Whats needed legally?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Kennybob, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. Kennybob

    Kennybob LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 17

    Legally what is needed to run a mowing business? commercial plates, insurance, bank accounts, accepting checks, etc? If you do about 5 lawns, would you legally need it? If people are doing tax writeoffs on your service?What draws the line between running a small service to owning a business?
  2. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,444

    There is no "line". If you are performing a service for pay you need a license. and that would include the appropriate insurance, tags etc.

    No "homeowner" is writing off lawn maintenance.... it's not deductible. Businesses are a different matter and once one of them pays you they have to issue a 1099 at the end of the year (if they've paid you over $600 over the course of the year. However many will 1099 you even if they've only paid you $1 !)

    Around here many guys do a "little" residential work as a side job with no license. We "legit" guys turn them in every chance we get as they're stealing from us by not playing by the same rules. Here it's a $1,000 fine for doing business without a license and when caught you're not allowed to buy a license for 1 year.... pretty much puts them out.

    Do it right or stay home.
  3. alteeter

    alteeter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    here in MI. there is no license required to perform lawn maintenance services, i.e. cutting, trimming, blowing, edging, pruning, etc. only need license here if your gonna apply pesticide or herbicides, you can even use fertilizers(apply) without license as long as the fertilizer contains NO pesticide/herbicide i.e. weed and feed. I operate w/ DBA and good liability insurance policy, DBA gets you bank acct. w/ business name for accepting checks.
  4. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,128

    Check with an attorney and an accountant from YOUR state. They will know. Or take advice from someone on here that is from your state and works in your state. Every state is different. Some states require licenses and some like Texas don't.
  5. Fvstringpicker

    Fvstringpicker LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,670

    A lot of decent free advice is available to answer your question. First, go to the business licenses department in the city/county where you do business and ask them. Second, go to the chamber of commerce and see it they have a small business development center. If they do, you can get a free consultant (usually a retired business person) to help you with a myriad of problems.

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