When starting a landscaping or lawn care business in the state of California, you will need to complete a few important steps in order to become a legal business. Your landscaping business could include gardening, lawn mowing, leaf removal, excavation, tree work, and more. You may want to start here: How To Start A Landscaping Or Lawn Care Business. You can find the links to help get your new lawn care business registered in California below. You must do your own thorough research, as laws change regularly. Here are some steps you may have to take (not necessarily in order) to start your landscaping or lawn care company, along with links to more information.
Getting started– California’s official website about how to start a business in California is found here: http://www.business.ca.gov/StartaBusiness.aspx
1. Register your landscaping business name.
Find out more about registering a fictitious name here: http://www.business.ca.gov/StartaBusiness/ChooseaFictitiousBusinessName.aspx . Your fictitious name must be registered with your county clerk. Find your county’s form here: http://www.business.ca.gov/StartaBusiness/CountyClerkandFBNForms.aspx
2. Select a business structure.
Sole-proprietor, LLC, Partnership, Corporation, etc. Find out more here: http://www.business.ca.gov/StartaBusiness/DefiningaBusiness.aspx
3. Register your landscaping business.
You can register your landscaping business with the state of California here: http://www.business.ca.gov/StartaBusiness/RegisteringaBusiness.aspx
4. Open a Business Checking Account.
You will need to open a separate bank account for your landscaping business with your new business name.
5. Register to File Taxes.
You may want to hire an accountant do the work. More info about taxes here: http://www.taxes.ca.gov/doingbus.shtml and http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Starting-a-Business
6. Get Liability Insurance.
Find an insurance agent that offers liability insurance. You may want to shop around, as prices and options can vary.
7. Register as a Contractor.
Depending on what type of work you will be doing, you may need to register as a contractor. To become a contractor, you must apply for a contractor’s license in the state of California. The registration application is found here: http://www.cslb.ca.gov/About_Us/Library/Forms_And_Applications.aspx .
8. Worker’s Compensation.
The insurance agency that provided your liability insurance should be able to help with this.
9. Get Health Insurance.
Since you will be self-employed, you will need your own health insurance. If you have employees, you will need a plan that will include their health needs also.
10. City License.
You may be required to obtain a license to do business in a particular locale, whether you are a resident, or not. http://www.business.ca.gov/StartaBusiness/RegisteringaBusiness/Locallicensesandpermits.aspx
Depending on the locale, you may need to apply for permits before starting certain types of painting jobs. http://www.business.ca.gov/StartaBusiness/RegisteringaBusiness/Locallicensesandpermits.aspx
13. Special Certifications and Licenses.
You may possibly need to be certified or licensed to work with certain fertilizers or other lawn chemicals.