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Want to go completely legit how to do it.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Rll131, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. Cody S

    Cody S LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 753

    No problem. It's pretty much the same across the country when it comes to formation. The only difference is licensing. Some require you to file for a landscape license or a contractors license. Talk with a CPA and call your state, best advice I can give.
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  2. Stars & Stripes Landscaping

    Stars & Stripes Landscaping LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 246

    Cody do CPA's give free advice? For instance if I email one from a local firm will they charge me.
     
  3. Cody S

    Cody S LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 753

    It really all depends. Most should answer you, some might need you to come in and go over things with you to try and get a buck out of you. It really depends how big they are. I would just send an email and you should get a response. They might be willing to help with advice because if you get to the point where your company needs a CPA, you might just use them!
     
  4. Rll131

    Rll131 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    This I what I have found out so far. I don't need a dba or business license in md. If I want insurance I can get insurance but is not needed. I ended up setting up a separate personal checking account for checks and Paypal here all checks need to be made tome personally. Also ill be paying a schedule c 1040 tax return which I can write off a lot of equipment miles ect. (In the process of getting insurance dont want to risk it). I found this old post also this is exactly how lawnlubber ran his business. Don't need I Ein either since I have no employees. CPA just told me all this and of course offered to do all my paperwork/taxes for a fee.
     
  5. Rll131

    Rll131 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

  6. Cody S

    Cody S LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 753

    Okay. First off, that post is 9 years old, completely outdated information. So you're not going legit, you're going to continue to be an individual recording "other income". You aren't creating a business at all. To be a business, you do need to have a registered name. You do need an EIN. You do need insurance. How are you going to write off anything when you have no business? It's not like its a personal 40 hour a week job that you bought some tools for so you record it on your 1040. How are you going to get a commercial liability policy with no business to put it under? How in the world can you be "legit" with none of this. I'm not trying to be cruel, I'm just curious how you can be a legitimate business at all. I understand it varies from state to state, but EIN, LLCs and S-Corps, are FEDERAL regulations, not STATE. The IRS, as crooked as they are, is a FEDERAL government agency, therefore their regulations regarding businesses are the same across the board. No offense, but you aren't going legit, you are staying under the table. I would highly reconsider not registering your business name, not getting a EIN, and not getting a business acct.
     
  7. TTS

    TTS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 615

    Sounds like you finally got some good information from the CPA. Most of the information in this thread is worth less than you paid to get it. You absolutely can run as a sole proprietorship or "DBA". If your customers are ok writing checks out to you personally then that's good enough for starting out. There are advantages to an LLC as your business progresses but for $0 formation cost you can operate as a sole proprietorship until you have finances available to form an LLC or whatever other type of organization best fits you.

    Collecting personal checks for work done isn't tax evasion it's called collecting for work performed. Not paying taxes on those checks is called tax evasion. Every tax return program in the world gives you an option to claim additional income not registered on on a w-2, that would be where you claim the additional income. As long as you keep good records of the money you make and checks you cash through the business and make sure to file all of them at tax time you will be just fine.

    Insurance is a very good idea but again as you posted not required (it is required in some areas). A commercial policy on your vehicle is required or a claim will be denied if you're using your truck for the business at the time of the accident.

    EIN is only required if you have employees, not required for a sole proprietor however you can get one and it's an extra bit of protection to show the IRS you're here and you plan on paying your taxes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  8. Rll131

    Rll131 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    The CPA I talked to said I didn't need any of that. I have another appointment at 2 tomorrow for more advice. H basically told me I am self employed and I can pay my taxes with a 1040. I am getting insurance 300,000 policy. Ill be headed to my local courthouse for more information and ill let you know what the guys tells me tomorrow. I do want to be legit just seems the only diffrence is I would be able to have checks made out to a business name instead of a personal name.
     
  9. Rll131

    Rll131 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    Also he didn't even mention that about a Ein hopefully tomorrows appointment will be more informative with a different CPA the guy today was the only one that had anything available today.
     
  10. TTS

    TTS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 615

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