starting a business

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by thelawnkid, Feb 25, 2004.

  1. thelawnkid

    thelawnkid LawnSite Member
    Messages: 139

    I already have a lawn business going, but everything is under the table, and all cash. I would like to make everything legitamite, so that I will be able to take on commercial acccounts, plow, and get my chemical applications license. Will you guys give me a list of everything that I need to do to make my business legitamite.
  2. TSM

    TSM LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 707

    ok, for starters make sure you are properly insured (a must for commercial accounts), get together with an insurance agent or better yet talk to several, find one you are comfortable with, they'll help you in this area.

    pay taxes -talk with some accountants and hire one you feel comfortable with, they will help you with your tax obligations and get you the deductions you are entitled too. An accountant will also help you get a Federal ID # if you have employees, if you dont then your SS# is all you need.

    you may have to register your business with your town/city, because they will want a cut of taxes as well (may not be true in all states)

    thats pretty much it if you are operating as a sole propriotor

    good for you for wanting to be 'legit'. be honest with yourself, your customers and our government. good luck
  3. ipm

    ipm LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 264

    You can start by simply hiring a CPA and a corp./ business? attorney. They usually can steer you in the right direction>get a reference check or if you know a lot of people in your area ask them. You need to make sure that the CPA is on the ball. It will cost you but you are making a wise decision. You don't want the infamous door knock :eek: Good luck
  4. thelawnkid

    thelawnkid LawnSite Member
    Messages: 139

    what do you guys think that it will cost me to make my business legit, and how much taxes do they take out
  5. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    Depend on how much you make. Oh, you also have to turn 18.
  6. TSM

    TSM LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 707

    operate your business as a sole proprioter and the cost is very little. Taxes, as mentioned, depend on how much $$$ you make. You could find an accountant and most likely get your first consultation for free. He/she will tell you the percentage of income you need to save for the IRS and your state dept. of revenue.

    Cost for insurance again to several insurance agents (talk is cheap, wont cost you a dime) they will most likely try to over insure you, but you'll get some quotes.

    You will need to be of legal age (your profile says you're 17) but you can get answers concerning cost now and have things in place so when you have your birthday you will be running your business above the table.

    also check out Marty Grunder's book---9 simple steps---
  7. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

    Hi thelawnkid,

    Here is an idea. Write out all the questions you have before you sit down with your adviser to maximize your time.
  8. thelawnkid

    thelawnkid LawnSite Member
    Messages: 139

    I don't turn 18 until august 15, but is there a way that all of the insurance, and other contracts can be under my dads name, until I turn 18, and thanks for the replies
  9. prizeprop

    prizeprop LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    Look into LLC (limited liability company), It's about a $1,000 bucks to set up through an attorney. Your business is pretty much set up like a sole proprietor, however it separates your business assets from your personal assets. This way if you ever get sued they can't touch your personal assets only the business assets. Ask an attorney though, this is not in anyway legal advise. GOOD LUCK
  10. TSM

    TSM LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 707

    Putting everything in your dads name makes it his business. If thats the case you become an employee. If he does this, then I would agree he should set up LLC. But it remains his business.

    At 17, I wouldnt loose any sleep over waiting till august

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