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What I need to become licensed

SteelBuck44

SteelBuck44

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Oct 30, 2017
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Oregon
Hey guys, first post here. Been doing tree work (climbing, climbing, removal, pruning, hazard trees and limbs) for a while now, but keep losing jobs because I'm not licensed. So I think I'm ready to take the dive, I just have no idea how to go about it. The legal mumbo jumbo is a little to much for my head. If anyone can help with the proper steps, that would be much appreciated!!
 

ATH

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What licenses do you need / what kinds of jobs are you not getting because you are not licensed?

This is a local question - may be a State one, but seems probably more local than that. I have never worked in Oregon, but looked it up here and it sounds like you need a landscape contractors license if you are doing installations, but not the things you listed??? Somebody else from Oregon can probably answer that better. Might help to share the municipalities you work in so folks can let you know if they know whether those communities require licensing.

Or, are you talking about ISA Certification (voluntary) which is entirely different that licensing.
 
SteelBuck44

SteelBuck44

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In oregon, you have to have a contractors license to do, advertise, or bid on tree work. People turn away when they see you're not licensed just for the simple fact you're not licensed. Also insurance is a big thing and I have no idea what insurance I would need or how to go about it. I will have no employees or heavy equipment (chipper, bucket truck etc)
 
Bwoell14

Bwoell14

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I’m in Florida but I went through my tax guy. He went over the benefits of being LLC vs INC vs DBA and so on. He also explained workers comp vs workers comp exempt. I think his fees and my state business license with Federal Income TAX ID was roughly $240. Then I had to get a local city ($50) and county license ($22). If nothing else, hopefully this points you in the right direction of who can help you get set up. Of course, you could make some calls and set it up yourself without paying the fees of somebody doing it for you. Me personally, being that it was my first time doing it, I do not regret paying to have it done. Gives me peace of mind, I know it’s done right and I don’t have to worry about anything.

Insurance? That’s a whole different animal and an expensive one too.

I hope this was helpful to you. Best of luck.


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ATH

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In that link I provided it sure sounds like you do not need a license to do maintenance...not knowing m ore of Oregon law. But I could see the average homeowner not understanding that and expecting you to have that license. It's not that expensive so it will probably make sense for you anyways.

I think it's insane to even think about doing any business without insurance.

To really get it up and going if you don't have a strong grasp on the fundamentals you need a good accountant, attorney and insurance agent. I'd recommend finding one of the three that you like to start and then ask them to give you a referral for the other two. They can walk you through it and protect you from many many headaches in the long-term.
 
Woodcutteranon

Woodcutteranon

I stack wood on top of wood
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Dark Side of the Moon
For your insurance...try contacting your insurance company your auto or homeowners is with. They already know you and will be more motivated to put together something cost effective to get you going.

Regardless...DO NOT get overwhelmed with the forms, laws, licenses, insurance etc. Commit to yourself that you will get this business up and running and you will not become deterred by anything or anyone! You can do this!
 
SteelBuck44

SteelBuck44

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Oregon
ATH, the link you sent is for landscaping licenses. In oregon, tree work is covered under the CCB. Not the LCB, As much as I wish that were the case.
 

ATH

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OK...my bad. Like I said, I don't know OR law, just did a quick search. I read this in the FAQ section:
Maintenance involves the care of plants and the general upkeep of an already installed project. Landscape contracting is the preparation for and/or installation of a project or any part of it.

Here in Ohio we call trees "plants" ;) I'm sure there is another law in Oregon somewhere else that distinguishes trees. Good luck!
 
northmanlogging

northmanlogging

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western washington
No license is a red flag to customers in that you likely don't have insurance either, and here in warshington you have to have a biz license to get biz insurrance, laws vary state to state...

contact your local state dept of licensing, and they will tell you where to go from there, also some cities may require a separate biz license to work in their jurisdiction (laws vary)

Once you have a license, then go get insured, its not terribly expensive until you destroy something... then it gets expensive.
 
Bwoell14

Bwoell14

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Central Florida
No license is a red flag to customers in that you likely don't have insurance either, and here in warshington you have to have a biz license to get biz insurrance, laws vary state to state...

contact your local state dept of licensing, and they will tell you where to go from there, also some cities may require a separate biz license to work in their jurisdiction (laws vary)

Once you have a license, then go get insured, its not terribly expensive until you destroy something... then it gets expensive.

Just out of curiosity, what do you consider inexpensive for Insurance? I do trees as a side job. 2-4 small jobs a month, maybe. I don’t do anything above what I can reach with a pole saw and 12ft A-frame step ladder. Nothing over houses that I can’t slowly trim and catch as it falls. I do a lot of storm debris clean up. I’m not looking to insure any of my equipment. I was quoted at $1,600 for the year. That’s not cost effective for me. I’m up front with people I do work for. I haven’t lost a job due to no insurance. My state also doesn’t require it. I’m not advocating not having Insurance. As a matter of fact, if it were cheaper I’d have it just for peace of mind.


