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Is your business incorporated?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by ProStreetCamaro, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,289

    I was wondering how many people have incorporated there business?

    The reason I ask is because..............

    Lets say you have $1mill of insurance which seems to be what most guys carry. Well if your not incorporated and you some how kill somebody from lets say flying debris and the family decides to sue and wins lets say $5mill. Well your life as you know it is over because your insurance is only going to cover 1mill of that 5mill judgement. You will loose everything you own in a situation like this because they can come after you and not just your business.

    This is why I am wondering how many people here have incorporated there business to seperate it from there personal life.
  2. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,524

    I formed an LLC just over a year ago. Then switched over the titles to both trucks plus all the equipment into the business name. I own the company but the company owns the equipment and the liability.:)
  3. ealbertson

    ealbertson LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    I was told by a lawyer that if you are the one on the job that causes the problem they will sue you personally and not the corporation. I incorporated (S) for the tax benifits not for protection.
  4. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    same here but back in 2001
  5. H2O

    H2O LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Messages: 34

    Inc. ... good question!

    We just started the process of incorporating.

    Do i now have to change ALL our logos, ads, web site, vehicle lettering, etc.. to include "inc"?
  6. motoguy

    motoguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    My attorney said that if *I* personally was doing the work (which I will be for at least this year, in our newly formed LLC), then I have slightly less legal protection from liability. He said this protection can be bolstered by separating the personal and business stuff, completely.

    Make sure the truck and equipment is in the business name, only give quotes / documentation on business letterhead, business phone and address as only contact, licenses / insurances / etc in business name only, etc.

    He also said my personal risk turns to near 0 if I have an employee doing the work, rather than myself.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I don't suppose, in this lawsuit lottery happy society, there exists legal protection sufficient for all the possibilities and circumstances, should there exist a legit and ethical liability issue, or not.

    An LLC or an Inc is in no way the absolute last 'Get out of jail free' card you'll ever need, because we can not allow this, but it helps shield your company if for no other reason than things get a little more complicated, it takes more than just Joe-Average and his buddy the lawyer to penetrate the legalese surrounding a corporation... It slows them down, it tends to make some folks think twice and even most attorneys don't get very excited about it when there's an LLC or an Inc behind it, but look at what happens to Philip Morris Inc, for instance.

    Way I see things, if you look like you don't have a lot of money (which probably shouldn't be too hard to do in our line of work), then watch your step as usual and things should turn out fine in the end.
  8. motoguy

    motoguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    Agreed. Anyone can sue anybody for anything. They may not win, it may just be a waste of time / money / resources, but anyone can sue anybody over anything.

    The best you can do is to dissuade them from suing you, and make it harder for them to do so and / or win. That's my take on it, anyway, and the LLC / Corp seems to be the most cost-effective solution to that problem.
  9. GreenN'Clean

    GreenN'Clean LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,512

    I formed Inc about 4 years ago
  10. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    We spent 26 years as a Co. But looking into switching to a L.L.C. soon. I'd like some more info between the two.

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