Wondering how to start a Lawn Care Business legally? We got you!
The lawn care industry is one of the most profitable businesses that could be grown into a million-dollar business if done properly.
In fact, according to Landscape Professionals, between the years 2017-2022, the market size of the landscaping industry has grown at an average of 5.3% per year. This is great news for those who want to get into this business in 2023.
People love to have well-kept lawns to enhance the look of their homes. But due to their busy lives, they always look for people to care for them, which is why lawn care services are highly coveted.
Starting a lawn care business legally is not as hard as it sounds, as long as you know what to do.
You must do some homework about certain things, such as how it works and what legal requirements you must fulfill before starting your business.
In this guide, we’ll be sharing all the major steps you must follow to start your lawn care business legally.
Let’s jump right in!
Also Read: How To Price Your Lawn Care Services?
Steps To Starting A Lawn Care Business Legally
Here are the steps you must follow to set up and operate your lawn care business legally:
1. Choose a Business Name
Start with choosing a name that suits your lawn care business well.
Your business name serves as a cornerstone that represents the purpose of your business and helps customers identify your brand.
Make sure to choose a creative name that is easy to market and makes your business stand out. Avoid names that are confusing, hard to spell, or already in use by someone else.
2. Choose a Business Structure
Selecting an appropriate business structure that aligns with your business goals is one of the biggest considerations while starting a lawn care business.
Your business structure affects everything from how your company will get registered to your day-to-day operations, taxes, the paperwork you need to file, your liability to raise money, and how much your assets are at risk.
You can choose from the following three business structures:
1. Sole Proprietorship
If you are the sole owner of the business, you can go with sole propriety of business structure. It is easy to form with less paperwork, requirements, and taxes and gives you more control over your business.
A partnership is a business structure suitable for those running a business with two more people.
It allows you to combine resources, share the operational burden, and share profit and losses with other partners.
3. Limited Liability Company (LLC)
LLC is a business structure that combines all the best elements of sole propriety ships, corporations, and partnerships into one business entity and provides a higher level of protection.
It gives owners tons of flexibility in arranging a business for the specific needs of the investors, liability protection, and tax advantages.
3. Register Your Business
Next, register your lawn care business as a legal institution with your regional government. The process of registration may vary depending on the country of your residence.
Register your business as a legal entity to keep your professional assets separate and protect your assets from any form of business debt.
4. Set up a Business Bank Account
To operate your lawn care business legally, you must have a dedicated business bank account to keep your assets separate from the company.
Having a devoted business account makes it easier to keep track of your cash flow to ensure your taxes are paid timely, build a credit profile, and provide financial security in case of any legal allegation.
5. Get a Lawn Care Business License
Just like any other business, a business license is essential to start your lawn care business legally.
In many states, you can run a lawn care business without a license unless you offer fertilizers, weed, and pest control.
You can contact the Small Business Administration or chamber of commerce in your state to get information about which business license you should apply for.
Typically, a business license costs between $75 to $400 per year, depending on your state and region.
6. Get an Employee Identification Number
If you are planning to hire workers, you must apply for an Employee Identification Number (EIN). It is a nine-digit number assigned to businesses to allow them to operate their business.
The Employee Identification Number is used by the IRS to identify the employer for tax reporting purposes.
And banks will also ask you to show an EIN to open a bank account and apply for credit.
7. Obtain Insurance
Obtaining insurance is necessary to protect your lawn care business if something goes wrong in the future.
Business insurance protects from losses caused by injury, unforeseen accidents, and property damages.
Here are the insurance plans you might need depending on the type of loss and coverage you need:
- Property Insurance
- General Liability insurance
- Health Insurance
- Worker’s compensation insurance
- Commercial vehicle insurance
- Business owner policy
- Employment practices liability
We’d highly recommend consulting with an insurance agent to see what type of insurance would be best for your business to make an informed decision.
8. Get a Tax Registration Number
Finally, you’ll need to get a Tax Registration Number (TRN), which is a 15-digit number.
This is issued by Revenue while registering your business as a sole trader, partnership, trust, or company.
