No matter what the season, there’s always a need for landscaping and exterior maintenance for both residential and commercial clients. From lawn maintenance to snow removal, there is a high demand for reliable, professional landscapers to complete a variety of jobs. If you’ve got a passion for the field, and you’re good at what you do, you can create a thriving landscaping business for yourself. Here are the basic steps you’ll need to take to get your landscaping business growing:
Step 1 – Get Equipped
There are a number of different things you’re going to need for your landscaping business, in order to complete each job properly and efficiently. Depending on the services you plan to offer, the equipment you’ll need will change. The costs for buying everything you’ll need can sometimes be quite high, so if you’re just starting out and have a limited budget, there are a few options you can consider.
You may want to consider renting equipment, either for the season or as it’s needed. Alternately, you could look for second-hand equipment that still has some life left in it. Lower-quality equipment may be another option, however, consider the additional time and cost you will potentially spend on maintaining cheaper equipment.
When it comes to the equipment needed, there are the manual tools, such as shovels, rakes and hedge trimmers. But the bigger expenses come along with equipment like commercial riding lawn mowers, snowblowers, and of course a heavy duty truck and trailer to transport everything.
Step 2 – Get Registered
There are two options for registering your business. You can either choose to register as a small business or to incorporate. Each type of registration has its benefits, so take a look at what each has to offer, and which would be best suited for your business needs.
Limited Personal Liability
Depending on the type of registration you’re completing, there will be different determinations in the risk of your personal liability, should any personal or property loss occur due to your business’ actions.
Small business registrations are tied to individuals personally, meaning you are personally liable should any type of loss occur due to the business. But, with an incorporation the business is seen as a separate entity, so the liability risk is separate from the individuals.
There is no name protection for the business name with small business registrations, so other businesses can choose to register or incorporate using the exact same name or similar name without you having any recourse. Some jurisdictions will require a name reservation to be done, even for a small business registration. Prior to submitting your name reservation request or business registration, you can Pre-Search the NUANS databank for matching or similar business names, to avoid any potential conflicts.
A corporation will have name protection within the jurisdiction it is incorporated within, meaning no one else can incorporate a business using the exact same name within the same jurisdiction.
Small businesses are tied to you personally with your personal income taxes, meaning you’ll file the business taxes together as a part of your personal income tax filing.
Because a corporation is a separate entity, the income taxes are done completely separate from you, the business owner. You may also be able to take advantage of lower tax rates and other tax savings through a corporation.
Length of Registration
Depending on the Province your small business licence is registered in, you may need to renew that registration every few years in order to keep it active. Corporations are in continual existence, and never require renewing, however you may need to file annual corporate filings to maintain your active status.
There’s much more flexibility for making changes with a corporation than with a business registration. For a corporation, everything about the business can be updated or amended, including the name, directors, and structure. Changes that can be made to small business registrations are quite limited, generally just allowing updates to addresses, business activity and, in the case of partnerships, updating partners listed.
When you have determined what type of business set up you would like to proceed with, we offer registration or incorporation in a number of jurisdictions across Canada.
Ontario Business Central can help you register your small business in the following provinces:
We can also assist if you’re looking to incorporate your business in any of these jurisdictions:
Step 3 – Get Your Permits
Depending on the area you’re registered and operating it, you may require additional permits beyond your business registration or Incorporation. These permits can also vary, depending on the jobs you’re carrying out and the equipment and supplies you’re using. Anything from constructing a sign for your business to applying pesticides may be required to have a separate permit issued. A great resource to get an idea of what you might need is BizPal, which provides you with detailed information about business permits and licences, based on your municipality or city .
Step 4 – Get A Plan Together
Setting yourself and your business up for success means having a good idea of your business goals and a clear path for how you’ll get there. Setting up a business plan and marketing strategy can help you create a clearer picture of what you want to achieve and what you need to do to get there. Once you’ve got your strategy and marketing created, it’s time to get the word out about your business and start building your client base. Use all of the outlets available to you to, including social media platforms, website, printed materials, signage and, of course, word of mouth.
Step 5 – Get Financed
Before you’re able to open a bank account or get any financing, you’re going to need to either register your business or incorporate to give to the bank. It’s a good idea to try to find a bank that has experience in dealing with businesses, as opposed to common personal banking needs. The bank will want to see a copy of your photo ID and will want a copy of your registered or incorporation documents.
When you’re ready to register your landscaping business, Ontario Business Central can help you in registering or incorporating your business quickly and easily.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our staff for additional information and assistance.
Office Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Monday – Friday E.S.T.
Ontario Business Central Inc. is not a law firm and cannot provide a legal opinion or advice. This information is to assist you in understanding the requirements of registration within the chosen jurisdiction. It is always recommended, when you have legal or accounting questions that you speak to a qualified professional.
Lisa Shaw is a Corporate Specialist and the newest member of the team at Ontario Business Central. After completing her B.A. in Communications and Sociology at York University, Lisa took her passion for writing into the freelance world of sports writing for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in Fighters Only Magazine, Showdown Combat Sports and Full Contact Fighter, among others. Lisa strives to provide the highest level of service to each and every client she works with at Ontario Business Central.