Hi all! I've been helping my wife start her Lawncare business, and it's been a blast, although it's also been a mess of confusion and questions. I'm going to share what I've found out so that others can benefit. 1. DOT #: Required if you have more than 10,000 pounds of GVWR, trailer and truck added together. VERY difficult to find information on how to do this on the internet. Lots of confusion, and sites that would love you to pay for a free service. Here's what you do. Go to 5252 Decatur Blvd in the Ameriplex Industrial Park off of Kentucky Avenue (SR 67), not far South of the Interstate. Ameriplex is on the right side of the road if you're heading South from I465, and once you turn into Ameriplex you'll come to a T intersection. Go right, it's not far to go and 5252 is on the left, you want Suite R. You can't miss it, there are cop cars all over the place. Go inside, talk to the lady at the counter, and in a few minutes you'll have your DOT number. 2. Insurance: I thought this would be a back breaking expense, to be honest it is much cheaper than I anticipated. I've had Allstate for all my insurance for 20 years, and went to my Allstate Agent, Robert Bell. He uses other insurance companies as well, and got us a $1,000,000 general liability coverage policy for $438 a year. His office is at the corner of Stop 11 and Emerson if you're on the South side of Indy and you're looking for a good insurance deal. Tell him Damon Smithwick sent you so he'll send me a calendar or something. 3. Trailer: We got a 7 x 14 dual axle trailer, made by Patriot, from Mayes trailer sales in New Whiteland on the East side of US-31. $2000 out the door with all the DOT stuff and a brake controller installed in the truck. The trailer seems top quality to me, we're really, really pleased with what we got for our money. It has good lighting all around, and looks very good. At least until we beat it up some. Or it beats us up some. We were removing the ramp the other day so we could pull our garden tractor right up to it to offload into the garden trailer when we dropped the ramp on the wife's toe. Broken! Ouch! Nothing like showing the boss a good dose of pain. I told her I want a raise if she doesn't want more of the same. 4. Truck sign: Just Signs Now on Madison Avenue just North of County Line road a few blocks (North of Lowe's and Wendy's) is doing a vinyl sign, multi-color, on both sides and the back of our truck for $235. I'd never priced signs before, but I was expecting a lot more than that. If you're looking for automotive signs and you're in the South Indy area, check out Just Signs now. Ask for Thom, he's the graphic guru. We're getting our signs put on Friday, most likely, but the work he showed me at his shop on other cars and other types of signs was awesome. 5. Getting business: Word of mouth. This is huge for getting the word out about your business. Flyers have brought in a few customers, but hardly seem to be worth the effort. We have been doing some flowerbed installations for the President of our homeowners association, and have put the bug in his ear that we want to bid on the contract for the community next year. He's getting some awesome landscaping at a pretty damn good price. 6. Website: http://www.ixwebhosting.com/index.php/v2/pages.dspmain This host has a great business package for only $6.99 a month, I think it was. We paid for 2 years up front for around $150 or so. www.lawngirllawncare.com is what we set up just with a template off of Frontpage. It's quick, it's easy, and it should allow your customers a way to find information about you any time they feel like. The business phone isn't up yet, but will be in 1-2 days. 7. Herbicide/Pesticide application: This webpage: http://www.isco.purdue.edu/pesticide/index_pest1.html has all you need to know about how to get licensed to apply chemicals to your customers lawns. Make sure you get legal, it's not that much to do so. That's all I got. Just Signs Now does business cards, door hangars, etc if you want to do more advertising. If anyone has any tips, advice, or just a friendly hello we'd love to hear it. Not to mention any advice for doing business in Indiana. Seems like an odd time of year to start the business, but we'll have the Winter to make sure the ducks are in order I guess. I have noticed one thing. Getting out and doing real work instead of pushing a pencil sure makes you feel a lot better. The sun and the exercise are awesome, not to mention the prospect of working with the lady in my life. It was her idea, so she gets to carry the company as Lawngirl. We've been making a lot of jokes about me driving a Dodge Megacab that says Lawngirl on the side. Just got to practice that deep Barry White voice and saying, "Hi, we're Lawngirl Lawncare." Haha.