How to Start a Lawn Care Business (Legally and with Success)

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Starting a lawn mowing business can be extremely rewarding. Not only is it hard work, but you can easily make upwards of $45 per hour. Learn how to start a lawn care business with the information in this guide!

Getting started can be as easy as grabbing your mower and going to your neighbor and offering to mow their lawn for a small fee. But if you want to get started legally and start succeeding right away, then there is a little more to it. Let’s start from scratch.

How to Start a Lawn Care Business: What is needed to start?

In order to get your lawn mowing business started, you are going to need a few things.

  • Lawn mower
  • Weed eater
  • Leaf blower
  • Professional attire (for sales)
  • Flyers
  • Business Cards
  • Truck and/or trailer
  • Business license (depending on your area)
  • Strong work ethic

This is just the basics to get you started, once your business starts to see success you can reinvest and add more equipment and maybe even workers.

Having a hard time coming up with a name? Check out my ultimate list and name generator!

I would argue against getting a website in the beginning, as it takes time to start generating traffic to a website, but if you already have one or insist on getting one then check out a list of my favorite resources for website building, online booking, and more!

How much does it cost to start a lawn care business?

To start from scratch, it can cost anywhere from $0-$5000 for the equipment, resources, and licenses. If you already own a lawn mower, weed eater, and leaf blower that will be the cheapest way to get started.

Depending on what you already own, the cost can go up or down quite a lot. Already owning a truck and/or trailer can save you a ton. If not, you will have the large cost of purchasing or leasing a vehicle.

So how much does it cost? Let’s break it down.

For my breakdown, I am going to assume that you already have the can-do attitude and everything else but the equipment.

Equipment Cost Breakdown (Push Mower)

Equipment Price Breakdown Push Mower
EquipmentOwnedUsedNew (Value Brand)New (Premium)
Push mower$0$150$219$369
Weed eater$0$100$140$199
Leaf blower$0$130$199$279
TotalFREE$380$558$847

Equipment Cost Breakdown (Zero Turn Mower)

Equipment Price Breakdown Zero Turn Mower
EquipmentOwnedUsedNew (Value Brand)New (Premium)
Zero turn$0$1350$2299$4449
Weed eater$0$100$140$199
Leaf blower$0$130$199$279
TotalFREE$1960$3196$5774

How to Start a Lawn Care Business: Licenses

Do you need a license to start a lawn care business?

The short of it, probably not. Each state is different however, so the best thing to do is give your local county clerk’s office a call and ask them if your business needs a license to operate in your city or state.

Totallegal.com has an awesome list of all the states and types of licenses by each state, so check that out if you are unsure.

What about insurance?

Insurance is a must, every company or person who is providing services on other people’s properties should be insured in the event that something happens (like a rogue rock hitting off the mower blade, ricocheting off of a fence and breaking a window perhaps…)

Give your insurance provider a call and see if they offer small business insurance or some form of general liability insurance.

What about an LLC?

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice, just personal experience. Always check with a licensed attorney in legal matters you are unsure of.

Forming an LLC, while always a good idea to limit your own individual liability, isn’t necessary.

Running your business by yourself makes it a sole proprietorship, which is just a one person business that doesn’t have to be registered with the state.

So if you are looking to move fast and get started, you can do so without registering your business.

How to start a lawn care business: Profitability

Is a lawn mowing business profitable?

A general rule is that businesses that have a lot of competition, are indeed some of the most profitable. It is the easiest form of business validation that is out there: are people already making money with this business? Yes!

Let’s do the math though.

If you want more in depth and specific pricing, check out my guide and calculator.

If you follow my advice below about getting customers fast (and you should) then you will be a door knocking machine that will get your first customer on day one and fill up your schedule very shortly after getting started.

So let’s just say in your first month of operating you land 20 clients and are mowing their lawn every 2 weeks.

If you charge $45 per client, without any add-ons or additional services, then you are making $900 every two weeks.

$1800/month

Roughly 6 months of the mowing season (depending on where you are)

6 * 1800 = $10,800

Now of course you can deduct a little of that for business expenses, but this is the simple math for if you only get 20 clients and STOP SELLING. Realistically you are going to keep selling, offering add-ons, and weekly services and grow your business.

Some lawn care companies can fit 10+ clients in a single day, so if you were to fill up your schedule with 50 clients a week, you can pull in over $50,000 a year. In fact, according to Turf Magazine, the expected average income in 2015 was around $59,000.

The landscaping industry is a massive $93 million dollar industry, so I would definitely say it’s profitable.

How to get lawn care customers fast?

Getting customers fast isn’t easy. However, if you are willing to put in the time and effort, and follow these steps, you can get customers on day one:

  • Knock on at least 50 doors a day to offer your services and do this every day that you aren’t mowing lawns.
  • Ask everyone for referrals. (Start with friends and family)
  • Leave flyers and business cards everywhere you can.

Nervous about knocking on doors? Check out my lawn mowing business plan and get a more in depth guide to getting customers fast AND an awesome door knocking script that will help you make more sales!

Starting a lawn mowing business is one of the easiest businesses to get started in. As long as you are willing to put in a ton of hard work once you have started.

Does this guide answer the question of how to start a lawn care business? Leave a comment down below and let me know what you thought.

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