Going Legal and need advice

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Dwilliams239, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. wnylawnlandscape

    wnylawnlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    I would start as a dba also. As for the the teenage stuff i would stay away from it. One thing I notice is everyone seems to name them selves xxxxxxx lawn care. Do you ever plan on doing landscaping? if so i would incorporate landscaping into your name some how. In my opinion if i saw a name with just lawn care in it i wouldnt call them for a planting or clean up.
     
  2. AlohaMowing

    AlohaMowing LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    Don't think I'm trying to discourage you, but there is a problem you may have overlooked. You're still 16 years old. You are not going to be able to enter into contracts. Do you have an adult who will be, on paper, the owner of this business?

    For those who are urging you to go with a dba, if you have plenty of insurance, that can make life simpler. If you have minimal insurance, you, personally, are effectively judgement proof because you currently own nothing that could be seized to satisfy a judgement. But depending on local laws, your family's assets might be seized. I am a strong proponent of using an LLC to limit liability, but the accounting issues become much more complicated than if you have a dba, so you need to consider the pros and cons of both, and decide what is right for you.

    And I agree with those who would strongly discourage a high school theme, or even reference to your youth, in your marketing. Focus on professionalism and competence.
     
  3. CowboysLawnCareDelaware

    CowboysLawnCareDelaware LawnSite Senior Member
    from DE
    Posts: 555

    Im 20 and I personally like the High School name, but it could make other(rival) high school alumnus's to go with another company.

    Definitely STAY AWAY from the teenager slogan, it doesn't sound great and your gonna be 20 in three years and not a teenager anymore.

    I was going to say to just be a sole proprietor your first season or two, but sense your parents are at fault then you definitely need to become an L.L.C.

    -Michael
     
  4. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,340

    single member LLC offers little protection.

    Problem with the teen slogan: people will be worried that you will be going out of business at the end of summer or when football starts
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  5. lalllc

    lalllc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    Dont do the Football thing. What are you going to do when you are 40 and have a persona that the best days of your life was over 20 years ago. You will go further with your last name. When I started I did a lot of Topiary work. I loved art and loved plants. I am "Living Art Landscaping LLC." Why Not "Panthers Turf"? You can have your love of football with out it looking funny after time has past. No football slogans . No helmet ! Sounds like to me you sold the work not the game of football.
     
  6. Dwilliams239

    Dwilliams239 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    Ok, I have thought about all this info the past couple of days.

    Seems like the majority think that staying clear from advertising that Im young in any way is the best bet.

    Been thinking about the name then, and since I dont have the knowledge nor desire to do hardscapes/installs right now, instead of "D&W Landscaping, L.L.C.", Im leaning more towards "D&W Lawn Services, L.L.C." to show that I still want to do bush trimming and clean ups, etc.

    As for the business side of it, Im leaning more towards an llc since my parents will be owning the business and would be liable for it. So how would that work? Would my parent be the owner and me a worker? Or would we co-own?

    Also, correct me if Im wrong, but from what Ive seen here and read up on on this site, the minimum insurance I would need would be general liability, and commercial insurance on truck, right?

    I am currently searching for local lawyers and insurance guys that Im sure can answer all these questions when I go and talk to them, but any insight y'all can give me so I dont look completely stupid would be very helpful.

    After I save up another 3k, I'll have enough cash to get a decent f250 dump truck or something similar. I was planning on using my truck to pull the trailer and handle clippings until I save up that 3k whether it be from cutting grass or from some of my other ventures. So how would that work insurance wise? I have a 2010 Toyota Tacoma and Id imagine commercial insurance on it would be outrageous. Can I dodge that bullet long enough until I get the dump truck? I'm figuring another month or two. Its got reg insurance, just wondering if I could get away from getting commercial on it or if its even necessary to begin with.

    I used the tacoma last year, and it pulled everything alright. I am just looking to get a bigger truck so I can have the option of pulling a bigger enclosed trailer someday, and the dump would save an astronomical amount of time of managing clippings compared to a 5' bed I had to rake out everyday when I was done, then wash my truck everytime I wanted to go somewhere haha

    Thanks!
    Danny
     
  7. lalllc

    lalllc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    Grass clippings will eat that bed alive. So don't leave the clippings in there. Just a FYI . The insurance for that truck should not be too bad. Don't sweat it that much.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Ark
    Posts: 3,338

    As far as the clippings,simply get away from bagging. Get mowers with the ability to mulch well and preach that it is better for the lawn.
     
  9. TTS

    TTS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 615

    I agree with most of the others that you should stay away from the high school theme or mentioning your age for several reasons. When people see that you're young, they picture the neighborhood kid who comes and cuts their lawn for $5 rather than the professional who comes and performs a top level service for a reasonable price.

    Like others have said you will have to change everything around once you're out of high school and no longer a teenager. Branding is the big buzzword in small business right now, you have a good start and will continue to grow your brand for a few years but then you'll have to completely abandon the brand that you have created and change things around. On the same token I prefer business names that aren't your name again for the branding aspect. Two examples around my area are The Happy Mower LLC and Bob and Daves lawncare LLC. In the professional world while some may see The Happy Mower as cheesy it is much easier to brand than a personal name.

    Just my 2 cents, many people in this business are only concerned about the field work aspect of the business and don't put thought into the business side of running a business, while some information won't apply to the green industry business classes apply pretty universally and really provide some great insight for building and operating a business that can put you ahead of the guy next door.
     
  10. lalllc

    lalllc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    we need a like button. So I dont have to repost something I like. Good points guys.
     

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