New Oregon Law RE: Business Title / Maintenance

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mdvaden, Sep 25, 2003.

  1. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,946

    In the last Oregon legislative session, one of the few bills that survived, dealt with landscape company business titles.

    That bill passed both houses and was signed into law, effective soon.

    What it eliminated, was a loophole in Oregon landscape contract laws, that companies utilized to retain business titles that implied the science, knowledge or skill to install landscapes.

    The new law specifically states that a landscape business title must specify the MAINTENANCE nature of the business if that company has no landscape contractors license.

    Examples of legal names:

    John's landscape maintenance
    Joe's landscape maintenance services
    Harry's lawn mowing services

    Examples of illegal names (presuming no landscape license):

    Jack's landscaping
    Gertrude's landscape gardening
    Pedro's landscape services
    Juan's landscaping enterprises

    Fines in Oregon are $600 for first violation, and $2000 for repeat violations.

    If you know any Oregon individuals or companies this will affect, please contact them so they can consider their options:

    1. Change their assumed business name
    2. Get a landscape contractors license

    This may be a vital matter for some companies that will be ordering printing services in the near future, such as business cards, vehicle lettering and contract forms.

    In Oregon, getting caught is practically inevitable the past few years due to the number of landscape contractors that are carrying digital cameras in vehicles. Now, calls to turn violators in include emails with photographs of advertising and vehicles along with license plate numbers.

    Pass the word along and save someone a buck or two.
     
  2. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,946

    In addition (forgot to add to that post), tomorrow, September 26 - Friday - the Oregon Landscape Contractors Board will be discussing whether to proceed with licensing landscape maintenance in Oregon.

    What's your take on that issue, should it proceed?

    Not whether or not it should occur, but if it did, which level should be licensed.

    Should maintenance be licensed entirely, down to every high schooler that mows on weekends?

    Or just companies that put their names forth in advertising as a source to be relied on?

    How about companies that exceed a certain income level?

    What about companies that apply herbicides or apply a prescribed volume of fertilizer?
     
  3. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    Wow some strict rules, protecting the public though I guess. They must of had some problems with poor landscapers to enforce this.

    As far as the licensing I dont agree with this. I think it should be an option and if licensed this is something landscapers could advertise to customers i.e LML, Landscape Maintenance License.
     
  4. Team Gopher

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

    Here is the House Bill. From here.




    72nd OREGON LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY--2003 Regular Session

    NOTE: Matter within { + braces and plus signs + } in an
    amended section is new. Matter within { - braces and minus
    signs - } is existing law to be omitted. New sections are within
    { + braces and plus signs + } .

    LC 1774

    House Bill 2965

    Sponsored by COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS, LABOR AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS
    (at the request of Oregon Landscape Contractors Association)


    SUMMARY

    The following summary is not prepared by the sponsors of the
    measure and is not a part of the body thereof subject to
    consideration by the Legislative Assembly. It is an editor's
    brief statement of the essential features of the measure as
    introduced.

    Revises prohibition against unlawful use of titles suggesting
    person is licensed landscape contractor. Limits provision of
    casual, minor and inconsequential landscaping work by landscape
    maintenance business.

