Becoming Legit?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by lawnboy349, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. lawnboy349

    lawnboy349 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    How do you become legit when your under 18? I tried getting insurance but the agent said that I can't because I'm under 18. What does everyone else under 18 do? How do you get licensed? I really want to place a bid for a commercial job but it says "professional contractors" only. I know I can do a good job but I'm worried about not having insurance/ being licensed. Thanks for the help.
  2. jason9696

    jason9696 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    It will probably be hard for you to become legit, because you can't enter into a legally binding contract when you are under 18. Most commercial accounts will probably require some type of contract. How old are you anyways?
  3. mirrorlandscapes

    mirrorlandscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    I've been mowing since I was 13 and didn't become "legit" (form a company) until I was 18. I don't know what it's like in your area, but in IL you don't have to be licensed to provide lawn care and landscaping services (with the exception of landscape engineering and fertilization/pesticide applications). Check with your city and state to check for licensing requirements and/or bonding. Pick an assumed name (d/b/a) and register/publish that. Call around on insurance and find someone who will provide you with liability ins. There's got to be companies out there that insure under age 18. As for contracts, we have several commercial accounts and only one has required a contract. All the rest either had me sign waivers or was just a verbal agreement.

    You will need proof of insurance, though, and your ins. company can provide you with certificates. Be agressive and don't let anyone look down on you because you are young!
  4. Ravenwood Landscaping

    Ravenwood Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    You may also want to check about a co-signer for the insurance and anything else you do, like your parents. I don't know for sure but you could have them co-sign on it and then when you turn 18, take thier name off. Just don't default on any of the payments or you'll be grounded!
  5. Bustus

    Bustus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 181

    Having a co-signer should get you around that problem. If you are as confident as you say, someone should co-sign for you. I started my company when I was 17 and its tough, but showing your confident in yourself and your work goes a long way. Good Luck!
  6. bigmudder77

    bigmudder77 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 297

    get a job at a lawn mowing company and see how you like it first commerical accounts are usually harder than you think and the ins. does cost alot and you need more for the commerical accounts i worked with a guy that had $10 million coverage and payed about $1500 a year for that plus the coverage he had on his truck, equipment, people working for him, and other bills. but i think you will get in over your head if you try to do it by your self unless its not very big. but most commerical accounts that the guy i worked with had would of taken him all day to mow trim and all the other stuff he did and he couldnt do it by him self after he did it one day he hired me to help him on his bigger accounts. it lead to helping him on all his accounts. and i kinda liked it made pretty good money then when i turned 18 i started thinking about getting in to it my self and helping this guy out again but having my own on the side and if i ran in to troble he would help me out.

    but if you really want to have it on your own your gonna need a parent to get the ins. for you and to also pay to have you work for them. so its gonna cost alot more when you start having people working for you but you wont be covered if its just under there name unless you pay more for that. trust me already looked it all up
  7. lawnboy349

    lawnboy349 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    jason9696 I turned 16 a few months ago. My area is pretty small and I have two small commercial accounts now, which don't care about insurance, being licensed, etc. But they are only about 2500 sq. ft and 1500 sq. ft. so I don't make to much on them. I am trying to expand and I think that getting this new commercial account that I saw them advertising for would be good to get. What would you consider a professional. The company said "professional contractors" only to provide them with bids.
  8. jason9696

    jason9696 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    If the two commercial accounts are working out for you now, without insurance, or being certified, I would stick with those. If you only have one account in mind to gain by signing up for insurance, you have to weigh the expense vs the revenue and see how much you are actually making.
    Just my .02

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