Business License?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by GreenBlade, May 2, 2012.

  1. GreenBlade

    GreenBlade LawnSite Member
    Messages: 216

    Since I was 9, I have been mowing lawns. For years it has just been "mowing for some friends and family". Now that I am almost 16, I am wanting to start actually making a business out of it. I can be my own boss & the pay is better than anywhere I could think of. I even have some friends wanting to help me out. The question is: Do I need a business license to operate? I have been kinda scared honesty to create lawn signs, business cars, etc. due to getting in some kind of legal trouble. I watched a video recently of a 10-year-old who had his own business & had all these made & was even wearing a hat with his company name in the video.

    I live in TN, so tax in not applicable because I am doing a service, not selling goods. I know I can't open up a business account at the bank w/o a license, so currently I am just using a savings account.

    Let me know what I should do please!
  2. dc240nt

    dc240nt LawnSite Member
    from NW MN
    Messages: 79

    Theres another thread on this forum that will give you the exact feelings of what ligitimate licensed businesses think of those that are not licensed. Take that for what its worth.
  3. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    Usually a minimum legal age of 18 to get a license.
  4. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Ark
    Messages: 4,471

    A business license is ususally required by the local city or town. Check with your local city office. That is the minimum, consider such things as insurance and etc if you really want to be "legitimate".
  5. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Messages: 2,755

    if you have to be 18, see if one of your parents would be willing to get the license.... I know in WV since it's "open for business" (ya right) you can actually sign up over the internet and get your DBA license for free ($31 for paperwork). The price for converting to a LLC can vary depending on how you do it. But if you're serious, yes... get your license, then get insured!
  6. Fine Gardens Landscaping

    Fine Gardens Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    It's probability fine to be unlicensed initially. If you pick up a few customers and it seems like the business is going to go then go ahead and get the license and insurance.
  7. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Ark
    Messages: 4,471

    I would suggest you go ahead and get the license and be legit. You are operating a business if you are doing it for "friends" for profit. You will learn more about how to truly run a business and the reality of overhead. You will be ahead in the long run.

    Note: After being in this business for many years I have noticed people take advantage of young people who will do work for less because they think "if I am charging $30 to cut this lawn I am making $30". These young people do not realize the true cost of doing business. I would challenge you to do this. Keep up with all the costs of doing business: the cost of your vehicle, equipment, insurance, fuel, maintenance & etc versus the actual income you are receiving. I know your parents probably bought your vehicle and maybe equipment but include it. In short run the business like you had to pay for everything. This will give you the reality of running a business in the real world.
  8. CircleHService

    CircleHService LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    I'm in TN and went the LLC route and it costs $300 a year. You can fill out the form online and pay by credit card right then. No need to go through Legal Zoom or any of those internet places that "help" you. They ask basically the same questions and do the work which you have already done by filling out there form. They do have some add-ons that might be nice if you want to pay for them. I didn't. I'm in Greene County and a county business license was $20 or $30, I forget which. There are three towns near me that I work in and none of them required a business license for lawn mowing. Two of them don't have any business licenses at all and the third didn't require it because I don't live inside their city limits. I filled out the IRS online form to get an EIN, which was free so I could open a business bank account. I'm not sure what they cities would think about you trying to get a business license at your age so you may have to have your parents be the owners if you're going to get all of the licenses, etc.


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