What license? Insurance?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by SpfdTurfMasters, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. SpfdTurfMasters

    SpfdTurfMasters LawnSite Member
    from MO
    Messages: 25

    Hi, me and a friend are wanting to start a lawn service next season. I want to be legal and legit. Do we need a DBA, a LLC, or what? Where can we get one? How much do they run?

    Also, for insurance, can I just get it through like my parents homeowners insurance? How much does that usually run per month?

  2. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    Be careful of advice people may give you on this specific question on lawnsite. I strongly advise you to go DIRECTLY to the true source of information on this most important topic.

    Insurance will be different for everyone and different from state to state, how long you have been in business and how much experience you have. I have a massive policy with several different "riders" that cover different things. But you may not need that insane coverage. You probably can get a 1 million dollar general liability policy for less than a grand a year. I do not suggest getting anything less than 500,000 you could be surprised how much damage can happen with the slightest mishap like injuring a kid or shooting a stone through a window knocking a candle over and starting a fire is a extreme example but you get the idea.

    go to "ALL" of these websites for starters and surf "every one" of these sites

    1) http://www.missouribusiness.net/docs/starting_new_business_missouri.pdf
    2) http://www.missouribusiness.net/startup/
    3) http://www.business.mo.gov/
  3. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,586

    dont listen to a 17 year old child about business decisions....or people who are in there first year... right
    eshskies..hahahaahha or others here who complain that being legal is too hard homeowners insurance company is a good place to start... if they cant help they can point you in the right direction....

    register business name with the state, get dba or llc, open a compamy bank account, get insured, get commercial plates for your vehicle and trailor, chekc and see if your state requires a vendors license for collecting sales tax,

    most of all , dump the partner, it wont work, do a search on this here lots of horror stories....
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    Yes, don't forget everything you do opens up a new can of worms. Such as if you get commercial plates you will also need a CDL, and the required insurance, plan on spending roughly 1-2 thousand for this alone. Try and do everything exactly like you're supposed to and I guarantee you a literal never-ending trail of paperwork and fees, don't go overboard now but you won't have to, everything you do requires forms and fees (don't forget time, hours)... And one form leads to another, and another, and fill that one out and there's another form required of you and you think when you've reached that form that it's over but it's not, it never ends until you make the choice to first find out what it is you need, then decide how to go about it, and what to do.

    So check with your county government, I would do what eshkies said and visit those state web sites, ultimately however, you will need to be licensed in the county(ies) or city(ies) you will be doing business IN. Just to answer the question, an LLC is a business that licenses your local business, literally, you still need a local business but with an LLC your local business license goes in the name of the LLC vs. your own, and the LLC goes in your name but you don't own it, you're more like a member or a partner. This can protect you from certain types of liability, but if you opt to go with the LLC then your local county business license is a business within a business (the LLC's), and you have to pay the annual fees for both.

    I do recommend an LLC myself, but that all depends on your state laws, what they recommend, whether it makes a difference.

    As for insurance, I'm not sure if that's required, all depends what you plan on doing, your state laws, and what your options and view points on liability are.

    So study up on this stuff, find out what it is you really need, ask questions, I would recommend the county clerk and other employees along the government line first, maybe commercial employees later (such as insurance). I doubt homeowner's would cover you, you would need General Business Liability for starters, that's what you need to shop for if this is part of your options.
  5. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    daveintoledo made a very important point partnerships in this industry generally do not work they fail outright.
  6. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,586

    all areas are different, here, you do not need a cdl to have commercial plates, and cant letter your vehicle or PARK IN NO PRKING AREAS... with out those plates it would suck sometimes trying to park....

    cdl only required at certain gross vehicle weight.... most lco's are way under that
  7. Crusis

    Crusis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    In my case it's a husband and wife partnership. So far that has worked fine. :)
  8. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    Sure it works its family,

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