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L.L.C vs D.B.A

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by nick2765, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. nick2765

    nick2765 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 84

    Hey guys, will thank you all in advanced, my question is that are landscape companies required to file as an L.L.C? I want to be 100% legal and legit this season. People have said to do a D.B.A? How does it work and what is the difference? I'm so lost and don't even know where to start. Thanks guys!!
  2. krzys555

    krzys555 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 113

    there are a couple main differences. but in the end either one would be fine.
    dba will cost about 30-50
    a llc will cost anywhere from 400-1200 or more depending if you do it yourself or have a lawer do it
    you can get insurance and a license on either one.
    you have to pay taxes on both.

    the differences.

    take this situation.
    you throw a rock with the mower, hit someone and it forces them to cut there leg off.
    your general liability will cover you. but what if they want more, much more.
    if they win against you in a lawsuit with 5 million more in there favor what do you do.
    with a dba you need to pay it because the dba does not protect you.
    with a llc you pay whatever is in your bank account, and close up shop.
    you open up a new llc, because they can not go after you personally.

    insurance with a llc might be cheaper, both gl and auto.
    the biggest difference is taxes. talk to a cpa
  3. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall LawnSite Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 316

    Absolutely not true.

    1) In a situation like this you would be forced to liquidate all your assets (truck, mowers, material, etc.) to pay.

    2) Having an LLC doesn't prevent you from being sued. If you for a second believe that in that situation they wouldn't attempt to go after you personally as well you are really naive.
  4. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    You should be able to get a lawyer to do a LLC for $300.

    Your employee is the one ran the mower that causes the customer to lose their leg the employee because he did the deed and your corp can be sued. Not you.

    You're the one that ran the mower that causes the customer to lose their leg your corp will be sued and you personally will be sued because like your employee you were the one operating the mower.

    People hear the words corp only can be sued and assume that is the same with a LLC.

    People ignore or do not realize that it is an LLC as in LIMITED Liability Corp.

    Full fledge Corps have better personal liability protection. They do not use the word limited in their name. They are S corps and C corps.
  5. nick2765

    nick2765 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 84

    For my business. I'm just mainly mow trim and blow, with occasional mulch jobs, cleanups, and thatching and aerorating. Would a D.B.A be suitable for that. And I'm a solo-op as of now
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. GreenGuysLC

    GreenGuysLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 366

    A DBA will be a fine way to start. As you grow though.. be sure to consult with a lawyer about advantages to going other routes.
  7. ryde307

    ryde307 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    As others have said there are differences in the liabilities of each one. Best is consult a lawyer to help you make the proper choice in regards to that.
    The other is differences in taxes. Again best to consult your accountant and decide which is best for you and YOUR situation.
  8. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,385

    An LLC can still have a DBA ......

    Just throwing some sticks out there :)
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,385

    A DBA isn't really anything. It means Doing Business As. But yes, that in my mind would be fine. I just operated my business under my name, doing business as such and such lawn co - for several years upon startup
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,385

    An example is that I have a mowing service but also do fences. So my business is "Landmark Lawns, LLC" but for my fence company I have a DBA set up as "Landmark Fence Co" the DBA isn't linked to me, but to my business entity. So it says "Landmark Lawns, LLC, DBA (doing business as) Landmark Fence Co"
    Posted via Mobile Device

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