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Business decisions and advice

Island Lawn

LawnSite Senior Member
Golf Coast, SC
This is an update from a post I made ont the "quickbooks users" string but is more than that, so here's a new string.

I went for an initial consultation with Ms.Jane Doe,CPA/Cert. QB Advisor. Upon entering the posh office bldg, I was (intercepterd?) by her boss. I was (flattered?).

I had two goals
1) Get financially organized.
2) Register my business name w/ state.
#2 was the problem. In SC, a sole-prop can't register. Therefore, at any time, a partnership, or corp that registers the name I am DBA, then I have to give it up.

Bossman told me in order to register as a sole-prop, I have to become a Limited Liabilty Company.

After some research, I began to realize what an expensive and endless beaucratic procedure it is. I have yet to figure how this supposed to be more appealing than full blown incorp.

I was ready for a second opinion.

I got one Jane, she was so much more understanding. She took the time to find out exactly what I was looking for. I'll be seeing more of her real soon!

I am staying sole-prop. Keeping it cheap and simple!
Jane is going to get my financials straight (she won't stop there)
The name thing is a pain!
Opinions sought for the following:

Mr. Jane Doe
Lawn and Landscape Service Provider

Seriously, If I use my name as my business name, I increase the odds that no one will register it out from uder me.

[Edited by Island Lawn on 01-23-2001 at 10:48 PM]


LawnSite Bronze Member
San Antonio, TX
DBA can still be obtained by sole prop. It is done through the county...

All businesses operating in Texas as limited partnerships, registered limited liability partnerships, limited liability companies, corporations, professional corporations, nonprofit corporations, and professional associations must register with the Secretary of State.

General Partnerships and Sole Proprietorships (when using name other than owners name) must file Assumed Name Certificate (DBA) with the county clerk.

This is in Texas. May be different elsewhere.

[Edited by LoneStarLawn on 01-24-2001 at 12:16 AM]


LawnSite Fanatic
Memphis, TN
1st off, no one can make you change it if its your name. That is the one great thing about your name. Don't give up the sole prop. status. Its the last great tax break.

1st impressions

LawnSite Member
We C-Corp'd 3 years ago on advice of our c.p.a.. We are not as large of a company as others on this site but we did it for the following reasons:

1)Red flag to the I.R.S. when more than $100,000 in gross revenue is "flowing through" the company to the owner.No one needs an audit headache!

2)Legal name that no one can take.

3)Additional write-offs

I will go into #3 with additional details. The cost to file the paperwork with the state was approx. $600. (Office Depot has the forms for $10.00 if you want to do it yourself.) We pay our accountant approx. $1300 a year for our quarterlys, corporate year end, and personal income tax return. That may seem like a lot to you but it gives us peace of mind.
One write-off we get is with medical. We are able to write-off 100% of the insurance premiums and 100% of our out-of-pocket. Last year that was about $7500. Tax savings paid the accountant.
Another write-off was the work vehicle.If you purchase a truck , you can only deduct about $3000-$3600 a year.(check with accountant)My payment is higher than that. You can fully deduct a lease payment but I would not recommend leasing because you will be on the hook for ANY damage and the dings and scratches WILL add up.Believe me, I know.
As a corp., I personally buy the truck and lease it to the company
Many other reasons, too numerous to mention here.

P.S. Can't believe I forgot the most important benefit. You
limit your liability exposure.


LawnSite Bronze Member
San Antonio, TX
Those writeoffs we use as a general partnership. We lease our trucks and as long as when the lease is up and we are getting into a new one no charges are given to us. I guess we are got a good salesman that we work with.


LawnSite Silver Member
Here in NY it will cost $25 to register at the clerks ofc.

Here are some examples of how contractors locally use headings:

Plant-It Earth Landscaping (or-Landscape)
G&D Lawn & Landscape
Stihlman's Lawn Care (or-Lawn Service)

Hope this helps.

Island Lawn

LawnSite Senior Member
Golf Coast, SC
I talked w/ a local judge about registering my DBA name.
I came away with the understanding that I can DBA, all I want. No registration required, or accepted!

They told me the same thing at the state sect. office.

I'm going to ask my CPA about it ASAP.
I could be confused. Any body else ever here of this?
Anyone from SC?



LawnSite Fanatic
Memphis, TN
As a sole prop. you get to write off expenses that you wouldn't normally. You personally can write off the use of your personal truck in your business. The profit is taxable at your marginal tax rate only once. You heard of double taxation? There are several other tax issues that fall into this catagory. You don't have all the regulations and paperwork issues to deal with.