some questions about "making it legal"

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by RLS24, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. RLS24

    RLS24 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,603

    I am looking to start up a small business here in my area (western NY) and I have a few questions.

    First, is it too late to actually start a business for the season? I know its almost April, but theres still snow here and I'm not sure if its too late to start advertising or if I still have a chance to pick up some customers.

    Second, how does it work with like registering your business and such? Do I have to go to my local town hall and get a permit to do landscaping in the town? Do I have to register with the IRS so they can take my money (lol)? And for taxes, do people usually like claim everything or do they do like half on the books and half off the books to avoid paying a ton of taxes?

    I was also thinking about trying to get a job with a landscaping company for this summer just to see how things work before I go out on my own. Would you think this is a better idea? Thanks for the input!
  2. Smith Lawn & Landscaping

    Smith Lawn & Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 355

    Since your just starting out then yes i would work with a LCO around your area first so you can get a feel of how things work. But also depending on your time you can always start it up on the side. Cut on weekends if ya aint gota work. Advertise put out door hangers,flyers,etc etc. the best is word of mouth hands down. Remember its about quality work that gets the customer coming back season after season not quantity. good luck
  3. Lawn-Sharks

    Lawn-Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 912

    I think it would be better for you to work for someone first not only will you get the training but you will get a better idea what to charge and also how the marketing end of it works
  4. theguynextdoor

    theguynextdoor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 276

    I'm starting a landscaping business in amherst. I started with plowing over the winter. Yes you do need a landscapers permit for amherst. It costs 35 dollars per year, and you need to show you federal tax id number to prove you are registered. You can just go apply for a dba or you can set up an llc/inc. I think i might just do dba for the first year since i only have about 20 residential or so.

    As far as on the books....the people that i have known for a while and have done their lawn since i was a 12, cash = no sales tax and i put it in my personal account sometimes. Otherwise you need a business checking account to deposit payments. I would get an accountant...i would not attempt doing the taxes on this myself.
  5. RLS24

    RLS24 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,603

    I live in amherst too. want to hire someone for this spring/summer/fall?
  6. theguynextdoor

    theguynextdoor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 276

    Sorry, but I don't have enough work to get another person. I'm just doing it on the side while I am going to UB. I don't like being a poor college student. I bet you could find someone to work for though. Try GREENVIEW TEAM LANDSCAPING. They are a huge company and their website says they're looking for people I think. Good luck
  7. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,941

    Thanks for these kinds of business management practices. You enable me, plus many others who operate above board, to be able to pay the taxes that you choose to ignore. It is a pleasure to pick up the slack left by those who choose to operate apart from the tax laws of our land.
  8. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    great another illegal operation... get legal or get the hell out...
  9. RLS24

    RLS24 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,603

    ehh, I dont think cutting a few neighbors lawns for a few bucks when you're 12 or 13 is a big deal, but at some point i would have to say you should make it a legit business.
  10. KGR landscapeing

    KGR landscapeing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    dave relax theres lot of houses and companys to cut between you and new york. insurance is the big one. i could care less about u paying tax the goverment is falling apart anyway. but when u and ur clunker wreck somelady taking her kids to school or ur mower throws a few rocks ull be done for good.

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