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What are the steps to start a landcape maintenance company in Connecticut?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Slimreynolds, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. Slimreynolds

    Slimreynolds LawnSite Member
    Posts: 96

    Hi everyone this is my first post. I'm 29 years old and looking to change careers. So my question is...What are the necessary steps to start a landscape biz in Connecticut?

    I already know i want a sole proprietorship and I would be the only employee to start. I would be doing lawn maintenance only, so I know I would not need a home contractor license.

    What kind of insurance do I need?
    Do I register my truck in my business name and get biz insurance for the truck?
    How do I register for tax purposes?
    Do i need workers compensation insurance?

    If anyone lives and does business in CT I would greatly appreciate some insight.
  2. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    I do not live in CT but I would strongly consider 500K insurance on Vehicles and tell your agent business use. I would get a minimum of 500K General Liability Insurance and perhaps a blanket policy to protect your house and other assets.

    You could go with 300K but I think you will find the cost differance between 300 and 500 to be minimal.
  3. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,338

    Yes you need the home improvement contractor license. A single fall clean up will normally but you over the 200 dollar job number. It's not a big deal unless you have a felony in the past 12 months but even then they will do a hearing for you.

    You will want business insurance to protect you from liability. 1 mill per 2 mill cap is a good standard policy. You can opt not to have insurance on your equipment but if it gets stolen or you have a fire you will find your self instantly out of business.

    We have combination plates in the state as well as commercial and you can have either on a pick up. But the commercial has negatives you can't drive on the park way and it expires every April where the combinations go 2 years no matter what month you first registered them. Also it cost like twice as much now on the trailer you want commercial it took us 8 years but one day I found a cop with no life or anything to do and man did that day suck along with the dmv trip that came of it.

    As for vehicle insurance business is better and your find it cheaper in most cases too. I pay about a 1000 a year per truck with little difference in cost between the old 89 3500 and 99 3500 too the 2011 and 2012 4500s that cost 60-65k each. We do full coverage with 500k on the vehicles.

    Tax purposes you can do the local town thingy for the sole proprietor or you can go the state rout and incorporate.

    Workman's comp is the one we went with out the first 2 years the quotes we got were ridiculous and they wanted the money up front. Year 3 we were finally able to get it through our payroll company that uses the Hartford. The nice thing is no up front costs at all we pay a % of what the guys make and that is taken out as we go each week. The cost on that is nice now only 4.5% we have it on all employees but we do not keep it on our selves. As an owner you are not required too but you may run into a commercial account that requires you to have it if you want the job.

    I wouldn't bother registering the truck in the business name but all trucks you buy for it from this point on you will want to do that.

    But before you get to do any of that you need your name and either the state or town has to sign off on it depending on how your set up. You can't really do advertizing with out a name you can't open a business checking account with out the name. And you can not get your sales and use permit with out the name. So that is step number one and get on that now we got held up nearly 2 months our first season because of some mix up in the paperwork. And that was the good old days under Bush in Boom times today that delay in spring would be fatal.
  4. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Posts: 6,229

    I dont think I could say it any better! There are a lot of businesses, both legal and not, but if you do good work you will always be busy
  5. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,486

    that is once you get established, if you are in the first 3 years, you might be slower in the summer and winter, but after 3 years you should be well enough known to be working 5 days a week or whatever you wanna work, making what you want within reason. absolutely get a commercial auto policy, its the only way to do it. and definitely insure whatever your main source of income is for replacement cost, not what you might have paid for it.
  6. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,466

    Need to get the GoldPro seal of approval.
  7. krzys555

    krzys555 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 109

    what company do you use for payroll. i am intrested in finding a better workmans comp plan. we got 14 people and we pay a lot would love to pay weekly though or even monthly.
    could you please let me know.
    based in greenwich
  8. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,338

    We use ADP they work with the Hartford and its nice they only take it out when we work so the last 2 weeks that we lost after all the storms cost me nothing.

    THEGOLDPRO LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,223

    I do not approve, Sorry Slimreynolds, Check back next year and i might accept your application.
  10. soloscaperman

    soloscaperman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,045

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