If you have some skills when it comes to lawn care and landscaping, enjoy working outdoors, and have a desire to be your own boss, starting your own landscaping business may be the ideal fit. Landscaping businesses are relatively easy to set up and get started, especially when compared to other types of businesses. There are a few key things to take into account when you’re planning for your new business.
Check with your city, county and state officials to find out which licenses, if any, you need. Many cities and states require a general business license, and you may need a separate license for each city in which you conduct business. That includes the city your business is located in, as well as any other cities your customers are located in. In some states, you’ll need a special license for landscaping, and in some states, you only need a separate license if you sell plants to your customers. Additionally, some states require additional licenses if you’ll be spraying pesticides or working with irrigation.
If you operate your business as a sole proprietor, you are liable to the extent of your assets, both business and personal, for the risks of the business. Consult with a lawyer to find out if it would be better for you to establish your company as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or an S corporation. Both options may protect you from losing your personal assets if the business is pursued legally. It’s also important to use solid, written contracts before you work with any customers. Be sure to include the scope of work, based on the estimate you provided the customer, as well as the agreed-upon payment terms. Also include any exclusions to the work you will perform. For example, if you’ll be digging in the ground, you may want to mention in the contract that you’re not responsible for any issues you find beneath the surface.
The equipment you use may determine the quality of services you provide. Typical purchases for a new landscaping business include a mower, a weed whacker, a trimmer, shovels, picks, rakes and hoes. You may need additional equipment based on the various services you intend to provide. If you don’t have the capital to purchase the equipment before starting your business, look into the cost of renting the equipment. For San Francisco tool rental, it is best to compare prices, and the overall cost to the cost of purchasing equipment.
It’s a good idea to start by working for an established landscaping company to hone your skills and observe how behind-the-scenes business, such as billing, is handled. If you have a background in business administration, accounting or marketing, you’ll be one step ahead.