What it really takes to BE LEGIT!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Stevegotcrabgrass, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. Stevegotcrabgrass

    Stevegotcrabgrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    A lot of people ask what is needed, what to do etc...I will share what it took for me....(keep in mind this is NY)

    File for LLC - you must file with your state, LLC is a good idea especially if you own a home or other assets

    Publication requirements for the LLC - You must publish in two papers, one weekly and one daily for 6 consecutive weeks. The county dept of Consumer affairs will advise where to publish

    After publishing you need to submit, along with payment, a proof/affidavit of publishing

    Now the LLC is set - again each state may be different

    Insurance - Your county will determine what insurance minimums are needed for the type of license needed. Go with a higher amount than the minimum if you can afford to. You might think that is a dumb idea, until you need that insurance.

    Federal EIN - Needed for Federal Tax purposes, must file with IRS and receive employer ID number. You cannot skip this...if you get caught, and who knows if you will, you will be done.

    State ID Number - Depending on the state you file your LLC in, they may automatically send you one, If not you best look into getting one.

    State sales tax authority certificate -Depending on the state you may/probably need this.

    Workers Compensation Certificate etc - Varies depending on state but will be needed (probably)for licensing....

    Lets see you are now and LLC, Got all your Tax items in Order, insured, workers comp. and next you need to get a Bank account

    Most banks will want most of the above info.

    Now you can apply for your license. The application (in NY) wants everything you already got above, and you NEED to pay the fee for the license application with a check from the Bank account you created and listed on the license application.

    Depending on your county you have to take a TEST to get the license. The test covers business laws. After you pass the test you then have to pay more money to get the license.....

    Now lets see, you are insured, you are an LLC, Licensed, All tax info is ready to roll and you are authorized to collect sales tax. I believe now you are finally legit....

    Keep in mind this may vary from state to state....except the Federal stuff. That you need. I believe if you are a sole prop. you don't need an EIN. You probably need an authorization to collect sales tax though.

    Don't forget now you will have a ton of paperwork to file come tax time, and you probably will need an accountant.

    This is all before you cut one lawn or plant one bulb. And there is a decent amount of money to lay out....

    And we wonder why so many people are NOT legit, the states/Gov make it hard and confusing. I am legit, and I hope this helps people get their act together. This is an overview from 30,000 feet. Some of these forms are a pain in the butt.
  2. Stevegotcrabgrass

    Stevegotcrabgrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    Just to add...this is NOT ALL INCLUSIVE>>>...
  3. ProcsLC

    ProcsLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    Seems like a lot of running around. I'm new to this site but opened my own lawn care business last year as an LLC and all I did was go to legal zoom dot com and pay them to file the forms, all the rest was mailed to me and I went an opened a bank account and got insurance thru nationwide.

    Thanks for this input though, curious as to what it cost for you to do all the leg work yourself for forming the LLC... I'm in Upstate NY and the cost was around $400 bucks for them to do it all.
  4. MidWest Falcon

    MidWest Falcon LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    That's it? Ha! My business has completed basically everything on that list. So I guess this means I'M LEGIT
  5. Stevegotcrabgrass

    Stevegotcrabgrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    Legal zoom, did they do your publications too...NYS filing fee alone is $200 plus publication certification is $50. Those are state prices. So legal zoom did it ALL including publications for $150 more. I doubt it as Just publications ran me $140 for two papers. Did they fill out all your state tax and Fed tax info too. Do you have a sales tax cert? EIN? Do you have a Workers comp #? All this is needed and I looked at legal zoom and I don't believe they do it all. Just the LLC, and maybe the publishing? I'd love to know...
  6. Stevegotcrabgrass

    Stevegotcrabgrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    That is to be legit on paper....that is before cutting one lawn. You are legit in the eyes of the Govt.
  7. MidWest Falcon

    MidWest Falcon LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    We are an LLC, have insurance, EIN #'s, etc. etc. I think we're good.
  8. Stevegotcrabgrass

    Stevegotcrabgrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    At least you are one of the few who is doing it by the book.
  9. MidWest Falcon

    MidWest Falcon LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Yeah and it's really not that hard. It costs some money but I figure if something REALLY goes bad at least we don't lose our business.
  10. Stevegotcrabgrass

    Stevegotcrabgrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    That is the truth...and to the other poster...I checked legal zoom. All they do is file the LLC, and send you an application for FED EIN. They will do it but it cost more $$$. It is easy to do online. Takes about 5 minutes. They did not speak about publishing at all. If not done in 120 days in the state of NY your LLC is VOID.

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