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Old 17-08-12
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Default Starting a landscape/carpentry and maintenance business

Hi!

Myself and my mate are looking at starting up our own Carpentry and Landscaping Business. We just don't know where to start and which direction we should head in.

Here's some background:
I am a qualified carpenter, although I don't have any further qualifications yet I am more than happy to get what is needed. ie: master builders course or something of the like.

My mate is currently at uni studying landscape architecture and has worked in the past for landscaping companies.

What we want to do:
Basically we want to be able to design, quote and build/complete anything we have designed for clients. Including decks, front and backyard designs, porches, pergolas small carpentry jobs like hang doors, skirting. We are not looking into doing extensions as yet but may get into renovations if the opportunity arises.

What we want to know:
Legalities of what we want to do, do we need any special courses, licenses or do I need my master builders?
I understand that we need building permits for some deckings and pergolas.
Tax: what is required by the ato? We want to do this right, and do it right from the start. Do we start the business as a partnership? Whats required of that? Do we just get an ABN and work away? We have a business name in mind.

So to put it simply, we have an idea just no idea where to go with it! It would be awesome to get this underway as soon as possible we already have people asking us for business cards and haven't even started yet!!!

Thanks for any help may be able to provide!!!!!
Dan

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Old 17-08-12
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I should have added:
We are located in melbourne Victoria!

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Old 17-08-12
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Default Re: Starting a landscape/carpentry and maintenance business

Hi Dan,

I'm not the right person to help with your questions, but I did want to welcome you to the forum

I'm sure you'll receive some helpful advice in the next little while, but in the meantime, if you haven't already, I suggest you take a read through the relevant links in this post: Starting a business? Please read this before posting

All the best for the new venture,
Jayne

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Old 17-08-12
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Default Re: Starting a landscape/carpentry and maintenance business

Hi Dan,

Getting the right business structure from the start is very important. Changing structures in the future is messy and costly. The best business structure varies for each and every business. Several factors need to be considered such as capital contributed, profit distribution between you and your mate, any wages to be paid and asset protection for all parties involved.

Definitely something you should speak to an accountant about in greater detail or head to the Just Launch website and I can help you out.

John Whale CA

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Old 17-08-12
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Default Re: Starting a landscape/carpentry and maintenance business

Welcome Dan! I could be interested in your services! Once you're ready that is.

First port of call - an Accountant. Very important and would be good to find one who is experienced with small businesses and has the time for them. Even better would be one who has experience with your type of business. They'll be able to advise about your business structure (partnership, company, etc) and also about insurances and other aspects of your business. You will need to register for an ABN online. But you won't need to register for GST unless you go over the threshold. Personally I would register for it upfront anyway as you'll need to at some time and that would mean a change to your paperwork and bookkeeping. Plus, it means you can claim all GST related expenses.

I think there are other landscapers on this forum so hopefully they will come to the fore and greet you and give you some tips.

I'd also seek forums online for your particular industry category to get hints and tips from those already doing what you're doing.

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Old 17-08-12
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Default Re: Starting a landscape/carpentry and maintenance business

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3.2did View Post
Hi!

Myself and my mate are looking at starting up our own Carpentry and Landscaping Business. We just don't know where to start and which direction we should head in.

Here's some background:
I am a qualified carpenter, although I don't have any further qualifications yet I am more than happy to get what is needed. ie: master builders course or something of the like.

My mate is currently at uni studying landscape architecture and has worked in the past for landscaping companies.

What we want to do:
Basically we want to be able to design, quote and build/complete anything we have designed for clients. Including decks, front and backyard designs, porches, pergolas small carpentry jobs like hang doors, skirting. We are not looking into doing extensions as yet but may get into renovations if the opportunity arises.

What we want to know:
Legalities of what we want to do, do we need any special courses, licenses or do I need my master builders?
I understand that we need building permits for some deckings and pergolas.
Tax: what is required by the ato? We want to do this right, and do it right from the start. Do we start the business as a partnership? Whats required of that? Do we just get an ABN and work away? We have a business name in mind.

So to put it simply, we have an idea just no idea where to go with it! It would be awesome to get this underway as soon as possible we already have people asking us for business cards and haven't even started yet!!!

Thanks for any help may be able to provide!!!!!
Dan
Hi Dan,

First of all welcome and all the best for you and your mate with the new venture.
While I don't wish to dampen your enthusiasm to get your new business up and running, my advice is to take a step back and plan, plan, plan. You will do damage to your name and brand if you go into jobs ill prepared.

You and your mate need to sit down and build a business plan, one that includes (but is not limited to)
- capital and equipment you are both going to contribute,
- who will take responsibility for the roles in the business (marketing / quoting / accounts)
- how the profit will be shared, and if there isn't any, how will the business continue,
- what to do if you decide to dissolve the business in the future.

You are going into a business that involves legal and financial responsibility, you need to decide on a correct structure that will allow the business to evolve but also that allows for changes in your personal situations.

Before you go any further you should both sit down and take the time now to get advice from an accountant and a lawyer that allows you to build a plan to give your business every chance of success.

Cheers,

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Compass Accounting & Business Services, Melbourne
www.caabs.com.au

Last edited by Chris Brodie; 17-08-12 at 07:59 PM. Reason: hit submit button before finished
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Old 18-08-12
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Default Re: Starting a landscape/carpentry and maintenance business

You will need building licences, your customers will expect it and most will check your licence on-line before committing to a quote. Contact your local Building Authority to find out what level of licence you'll need.
You really should consider doing a Feasibility Study before getting too committed. All though our manual How To Conduct Feasibility Studies For Tourism Projects is specifically written for tourism related businesses it will still be a great starting point for you. There is a free sample of the manual available on that page.
Planning now will save you heaps in the future, it's boring but important. You wouldn't consider building a deck without a plan, it's the same with building a business - know how you're going to do it (services offered), what you will need (resources/cash), where you're going to do it (market).
Good luck Guys

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Old 18-08-12
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Default Re: Starting a landscape/carpentry and maintenance business

If your operating in Vic, you can operate without any license up to a certain dollar value, not sure how much that is these days about 12k I think.

To take out permits, which it sounds like you will, you need to be registered with the Building Control Commission, there are various levels of accreditation, I think there's even one for decks and pergola's.

If you Google them, their site has all the info and registration prerequisites required, if you've done a trade and your mates done a degree, basic registration for what you want to do shouldn't be too tough, most of the accredited courses required to get past the BCC, are run by the Housing Industry Association or the Master Builders Association, membership of either organization will pretty much guarantee a fast track to registration at the level you need.

Good luck with it.

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Old 18-08-12
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Default Re: Starting a landscape/carpentry and maintenance business

Quote:
Originally Posted by estim8 View Post
If your operating in Vic, you can operate without any license up to a certain dollar value, not sure how much that is these days about 12k I think.
Currently the limit is $5,000. Provided there are no plumbing or electrical works involved.

Dan, feel free to email me (details on website in sig below) if you want to chat.

Cheers,

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3.2did (04-09-12)
Old 24-08-12
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Thanks everyone for your help so far, GWMaintenance I may just get in touch soon! Things haven't progressed much at the moment, busy with my current job, until that slows down again this will sit on the back burner.

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