What are the startup costs for a lawn care business?
The cost of starting a lawn care business can be as little as the combined cost of buying a mower and
printing some flyers in your neighborhood. However, as you grow your business by increasing the number
of jobs and the complexity of the work that needs to be done, additional costs may come into play in
order to keep you sane and profitable! The key costs of running a legitimate lawn care business include:
Structural and legal expenses
You don’t need any type of permit specifically for a lawn care business, but you do need to get a
business license for your company and a name. An LLC typically costs around $100. In some states, you
can file a fictitious name fee, also known as a DBA, which costs around $50. Other expenses might
include legal fees for setting up a corporation.
You also have to register with the federal government and IRS to get a number for withholding taxes.
In addition, most states require you to collect and pay sales tax on services completed. Check with your
state’s department of taxation for the requirements of your state.
You also have to get insurance if you plan to hire staff. Workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory.
Workers' compensation rates range from $0.50 - $2.00 per $100 of covered payroll.
You also have to pay any company or employee insurance premiums, which are usually based on estimated
income. You’ll also have to open a business bank account for your company to process checks and make
cash deposits so that you can pay your bills with business checks. The alternative is accepting cash
only, which will severely limit your customers and make it impossible to offer expensive services.
It may sound complex, but it is possible to complete these procedures in as little as one day. With all
of the resources available online, it’s easier than ever to get started.
Equipment and Materials
The equipment that you need depends on what services you plan to offer. Remember that you can always
start off small and expand your services as the business grows. You’ll need some mowing equipment,
edgers and safety equipment.You’ll also require a truck and/or equipment trailer to transport your
supplies from job to job. Getting all these items can run anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000.
Check out our extensive articles about getting
started with the right equipment.
As a lawn pro, you’ll be spending a good amount of time on the road getting from one job to the next.
Many pros also travel great distances outside of their own neighborhood in order to complete work.
Especially with large trucks and heavy equipment, you can easily spend hundreds of dollars per month on
gas. Building effective routes is one way to reduce this cost, along with finding relatively
You’ll also need to fuel up your lawn mower and other gas-powered equipment. It costs about $7/per hour
in fuel to run a gas-powered mower.
Did you know?
Lawn Love helps you plan the most cost effective lawn routes with our map view. Schedule jobs that are
close to one another in order to maximize your time and to save on fuel.
You can begin marketing your business by passing out flyers, using signage locally and on your truck and
relying on word-of-mouth referrals. Depending on your goals and the size of your local community, this
may just do the trick with little to no money.
Marketing online can be relatively inexpensive as well. You’ll first need to create a simple
website, which can cost as little as $100-$500 to either do yourself or to hire someone to
set up a basic Wordpress or Wix site. Then you’ll want to get people to your site using Pay-per-click
(PPC) advertising, social media marketing, local internet advertising and/or Search engine optimization
(SEO). These are all techniques that promote your website to people browsing online, even with a
relatively low marketing budget we’d recommend starting with a budget somewhere around $200 -
$2,000 a month for online marketing if you can!
You could do marketing yourself or hire a consultant. Even better, you could let a service such as Lawn
Love help you with no additional cost for advertising! Lawn Love automatically matches lawn pros with
customers in their area based on their skills and the jobs that need to get done. This works well
especially as businesses are getting started in order to supplement your marketing and get you jobs that
will bring in money for more robust marketing, or other things! Most of our pros use Lawn Love even if
they have a successful business outside of the platform because it’s so easy and allows you to sit back
and focus on the other parts of running a business.
Management costs vary whether you’re a one-person operation or work with a network of contractors. At
the very least, you’ll want to establish a home base or headquarters from which to operate.We’d
recommend setting up a dedicated office space and preferably a business phone / answering service.
You’ll want to make sure you have a computer with either Excel or other spreadsheet-related software to
stay organized when it comes to managing operations like scheduling, budgets, and customer payments.
Maintaining equipment on the day to day is not typically expensive, but repair costs do come up as a
normal part of the job and should also be budgeted for. A mower repair could be typically around $60 -
To save on management costs, use an app that can handle much of the management for you. Our free pro app
allows you to track all of your expenses, in one location. We also keep track of your customers, jobs,
and schedule so that you don’t have to.