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UH-OH I was a scab

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Chainlink, Nov 9, 2004.

  1. Chainlink

    Chainlink Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 70

    Im sure I will be flamed but here it goes...I bought a vehicle with a plow, not for buisness but I wanted the truck and the plow itself wasnt reflected in the price. I had plowed in the past for a Landscaping buisness, so I did have expirence. I had no intentions of starting a buisness in plowing. I did my brothers moms and wifes boss's drives for basically free. Well a few years have gone by and now several potential clients have come to me wanting my services. I am a new member here and have looked over the boards and see that I must be in some form a scab. I have no comercial ins or liability or even my own buisness.
    Right now I am doing the x's and o's to see if this is worth my time as I do believe I should be on the up and up(ie: ins and so on).
    I would like it to be known I had no Idea just doing a couple of drives was potentially illegal when it came to taxes and such even though the income really only payed for gas, So i figured it was a trade more than anything else.

    Some of these accounts would be lucrative so we will see how the numbers play out. Any advice would be great thanks for reading.
  2. QMVA

    QMVA Senior Member
    Messages: 431

    Welcome to Plowsite :waving:
    It used to be that people who had other jobs but also owned really small business that did under such and such an income did not have to file taxes for those business but now that has been changed. Don't worry on the legal part if you are real small. Just don't charge so low that it begins to hurt plowers around you. Later if you start to really grow then become legal and everything. Some may not agree with me but its just my 2 cents.
  3. Chainlink

    Chainlink Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 70

    thanks for the input but the other accounts I refered to would most def be commercial ie:gas station, apartments and a few more res. So I think if I do act on this I need to be legal. I dont do anything cheap :). The people I was doing didnt have people before so I didnt take anyones account so I dont feel bad there, but still I like a level playing field.
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    If you're doing gas station and apartments, you are definately "in business" plowing snow. You can expect that as soon as there is a problem (slip & fall etc) you will be named in a lawsuit. The injured person may not even want to blame you, but won't have a choice. If there are medical charges, even for a broken bone, the insurance company will want to know what happened and will want to know who was responsible for clearing the site. It doesn't matter if this is a local station or a small two-unit apartment building or what. It all comes down to who pays. If the insurance company can pass it off, medical costs are so high now that they will pay big lawyer fees (most have lawyers on staff, anyway) to avoid a payout. The only way to avoid it is for you to be ready to pay every claim that's made against you.

    The same applies to plowing driveways. Even the guy who's breaking into the house can sue you for damages if you were responsible for clearing the walkway he slipped on making his getaway. And it doesn't matter if you're only plowing your neighbor's driveway or have a multi-million dollar business.

    But if you're willing to accept the risk, that's up to you.
  5. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    Chainlink: Welcome! I'd say that if you do what I did and read all you can here, ask all the questions you can think of, and participate in this great forum you'll be able to figure out what to do.
    It's not too tough to do things on the up and up. As far as insurance goes, read the thread I just started on that topic under "Elements of Business". That may help you out alot. Since you have a computer, Turbo Tax and Quicken can help you out with keeping track of your small business if you decide to report everything.
    The main thing is to be safe, protect your own a-- and treat your customers fairly. Get paid properly for the work you do and just be a gentleman. Nice guys don't finish last as far as I'm concerned.
    Best of luck to you. :waving:
  6. andersonbldrs

    andersonbldrs Member
    Messages: 34

    if your going to plow any type of commercial acount. Don't even worrry about getting insuraunce, it's not even as issue.......................You don't have it you don't get the job.......simple. They want proof, and most want listed as covered on your policy.
  7. andersonbldrs

    andersonbldrs Member
    Messages: 34

    if your going to plow any type of commercial account. Don't even worry about getting insurance, it's not even as issue.......................You don't have it you don't get the job.......simple. They want proof, and most want listed as covered on your policy.
  8. bterry

    bterry Senior Member
    Messages: 183

    I wish it was that way around here. For some companies, yes, they want to see it. Others will tell you "Oh yeah - you gotta have insurance to work for us." Only then you'll lose the job to a lowballing !@#$%^& with no insurance. It's very difficult to compete with those contractors that don't carry insurance. You can tell your clients how important it is to get insured contractors 'til you're blue in the face....
  9. Chainlink

    Chainlink Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 70

    Well I just wanted to update this thread,,,AS Of Nov 19 04 I will be completely legit..I have the insurance and Buisness now. I turned down the Gas station job because it was a little out of my way and the pavement was surely going to break some equipment.

    This site has proved to be a very good resource for information.

    I did the numbers and decided to venture out. I had several past clients (another industry) ask me to do work for them. So I incorperated plowing with that so I should be able to do all year round work.

    This is my second attempt in owning my own buisness(the first failed, I was to young and let a friend go into it with me. oops big mistake). Fortunetly I was able to break even when all was said and done.

    I doubt I am going to get rich but at least I am working for myself.