The ever-popular “Licensed & Insured” Line…

CEGreen

LawnSite Member
Location
Huntington, WV
So I completely get the “Insured” part, but going into my second year of Lawn Care, I can’t for the life of me understand what “Licensed” means in this industry. I see so many other companies stating this in my area.

If we just look at the mowing (w/ weed eating, blowing debris) aspect of the business, why would someone need a license and where would one even acquire that certification? In WV (where I am) the state doesn’t require a special license to perform lawn care/mowing services, but that doesn’t stop people from presumably getting this “license” and advertising they have it. Are these businesses referring to their “business” license (which I, of course, have)? Or maybe a license to spray certain chemicals or use certain equipment for other services they may offer? I can understand that.

For those who ARE “licensed”, what are you guys referring to? Is there anyone on here “licensed” soley for mowing?
 

APLUS LAWN CARE

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
North Missouri
So I completely get the “Insured” part, but going into my second year of Lawn Care, I can’t for the life of me understand what “Licensed” means in this industry. I see so many other companies stating this in my area.

If we just look at the mowing (w/ weed eating, blowing debris) aspect of the business, why would someone need a license and where would one even acquire that certification? In WV (where I am) the state doesn’t require a special license to perform lawn care/mowing services, but that doesn’t stop people from presumably getting this “license” and advertising they have it. Are these businesses referring to their “business” license (which I, of course, have)? Or maybe a license to spray certain chemicals or use certain equipment for other services they may offer? I can understand that.

For those who ARE “licensed”, what are you guys referring to? Is there anyone on here “licensed” soley for mowing?
That is a good question. I also work in lawn care and I don't get what people mean when they say they are licensed for lawn care. I live in Missouri and there is no licensure that I am aware of for lawn care. Now I do know that companies that also do landscaping and irrigation work are required to have licenses but what are the licenses for lawn care?
 

weeze

LawnSite Fanatic
i think they are referring to their business license.

personally i've always despised the line of "licensed and insured" or "licensed and bonded". to me that always just meant "more expensive" from a customer's point of view.
 

stroker51

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Northeast Kansas
Here there are no license requirements for mowing or most of your normal lawn care services. I have my pesticide license and have a licensed backflow inspector for irrigation so I advertise as licensed and insured, and include it when I make out estimates. I guess if you are in an area that requires a business license it is just to reinforce the fact that you are a legal business recognized by your state or town.
 

Ridin' Green

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Michigan
It is referring to the business license that I believe all states require to operate a business legally (mainly for tax purposes). Commonly known as a DBA, or "Doing Business As". To many people it shows you are legit, take your business seriously, as well as the work you do, and in many cases it actually instills confidence in prospective customers that youn will be there every week to do as you claim when you bid on their lawn.
 

Lefet

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Jackson, NJ
We are licensed and insured. We are a complete landscape company. Here, anything additional to cutting grass requires a Home Improvement Contractors License. If you plant a flower, shrub or tree, you need a HIC license. We also are licensed to apply pesticides, (which requires an insurance rider by the way) and now FERTILIZERS. Hence, we are licensed and insured.
 

Dr.NewEarth

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Vancouver Canada
Your City or County requires you to have a "business license" You can work under the radar and get away without having to pay for this. But if the license inspector gets a complaint, he/she will come around and probably give you a fine.

Where I am, I can be working in a dozen cities throughout the year. Each city wants us to pay for "their license". If each wants $150 dollars...well, you do the math.

I have had clients who would not hire other contractors just because they had no business license for the clients city. The contractors were otherwise fully insured with good BBB reports.

Another license is a Pesticide applicators license. (get one)

Frankly in my opinion, if you are a registered company with your province/state and or Federally , (pay a one time initial fee and a yearly filing fee here) and are insured with liability insurance (annual fee) and you have workers compensation (annual fee) then, that's alot of money each year. These cover the basic requirements for operating a business.

I find city license fees to be an unnecessary money grab.

One way to avoid being noticed by the license inspector/bylaw officer is to not put an advertising sign on your trucks. That can help.

I also find the BBB to be a waste of time, but that's another storey.
 

Ben Bowen

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
PNW
I agree, it either refers to a business license- which is a pretty unremarkable thing to advertise- or a landscape contractor's license that some states require. Here it is required for any non-maintenance landscape work over $500.00, including materials. Even $500 of bark dust spreading requires it.

It may tell some customers that you are more expensive- which is great, I don't like competing on price anyway.
 

Patriot Services

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Tampa FL
Here it is a tax certificate and implies you are a legitimate business. A customer can also search the state website to verify your status in the state.:usflag:
 
OP
C

CEGreen

LawnSite Member
Location
Huntington, WV
Thanks Guys. Good info. I had occasionally wondered if there was some 8 week mowing course everyone was taking.

I agree, it either refers to a business license- which is a pretty unremarkable thing to advertise.
Exactly! haha That's what I was thinking... surely all these guys aren't merely advertising they have a business license, BUT as another poster mentioned, I can see the benefit - being in an industry with a lot of unorganized competition.
 

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