Updated: May 18
Owning your own business is a great way to invest in your future and create the kind of working environment that you want. Starting a landscaping firm is a great way to make a living if you like working outside rather than in the confines of an office all day. There are, however, some considerations. Most landscapers are not legal experts, so taking some time to learn the laws that apply to landscape businesses can help protect the wealth you generate and even potentially save your company. Here is an overview of some of the most important legal aspects of landscaping.
Business insurance, sometimes called liability insurance, is a necessary component of your budget. While it may seem like a heavy burden to an already cash-strapped startup, this is a key protection for your business that you can’t live without. Business liability insurance protects you from claims by clients or workers who were injured, sustained property damage, or were otherwise financially damaged during your company’s work. In addition to it being a good idea, it is also mandatory for all businesses.
Employment law is a vast field of the legal system, sometimes quite complicated. Every day, lawsuits are filed by disgruntled employees, both rightfully and wrongfully, seeking damages from employers for mistreatment in the workplace. You should familiarize yourself with the reasons you can’t fire employees. These include race, religion, national origin, and sexual orientation. The exact protected categories vary from state to state, but the general rule of thumb is that you cannot fire employees for characteristics they were born with. In addition, employment law covers pay for employees. Employers must also pay overtime wages. This includes employees who work more than 40 hours per week, and this pay is defined as the full pay rate plus an additional half per hour.
While some landscapers work with clients on the handshake basis (verbal contract), for bigger projects involving unfamiliar clients, it's a good idea to hammer out the details of your deal in a written contract. This protects you in the case that there is a dispute and the client refuses to pay for your services.
Starting your own landscaping business can be an exciting venture, but it’s important to follow the proper protocols to ensure that everything in your business runs smoothly. Follow these guidelines and set yourself up for success doing what you do best—making yards and lawns beautiful.
If you’re looking to start your own landscaping business, contact us to learn more about how we can help you build it!