Business Liscence Why??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by CLARKE, May 19, 2001.


    CLARKE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    Whos got them why do you need one and how could you
    get in trouble for not having one. What is the BUSINESS
  2. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    First to clear up ...down here ....what is required is an "occupational license" which states we are in such n such a business (lawn maintenance) we will carry such insurance ...operated out of a zoned commercial address (so at least not EVERY home has a lawn trailer stored around back ...only 2 out of 10 do ;->)

    Anyways the "Police" are county workers whom check on zoning issues, license stuff, permits etc., they are so overworked with New construction they have little time to check on guys working ....n when they do it's during regular business hours .....not late afternoon or weekends ....when many of the guys just out to make an extra buck are around (not to say we don't work till 6 or on Saturdays ....NO Sundays)

    I wish they would give that "ticket" all day long ....down here ....lot's of guys working (not an issue ....but not paying taxes or operating legally ...which really places a $$ burden on all of us)

    1st issue is a warning 2nd is $150 .... 3rd is $500 ....get caught spraying ...even Round Up with out at least a Limited Pest Control License is $5,000 .....sooooo we have em ;->
  3. Just Turned Pro

    Just Turned Pro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 109

    PROFESSIONALISM.... that's why.

    It sets you apart from all the others. I'll be the first to admit that dealing with government entities is a pain, but it is the right way to go.

    In my state to do lawn maintenance you just need a trade name and a basic business license. (about $40) Liability insurance is optional. To put any type of plants in the ground you need to be a landscape contractor, which requires an additional license plus a bond and insurance. To sell the plants that you put in the ground you need a nursery license and the list continues.... It is a pain in the behind... but it makes you legal and give you peace of mind. It only takes one "oops" to ruin your business, lose you house, and end up in bankruptcy court.

    Around here, your business license number is also required to make tax exempt purchases for re-sale and most "wholesale" nurseries will not sell to you or grant you an account unless you can provide your licensing information.

    It is a lot of work and can be confusing to get all of the correct licenses, permits, etc. but that is part of running your own business.
  4. Cleve

    Cleve LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Rockmart, GA
    Messages: 404

    Has nothing to do with "professionalism".
    If required by your county or state then go ahead and get one.
    If not then I recommend that you don't. When we got ours (just thinking it was the best thing to do), about the only thing we got for it was an immediate increase in our residential refuse pickup cost from the county. Even though we don't generate any additional garbage it more than doubled. And then each year you get questioned by the county about your business. Really gets out of line as far as I'm concerned. We have a large 1700 sq. ft. building to park everything in anyway so nothing is visible to our neighbors. Have been operating like this from our residential neighborhood for over 11 years and definitely consider our company "Professional".
    Our accountant has already told us that a busiess liscense is not required by the IRS and I just don't see any benifet to having it.
    Regards tax exempt purchases we don't have any. I'm not going to get into the paperwork of keeping up with sales tax and having to report it and pay it. We pay sales tax on all purchases and don't attempt to charge the customer additonal tax. We do report it as a business expense to both the state and the IRS. Why increase paperwork?
  5. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    The "business police" are the Police, or code enforcement depending on your area. The police will stop if your doing a lawn, and they are bored. I had one stop, was very cocky, and im sure he would have loved to give me a ticket. One other time someone called the police because they thought i was working to early. The cop was very friendly, and just asked if i had an occupational license. Thats only 2 times in 6 years, and you may be able to go for 20 years without one, but its not that much money. I have an occ lisence for 5 cities, and it only costs me about $200 a year.
  6. eslawns

    eslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    Whos got them

    Most people in business have them. ALL legitimate business owners do.

    why do you need one

    Because the governement (City/County/State) says you do.

    and how could you get in trouble for not having one. What is the BUSINESS POLICE GOING TO GIVE A TICKET??

    Yes. All the cities here have Special Police Officers who enforce these laws and others with respect to business. The fines are stiffer than the license requirements.

    Here's a question...

    If you went to a Doctor, would you want them to be licensed? What about an electrician? Plumber? Why not the guy who maintains the most noticeable aspect of your property, sometimes with toxic chemicals?
  7. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,232

    1) Whos got them why do you need one and how could you
    get in trouble for not having one.
    All legitimate businesses do, so that we don't get fined. It's a way of ensuring that the folks operating are doing so legally so that they know who to come to should there be an issue. Sort of an accountability thing, I suppose.

    I would think that has already been covered. $150-$5k in fines doesn't sound like fun to me. But hey, if you like doing stuff like that, run off-road diesel in your pickup;)
  8. summitgroundskeeping

    summitgroundskeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    You don't need a business contractor licence(wich is what you would have to probably get) unless you do commercial accounts. So in my area there are about 37 unlicenced lawn guys.
  9. Lawn DOG

    Lawn DOG LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 276

    I am very happy that where I live you have to have a license. If you are not required to pay taxes and be accountable like every other business, then you should be treated like a scrub!

    :eek: I'm surrounded by scrubs.They're every where and they don't even know they're scrubs.:eek:
  10. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,736

    In my city you have to have a business license and they have plenty of enforcement officers. The fine for not having one is over 300$$ and is required even for parttimers. Must have a sticker for each vehicle. Fee has a minimum of 114$ and a % of the business you do in the city

Share This Page