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Starting in NC

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by wecruisin, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. wecruisin

    wecruisin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Hi guys, nice community here!

    I'm planning on starting my own lawn business this spring. I have been working with another man for the last year and a half with his lawn service. It is possible that i may be able to pick up a few yards from hime and also a few from another contractor he knows here.

    I know i want to start with a good used ZTR mower, a new push mower, new trimmer, and blower. I will be working solo so i can use my SSN as my tax ID, correct? I also need some type of general liability insurance. I have my vehicles through Farm Bereau so i'll check with them on this too.

    Are any of these "starting a lawn care business" packs that i've seen in my search engine searches worth the money? Is there anywhere else to get good estimate sheets, invoices, etc?

    Any help and any tips on anything at all would be very helpful. Thanks a ton.

  2. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    i know that there is somethig available here from shawn...i think its in the estimating forum.... dont forget the librayr, and do a lot of searching here...:)
  3. lawnsbyrj

    lawnsbyrj LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    no we are full, just kidding. farm beaura is great for G liability, i have mine there,as long as your credit is good.
    think about used small stuff from the pawn shops, like push mowers etc.
    as far as these "packs" study on here first and see where that leads you,
    just know you need insurance, and a liscence. that is mainly it to get you started.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Go away!!! No work in NC. To many LCOs already!!!:p :p

    Just Kidding. Welcome to the site,
    Where in NC are you.

    What is you target customer. Decide that first before you buy any equipment.
    Do some searching on here and come back with some direct questions. We will be happy to answer.

    I would avoid most of the stuff on the web till you search here a little as most of questions you have are already answered.
    Talk to your accountant about how best to set up you business.
    Good luck.

    ( I see lawnsbyrj beat me to all this)
  5. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    Also remember that in NC you cannot put any chemicals on a lawn even basic fertilizer without also holding a separate Applicators License issued by the State of NC after you have passed the training and state exams.

    Also you cannot do any landscape installs, designs or builds or even advertise as a "landscaper" without also being licensed as a Landscape Contractor by the State, through the NC Landscape Contractors Board.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Pesticide Board # 919-733-3556

    And I believe # 919-515-3113 is the # for the Books to study, Ask for Jennie Ferrell I believe.
  7. CNE

    CNE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    MMlawn, are you sure about the landscape deal? It was my understanding that you couldn't advertise your business as a "landscape contractor" unless you were registered, but you could advertise as doing lawn care and landscaping. I may be wrong on this but I'm pretty sure that's what I read. Anyway, as others have already said, in NC you have to have a Pesticide Applicators License to put out any chemicals including weed killer. I took my class at Lenoir Community College. It was $45 then you can pay the $50 per year for your license. You should be able to get insurance through your auto company. Mine is with Allstate, $500,000 runs about $850 a year with theft coverage. You can register your business as a Sole Proprietorship and use your SSN. I have mixed feelings about the equipment. You can save money buying used but if it breaks on you and is not reliable or looks bad, it doesn't say a lot for you company. I bought my ZTR, trailer, blower, trimmer, sprayers, etc. all new and bought a used (only 18 hours on it) walk behind. To me it would look bad to show up with a '72 chevy truck with a rusty old trailer hauling a residential rider or a rusty old ZTR that smokes..... You get my point. Anyway, any clarification on the "contractor" thing would be great MMlawn.
  8. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    Yeah, that's what it says and kinda right and kinda wrong though. They will if you advertise full "Landscaping", i.e. design, install, build, argue that you are a Landscape Contractor simply by doing that work even if you only call yourself a Landscaper and not a Landscape Contractor and thus require the training and the license. They are also pretty aggressive on enforcing it. I agree it is spliting hairs and not exactly what the statue says in text, but it is how they are calling it and enforcing it as I have been told directly from their office. The board link is below though.

  9. wecruisin

    wecruisin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Thanks for the welcome!!

    I'm in the Roanoke Rapids area of NC. I am going mainly after residential jobs small and large, i'll wait on the commercial accounts after i make sure that the business is going to succeed.

    For the license, do i just aquire a business license through my county? I know about the Chemical and Fertilizer stuff, both guys that i menioned are certified through that. So once i have a business license and G-liability my business will be legit, correct? My dad owns his own business so i'm sure he can answer this for me.

    As for the used equipment, my old 72 Chevy truck doesn't look too bad! LOL j/k I have a 66 Ford that i'm building and has about 425hp, should get me from job to job quick...

    Seriously, i'm going to look over everything that i decide to buy used. I won't buy it if it's trashy looking. The trailer i will most likely buy new as i need one of those anyway.

    Thanks again for all of your comments and suggestions.
  10. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    Business License will come from your County yes, BUT in NC you also are required to have one in each "City Limits" you work in. For example I have business licenses in Guilford County, Alamance County, Orange County, Durham County, and Wake County...THEN I also have to have licenses in Greensboro, High Point, Burlington, Chapel Hill, Durham City, Raleigh, and Cary. So you will more than likely have to have one for the County and for the City also.

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