Business identity question-2 companies, or one?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by LIBERTYLANDSCAPING, Sep 28, 2009.


    LIBERTYLANDSCAPING LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,283

    My company does lawn & landscape maint., snowplowing, right of way & industrial weed control, lawn fert. , tree & ornamental spraying & structural pest control. The company name is Liberty Lawn & Landscape, but in recent years I've been growing the structural pest control end & am now entering termite control.

    Question-I'm torn whether to "spin off" the pest & termite end under a different business name that has more of a dedicated "pest control" business name...

    Downside-paperwork:have to file corporate DBA paperwork, insurance issues, get a seperate pesticide business license to operate under a different name, new invoices, etc. etc. etc.........

    I really want to grow the pest end (margins are better than lawn care), but don't know if there would be a real benefit to outway all the hassle & cost:confused:

    Anyone have any similar experience like this?

  2. Heidi J.

    Heidi J. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 342

    I wouldn't waste the time or money. Instead make fliers the you give to all of your customers, offer discounts for referral. Spend a little on some advertising/ leave brochures at apartment buildings.. and so forth.Too much of a pain.. JMO:waving:
  3. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,033

    The downside caused by a second entity seems to outweigh the upside, IMO. On top of additional expense and paperwork, there will likely be some initial confusion on the customer side.

    Although the range of services certainly is varied, I beleive I would try making it more clear by adding a tag line that has no licensing or tax implications. You are in a better position to imagine what this would be than I am, but I am thinking of something such as:

    Liberty Lawn & Landscape
    Complete Property Care
    Lawn & Landscape Maintenance * Fertilizing & Weed Control * Tree & Ornamental Spraying * Structural Pest Control * Termite Control * Snowplowing

    The asterisk above is not a good divider, I was thinking like a bullet point or try the lower case "w" in wingding font on your computer. The name and tag line I would use at the top of the page on everything (estimates, invoices). I think I would put the list at the bottom of the pages below a ruled line.

    My two cents: try to make what you do more clear without making more work and expense for yourself. Good luck.
  4. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,465

    What are you registered as of now? LLc ,Inc,DBA?
  5. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,650

    I agree with this statement. The only thing other than a few minor changes is rework his logo, whatever that might be to include "Pest and Termite" or something like that just so something could be put on the trucks that he has dedicted to this. Maybe some invoices with the updated logo...use anything left in the budget to apply toward marketing as Heidi has mentioned. Advertising through your trucks and your customer base would be where my money would go. JMO
  6. teejet

    teejet LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 232

    How about Liberty Services, since you provide a vast amount of services.
    I have the same problem. I want to do pest control, termite, and still do lawns.

    LIBERTYLANDSCAPING LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,283

    S Corp
    Legal is Liberty Lawn & Landscape, Inc.

    I'd use Liberty Lawn & Pest, but someone in my state already beat me to it:cry:
  8. ike1018

    ike1018 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 36

    I am going to part from the rest of the responses and say that I would separate the businesses. The biggest reason for me would be Liability. I believe Pest Control opens up a bit more liability exposure to your business. If they were separate then if someones sues your pest business it doesn't impact your other businesses. The other point is branding, if you really want to push the pest business then you don't want there to be any confusion by your customer what that business is. You still can share the back office efficiencies of the combined business. As for the added complexity, let your accountant deal with most of it...separate invoicing templates shouldn't be that big of a deal and if you are serious about pushing the pest side then you are going to have separate marketing pieces and campaigns anyways. Just my two cents.

    Liberty Pest Control Services
    Liberty Pest Services
  9. Josh.S

    Josh.S LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,085

    I agree. My lawyer is always telling me how you want to "encapsulate" your businesses. Like the guy above said, you should put a legal barrier between the two businesses for liability reasons. If Liberty Pest get's sued you can keep it a separate entity from Liberty Lawn.

    Also I agree with the point that you will already have to make separate brochures and stuff anyways if you are serious about it.

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