Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by sbvfd592, Jul 16, 2005.

  1. sbvfd592

    sbvfd592 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 668

    How do get a LLC or Incorporated??
  2. mad_wrestler

    mad_wrestler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 339

    go to your secretary of state website. once you are there, use the search function to see if anyone else has the name you want to use. after that submit an application to register an llc. it will cosat $60 at the most. good luck.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I have my business registered as an LLC and I tell you how to do it, but please be advised you will need a LOCAL (county) license in addition to the LLC license. The ONLY difference is when you apply for the county license AFTER you get the LLC license, you put down the name of the LLC on the county license as business 'owner' instead of your name. This is how the LLC effectively separates you from the liability of the business.

    As a general rule, to establish an LLC (get an LLC license) you need to go down to the State Corporation Commission (this may be called something else in your state) and their office is usually located in your state's capital city. If you are nowhere near the state capital, it may be possible to do this some other way but you will have to inquire about this, I would suggest down at the courthouse.
    Once you have completed the paperwork for the LLC, they will require of you a one-time fee of around 100 dollars so bring some cash. I think they accept credit cards but really, cash is best. This fee is not refundable and covers cost of incorporation and whatever AND may vary from state to state. Then, once a year, it costs 50 dollars to renew and again this may vary.
    Once this is all done, you can then apply for your local county license but make sure you put down the name of the LLC as the OWNER which brings another interesting point to light:
    - The name of your business AND the name of your LLC can be the same or can be entirely different names but in most cases the same name should be used to prevent confusion.
    Hope is help.

    If this is all stuff you do not want to deal with, there are places that will do it all for you but I think this is not advisable. I checked with one such place back in the days and they wanted 500 dollars to take care of this problem which in the end only cost me 100 dollars to do it myself.
  4. marionlandscape

    marionlandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    My LLC was $125
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yeah I would take a few hundred dollars along (at least 200) just in case, more importantly if you're going to be driving a ways to get there.
    And while you're downtown, you may also consider taking care of your EIN (employer identification number) which should be down at the social security office and the State Tax Reg #, too. I believe those two are free but can't remember for sure.
    Plan a day trip.
  6. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,420

    Check the Secretary of State website for your state to register/form an LLC. Go to for EIN number.

    Much of this can be taken care of over the web and snail mail, save yourself the gas money and the need to allocate a day trip, do some research. In my state I formed an LLC by completing articles of incorporation and sending them into Sec. of State along with proper fee and info, I did not have to file/register with the county. Each state's laws & regs will vary so I strongly encourage you to check out the Sec. of State website for your state.

  7. mad_wrestler

    mad_wrestler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 339

    yeah get out of the dark ages and do it! Mine was $20 to reserve a name and $45 to register it. It's simple. The only driving you should have to do is to your counties Annex/courthouse. There you will go to the County Commissioners office, fill out an application for a business license/tax certificate. Don't wait for your LLC approval to get your License. Just use your Soc Sec # for your tax ID. You can change it later. It is illegal to do bussiness without a license. Not worth the risk. This will get you started.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    ok do it online, forgot that part...but:
    Yes that is correct, you NEED a local county license in most states (all of them as far as I know) in addition to the LLC, I do not know why the previous poster said you do not need it, except:
    When I first got my LLC, I asked down at the state corp.comm. whether a local license was also required and their answer indicated to me that no, it was not. However, several years later the county caught up to me and today I am on a payment plan to pay back some 4 or 5 thousand dollars in back taxes, fees, and fines plus interest for failing to register on time. This is why I am telling you this, it isn't because I wants to make life hard on you, it's because I also thought you did not need a local license and because of miss-information like that, I got skru'd.
    So from what I learned, the corp. guys really don't know / don't care whether you get a local license but your county sure will, and since you'll be operating in your county you will have to follow their regs and they can shut you down if you fail to do so. Worst case scenario, if you really think you do not need / do not know if you need a local license, please go down to your local courthouse and ASK before you fly your business for numerous years without filing what, for me, turned out to be a crucial piece of information.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    When you say that, I was also under the honest impression I did not need to file/register with the county for a long time and it wasn't until my 4th year that this crap caught up to me. Yes, in my 2nd year (where you should be now) I was happily doing my work without a local license and just the llc but...
    Don't play with this stuff, after you get your LLC, go down to the county office and ASK - Do NOT trust the llc ppls, do not trust what the law says in your state because your county will tell you what you need and even if the state law says you do not need it, when your county comes knocking on your door to deliver some papers, what are your options then? Yes, I suppose you can file suit and go through some court-related procedure and fight this if you like, but keep in mind the courthouse you'll be going to is your county courthouse and ultimately county law can be determined to be in ADDITION to state law, man you're going to need some kinda attorney, you better check this out before you do what I did and the guy I'm replying to is doing.
  10. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,420

    I checked with the county courthouse, Sec. of State, & CPA. All that is needed to conduct business within our state/county is to pay the fee and register with the state.

    I would encourage anybody to retain a reputable/good CPA as well as contactining the aforementioned agencies regarding legality of forming a business.

    Do not rely upon what is thrown out on this site as gospel, laws and regulations WILL vary state to state.

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