Getting Started

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Q: My husband has started a lawn business. He has approximately 15 yards so far. I help him when I can. I need to know where to start as far as taxes, business licenses, etc. My friend gave me Quickbooks, I haven’t used it yet. I just don’t know where to begin! He isn’t making a “profit” all the money goes to pay our bills and buy his gas, equipment, repairs, etc. I would appreciate any help you are willing to give me! Thank you!

A: Hi Stacia,

That’s pretty normal that in the beginning you don’t make any money, when you are investing in equipment. I still do this, but on a larger scale. Every year I spend thousands of dollars on equipment.

Hmm where to start..

Well, first things first, if your husband is only going to be doing about 15 lawns, he might be able to get away with just doing it “under the table” until he gets large enough that it becomes more important.

Once you guys decide you are at this stage (or you can do it now, but it is expensive) you should file for an LLC which is just a type of business that allows you to save on taxes and protect yourself from liability. You can hire a bookkeeper or use quickbooks yourself, I learned it myself it was not that hard. But if you are overwhelmed book keepers are not too expensive. In the beginning, if it is just him working solo, he will not need to deal with payroll or anything like that. The end of year tax return itself, he should just hire an accountant.

Secondly, he is also going to want to get liability insurance. This only runs about $500 for the year and is very important to have.

Lastly, he is going to want to file with the secretary of state of your state for a business name and open bank accounts.

More information is on this page. Good luck!

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