I thought I was a genius....


LawnSite Member
No doubt, I have one of, if not the best-looking yard in my small neighborhood. I have taken a lot of time over the last two years to get to this point and had an idea a few weeks ago to offer fertilizer and chemical services to people. I did some looking online and realized this niche had already been discovered and I'm actually not a genius! I have a full-time job, but would like to do this on the side and i'm looking for advice from experts! I live in the Rio Grande Valley where we do lawn care year-round. I feel like there is an opportunity here for this business to thrive. I have experience in the chemical and fertilizer field which has helped me put together product pricing and have an idea of what my costs would be.

Is there any secret to how much you charge for your time, expected margin, etc.? Do you charge by square foot? I know this will change depending on the program.

Are you visiting these places every six weeks? Twice a year?

I have thoughts to start with doing demonstrations on a yard or two that is ridden with weeds and disease. I planned on taking pictures of the before and after to have a little backing to get started. Are people even typically interested in hiring someone for this service outside of their normal lawn care guys or if they do the lawn themselves?

I have thought more about the residential side since I don't have big equipment for commercial areas. I have a few sprayers, one of which is battery operated which helps, but I feel like starting in the commercial side is "out of my league" for now.

I appreciate any help y'all would be willing to give! Seems like this forum is extremely helpful and friendly. Excited to start this journey and any help would be incredible. Thanks for your time and input!


LawnSite Fanatic
Mt. Laurel, NJ
It states,

Applicator Business

A pesticide applicator business is a person who applies a state-limited-use or restricted-use pesticide or regulated herbicide to the land of another for compensation and who is a licensed commercial applicator; or employs at least one licensed commercial applicator.

An applicator business is a registration, not a license. However, the business must be registered with TDA and provide proof of liability financial responsibility in the amount of $100,000 property damage and $100,000 bodily injury per occurrence or a general aggregate at a minimum of $200,000 for each occurrence. Businesses must submit a Pesticide Applicator Business Registration form to TDA.

Each motor vehicle used by any applicator business that makes applications in the subcategory landscape maintenance of the lawn and ornamental pest control license use category, category 3(A) will prominently affix an applicator business vehicle identification decal issued and provided by the department on each motor vehicle used by an employee of the applicator business. Decals can be picked up at any TDA regional office.

Contact TDA at 1-800-835-5832 or 512-463-7622


LawnSite Senior Member
Owasso, Oklahoma
You charge by the sq foot and have a stop charge as well. Currently mine is $45 stop charge and 3.50-4.00 /1000sqft. I service okc and Tulsa and have no problem attaing/retaining customers at those price points.

what stops the average “ lawn guy” to do it legally is the licensure, mandatory record keeping and mandatory insurance. With my current licenses, I’m at $1500 before I start spraying in feb.


LawnSite Senior Member
Owasso, Oklahoma
As far as I know from what I’ve researched, I only need an applicators license for restricted use pesticides. I have not found anything that says otherwise.
No, you will need your certified applicator license to spray chem commercially. ( for money) the ability to but restricted use herbs is a bonus. Most Chems you’ll use can be bought at a specialty store, Atwood’s, tractor supply, or do my own pest control.
Buying them at a specialty store you’ll will pay a little bit over wholesale price.

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