The TRN is issued once for a business and used in all invoices, documents, and financial transactions, such as Tax credit notes, VAT Return Filing, and tax invoices.
To apply for a TRN, you need a Personal Public Service Number (PPSN), which will become your TRN once you register for tax.
You can visit Revenue Online Service (ROS) and register for Income tax. To learn more about how to register for a TRN, click here.
9. Additional Certifications to Consider
While it is not mandatory to have additional certifications to operate your lawn care business legally, obtaining some training certification would make your business stand out from competitors.
Certifications allow you to prove your expertise and develop a solid foundation to build your brand name and credibility.
The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) offers plenty of certifications in lawn care, tree care, landscape, and much more to help new companies to let their light shine!
Also Read: How To Start A Lawn Care Business Legally?
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Money Required to Start a Lawn Care Business
Lawn care business does not require a very huge investment specially if you already have a truck or a trailer. To start a lawn care business you will need between $755-$1,360.
However, if you do not have a trailer or a truck then you might have to spend additional $30,000.
In fact, many lawn care businesses start just with a mower and some other small tools.
Here’s a breakdown of the cost you will have to bear to start a lawn care business:
- A push lawn mower – $170–350
- Liability insurance – $500–$600 per year
- Basic flyer or sandwich board marketing – $10
- Business registration costs – $75–400
How To Price Your Lawn Care Business?
You need to find a price that justifies your service but also helps you make enough profit in your area.
Here are a few things to consider while setting a price for your lawn care business:
- Decide profit margin
- Calculate labor cost
- Calculate material and equipment cost
- Make sensible estimates
- Determine competitors rate
Once you have taken these basic expenses into consideration, now its time to determine your pricing model.
Here are different pricing models that you can choose from:
- Flat rate: You can choose this type of pricing model if you are sure how much time and effort the job will take.
- Hourly rate: If you are not sure about how much time a job will take to complete, then you can choose to charge on an hourly basis.
- Square footage rates: In this one, you fix the price based on the number of square feet you are covering.
How to Start a Lawn Care Business Part-Time?
Pros and Cons of Lawn Care Business
- Repeat business is guaranteed if your work is good.
- Low investment cost
- Seasonal work
- You have the capacity to scale this business
- Fierce competition
- Seasonal work
Equipment Needed to Start a Lawn Care Business
How To Market Your Lawn Care Business?
There are many ways to promote your lawn care business. Some might require you to put in very little money, while others require a bit more.
Here are strategies that you can follow to market your lawn care business:
- Distribute flyers door-to-door
- Distribute business cards
- Put a promotional sign on lawns you maintain
- Put promotional signage on your truck
- Use social media
- Create a website
- Register on Google my business
- Run ads
- Start referral program
- Join Facebook groups
Beginning a lawn care business can be very rewarding. People love spending time in their gardens with their family and friends, and there is a lot of demand for this business.
So if you have made up your mind to take on this endeavor, then kudos to you. We hope this guide on how to start a lawn care business legally was helpful to you.
Is starting a lawn care business worth it?
Starting any business from scratch is not easy, and if you are willing to put the sweat into your lawn care business worth it.
Once you learn how to market your business and make a good customer base, then you will get to do what you love at your own convenience.
Is lawn care business profitable?
Yes, the lawn care business is profitable. A successful lawn care job can give you a profit margin of 15%-40%.
How much do lawn care business owners make?
The earnings of a lawn care business owner vary based on your team size, services you offer, number of customers, efficiency, profit margin, etc.
However, on average, you can expect to make anywhere between $10,000 to $100,000 per year.
Amit Gupta is the founder of National Planning Cycles, a company that helps startups, individuals, and small businesses with their financial planning. He has a vast amount of experience in the finance sector, having managed Google Play accounts for some of the world’s most successful unicorns. Amit is an expert in his field, and he uses his knowledge to help others achieve their individual goals.
The National Planning Cycles is committed to producing high-quality content that follows industry standards. We do this by using primary sources, such as white papers and government data alongside original reporting from reputable publishers that were appropriate for the accuracy of information while still being unbiased. We have an editorial policy that includes verifiable facts with due credit given where applicable.