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should i have them sign a contract???

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by celticgreens, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. celticgreens

    celticgreens Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    alright heres a quick questions

    this is going to be my first year plowing. im gonna do it personally on the side and not under a business or anything. if im just doing residential driveways and set up a bunch of accounts, should i make up a "terms and conditions" page stating "i am not responsible for..." for like black ice or scrapes on the driveway type stuff, and have them sign it??? can i even do that since it's not an official business?? i want to cover my butt in case i scrape up a driveway or something. or should i forget about it and just do my thing this year and worry about it next year? give me some input. thanks guys
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2004
  2. Mick

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

    You had it right at the end - forget about it this year. With Jan 1, 2005 start a business with insurance, taxes - the whole shot. Saying your not a "business" - is meaningless. Of course you're a business if you're charging for providing a service.
  3. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    My advice would be to go down to a barnes and noble (there ample here in jersey) and buy yourself a book/s on how to operate a business, how to start up a business, taxes, etc. Once you start reading the books and have serious questions you should post them.
  4. plowman350

    plowman350 Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    Technically - NO

    If you'd want to get technical, you don't HAVE TO be a business (at least in Michigan) to earn a living. Many states require you to be licensed, but many do not. If your state doesn't have these requirements then:

    You can provide a service and charge a fee for it. However, you must report this on your tax retun as Misc. income....you can even deduct expenses on your personal tax return....just like a business. But, you have to pay taxes.

    Again, depending on your state/local government you don't even have to have insurance. If you want to take the risk of being sued, that's your right to do so. Just don't cry to anybody else when they take your truck, your house, and put you in jail becuase you can't pay the settlement of a civil law suit. It's just like any insurance.....if nobody requires it, you don't have to get it, but you'd be foolish not to!

    Finally, yes you can enter into a contract with another person. If you are over 18 and of sound mind, you may enter into a written contract with someone for anything, as long as the contract doesn't involve illeagal activities.

    So, bottom line (again emphasizing that rules may be different where you live) you can do anything you want and it will be perfectly legal. It's up to you whether to insure against risk or not.....and as anybody can tell you, you'd be a fool not to.

    Good luck!
  5. Mick

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

    Just to clarify how I came up with my answer as to being a business, this is the dictionary definition of BUSINESS:

    1.The occupation, work, or trade in which a person is engaged: the wholesale food business.

    2.A specific occupation or pursuit: the best designer in the business.

    3.Commercial, industrial, or professional dealings: new systems now being used in business.

    4.A commercial enterprise or establishment: bought his uncle's business.

    5.Volume or amount of commercial trade: Business had fallen off.

    6.Commercial dealings; patronage: took her business to a trustworthy salesperson.

    So, I would still say that if you accept any compensation for services, you are "in business".