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What Licenses Are Needed to Start a Landscaping Business?

Are you a hands-on go-getter looking to start your own landscaping business? If so, you need to have some essential pieces in place before you get going.

It’s important to know the licenses you need for starting a landscaping business. Besides, you don’t want to end up at odds with the law. To learn more about what licenses are needed to start a landscaping business, keep reading. 

Below are some startup tips to help you get down to growing your business. Let’s get into it!

An Employer Identification Number

An EIN is a nine-digit tax identification number that is assigned to a business to identify it for tax purposes. It is usually required for those who will hire employees. 

However, not all businesses are required to have an EIN, but you’ll need one if yours is a:

  • business partnership
  • sole proprietorship
  • multi-member LLC
  • non-profit

To obtain it, business owners must complete the required IRS forms and register with the appropriate state licensing board.

A Relevant State Professional License for Landscapers

Every state has its requirements, but in general, you will need a professional license issued. Depending on the state, this could involve:

  • application fee
  • passing an exam
  • obtaining continuing education credits

In addition, a professional license may be required if you plan to provide services that require specific skills. This may include cutting down trees, and pruning shrubs, among other works that require professional know-how.

Remember that unlicensed landscaping businesses face serious fines and may lead to legal complications if ignored.

A Contract License

To obtain this license, you will need to complete an application with the state you’re operating in. You need to explain things such as:

  • purpose of the license
  • services offered
  • customer service policies

Depending on the state, you may have to pass an exam to demonstrate your knowledge of the landscaping industry. In addition, it can show that the business meets professional standards and follows regulations pertinent to the services provided. 

Lastly, you will also need to prove you have the right legal and financial qualifications to run a business. This includes having a sound business plan and references from other landscaping businesses. 

A Pesticide Applicator’s License

This type of license is not usually something that the business owner applies for. Typically, the employee of the landscaping business is the one in charge of handling the application of pesticides.

This license is important because it allows the business to use, manipulate, and dispose of pesticides under all relevant regulations. It protects the business and the client to whom the business is providing services.

Without it, most cities and states will refuse to let the business legally provide services. Complying with these parameters is crucial for the business in protecting itself and the client from any liabilities.

A Fertilization License

This type of license is one of the most important to start a landscaping business. This is required to apply fertilizer, manure, and compost to soil, which is a part of landscaping maintenance and care.

However, there may be some requirements needed such as passing an exam or attending a training course ahead of time. The costs of these licenses can vary by state, so it’s important to confirm the specifics before you proceed.

A Sales Tax Permit

A sales tax permit allows the business to collect taxes from customers when they make a purchase. The business may also need permits from the local government to use public areas for private landscaping jobs.

Moreover, businesses may also need to be certified in horticulture or landscaping. This certification is usually obtained by passing a certification exam and completing a certain number of classroom hours.

In some states, businesses must also be bonded to protect customers against potential losses. Finally, any workers hired to carry out any landscaping tasks must be insured, with worker’s compensation insurance being the most common form of coverage.

A Local Business License

This license proves you are legally allowed to operate under your local municipality’s regulations. Generally, you must apply for a license that corresponds to the type of business you plan to establish. This may  be known as:

  • a tradesman license
  • a home improvement license
  • a contractor license
  • a different regional variation

Depending on where you live, you may also need to obtain zoning permits, submit to a background check, and register with the state licensing board. Obtaining a local business license is usually a mandatory first step for entrepreneurs and business owners alike.

A General Contractor License

A general contractor license is a necessary license for landscapers who plan to do any type of major construction of a house or other building. This type of license will prove that the landscaper has the specific skills and experience to get the job done.

Some states may require additional testing or product certification before granting a license. You may even be required to operate equipment such as a tractor or backhoe.

With the proper licensing and business permits, landscaping professionals can provide landscaping services legally.

A Commercial Driver’s License

If you will be hauling heavy landscaping equipment such as mowers and power tools with your Pro-line Trailers, you may need a commercial driver’s license. Additionally, you’ll need the proper insurance such as:

  • worker’s compensation insurance
  • auto insurance
  • general liability insurance

These are required for any business that will provide heavy commercial vehicles as part of their landscaping services. Ultimately, make sure that your trailer is properly registered with the DMV. 

Without a proper CDL, the business could be fined and may even be forced to shut down. To sum it up, knowing and following all local, state, and federal regulations is key for any business venture.

Understanding What Licenses Are Needed to Start a Landscaping Business

Starting a landscaping business is not as difficult as it may seem. To ensure the legality and sustainability of the business, the proper licenses must be obtained. Once all the necessary paperwork has been secured, you are ready to launch your business!

Contact your local government office today to find out what licenses are needed to start a landscaping business. 

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Usama BIN Safdar

Meet Usama Bin Safdar, a wordsmith hailing from Faisalabad, Pakistan. With over 5 years of experience under his belt, he's a master at weaving words to create content that's not only informative but also engaging. He's a deep-diver when it comes to SEO, and as the Founder of SoftwareBench, he helps businesses and individuals navigate the digital landscape with ease. Follow Usama for a journey into the world of SEO and digital marketing, where every word is crafted with precision and passion.