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How many accounts does it take......?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Myk, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. Myk

    Myk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    I just found out I have to have a license to apply fertilizer. luckly I found out not the hard way but from this site. now I am in the process of getting my license and now I'm wonder after all the fees and ins. for a license how many accounts do I need to really break even? my main service is mowing so I already have two maybe three accounts wanting fertilize apply to there lawn but I want to not get in trouble applying it. so how many accounts would I need to pretty much break even from license fees to insurance ect? I know you can't tell me exactly since you don't know pricing here but for you what is ball park number accounts to break even? thanks for the input.
  2. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Posts: 0

    You could always sub out the fertilization part to another company until your ready to satrt doing it yourself. I subed mine out for the first couple of years in business.

    Also if your only applying straight fertilzer (with No weed & feed, No Pre M, No grub control, No weed control etc.) you shouldn't need the certification but check with your State Ag. Dept. as that might be different from State to State. So you might be able to do the straight fertilizer apps and sub out the other ones.
  3. NELawnCare

    NELawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 175

    Question for those serving Wisconsin...

    Does Wisconsin require small LC businesses to obtain a license to spread lawn fertilizer? I have visited the state web site:
    and cannot decypher the terminology. The way I interpret the language on the state site, if you "distribute or resell" meaning if I am a product distributor or bulk reseller?

    Any advice is appreciated.
  4. lurch

    lurch LawnSite Member
    Posts: 221

    In texas it is going to cost me about 150 all together to get licensed....Depending on the yard size im gonna bump the cost of the fertilizer 20%-30% and then charge around $1.50 sq. yard....just depends on the size of the lawn...obstacles?....hills?....there's a lot that goes into this business that i really didn't understand until i came here....
  5. NELawnCare

    NELawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 175

    Okay, I answered my own post!

    I contacted the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection at 1-608-224-4500 and spoke to Bonnie in the License and Permit Department.

    In the State of Wisconsin, if you are only spreading fertilizer ( a product that does not contain pesticides or weed-control products) you do not need a license or permit. This includes the abililty to spread lime without a license or a permit.

    If you plan to spread pesticides or weed-control products, you must be "certified". This requires a $75 fee and course material from the University of Wisconsin. Then a closed-book test. You must get a 70-percent to pass. Once you pass, your certification is good for 5 years.

    Hope someone finds this information helpful.
  6. mirrorlandscapes

    mirrorlandscapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 79


    Ask yourself if you really want to get into the fertilizing/pesticide business. I found to have happier customers you really need to be able to offer liquid apps. and that requires more equipment/overhead. Granular is OK for some things, but for good weed control you'll need liquid. I'd say sub it out for the first few years if you need to keep or get accounts.

    Once you do start offering full service fertilizing don't forget the extra overhead and time you'll need to put into it. Also depending on how big you are you may want to have a separate crew to take of that.

    Good luck!
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    Contact your insurance carrier, and find out how they are going to want to carry you with chemicals and pesticides. Also, consider the fact that ferts are rising FAST in cost, and have the potential of doubling by the end of the season. As someone else had mentioned about the subbing, if you are not into it at this point, that might be an option you may want to explore even further. that way you don't have any of the trouble of the overhead. You just have an even amount coming in - and it is consistent. More so, you will be having your lawns taken care of by experience - guaranteeing your places are done right. They will be done by someone who does the stuff all the time.

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