It’s not easy starting a business, especially a lawn care company. You need to understand your city, state, and federal business licensing laws as well as certification or licensing to apply herbicides and pesticides to customers’ lawns.
Wondering what licenses are needed to start a lawn care business? You’re in the right place– This blog outlines five general certifications and licenses you need to operate your green industry business. However, you’ll still need to do your homework regarding your local, state, and federal requirements.
5 Certifications and Licenses Needed to Start a Lawn Care Business
Each state in the U.S. has different requirements for registering businesses, dealing with taxes, and licensing for pesticide applicators. Some states even require you to have a fertilizer applicator certification.
Here are five certifications and licenses you need to operate your lawn care business successfully in your home state:
- The Environmental Protection Agency sets the federal standards for herbicide and pesticide applicators. Each state, then, decides how they’ll regulate the applicators. Some states require one or more of these options to grant certifications to lawn care applicators:
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a performance-based exam
- Using another EPA-approved system.
You, as a lawn care operator, need to know what your state requires you to be certified as a pesticide applicator. Plus, you need to know if your employees need licenses or certifications to apply herbicides and pesticides.
You can find these guidelines at your state’s department of agriculture or your state’s environmental protection agency.
- Fertilizer Application Certification: In some states and counties, you need a fertilizer applicator’s certification. For example, Maryland lawn care operators need to have a fertilizer applicator’s certification before they use fertilizer on anyone’s lawn.
However, if you’re a Texas-based lawn care company, you don’t need a license or certification to apply fertilizer on home lawns.
- You also need to know if your state, city, or county requires you to purchase a permit or business license to operate in their municipality. For example, in Connecticut, you need a local permit to work as a lawn service.
In Florida, however, lawn care operators fall under the landscape design umbrella. Floridian landscape design companies can mow, trim, plant and maintain lawns without using pesticides. But you need to get a business license from the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations before you work on anyone’s yard.
- Your Employer Identification Number (EIN): If you plan to hire employees to help you in your lawn care business, you need an EIN. An EIN identifies you as an employer or a business owner with an LLC or other corporate designation.
You need to fill out an application with the IRS to get an EIN number. And you’ll need to register for an EIN if you become an LLC or any other corporate entity.
- Add credibility to your lawn care business with certifications and memberships: If you want to take the trust factor up a notch, you need to get some certifications under your belt.
These certifications allow you to specialize in one area of lawn care or add another revenue stream to your current company. For example, the National Association for Landscape Professionals (NALP) offers these five certifications:
- Business Manager
- Exterior Technician
- Horticulture Technician
- Lawn Care Technician
- Lawn Care Manager.
The Irrigation Association offers these six certifications:
- Certified Irrigation Technician
- Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor
- Certified Golf Irrigation Auditor
- Certified Irrigation Contractor
- Certified Irrigation Designer
- Certified Landscape Water Manager.
Don’t Be Afraid to Hire the Pros
You know the value you bring to your lawn care clients whether they’re residential, commercial, or an estate. So, a business professional will wade through city, state, as well as federal licensing and tax regulations to give you peace of mind.
For example, hire an accountant to help you with your taxes, EIN, and incorporating your business. Hire a lawyer to make sure you’re compliant with local, state, and federal laws.
Just make sure that you hire the right professional to walk alongside you. For instance, your CPA should have experience working with small- or medium-size businesses. Likewise, you want your lawyer to be familiar with business law in your state.
How Spyker Helps You Succeed as a Lawn Care Operator
There are several licenses needed to start a lawn care business, but you’ll also need quality equipment! At Spyker, we specialize in lawn spreaders to help you apply granular fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides. We have the following Ergo-Pro spreaders for you to choose from
- Four broadcast spreaders to meet your needs
- Our Ergo-Pro™ Ice-Winter Spreader helps you apply ice melt to driveways, sidewalks, store entrances, and crosswalks.
If you prefer our Pro-Series™, we offer you the following six broadcasters:
- Light Duty Broadcast Spreader
- Commercial Broadcast Spreader
- Commercial Drop Spreader
- Commercial Tow Spreader
- Electric Spreader
- Ride-On Spreader
Need customer support? Call us toll-free at (877) 728-8224, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. You can also fill out our contact form for one of our representatives to get back to you.