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northmanlogging

northmanlogging

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western washington
under 2k a year is cheap, especially since it gives you a little piece of mind working around high value targets, think my liability ins is like 1200 a year for logging, and I added another 7-800 a year to cover my machines getting destroyed/stolen, etc

But if you're just messing around trimming easy stuff, your not risking enough to need insurance, though you should youtube tree work and ladders...

IF you plan on working near structures therefore increasing risk, you should consider upping your bids enough to pay for said insurance. Gives you an idea as to why the tree service guys don't even bat an eye at charging $1000 plus to remove one tree.
 
Bwoell14

Bwoell14

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Central Florida
under 2k a year is cheap, especially since it gives you a little piece of mind working around high value targets, think my liability ins is like 1200 a year for logging, and I added another 7-800 a year to cover my machines getting destroyed/stolen, etc

But if you're just messing around trimming easy stuff, your not risking enough to need insurance, though you should youtube tree work and ladders...

IF you plan on working near structures therefore increasing risk, you should consider upping your bids enough to pay for said insurance. Gives you an idea as to why the tree service guys don't even bat an eye at charging $1000 plus to remove one tree.

I agree and that’s why I do it the way I do. I won’t do anything out of my comfort zone and I’m not scared to turn down jobs.

YouTube is awesome. Nothing wrong with learning from people’s successes and mistakes.

Stay safe.


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SteelBuck44

SteelBuck44

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Oct 30, 2017
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Oregon
under 2k a year is cheap, especially since it gives you a little piece of mind working around high value targets, think my liability ins is like 1200 a year for logging, and I added another 7-800 a year to cover my machines getting destroyed/stolen, etc

But if you're just messing around trimming easy stuff, your not risking enough to need insurance, though you should youtube tree work and ladders...

IF you plan on working near structures therefore increasing risk, you should consider upping your bids enough to pay for said insurance. Gives you an idea as to why the tree service guys don't even bat an eye at charging $1000 plus to remove one tree.
So what I normally do is full tree removals, overhanging limb removal, etc. Climbing, trimming, and so on. All the stuff I really would need insurance for. I'm here in Oregon. What do you think liability for that would run? And who would I talk to?

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howel07264

howel07264

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Jul 6, 2005
Messages
223
Location
southern states usa
Hey guys, first post here. Been doing tree work (climbing, climbing, removal, pruning, hazard trees and limbs) for a while now, but keep losing jobs because I'm not licensed. So I think I'm ready to take the dive, I just have no idea how to go about it. The legal mumbo jumbo is a little to much for my head. If anyone can help with the proper steps, that would be much appreciated!!
If you buy every liscense for every little city and town you might work in every year you will spend a ton of money. were talking thousands. be advised that if you get one you will be hit up by other cities, county and state. They are all inter-connected and share info with each other. My advice .....don't buy the first one. Customer: You are liscenced right? You: .....well sure I am. I have a wall full of lisences at my office I just don't carry them all around in my truck.
 
howel07264

howel07264

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southern states usa
As someone who has spent THOUSANDS of dollars on licenses over the years I wish I had never bought the first one! Once you are on the their list you get a bill every January by dozens of different Cities,Counties and State. I could retire on what I've paid. Oh and by the way....They usually go UP every year!
 
SteelBuck44

SteelBuck44

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Messages
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Location
Oregon
As someone who has spent THOUSANDS of dollars on licenses over the years I wish I had never bought the first one! Once you are on the their list you get a bill every January by dozens of different Cities,Counties and State. I could retire on what I've paid. Oh and by the way....They usually go UP every year!
I will only be working in my county/city. Small time stuff. Licencing here from what I've found out is good every 2 years

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howel07264

howel07264

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southern states usa
If you are in a small rural town your good to go. If your in a metropolitan area with 35 separate little cities within a 25 mile radous you get hit on from every little town for a liscense.
 
Luckysaturn

Luckysaturn

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Oct 6, 2017
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Missouri
Around me people just want you to be insured. I'm a small guy so I can bring in a buddy who has it to help me. Once you step off the ground the insurance company deems it risky business my decent quotes we're all about 12-1500 a year. All for only an estimated 15 k a year in profit. I have signed a waiver of release for customers holding me responsiable for damages and releasing them from a lawsuit if injury occurs. I have a tight knit crew that is big on safety. I've ate a few minor damages but it always has cost me less than my policy. I'm starting to rapidly grow this year and plan to use my additional revenue to get some just in case I need it and because I will get more work
 
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