Help in Lake Co. Florida

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by MCS Lawn Care, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. MCS Lawn Care

    MCS Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    hello,
    im writing this out of desperiation. Im currently employed a a firefighter for the Department of Defence in NJ. I moved My family (wife and soon to be daughter) to lake county Fl (clermont) last January with the expectation of a job transfer. Well, due to the war the govt. does not have the money to transfer me, and after a year of waiting im giving up. I have been a "part time" husband for a year and i will not be a "part time" father. So with that said Im looking to start full time this season. I do have several years on my own under my belt in Nj. i have all my own equipment. What i need help with is what do i need to do to become a buisness in lake county fl, also the best way to drum up buisness in this area. I have talked to the guy that mowes for me now and he is going to pass along any new customers to me. he has also agreed to let me talk to a few of his current customers about switching to me. I know that this sounds weird and its not your problem but in the fire service we are all "brothers" and i see lawnsite as a "brother hood" of sorts also.

    thank you again

    chris
     
  2. Landscape25

    Landscape25 LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 199

    I am sorry about your situation. I am not in that county but I can tell you that most likely you will need a county occupational license and maybe register your license in each municipality in which you plan to work. Those may be considered different licenses. You have to call the municipalities for this.
    If you are planning on using a business name that does not have your full name included in it, you will need to register for a fictitious name at Sunbiz.org. That is 50.00. You probably want insurance. I do not know if that is required where you are to get a license, it is not here, but you are using heavy equipment so I would not risk that. I waited about six months after I first got started but I was only using hand tools. If you have the money I would get it. Then there will be your car insurance for while you are driving on business if you are using your personal vehicle for business. My company has an artisan surcharge which allows me to go up to five different jobs in a day. I am not near that limit yet, I am unhappy to say. I am now in my second year and business is not really booming but I do not offer lawn service either. I think I covered the legalities. There may be a personal property tax that you have to pay to your county for equipment. For spraying there is a yardman's exemption, saying that if the owner of the residence supplies the chemical and container you can spray it ( I would imagine this means products available to homeowners). I am not sure of the technicalities of that law as in whether there has to be a contract etc. but the FL Dept. of Agriculture should have more info. if you need it. We can put fert. down without having a license as long as there are no pesticides or herbicides in it. That was probably more than you wanted.
     
  3. The Ripper

    The Ripper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 132

    I am in Seminole county right next door to Lake county. You need a County occupational license for about $10.00, and it would be good to get liabilty insurance which runs between $800 and $1200 a year usually requiring about a 40% deposit to get it started. Then you need a bunch of door hangers ans some business cards. Also a cell phone with a local number. There is a lot of new development in the area around your city and you should have your wife hit the streets asap with door hangers in all the new neighborhoods. Around here if you always answer your phone and always show up you will be a step ahead of the competition. Also don't spray peoples yards with their own chemicals. Hire a sub to do it for you. If your not used to the grass here leave it to the proffessionals.
     
  4. MCS Lawn Care

    MCS Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    my intention is to not do ANY chemical spraying ill sub it all out. i will be looking for a good company when time for that.
    chris
     
  5. Landscape25

    Landscape25 LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 199

    I did not mean to go and spray whole lawns. I was referring more to use of round-up or whatever is needed for an ornamental bug problem. But I would check with the Dept. of Agriculture I am not all together clear on the law myself. One more thing, if you need info, this is a good site

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/

    It is through the University of Florida.

    Okay one more thing, that's it for now. If you are selling plants you are supposed to have a stock dealer certificate through the Dept. of Ag.. There is a bond law too.
     
  6. FLAhaulboy

    FLAhaulboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 852

    in order to spray lawn chemicals (including weed killers), you will need to be crefied thru the local fl county extension office
     
  7. Landscape25

    Landscape25 LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 199

    FLA is the yardman's exemption still in effect. I looked at the FDACS site and did not see anything about it.
     
  8. Mower63

    Mower63 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 65

    You can get a limited commercial applicators license. This allows you (and only you) to spray anything with a label of 'Caution' using upto a 4 Gal backpack (no spray rigs allowed). Check this website for course details and the test (same day) www.floridalma.org

    You will need to prove you have 3 years minimum experience in lawn maintenance to qualify (W-2, tax return, prior employer letter, incorporation papers)...the agri web site (entomology) lists them along with the FL State license application.

    You can spray anything provided to you by the homeowner on their property as long as it is in the original container...meaning you can't use your own backpack sprayer.

    Probably too much info...also you might want to check with your county extension office. They will offer a lot of FREE advice and technical bulletins about landscape and lawn here in the South. So if you are not familiar with St. Augustine / Bahia or other common plants/trees that is a great place to start.

    Good luck.
     
  9. Landscape25

    Landscape25 LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 199

    Mower I am in Palm Beach County. Not to many people here from our area. Also, if what the homeowner supplies is not mixed even if they have a sprayer you can not use it? I have just used the round-up very little in the original container. Are you allowed to use round-up that they supply in between pavers or just in beds. It is a little late to ask, I did that once but I would like a clearer definition on that law.
     
  10. MCS Lawn Care

    MCS Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    all your help is so very appreciated ill do all my calling to get started on mondya

    chris
     

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