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Michigan guys: can I apply fert?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by CLS, Feb 27, 2004.

  1. CLS

    CLS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    Michigan guys,

    Is it legal to apply ferts only no pesticides in Michigan WITHOUT a state business license? After serching around I've found conflicting info.

    I am certified in 3a, 3b, and 6. I have my green card. I just don't feel like paying for the state license or going thru all the red tape this year. If all goes well this year then next year mabey.

    Please understand I'm not planning on doing anything Illegal. I will sub out the pesticide work(and the fert work if I have to).

    Put in simple terms. If I go out and apply ferts for customers without the state license, am I doing so illegally?


  2. Groundcover Solutions

    Groundcover Solutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,254

    In my experience Yes, it is illegal to apply fert with-out a license. Also you can not sub out work with-out a license. We advertised fert and pesticide applications and got a nasty letter in the mail telling us that we needed a license. If you want better info give the state a call. they know the rules and can tell you exactly what the laws are. but as far as i know it is illegal to apple fert of pest with out obtaining a state license.
  3. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    You can apply fertilizer, no pesticide or herbicide, without a license. Straight up fertilizer requires no license. When you start adding in the pesticide and herbicide, that's when you have to get the license. There is no license for just fertilizer. And you can sub out work to a licensed applicator.
  4. CLS

    CLS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29


    Thanks! That is what I found out thru a former employer last night aswell. I was still unsure about the sub work though. Thanks for clearing that up.

    I have actually researched alot of your posts over the last few months. You have been pretty helpful and you probably didn't even know it. So thanks again.

  5. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    OOPS! Didn't mean to!

    :D :D

    Keep the questions coming, if you got 'em!

  6. celltech

    celltech LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    I was looking into this myself a little while ago just because I wanted to know if it was required for lawn mowing. But according to this link, a liscence is required for FERT and PEST.

    Michigan Business

    and I quote from the website:
    "Required State License(s):
    No state license is required if only mowing lawns, edging etc.
    However, if chemicals [fertilizers, pesticides] are applied contact the Department of Agriculture at (517) 373-1087.
    When products are sold a sales tax license will be required with the Michigan Department of Treasury at (517) 636-4730.
    Revised: 1/04"

    Now when I called about this, they informed me that you just need a certificate from the Dept of Agriculture. Have no idea if that is true or what!!!

    I have a question---Do I understand correctly that no sales tax is charged for just MOW AND GO? Only if materials are actually sold or used---right????
  7. Metro Lawn

    Metro Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,112

    You are correct. No sales tax on labor. Materials YES. As far as applications of fert. Nothing is needed for just fert. If you use a fert. mix containing a pre-m or weed control ect you need certification as well as the business needs to have a license. The certifications mentioned before give you the right to work for a certified compnay but you can't apply them on your own. You can sub contract you work out to a licensed company.
  8. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    If you are selling fertilizing as a service, you don't need to charge sales tax. The product you use is part of the service, and isn't considered a retail product. Just like trimmer line isn't considered a retail product when you use it as part as mowing. If you sold bags of weed and feed to the customer, you'd have to charge sales tax. If you sell the weed and feed as an applied service, no sales tax.

    The key is to not charge for the fertilizer as a product, but to sell fertilizing and applications as a service.
  9. celltech

    celltech LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    Thanks guys for clearing that up.

    Hope it helped CLS as well.
  10. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,660

    Go to the Pesticide/Fertilizer forum and find my thread "Quick Lesson Learned"

    by the way guys, how do I post a link to a previous thread?

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