    A BILL FOR AN ACT
    Relating to landscaping; amending ORS 671.530 and 671.540.
    Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:
    SECTION 1. ORS 671.530 is amended to read:
    671.530. (1) { - No - } { + A + } person { - shall - }
    { + may not + } operate as a landscape contractor in this state
    without a valid landscape contractor's license issued pursuant to
    ORS 671.560.
    (2) { - No - } { + A + } person { - shall use the title
    of landscape contractor, or any title, sign, card or device
    indicating, or tending to indicate, or - } { + may not + }
    represent in any manner that the person is a landscape contractor
    unless the person has a valid landscape contractor's license
    issued pursuant to ORS 671.560. { + The prohibition in this
    subsection includes, but is not limited to:
    (a) Using the title of landscape contractor, landscape gardener
    or landscaper or any other title using a form of the word '
    landscape'; and
    (b) Using any title, sign, card or device that indicates or
    tends to indicate that the person is a landscape contractor. + }
    (3) { - No - } { + A + } person { - shall - } { + may
    not + } operate as a landscaping business in this state
    { - without - } { + unless the person has + } a valid
    landscaping business license issued pursuant to ORS 671.560.
    (4) { - No - } { + A + } person { - shall use the title
    of landscape business, or any title, sign, card or device
    indicating, or tending to indicate, - } { + may not + }
    advertise or represent in any manner that the person is a
    landscape business unless the person has a valid landscaping
    business license issued pursuant to ORS 671.560. { + The
    prohibition in this subsection includes, but is not limited to:
    (a) Using the title of landscape business or landscaping
    business; and
    (b) Using any title, sign, card or device that indicates or
    tends to indicate that the person is a landscaping business.
    (5) A landscape maintenance business may use a form of the word
    'landscape' in the title of the business only if the title
    clearly indicates the maintenance nature of the business. For
    purposes of this subsection, the term 'landscape gardening' does
    not indicate the maintenance nature of a landscape maintenance
    business. + }
    { - (5) - } { + (6) + } A landscape contractor is
    authorized to perform landscaping work only while in the employ
    of a landscaping business licensed and bonded as required by ORS
    671.510 to 671.710. If the landscape contractor is the sole
    proprietor, the contractor must also obtain a license as a
    landscaping business.
    SECTION 2. ORS 671.540 is amended to read:
    671.540. { + (1) + } ORS 671.510 to 671.710 and 671.990 (2) do
    not apply to:
    { - (1) - } { + (a) + } Any federal or state agency or any
    political subdivision performing landscaping on public property.
    { - (2) - } { + (b) + } Any landscape architect registered
    pursuant to ORS 671.310 to 671.459, 671.950 and 671.992 and
    practicing as provided therein.
    { - (3) - } { + (c) + } Any landscaping work for which the
    price of all contracts for labor, materials and other items for a
    given job site in a calendar year is less than $500 and the work
    is of a casual, minor or inconsequential nature. This
    { - subsection - } { + paragraph + } does not apply to a
    person who advertises or represents through any manner { + , + }
    including a { + title, + } sign, card or other device { + , + }
    { - which might indicate to the public - } that the person is
    a landscape contractor or a landscaping business or is qualified
    to so act. { + This paragraph applies to a landscape maintenance
    business only for work that is performed for a customer who
    receives landscape maintenance services from the business. + }
    { - (4) Any landscaping work that is a casual, minor or
    inconsequential incident of maintenance of grounds. - }
    { - (5) - } { + (d) + } Installation of fences, decks,
    arbors, driveways, walkways or retaining walls when performed by
    a person or business licensed with the Construction Contractors
    Board.
    { - (6) - } { + (e) + } Grading of plots and areas of land
    performed in conjunction with new or remodeling construction when
    performed by a person or business licensed with the Construction
    Contractors Board.
    { - (7) - } { + (f) + } Any owner of property who contracts
    for landscaping work to be performed by a landscape contractor.
    This { - subsection - } { + paragraph + } does not apply to a
    person who, in pursuit of an independent business, performs or
    contracts for the performance of landscaping work with the intent
    of offering for sale before, upon or after completion of the
    landscaping work, the property upon which the landscaping work is
    performed.
    { - (8) - } { + (g) + } Any landscaping work performed by a
    person on property that the person owns or in which the person
    has a legal interest. This { - subsection - } { +
    paragraph + } does not apply to a person who, in pursuit of an
    independent business, performs or contracts for the performance
    of landscaping work with the intent of offering for sale before,
    upon or after completion of the landscaping work, the property on
    which the landscaping work is performed.
    { - (9) - } { + (h) + } A general contractor licensed under
    ORS chapter 701 who performs landscaping work if the total value
    of the landscaping is less than $2,500 per residential dwelling
    and the landscaping work is performed on residential property for
    which the contractor is under contract for the construction of a
    new dwelling. The State Landscape Contractors Board shall revise
    the amount specified in this { - subsection - } { +
    paragraph + } every five years, beginning in 2003, based on
    changes in the { - Portland - } { + Portland-Salem, OR-WA + }
    Consumer Price Index. This { - subsection - } { +
    paragraph + } does not apply to a general contractor performing
    irrigation work unless the work is performed pursuant to a permit
    issued by the local building official.
    { - (10) - } { + (i) + } A general contractor licensed
    under ORS chapter 701 who performs landscaping work on
    residential property that is directly related to local building
    code requirements or occupancy ordinances including, but not
    limited to, the placement of street trees. This
    { - subsection - } { + paragraph + } does not apply to a
    general contractor performing irrigation work unless the work is
    performed pursuant to a permit issued by the local building
    official.
    { - (11) - } { + (j) + } A person engaged in making
    conceptual plans or drawings for the selection, general placement
    or use of plants or other site features, unless the plans or
    drawings are for sites:
    { - (a) - } { + (A) + } That include natural drainage
    channels, streams, wetlands, marshes or other sensitive natural
    areas regulated by the local, state or federal government or that
    encroach on designated buffer zones for those areas; or
    { - (b) - } { + (B) + } Where slopes of 10 percent or
    greater comprise at least 25 percent of the total site area or
    directly contribute storm water to natural drainage channels,
    streams, wetlands, marshes or other sensitive natural areas
    regulated by the local, state or federal government.
    { - (12) - } { + (k) + } A person, other than a licensed
    landscape contractor, using the title 'landscape designer' in
    connection with making conceptual plans or drawings for the
    selection, general placement or use of plants or other site
    features, provided the person clearly notes on all contracts for
    services, plans and drawings that the implementation of, or
    consultation about the implementation of, the plans or drawings
    may require the services of a professional authorized by law to
    perform the implementation or offer the consultation.
    { - (13) - } { + (2) + } As used in this section, '
    { - Portland - } { + Portland-Salem, OR-WA + } Consumer Price
    Index' means the { + Portland-Salem, OR-WA + } Consumer Price
    Index for All Urban Consumers
    { - (Portland -- all items) - } { + for All Items + } as
    published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States
    Department of Labor. { - For purposes of this subsection, the
    revision of the Consumer Price Index that is the most consistent
    with the Portland Consumer Price Index for 1986 shall be
    used. - }
     
