Registering business name and license - help

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Jonce, Jun 9, 2005.

  1. Jonce

    Jonce LawnSite Member
    from MN
    Messages: 34

    I'm looking at getting my part time business started or at least the ground work done this year. What are the steps that I need to follow in MN? Here's what I have so far: 1. File for Assumed Business Name 2. File for Ammendment of Assumed Business Name 3. Publish business name in local paper for two weeks so the newspaper company can send me affidavit of publication.

    Here's what I'm not sure about - how do I license the company? Or does the Assumed Name filing cover that? Also, what will insurance cost? I have 1 truck (97 Chev K1500), 1 Cub Z-Force 44, couple weed whackers, and a back pack blower. I will be getting my enclosed trailer this fall or early next Spring. Can I just go through my existing insurance company for that?

    I have my website reserved already and I checked to make sure my business name wasn't taken already (at least in MN anyways).

    By the way, I'm new to this site. I have learned a lot just by reading the posts.
  2. pagefault

    pagefault LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    Insurance will vary from state to state and agent to agent. In my limited experience, I can tell you that if you are cutting grass, not playing with chemicals, installing irrigation, driving bulldozers, etc, make sure you are clear with them that you are doing LAWN MAINTENANCE, not landscaping. Big difference in premiums.

    I have about $10,000 worth of inland marine coverage in case my stuff gets stolen and $2 million worth of liability insurance for about $700 per year.

    You might be able to go through your existing company. That is the first place I would check. My regular insurance company just stopped writing these sorts of policies, but they may start up again within the next year.
  3. Watkinslawnservice

    Watkinslawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 378

    Looks like you have a good start already. I would add getting a state and federal tax I.D.#.

    As far as licensing goes, I may not be sure of what you are asking but you don't need a business license in Minnesota just to do lawn maintenance work. If you want to spread fertilizer or weed control then you need to contact the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to obtain the proper licenses.

    I got my biz insurance through a friend who sells insurance. Liability is the most important insurance to make sure you have. You should be able to get this as well as insurance for your truck and trailer and such with your current agent. Mine costs me $550/year. I don't know if this is a good deal or not but I trust my friend so I didn't shop around.

    BTW, where are you located in MN? Do you have any accounts yet?

    Good luck with your business. If you need any further help you can ask me but I am new also so the best way to get a lot of good info fast is to do a search of this forum on whatever topic interests you. There is a ton of info here, ya just have to wade through a little B.S. now and then before you get to it.
  4. Jonce

    Jonce LawnSite Member
    from MN
    Messages: 34

    Thanks for the tips guys. I will definitely let the insurance company know that I am only doing lawn maintenance and not landscaping. It's a good thing I posted this before I called them.

    Licensing - I thought any business that you advertise needs a business license? I could be's happened before - LOL. I just want to be legit and show the customers that I'm professional about my business. I know that I am definitely going to get insurance just to cover my arse.

    This might be a dumb question but what will a state and federal tax ID # do for me? Are there tax benefits for getting this? I won't have any employee's working for me, it's kind of a one man gig as of now.

    I live in Monticello, MN but I work down in Eden Prairie, MN. I don't have much for accounts (except my bro's house - 1.5 acres). Once I get all my paperwork/insurance figured out, I will start advertising. My brother has his own plumbing business and he has magnetic signs that he puts on both sides of his truck. I will probably go the same route to start off. Once I get the enclosed trailer, I will get all my decals ordered up (company name for both sides and on the back ramp, website address, phone number, etc.).
  5. pagefault

    pagefault LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    It'll keep you legal and keep the IRS off your back, hopefully.
  6. Watkinslawnservice

    Watkinslawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 378

    The tax ID numbers is what you will be reporting your income under, although it is perfectly legal to do business under your social security number.

    As far as a business license, I think they are required in other states(I may be wrong)but not here in MN.

    I just bought a Great Dane surfer from an LCO in monticello. That wasn't you was it? I doubt it cuz this guy had employees and about 4 or 5 ZTRs and about 3 or 4 WBs. He had a ferris in his garage I think a 60" that was basically brand new that he said he didnt like as much as his exmarks so he may sell it.

    Good luck with your venture.
  7. Jonce

    Jonce LawnSite Member
    from MN
    Messages: 34

    WatkinsLS, no that was not me. I'm just starting out.

    Question - how many of you add sales tax to each invoice for residential/commercial jobs?
  8. DR. Lawns

    DR. Lawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I am from OK, and wondering if there are any license requirements. I have just started a company, and would like to know what are the state requirements?
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Well I am not sure about MN but here in Virginia, anybody running a business is required to have a business license, so I would assume you need this license as well.

    The thing about Fed and state tax ID:
    This is required by the IRS and your state for Accounting purposes and is an account number. If you are an individual, your Social Security number is your Federal and State TAX account number (yes I know it's called an ID but it is an account number much like your checking account has an account number).
    In the absence of these ID's you can (and will have to) use your own Social Security number but that is a temporary measure as the IRS and the state will both pester you to get the ID which is just the 'proper' way of doing things.

    Far as how to do it, I think you can do Federal online, here I did a little research for you:

    And you can do Minnesota online as well, it appears:

    Man I'm good :)
    Peace out
  10. KathysLGC

    KathysLGC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,345

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