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Under the table business

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TheKingNJ, Dec 27, 2003.

  1. TheKingNJ

    TheKingNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 781

    I'm just starting landscaping this year and i was wondering how bad of an idea is it of just going and mowing lawns, no permits, no insurance, no registered business? What are the do's and don't of doing this? i'm 18 and in college is it worth getting all that for 20 lawns?
  2. Guardian

    Guardian LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 269

    License and basic liability insurance will probably only run you $55/mo. Thats not too bad to be legit. If you break something, you'll be glad you're insured.
  3. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    were I live you don't need permits. just insurance and pay taxes. I don't think your taxes would be very much for just 20 lawns. insurance would most likely be under $500 a year also.

    It cost us $30 to register the fictitious name. This is basically a john doe is working under the name of The King Landscaping. We are also required to run a add in the legal section of the paper for 3 mondays in a row to let the public know. This cost us about $60.

    Even if you need a permit, I don't think you have real reason not to start out right.
  4. chuckwk

    chuckwk Founder
    from KC, MO
    Messages: 629

    If something is worth doing, it should be worth doing the right way.
  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i'll tell u what. if i were your age, had nothing to lose, and had the mind of a 19 year old, i wouldn't even think twice about it. i would operate a cash only business, not insured. the only way to get caught is if someone "rats" you out. and, who's gonna rat u out? 90% of guys cutting lawns do operate "under the table". as for me, at this point in my life, i like to be able to sleep at night. if i hurt someone, it's covered. my taxes are paid. quite a while back, i wrote a thread titled " are we only hurting ourselves". in it i explained that this is a very rough business to make a profitable one. the competition , and the law of supply and demand, being a great factor. the thing i could always count on is when 20 new guys pop up in the spring, 19 of them will be gone by the following spring. why? alot of reasons. and now, congradulations king and others like you. when 20 pop up every spring, only about 10 will be gone the following year. why? because lawn guys(and this is baffling to me) are very eager to share thier knowledge, and teach you everything you need to know, to become thier direct competition. king, can't you just get a job at like burger king or something, finish college, and go on to a miserable life working on somebody elses time clock? and along the way, keep your hands out of my pocket?
  6. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 976

    Well said Bobby. At least I won't be the first to burst your bubble, but I really don't care to see guys like you in this business. Not only do you take food off my table and clothes off my daughters back, but you keep the overall public opinion of lawncare companies down. Another point to make is I'm the one who turns in guys like you; running a bootleg business. I don't mind turning bootleggers into the IRS. Did it last year when one came after my accounts. He's not in business anymore and really owes some back taxes. You may not be hurting my business personally, but you, and others like you, hurt our industry as a whole. Just stay out unless you are willing to take the proper steps to protect the industry, and it's customers.
  7. WeatherMan

    WeatherMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 692

    Well Said guys I dont think I could have said it better

    BOTURF LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 316

    i am like the last 3 or 4 posts , it pisses me off when people come in and dont run a legit biz and take out of my pocket . I run a by the books business and wouldnt think of doing it any other way . If i had to go under table doing business i would just get out, i cant afford to lose everything i have worked for all my life , and the way lawsuits are theses days if you threw a rock or golf ball and hurt someone or worse yet killed someone you can bet your sweet a$% they would have you for life. Thats why the days of the 20 buck mow and go are over for me . Its x amount to just drop the gate and then we go from there
  9. maelawncare

    maelawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    Man, if only i could catch the unlegit people around here. There are tons of them. I hate it, yea i dont tally everything that i make, probably only about 95% of what i make is on paper. The rest is friends and family that i dont really count. But i hate how so many people start up and then die off, i mean come on get a real job. It is a ruff and tuff world out there. A while back 2 lawn guys got in a fist fight over a lawn. Turns out the owner of the yard was tring to screw both of them.
  10. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Hey All
    Just think if all the legit biz quit being legit? With the equipment that most of us have and the experience we could compete at a price that would put all the others out of biz. If I did not have to play by the rules that kid down the rd. with the 21 in thats doing the neighbors lawn for $15 it takes him 1/2 hr. Pull in with a 60 inch, stripe it and do the other neighbors and you still have an extra 15 min . to do a couple more when your doing 4 to there 1 it kinda puts us on an even playing field. Why would anyone sue us? nothing would be in my or the co. name I would own NOTHING. so there would be no attorney that would even want a case that did not have ins. co. $$$ to go after. No taxes cash only so we could afford to keep some new equipment in some ones name. And the best part is if your not already established you could not get in we would be taking all the work since we already have the equip. Unless someone left you with a pile $$$$ to get started we could keep all the work and $$ to ourselves!


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