  5. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,946

    The Oregon Landscape Board, today, decided to hold back for the time on regulating maintenance.

    Primarily because there may be ways to regulate quite a bit through administrative rules.

    But daily discussions dealing with enforcement and other issues, made it obvious that licensing maintenance may be the only way to close the broken links in the Oregon landscape industry.

    The priority seems to be dealing with the dilemna that arborists got stuck under the Construction Contractors Board, and need benefits offered by the Landscape Contractors Board.

    About the business title issue - the law goes into effect on January 1, 2004.

    And one year of grace will be extended until December 31, 2004. After that, the $600 and $2000 fines can be implemented.

    The administrator likes to give preparation time, since compliance is the goal more so than punishment.
     
  6. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I feel that kind fo stinks that you would have to change your business name.
     
  7. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    Thanks for the update mdvaden. That is actually a relief for myself since I do no landscaping. It will define the landscapers from the maintenance part. I get so many calls for landscape and have to refer them on and like wise for most of the landscapers around here.
    As for them regulating the maintenance portion, God I hope not. I like the scrubs. Why they send me most of my business. When i run into someone that wants a cheap price I refer them to someone willing to give it to them. In turn they usually call me back in a month wanting Good service.
    Oh well either way I will adapt and overcome.
     
  8. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,946

    Actually, the name change is not as much a blow from the license board, as it is the landscape maintenance companies shooting themselves in the foot.

    Its been clear in Oregon for years, that the intent of law is not to present oneself by name, title or device, as having the knowledge, science or skill to do landscaping (including implied or connoted).

    With that available, the lawn companies chose to squeeze into a loophole, when common sense "tells you" that the hole will be plugged if people try to get around the intended purpose of the law.

    There's a proverb that the wise man sees the danger and stays far away from it.

    If maintenance is licensed in Oregon, it will primarily ensure that companies have a bond and insurance, and provide a mediation and arbitration process for homeowners and landscape maintenance.

    So far, handly any claims to the Oregon Construction Board, or the Oregon Landscape Board, proceed further to court. The vast majority of conflicts are resolved via claims, on site investigation, proposed orders and mediation.

    Right now, landscape maintenance requires nothing in Oregon:

    No landscape license, no bond, no insurance, no pesticide applicators license, no certification, no experience, no education - Nothing.
     
  9. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,946

    Yes, and no citizenship, nor immigration card either.
     
  10. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,946

    By the way, if you Oregonians, or people in Washington doing business in Oregon, want to see the landscape contracting laws and rules, those should be available somewhere in the site:

    www.lcb.state.or.us

    Even has sample test questions
     

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