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Getting Square

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by 74baja, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. 74baja

    74baja LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    Hi all,
    I'm 18 years old. I have had a small landscaping business throughout high school. Last year I got my first employee, my friend's younger brother (16). I have always only had a few (2-4) steady customers, with 1 or 2 that go away on vacation for a month or two. This upcoming year, I am trying to expand. I know I have 5 steady customers now, and would like to have at least 5 more by spring (lots here are pretty big, 1-2 acres). Anyway, I need to make my business "legit." I have never paid taxes, been insured, etc. What should I do, especially considering I have an employee?
    Also, my equipment now is a 2001 F350 powerstroke, a 6x10 trailer I sort of share with my neighbor for my 2 non-walkable customers, a 48" Bobcat gear drive walkbehind, an ancient Shindaiwa backpack blower, and a 1 year old Stihl Trimmer. I plan to limit my investment this year to $2000 (what I think I can recoup with 5 new customers) for a used tandem axle trailer and another walk behind (used).
    Right now, I charge $40 an acre, plus leaf surcharge in the fall ($10 an acre).
    I do some mulching. I can fit 2 yds in my truck bed (short bed).

    Does all this seem reasonable? And about the taxes, insurance? Incorporate? LLC? I'm lost. :confused:
    Thank you, sorry for the long post.
  2. LouisianaLawnboy

    LouisianaLawnboy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,199

    See a CPA. I reccomend forming an LLC(100-200.00), and then getting general liability insurance of 1 mil for bout 700.00 a year. Also c ur CPA bout ur taxes and unemployment and workmans comp for u and ur employee.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. 74baja

    74baja LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    What do you think the total cost of this would be? Just a ballpark number. I mean, $800-900 for LLC and insurance, but for the other stuff?
  4. SangerLawn

    SangerLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 736

    Your workman’s comp will be based on your employee’s salary so only your agent can tell you the cost of that because it varies. With only 5 and possibly another 5 jobs….I don’t see why you will need an employee?

    You can get a good used tandem trailer for around $1,000.

    Your dot inspections are free threw the DOT. Just call them and set up a time. DOT needed innovatory for truck is around $500-$1,000

    With that few jobs your will probably not owe anything on your taxes because of mileage use. Put permanent lettering on your truck so every mile you drive you can claim on taxes. I think (could be wrong) but tax break is something like 65 cents per mile.

    Not sure what other stuff you’re asking about?
  5. 74baja

    74baja LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    I like having an employee for a few reasons. First, since I'm still in high school, having him makes things much quicker so I still have time for homework and all my other stuff. Also, I am going to college next year, so he will be around to finish up the fall (with one other person to help) and do the spring, basically be my "foreman" for when I'm at college. Since I have known him and his family for a while, and he has already worked one year for me, I trust him.

    I'm not sure what the DOT needed innovatory is, could you explain it more?

    Who should I contact to figure out the workman's comp?

    I guess the tax break for milage would be for my business's tax, not my personal income tax? Also, why LLC rather than Incorporation?
    Thanks for all the help.
  6. LouisianaLawnboy

    LouisianaLawnboy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,199

    LLC is much better from liability standpoint. It basically separates you from ur company. Also u shouldn't be paying any taxes with just 5 accounts.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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