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No license, what can i do?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by CompostGuys, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. CompostGuys

    CompostGuys LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Hi, i've recently started mowing lawns and cleaning yards for friends and neighbors and I'd like to grow my business. However, I don't have a contractor's license and I would like to know my limitations. Can I offer monthly contracts? Can I apply fertilizer, or pesticides? I'd like to expand my business and do it legally, any suggestions?
  2. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 903

    Well, here in Michigan you don't need any special licenses or certifications to mow grass. Every state has different policies so you'll want to look that up online. As for pesticides/fertilizers, in Michigan you DO need to be certified. And again, this also varies from state to state. Do some homework online at some of your state's government websites and you'll find everything you need<p>

    You don't need any license to make contracts, as long a the contract abides by state laws. Becoming legal and growing is a rough road to travel. You need to look into the following: any licensing/certification you may need for the services you are offering, General Liability Insurance, Commerical Auto insurance, Workers Comp (if you have ANYONE working for you), W-4's Vs 10-1099's for people who are working for you, getting your DBA/LLC/INC, etc (whatever you deem appropriate), and of course taxes! I think that covers most of the legalities of starting a small business. <p>
    Make sure you have a good business plan and set reasonable goals to guage your growth. Good Luck!
  3. cpritch

    cpritch LawnSite Member
    Posts: 77

  4. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 3,556

    Big Jeeping was right. However, you also need to check if you need a permit or anything like that in the cities you work in. There's about 3 cities where im at, where you need a permit to do landscape work, lawn work, or plowing.

    So check with each city where you plan to work.
  5. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    Like everyone is telling you each locality will have its own regulations. You will have to search around a little on the internet. Industry associations in your area will help, you should get into contact with the registar of contractors for your area.
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    As long as you don't do any underground irrigation and your jobs do not amount to more than $500.00 per job materials and labor combined. then you can work without a Contractors licence in the state of Ca.But you are required to get a licence to conduct business in your county and tha runs about $40.00.
    If you take on any other work just do it by the hour and don't bid the total job.
    If you give estimates and have contracts you must be over 18yrs old and the job musxt not add up to $500.00 or more for the year.You can do above ground installations like drip irrigation and you can do repair above ground.Once you have to dig it up to fix it your illegal.
  7. CompostGuys

    CompostGuys LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    $500 in a year? does that apply to lawn mowing/ yard clean ups or just to projects?
    Also, I'm a big fan of composting and I'd like to be able to install compost and mulch, can i do that, and can i use my own backyard mix?
  8. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    That applies per job..wether it takes you a year to do the job or 10 min to do the job.Yes you can do that as long as materials and labor combined do not add up to 500.00 per job.And you have a licence to conduct business in your county.You can get that at county hall.

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