Michigan: Being Legal

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC

    MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 840

    Ok, I have been hearing so many things about how to become a legal lawn maintenance company. As far as I know you dont need a license to perform lawn maintenance in Michigan. With fertilizing you can only perform a dry fertilization service without a license. IF you do pesticides and herbicides and liquid fertilizers, you need a license. As far as landscaping goes, I thought the only license you need is if you advertise for being a landscape architect.

    Also to be legal, I thought you have to pay taxes, register your business name with the state, and get insurance.

    However, I have been hearing you need to have a contractor's license to perform any service in landscaping/lawn maintenance that amounts to $600 or more including materials and labor.

    Also I keep hearing you need to have a business license?
    And have a bond? what is a bond, and how do you get one?

    And just to carry a trailer around or have people in the same vehicle you need a least a chauffeur's license or a CDL??

    Basically, if someone could tell me exactly what you need to be 100% legal in Michigan to be a lawn maintenance and landscaping company, it would be great. Plus it would be nice to know if im not illegal or acting as a "scrub" as many refer to it as.
  2. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,660

    I can't answer all your questions, but:

    You dont' have to have a chauffers license
    You must register at the county clerks office. There's a $10 (I think) fee. They give you an official stamped document. This is your business license.
    You dont' have to be bonded. Bonding is kind of a form of insurance. It's hard to explain, maybe someone more qualified can answer that for you.
    As for insurance, you should have it and pay it. It protects everyone. Some people (scrubs) don't pay it. They run the risk every day that they're working. Saves them a penny now, but will cost them a ton in the future.

    Hope some of this helps
  3. Scenic Lawnscape

    Scenic Lawnscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    i went and talked to the county and state people about this and i had to buy 3 books to take the test and any kind of fertilization wet or dry you have to have a license
  4. newleaflandscape

    newleaflandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 348

    I wouldnt worry about bonds unless you want to do alot of commercial insurance. You DO have to have a chauferrs license. I know that for a fact because I attended a couple seminars in January and talk to a guy from Michigan truck safety. So legally you need one, but I havent heard of anyone getting fined for not having one. But to get one you take a ten question test and pay fifteen bucks, so they way I look at why the hell not get it. In michigan you are NOT required to get a contractors license. Currently the only licenses that you need are for fertilizing and if you sell plants. Which is called a Nursery Stock License. Its fifty bucks a year. No big deal besides all the wholesale nursery's require you have one. For my county and city they dont require a business license. All you have to do is file your dba at the clerks office just so they know you exist. Get youself an EIN and register through the state if you plan on having to pay sales tax, like if you are reselling plants. Also you only need a CDL if what you are driving and or towing has a gvw of over 26000. You are correct on the landscape architect thing. But you can advertise as landscape designer. That doesnt require a license. I recommend joining mnla too www.mnla.org its a great association to register with and you get some real good hook ups out of it. Email me if you have any other questions about doin business in michigan. Hope I helped. GOOD LUCK
  5. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    That's not true. You can put straight fertilizer down with no license or certification.
  6. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

  7. Scenic Lawnscape

    Scenic Lawnscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    ok im confused, i was told you had to have a license, in order to apply fert. If not why was i told i had to take a test and get 3 different license's
  8. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    Straight fert, no license. Pesticide/herbicide you do. You personally have to get certified, and then get licensed as a business to apply pest/herb. And to get that license, you have to have at least 2 years of certified experience, or employ someone full time who has the 2 years experience. One of those links above has a phone # for the dept of ag.

    At least, these were the rules 3 years ago when I last looked into it.
  9. Scenic Lawnscape

    Scenic Lawnscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    the reason im so confused is someone told me you cant even use "round-up" if you dont have a license
  10. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    That's correct, you can't apply R-up without a license. You can't even spray a can of Raid, if you are being paid to do it. ANY pesticide application for hire requires a license. You can't even apply Scotts Weed & Feed for a customer - even if they buy it for you, without a license.

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