How to Start a Lawn Care Business

Lawn care, and landscaping is on the rise! Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans have spending much of 2020 and 2021 working from home. Being home means attending to home gardening and lawn care needs. Caring for lawns and gardens is turning into an enjoyable activity that allows their green thumbs to thrive.

According to survey data from Scotts Miracle-Gro, 55% of Americans are currently gardening or caring for their lawn amid the pandemic. That makes up over half of Americans. An additional 20% also join the existing 55% of Americans in saying they will likely go outside, plant, grow, and landscape during this time.

The joy of the great outdoors is inspiring many Americans to stay outside in their yards. Data from the survey reveals American adults have spent two hours a day outside during COVID-19. Tending to gardens and mowing lawns is fulfilling on many levels for people of all ages. As the seasons change, so does the lawn. Different types of seasonal vegetables may grow in gardens. Lawns may require raking and leaf blowing. 49% report a sense of accomplishment when they care for their lawns Meanwhile, 48% say the outdoor break helps reduce stress.

Caring for lawns and gardens can be fulfilling personally and professionally. Would you like to explore starting a lawn care business? Here’s what you need to keep in mind before sprouting, I mean launching, the startup.

Determine Lawn Care Services and Offerings

There are several factors to consider in the green industry. Studies from the Professional Landcare Network have shown that one of the fastest growing areas is mowing and maintenance. However, this isn’t the only area in the lawn and landscaping industry where you can start a business. Consider these growing areas when determining lawn care services and offerings.

  • Will you service residential and/or commercial properties? Your startup may offer landscaping services for houses and office buildings.
  • Where will you be in the lawn and landscaping industry? You don’t need to mow lawns exclusively. Some lawn care professionals provide lawn maintenance to homeowners. Gardeners or groundskeepers assist with existing upkeep at larger properties like golf courses, botanical gardens, and condominium buildings. Landscapers help install and maintain new plants, flowers, and trees at specific properties. Other lawn care options include nurseries, greenhouses,
  • Does your lawn care business have the proper skillsets? Can you mow a lawn? How about trimming and pruning hedges? If you find you lack certain lawn care skills, you may need to take courses and earn any necessary credentials.
  • Do you need tools? Your startup may buy or rent the proper lawn care tools.
  • How will you handle seasonal weather changes? Unless you live in a moderate climate, chances are your lawn care offerings will need to change with the seasons. Think about additional services you may offer in the winter months, such as snow plowing.

Draft a Business Plan

The lawn care business needs a written business plan. This document allows you to set goals for the business. It also establishes a common vision for the business and its success.

Inside your lawn care business plan, you may provide more details about who makes up your customer base. Include information about how you plan to set prices. This may range from estimates to flat rates per job. Take notes on direct and indirect competitors to your lawn care business. If you plan to buy or rent equipment, you’ll need to detail how much you are spending on supplies. Each member of your lawn care business, as well as their backgrounds, should be included in the organization section for the business plan.

Pick a Business Name

Lawn care businesses often have fun business names. These names act as a nod to their offerings, including words like “green” or “yard.” If you have a great business name in mind, it’s time to file a trademark registration.

Conduct a name search prior to filing your trademark application. This ensures that nobody else is currently using the mark or any applications are pending for the mark. Then, once you know the mark is available use, file a trademark application. This will give the owner of the business exclusive rights to the mark and ensure that nobody else uses or plagiarizes the name.

Incorporate the Business

A lawn care business may choose to be a sole proprietorship. This is the default entity formation. However, a sole proprietorship does not include limited liability protection. This type of protection may be found by forming a limited liability company (LLC) for the business.

Incorporating as an LLC provides lawn care businesses with limited liability protection. This separates personal and professional assets. Let’s say an unforeseen circumstance occurs, such as accruing business debt. There will be no impact to the owner’s personal belongings, like houses and cars, due to limited liability protection.

Other entity formations are also available for lawn care businesses. For example, you may choose to form an S Corporation. Meet with a legal professional if you have any questions about the process. They will help you determine the entity that is the best fit for your business.

Obtain Required Licenses and Permits

The types of licenses and/or permits your lawn care business requires will depend on its activities and location. Some states, like Oregon, require following landscape contractor licensing laws. Other states may specify the need for a license if you spray pesticides, for example.

Check in with your local Secretary of State. You will be able to find out which business licenses and/or permits your lawn care business needs to operate in a specific city, county, and the state.

Obtain a Tax ID

Chances are high your lawn care business plans to hire talented workers. Prior to hiring, you must file for an employer identification number (EIN).

An EIN is a federal tax ID. The IRS issues this nine-digit number to businesses to legally identify the business and ensure it remains in compliance paying federal and payroll taxes. In addition to being a hiring requirement, an EIN is also required when opening a business bank account and establishing business credit.

Additional Lawn Care Startup Information

This is a basic guideline for starting a lawn care business. You can find more resources through various professional lawn and landscape associations.

Some of these include, not are limited to, the National Association of Landscape Professionals, The National Gardening Association, and the Professional Grounds Management Society.

Let’s help incorporate your lawn care business today! Visit us at or call us at 877-692-6772.