Getting Business license a mistake?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by QualityLawnCare4u, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    In the 7 years Ive done lawn care I have got along fine with no license or insurance. This past year I decided to really try to look more professional so I got insurance and license. My license were like 75 bucks. Today I get a letter about 4 feet long wanting to know every piece of equipment I own and down to the gas cans! What size my shop is (I dont have one) and every minute detail they could think of. I am proud to say that I have reported every cent I ever made cash or check and give my inventory sheet to my cpa. The letter I got was from my local tax accessors office. I guess the greedy, low life bottom feeding SOBs aint happy till they suck every ounce of life out of you. Sorry for the rant, just really ticked me off as if Im not strugling hard enough. Until I got my license they never asked me a single thing. I should know by now that the more you tell the govt. the more they will shaft you. I was just trying to be honest about my biz. Tommorow they will get a call that I am no longer in biz, will go back to the way I was before.
  2. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    Ya.........then they send the bill! And next year they want that updated.

    Around here they will send out the license cop to check and see if you have it or not. It'd be hard to run without it.
  3. MP350

    MP350 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 185

    My license cost $15 bucks and the steal about $400 bucks every year for taxes, put if they catch you without a license they can take you to jail. Then you have to pay court costs, fines & then get your license. The scary part is that you are running your business without insurance, you can lose everything you own with one mistake.
  4. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    I agree with you about the Tax Man and his incessant need to keep putting the screws to small business owners. First they get you for sales tax when you buy the equipment. Then they get you every year for property tax on the equipment. It's no wonder there are so many LCO's operating unlicensed. But, operating "illegally" is not the answer. Being unlicensed and worst of all uninsured is risky business. You'll sleep better at night if you're legal and insured.
  5. LB Landscaping

    LB Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,309

    Same thing around here. I rent a shop so I don't have to pay as much but the city still charges me $300 a year to have a "home office" which consists of an old dining room table in the back of the basement, a laptop, and a couple of filing cabnits!!! :dizzy:
  6. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Danny could this have been an ins. audit? They want all that god info so they know at what rate to charge you. just wondering

  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Sounds like a business personal property tax. We have it in Maryland but nobody pays it and the state doesn't enforce it.
  8. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    As far as getting a license is a mistake...I would first ask is it mandatory? If it is then I would say that it is a mistake NOT to have/get one. I'm a firm believer in CYA and this will fall under that category.

    As far as insurance goes some people seem to think you have to have it. In general, that's not true. Chances are you can't get a pesticide license cause you need insurance (some minimum depends on state), might not be able to get some commercial accounts cause they (the owners, associations, etc.) might require some minimum amount also.

    The way I look at it is insurance covers a certain amount of risk and its up to you to decide how much. If you don't have a need for insurance (again, YOU need to evaluate that) simply don't get it.

    Have you tried opting out of certain insurance coverage (i.e. inland marine coverage), lowering your coverage amount (i.e. from $1M to $500k), or raising a deductible (i.e. $500 to $1500). You might be surprised what a combination of this saves you. Also, what do they have you classified as. For instance, I lowered my rate but letting my insurance agent that I don't take down nor trim up large trees. This put me (well us) in a lower bracket because we immediately lowered our risk (i.e. the tree can't fall onto a house, car, person by our account). I guess it boils down to having a reputable insurance agent...IMHO.
  9. Smalltimer1

    Smalltimer1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,223

    Around here you can actually assign your own value to your equipment for property tax. Most of the guys around here list everything as being worth $100 or $200 and leave it at that.

    The only thing you can't personally devalue around here is your vehicles, the county assigns a tax value to your vehicle and that can't be changed unless it is a real basketcase, then you'd have to take it to the tax office to prove it.
  10. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,157

    Do you take a tax deduction for your "home office" from the IRS? If you don't, then you may not have an "official" home office. I don't know if it is worth arguing about, but you might want to find out about the definition of "home office" in your area.

    Oh, and yes, I also get hit with the property tax. As said previously, once your equipment is paid off, make its' value as little as possible.

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