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I need help with licensing in Canada.

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by lifesaverbuddy, May 4, 2005.

  1. lifesaverbuddy

    lifesaverbuddy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    So, I am starting out on my own this year, after 3 years experience with a small company. Anyhow, I put out 150 flyers that I posted on the front doors of new homes(no landscape) with silly putty. I know it's rediculous, but I got 2 calls last night and one this morning, so maybe it's not so rediculous. I was really excited, but then realized that I absolutely have to get my licensing and insurance and anything else I need to make me legit. I was holding off to see if I could get work, and I might be able to, so now it's time.

    I am in Alberta and know I need to register a trade name. But I think I also need to get a prepaid general contractors licence, however that requires either being bonded or putting down a cash deposit, however I cant seem to find out how much. Does anyone know anything about this, or where I could find this info?

    Thanks, Lisa.

    P.S. I am having nightmares of my potential customers throwing rocks at me when I have to tell them I dont have this stuff yet. I meet one tomorrow, and another on Saturday.
  2. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

    <marquee loop="infinite" bgcolor="#DDDDDF"><font color="#000000">Our book of the month 'Start & Run A Landscape Business' Click Here </font></marquee>

    Hi lifesaverbuddy,

    Well that certainly is creative!

    Here is an article for you that should help.

    Business Registration In Alberta
  3. WhohasHelios?

    WhohasHelios? LawnSite Member
    Posts: 233

    Hi Lisa,

    I am originally from Lethbridge Alberta and operated a business there for a bit in a different industry.

    You are very fortunate to be in Alberta to start up, due to good ol' Ralph up there in Edmonton keeping everything very pro-corporation, it is extremely easy for you to open up.

    As far as I remember, here is all you really need to get going:

    1- Form a legal business entity through Alberta registries as Proprietorship, partnership or corporation.

    2- Register a trade name as either a proprietorship, partnership or corporation.

    3- Buy a business license for whichever municipalities you are going to be conducting business in.

    4- Purchase some good liability insurance.

    5- Operate your business.

    Figure out if you are going to be registering a GST # from the get go or not. More than 30,000.00 in gross sales a year means you have to collect and pay gst.

    I have not been there for a few years now, but there was never any general contractors license or anything special like that.

    Good luck with the new business! What part of the province are you in?

  4. lifesaverbuddy

    lifesaverbuddy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    Thanks for your help guys.

    I bought my trade name($40) Thursday. I bought a development permit($40), which is required for a home business license($155), both bought Thursday. I got commercial auto insurance Friday for $1600/year. I am waiting for a quote on liability insurance, hoping to get that figured out Monday.

    I am under the impression that in order to ask for any money down I must have a pre-paid contractors license from the Alberta government. Basically, for $60 the government holds a specified amount of money, $25,000 for landscapers, so that if you don't honour your contract, they pay out whoever you owe for not doing the work. So, I am assuming it is illegal to take payment before finishing. Is it true? Since I don't have $25,000 sitting around, my insurance company has to give me a surety bond, which will cost $600 for 2 years. And considering the fact that I'd have to scrape to make $600, I'd better get one in order to finance my jobs. Are all you landscapers licensed to ask for 50% down?

    Thanks again guys.


    P.S. I'm in the capital. I should also say I hung with silly putty because I got sick and tired of cutting holes to make them doorhangers!(Very amateur, I know!) I got 6 calls on 150 and have met 2 already. I will give 1 quote, and I'm pretty sure I've got it. I think they really liked me. The other I am going to decline because they want a ton of block and stone work done, like 250ft of 2-3ft high retaining wall, and about 300sqft of paving stone, which wouldn't be a big deal except they want interlocking, but I haven't used it before and I just want to stick with what I know so that I don't have to charge for the extra time and hassel to learn on my own. Plus I just want us both to be happy. If it isn't perfect, then I'll feel obligated to spend another week there fixing it all up. Anyhow, I'm not very happy with them becuase I told them that I do NOT feel comfortable or qualified to do their work, and they insisted on a quote anyhow. Obviously they're not going to hire somebody who told them they're not capable, so I know they're just wasting my time. It would take me all summer to do this work, and my idea of summer is hard work, but not hauling 80lb Allen Block for days on end! I'm going to adopt a commonly used accronym...PITA! Plus I'd like to do small jobs, like ones that I can do on my own that take no more than a week. I have bills to pay and need a regular pay cheque. But enough of all that whining and complaining...

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