Going Legal and need advice

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Dwilliams239, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. Dwilliams239

    Dwilliams239 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Last season I was off the books and was pretty successful while racking up equipment. I had about 23 accounts. This season I am wanting to go legit and go big. I have the equipment already, a little older but I am planning to replace it as the business grows.

    I will use this thread to continue to ask questions, but the main question I have right now is if I am having a brilliant idea, or if it is not a good idea at all.

    Last season, I got alot of customers because they liked seeing a teenager (I'm 16, 17 in march) out working instead of just sitting on his butt. I realize that not everybody would want a young kid doing this kind of work, but I think I was successful because I am 6', 205, full beard, live in the gym for football... you get the picture. What Im getting at, when the people saw me, they thought I was out of college trying to make a start in life/trying to pay for college. When they talked to me and got to know me, they were shocked I was in high school for one, and they loved the fact that I was out there working my butt off. (lots of lazy kids in my area haha) My slogan was "An honest, hard-working teenager looking for work". I think that my age and "get it done right or not get paid" attitude was a key to my success.

    I also think that being young and advertising as a teenager on my flyers (the slogan), lost me a bunch of potential business because they didnt the risk of a kid working on their yard and just threw the flyer out. I think that becoming a legitimate business and being able to advertise being licensed and insured will help in that area.

    I am banking on door-to-door advertising, and that the niche that I have with my age will get me a bunch of yards, while being insured and a legitimate business.

    My question is, should I further play with the niche and name my business "Panther Lawn Care, L.L.C.", and have a football helmet on the trailer with my number with quote, mimicking the local high school I go to? (See attached pics). Maybe make a deal with my coach for home game tickets, and give them out free to my clients as a perk? (which in turn would increase game attendence and concession sales).

    Or would this have a more negative than positive for me being young, even though Im licensed and insured? Should I go with something safer and more professional like "D&W Lawn Care, L.L.C."?

    Trying to get all this figured out and set up to get the business side set up so I can start advertising before the grass starts growing.

    Also, been researching on the site about starting up, and I notice that there are tons of "Im starting up and am expecting to make a million" threads and members get annoyed by these. I am going try my best not to sound like this. I have the equipment to start already from last year and no debt. Ive got a good amount to start up again with, to cover setting up the business and advertising and operating costs until the money starts to flow again. I'm not expecting a million, but am wanting 15-20 an hour for me, which is a heck of alot more that what I can make working minimum wage, which is my goal. I have an expense calculations thing set up in Excel that I would like to have checked to make sure its sound. (used it last year to just make sure I wasnt losing money) (mower use, maintenance, fuel burned, etc. by minutes machined used). I understand this isn't a gold-mine, and not everything earned is profit, its hard work that could have high reward if done right, but I like the work.

    Also, I understand I cant open a business at my age. Been reading through this and am going to get one of my parents to sign for the corporation, and then I would be an employee. I read somewhere on here that a minority owner of a corporation (woman), could get tax breaks, so I will most likely ask my mom to help me. Any help on this will help and is welcome.

    But for right now I would like to get the name straight first.

    Sorry for rambling,
    Danny Williams
  2. Dwilliams239

    Dwilliams239 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Rough plan of what I would like the trailer to look like and where I am going with idea of "Panther Lawn Care, L.L.C.":


  3. skorum03

    skorum03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    I'm young like you, although I'm 20, I don't know if you should go with the Panther Lawn Care idea. Although I like it. What happens when you're out of high school in two years and still have a football helmet on your trailer. you won't want to go through the hastle of changing everything. I would go with DW Lawn Care and still maybe offer the football stuff you had mentioned in the posting. Just my opinion.

    YardBros Outdoors
  4. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,478

    I don't know if i'd put that teenager looking for work part on there either.. IMO. just me though.. I would think that could possibly work against you in more ways than help. I'm not young, but i was young once.. and i do remember how when people perceive you as a high school kid it is a little harder to gain their trust from the start.
  5. Kylec3

    Kylec3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    stay away from the teenager slogan and be sure you know how to spell 'licensed'
  6. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,393

    Seems like you have two slogans
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. Mowin4Dollas

    Mowin4Dollas LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    Take out the text part. Texting is very unprofessional. In my opinion.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. Ben/Insurance

    Ben/Insurance LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    If your going legit, get yourself a good local independent insurance agent, a good attorney and a good accountant. It's essential to have the right people supporting your day to day efforts and you'll save money in the long run and enjoy your business more. If you don't know any, ask for referrals. Good luck.
  9. HDLLandscaping

    HDLLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Why not be a DBA first? its a legal company and allows you to open a checking account. Its cheaper than insurance (Min $20 - Max $50 depending on town here). As a first year operation I see this best for myself, you being established might be better going LLC. Im not fully sure though, I will have to check back alot.
  10. chris brauch

    chris brauch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 130

    definately stay away from the high school thing. get the football helmet off, forget about the slogan right now. Don't worry so much about a slogan where a slogan is mainly for huge corporations where millions of people a day hear the slogan and it is put into their minds. this is usually only successful for multi million dollar companies. for now, focus on getting legit. get your licensing set up. Dont do an LLC, i would start with a DBA or a self proprietorship to start off with. Get a general liability insurance, and don't rely only on door to door advertising, thats still a good plan but use craigslist and/or put an ad in your local newspaper. Also word of mouth and referals from existing clients always work well. Focus on quality work and not competing against prices, but rather service. DO NOT get into debt until you absolutely have to, and most importantly stay focused and consistent.

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