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Easiest way to start a lawn mowing business

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Alex G, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. Alex G

    Alex G LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    Well I turn 17 in march so next year.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  2. Alex G

    Alex G LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    What if I advertise as a neighborhood kid looking to make money for the summer? Would that work better than as a business plus i can always changed my name.
     
  3. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    You're getting a lot of bad advice here. For starters the IRS doesn't care about your age. At 17 you pay taxes just like the rest of us. If you were to cut grass and only cut grass than you would not need the NJ home improvement license. NO mulch, planting, etc. You can do business as a "DBA" or Doing Business As. You can call it whatever you want. You should research it because you could potentially run into issues with servicemark/trademark infringement. You do this at the county office. Also check the towns you want to work in some require additional registration. You will need to register with the state your DBA so you can collect sales tax and pay your income taxes. You then get your insurance with your DBA. Yes you need to get commercial plates and letter your vehicle also. You might need a cosigner since you are a minor for some things. That is a big risk for someone. The option in all this would be to get a proper business entity through the state which lines you up for a proper business later on, but legally you can DBA and be fine for what you are asking.

    You could of course do what you want as well and risk losing your truck, going to jail, or getting your parents sued, etc. I do not recommend it. Of course there are always guys that do this, but at the same time we all hear every summer of the 8 year old's lemonade stand getting shut down by the government because they pissed off the wrong person. Do not think cause you are small or young you are immune to the law or it's enforcers.

    Going legit is very easy and does not cost a lot.
     
  4. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,797

    wow i'm glad when i was a kid noone cared what you did and no kid ever paid taxes and so forth. :laugh:

    here you don't even have to buy a license unless you cut inside city limits. you can cut outside city limits in the county legally without having a license. you also don't need insurance here to get a license. i dont' think the government is gonna come after you for what little amount of money you will be making. if you make 10k or less a year they don't really care if you pay taxes or not. it's when you go over that amount that they start to make a big deal about it all.
     
  5. JRJFENCE

    JRJFENCE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    Shovelracer- thats what ive been telling him I know for a fact you need signage on any commercial truck or else its a $26.00 fine and that if he's pulling a trailer with out comm plates he will get pulled over sooner or later and face fines there, especially if same cop sees him on different occasions doing it.
     
  6. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,797

    it's a different world up there in NJ. there are many guys here that don't even get a license. as long as your truck doesn't have signage they don't check you. for all they know you are just someone's cousin cutting their lawn for them. i have a license and i've never been checked in 3 years. i don't think the city here even cares to be honest. i actually asked my insurance company if i needed to get commercial plates and they said no don't worry about it.
     
  7. Alex G

    Alex G LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    I know you guys know what your talking about since most of you probably did this but I called the county clerk today and said Im 17 and want to cut lawns this summer.. they told me I don't need anything I also called my local township building again nothing? So who do I listen to? Do you guys think it would be best if I physically go there and see what's going on? And if they tell me I dont need anything get it in writing? I also called my auto insurance they said I don't need commercial plates but instead get utility insurance which is cheaper than normal insurance and pay 50 dollars a year for a trailer.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    I'm 100% certain that the IRS is very concerned with any amount of money any of us make regardless of age. I don't get the it doesn't matter cause your young approach. By age 16 I was paying taxes, contributing to social security, and filing 1040's.

    Alex, look you and the thousand other new guys that come on here every spring rely too much on bad internet advice. The state of NJ has countless pages of accurate advice on starting a business, as does small business association and a few others. Take it for what you want. If you want to putz around and not make any money than go ahead just do not rear end me cause I'll sue your family for all they have. On the other hand if you want to start a business that can support you for the rest of your life, raise your children, put them through college, and allow you to retire happy than take the time to do this right.

    This site will verify much of what you have been advised and get you pointed in the right direction.

    http://www.nj.gov/njbusiness/starting/
     
  9. Alex G

    Alex G LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    I'm not saying your wrong... I'm just saying I have already contacted my county clerk and my local township building. (my local township building twice) and i keep getting different answers. All pointing out that i do not need anything "Due to the fact I cannot enter a legal contract." I understand I must do it right and you are completely right on this. All the information i have received post calling the township/county clerk is that since i'm a minor I do not need anything. I'm not saying this is right and it is defiantly not fair to you legal contractors who put time and money into what you guys do. I'm only looking for advice from those who already went through this process to get a better understanding of what needs to be done, since i'm getting different answers all over the place.
     
  10. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    The answer may not be that you do not need anything because you are a minor the answer probably is that you can not because you are a minor. So to answer your question directly you can not legally operate a business based on the information you got, not that you can somehow operate and not need to do anything.

    The town answer is average, most towns do not require anything. The county though is to protect you. If you go to the link I gave you it specifically addresses all the issues you asked about including the county DBA reg.
     

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