideas you have for marketing are great and i have tried them myself. However, for me, the best marketing strategy has been placing my signs in the yards of my customers. After i cut someone's yard, i offer them $10 off the cut if they will let me put a sign in their yard until i return the following week. This has worked great due to neighbors asking the homeowners about my business in which they recommened me. One subdivision I started with only having 1 yard around a year ago and now i'm currently cutting 9 yards there just by using this marketing strategy and of course keeping my word with customers. That's just my .02....(by the way, the signs i put out are smaller yet noticable ones...homeowners don't like the big signs that look like billboards which make their place look tacky....just a thought when it comes time to make your signs)
     
  7. clc000

    clc000 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Hello, I owned a medium size business in Alabama before moving up here. Having worked in the Birmingham market, I can tell you that it is very competitive, but you can carve out a niche by doing things the right way and relating to your customers on a personal level. My advice is to focus your attention on one or two areas, preferably close to where your equipment is stored. Not only does this cut down on license expenses-at least $100 a piece , but it will also save you money on gas. Check out allofcraigs.com, it lets you search more than one Craigslist area at once so you can find equipment. If that doesn't work there are companies on Ebay that deal used WB's, but you might have to pay a few hundred bucks in shipping. Good Luck.
     
  8. JT25

    JT25 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    Thanks for the feedback. I think i know the areas i want to focus on getting customers in. And i have some ideas on marketing. Although I have no customers lined up yet, i am short on equiptment. I have 2 push mowers(21" res) and a trimmer(res) I am focusing on small yards in "cookie cutter" subdivissions, I'm thinking a a 32" to 36" used walk behind commercial mower would suit me perfectly,that and a handheld blower, and later a commercial trimmer would have me up and running. Any recomendations on walk behinds or trimmers, also i will be working out of the bed of my truck (ram1500)until i have the cash to put into a trailer
     
  9. Southern Heritage

    Southern Heritage LawnSite Member
    Posts: 169

    Here is what you need for working in the great state of Alabama
    1. State license
    2. County your based out of
    3. City you work in. All of them
    4. If you plant anything SLP LICENCE
    5. If you do work over $700.00 you must pull a permit which usually have minimum of $60.00
    6. If you work in Birmingham you have to pay a additional tax on what you pay your employes while working in Birmingham. First hand experience turn it in every month. We worked there 9 days I paid my tax. I didn't turn 0 in for the next 11 months of my license because we didn't work there and received a bill in the 4 digits from a collection agency for back taxes.
     
  10. acculawnsystems

    acculawnsystems LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    We are at the Alabama Vs Missouri game today. Good luck.
     

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