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Starting a Tree Service Company, Advice Needed...

northwoodswi

northwoodswi

New Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2013
Messages
1
Location
Wisconsin
I'm looking at starting my own tree service business, in Wisconsin. I have been doing some research, but wondering if anyone can give me some advice.

Here are some of my questions:

1. Do you need to be a certified tree arborist to begin this type of company, or can you start the business as you work towards that certification?

2. Would you open the business as an LLC, so you can work with someone that already has a business, who does not want to hire you directly, because of insurance reasons? In other words, I would be subcontracted under this other business to work along side this person (mentor), to learn the trade.

3. Any other advice?
 
NEKS Tree Svc

NEKS Tree Svc

I get up there
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
123
Location
Missouri
Have lots of money

Well, here is a thought. If you don't know the answers, work for someone and ask questions from time to time and figure it out. If you dont have the means to consult with a lawyer, wait until you do. LLC, S-Corp, Inc, all that can be answered by an attorney. You can start working without a certification, but you better know what your doing. If you don't, your gonna be paying out big bucks in damages. Make sure you have the cash to cover the premium for your insurance policy, your going to need at least a million, i have 2 million dollars in liability coverage. If you don't have the saws and equipment, your going to need to figure out how to work until you can get the equipment. You can't trim a tree with scissors. Good luck.
 
Oldmaple

Oldmaple

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
3,273
Location
West Michigan
When you work "alongside" another tree company you can still get into trouble with the IRS in the definition of what constitutes an employee.

You don't need to be a Certified Arborist in Michigan to own a tree business. The only time the state steps in is if you are applying pesticides as part of that business. Putting roundup on a stump for a client to prevent it from sprouting? Now you are applying pesticides commercially and you need a license.

The biggest problem I see with new companies is not having enough capital (read that as cash) to get through the slow times. Budgeting is a must do to get through the slower winter hours and lulls in accounts receivables. Payments on equipment, insurance, advertising, etc. still need to be made even though the check for that big job is slow in coming through. Also cash flow problems lead to bidding jobs low, bidding work you shouldn't do (not profitable), just to get work. It will lead to the death spiral of a company.
 
NEKS Tree Svc

NEKS Tree Svc

I get up there
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
123
Location
Missouri
Thanks

When you work "alongside" another tree company you can still get into trouble with the IRS in the definition of what constitutes an employee.

You don't need to be a Certified Arborist in Michigan to own a tree business. The only time the state steps in is if you are applying pesticides as part of that business. Putting roundup on a stump for a client to prevent it from sprouting? Now you are applying pesticides commercially and you need a license.

The biggest problem I see with new companies is not having enough capital (read that as cash) to get through the slow times. Budgeting is a must do to get through the slower winter hours and lulls in accounts receivables. Payments on equipment, insurance, advertising, etc. still need to be made even though the check for that big job is slow in coming through. Also cash flow problems lead to bidding jobs low, bidding work you shouldn't do (not profitable), just to get work. It will lead to the death spiral of a company.

I have found Tordon (might be spelled wrong) to be a pretty great stump killer. Herbicide. The only slow time I have had since the beginning of the year is the last 2 weeks. Payment upon completion for all jobs so far. I have been thinking of a payment plan for the bigger jobs over $2k I have bid, just incase. I'm slowly working towards my Arborist Certification, i just want to be sure when i schedule my visit im 100%. I learned the hard way about work i shouldn't do. Insurance is the big ticket item so far. They don't cover any logging, so I have to find another company to cover me next year. Thanks for the advice!!! It all helps, and this site is full of information that has helped me more than people might realize. I have been putting 12 hrs a day into knowledge but I know that more will come over time. I appreciate you giving me your input!! Thank you!
 
ronnyb

ronnyb

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Nov 16, 2007
Messages
290
Location
Milwaukee, WI
Arsonist. You don't need to be a Certified Arborist to have a company here in the Wisco, but it helps with your credability. Winters are long and work is slow, so try to get snow removal contracts or sub your equipment to a larger company. 1 tons are great dual purpose trucks. Get a good accountant, whatever you pay them in a year you will reap tenfold in savings/loopholes that you never knew existed. LLC as a minimum, contact a business based attorney for advice.
 
Grouchy old man

Grouchy old man

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Messages
337
Location
Westchester County, New York
I'm looking at starting my own tree service business, in Wisconsin. I have been doing some research, but wondering if anyone can give me some advice.

Here are some of my questions:

1. Do you need to be a certified tree arborist to begin this type of company, or can you start the business as you work towards that certification?

2. Would you open the business as an LLC, so you can work with someone that already has a business, who does not want to hire you directly, because of insurance reasons? In other words, I would be subcontracted under this other business to work along side this person (mentor), to learn the trade.

So, you want to work for another company to learn the trade. Why would you start your own business, pay a lot of money for insurance, assuming you can even get it, and probably run afowl of IRS regulations. What you are thinking makes no sense.
 
rarefish383

rarefish383

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Nov 2, 2009
Messages
8,491
Location
MD
In MD you have to be licensed and insured. Can't get one with out the other. I would usually go through all the things you need to know to get into business, but, truth be told, you don't need to know anything about trees. Back in the 50's my Dad and Uncle used to get lunch in a DGS grocery store. They used to get the owner to cash checks for them. When he saw how much money they made compared to what he made on a loaf of bread he asked Dad what he needed to get into the tree business? Dad told him to buy a big truck and get some chainsaws, half joking. This guy had never touched a piece of wood in his life, but he was an outstanding business man. He had friends in DC government and found out what past bids on contracts were. No under hand deals, just past bids, public info. He under bid new contracts by a little and got marginal profit work. Next thing you know he had the contract removing all of the diseased Elm trees and treating the healthy ones in the District. Built one of the largest private tree company's in the D.C. area. You also had to be licensed and insured in D.C. and he didn't know an Ash from an Oak? How did he pass the test? He didn't. He found out Dad was going through a hard time. I was a very sick baby. The doctors recommended sending me to Florida for a year. So, Dad sold his business and packed Mom and us 3 kids off to Florida. The grocery guy hired Dad, and his license, to run the company for him.

If you are that good of a business man you have nothing to worry about. If you are not a good business man, no matter what you know about trees, you are going to struggle. Good luck, Joe.
 
Albert25

Albert25

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
May 22, 2013
Messages
6
Location
NY
It depends on the rule and regulation on that state that what you need to start that business.But you need to be registered it first and complete all the legal document to start that company and to avoid the legal action.
 
crae10

crae10

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
19
Location
WI
I noticed your name is northwoodsWi ............... where exactly if you dont mind me asking??
 
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