A few questions regarding starting up a landscaping business

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Greg_Felts, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. Greg_Felts

    Greg_Felts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Hey everyone my name is Greg. I have been thinking of starting up my own landscaping business for quite a while now. I live in Maryland and have little experience with this type of work although a friend of mine who knows much more about this type of work would be partnering up with me. I worked at a semi professional baseball park doing grounds crew work and a little landscaping here and there. I found the work really interesting and thought that I should try and make this interest a profession. Like the title says above, I have a few questions that I can't seem to find direct answers to without posting on a forum, so I am sorry if they seem idiotic. My first question is whether or not it is necessary for a license to be obtained to do this kind of work? My second is whether or not it is necessary to have a college degree to do this work? I went to college for two years studying business administration and have worked with an electrical contractor for over a year now. I understand that having a license and a degree would be a great thing to have but I am not sure if having these things are necessary if the work is already known how to be done. My third and final question is whether or not anyone has every learned how to do most of the work and educate themselves by reading books and learning mainly by experience instead of sitting in a classroom? The reason for these questions is due to the fact that I don't have the opportunity to go back to school because of the lack of agricultural majors at nearby colleges. When I looked the closest college I could find that offered this type of degree was 3 hours away from me. If you have your own family then I'm sure that you can relate that going away to college is extremely difficult to do, almost impossible! If anyone could answer my questions it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  2. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 631

    License extremely important/ paying taxes both #1
    Education nice not necessary
    Experience in the field is probably the best teacher, trial and error.

    Are we talking strictly landscape installs? Or landscape maintenance ie mowing,trimming,those things. Or both
  3. Greg_Felts

    Greg_Felts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    We would be doing strictly installs. In order to get a business license for such a company is there a minimum amount of experience you have to have before you can apply or is it more on the lines of if you want to try without having a lot of experience then that is your own decision to make?
  4. Ric3077

    Ric3077 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,113

    The only license you need is a business license, which anyone can get from the local town hall for lik,e $50...now a license to put down chemicals is something different, but it doesn't look like you will be doing that anyway so you will be fine with just a business license. As far as installs go a degree would be best because you could sell yourself as a regiistered landscape architect...but you can do it without a degree if you start learning from trial and error, but that will take some time...definatley get some books, learn the plant material in your area, and you will be on your way.
  5. howardsells2000

    howardsells2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 355

    I live and work in Middle River Maryland. This is my first year in business. So I'm still learning myself. I don't have a License and as far as I know it's not required in Maryland. I do have insurance, pay taxes and have a federal Id number. I don't do any landscaping. I only cut grass and trim bushes. I think the guys are right about needing a license for spraying chemicals.

    I don't have any degrees but I'm sure it would help. I have read some books and learned alot on my own.

    Good Luck
  6. Wonder Women

    Wonder Women LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    I live in NY State the only License we need is for spraying weed killers. Also had to get a Authority to collect sales Tax all services are taxed in NY State,:cry: and a permit to buy Wholesale and sell Retail.
  7. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    check with your state,k many states have very different regulations, especially regarding landscaping vs lawn care
  8. Allure

    Allure LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 426

    This was my first year also but i have always been an avid gardener. Also worked part time for a wholesale nursery in the spring (owned by one of my teachers).
    I took as many short courses as i could last winter at Rutgers to give me a foundation for this type of work & i must say it was invaluable.
    Check with your local colleges & see if they offer these type of courses. Since they are designed for green industry professionals they are held in the winter when we are slowest.
    I took a landscape design course & a plant materials course (the most useful one for me) as well as several one day classes like pruning basics, water management, building garden spaces etc.
    The classes were all taught by industry professionals not college professors who have not gotten their hands dirty.

    Reading books is helpful to (i have about 100) but these classes allowed me to learn from other peoples mistakes & also allowed me to network with other people in class.

    I also test out my skills in my own yard before i sell them as a service. I am just finishing my first retaining wall at home. while i am happy with the results so far i would have lost money if i was doing it for a customer. mostly because of how long it took but i also made a few mistakes that i would have had to pay for.
    Also, in NJ i had to register as a contractor for $90/yr because installs are considered a capital improvement to the home. You may want to check with your state.
    Hope this helps.

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