2020 Service Autopilot Virtual Summit

How to Start a Snow Removal Business Legally

Published on October 15, 2020

If you want to know how to start a snow removal business legally, then you’ve come to the right place!

Before you can take the first initial steps in starting your snow business, you need to make sure everything is legally sound.

When you don’t know how to start a snow business legally, you’re putting your personal assets and your business at risk for financial hardships… or even worse, bankruptcy.

By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly what you need to do in order to protect yourself and set your snow removal business up for success.

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Step 1: Choose a Name for Your Snow Removal Business

Believe it or not, the name you choose for your snow removal business is super important.

You want to choose a name that:

  • Isn’t already used in your state
  • Defines what services your offer
  • Reflects who you are as a business
  • Separates your from your competition

Brainstorm a few unique names you like that fall in line with the criteria mentioned above and are easily marketable.

Then, check your state’s local database to see if anyone else in your state is using it. Most states offer online name searches; however, some still ask for mail-in submissions in-person visits.

Choose a snow business name that’s unique to you and defines your services. For instance, “Smith’s Snow and Ice Removal Services.”

Step 2: Consult With a Financial Advisor

Oftentimes, new snow business owners are excited and get too far ahead of themselves.

As a result, they don’t consult with a financial advisor before they start making the big decisions (like hiring, budget, and registration).

When you meet with a financial advisor, they can help to guide you in the right direction from the start of your business.

They’ll help you set a customized budget that’s right for you, so you can determine things like how many employees you can hire and how much equipment you can afford.

Additionally, your financial advisor will help you to decide how you should register your business.

Arguably, this is one of the most important steps in starting a legal snow business with the least amount of liability on your part… but we’ll talk more about this later on in this article.

Step 3: Get an EIN for Your New Snow Employees

Are you going to hire new snow employees this season? If so, you’ll need to get an EIN (Employee Identification Number).

Go to IRS.gov and fill out an online application to get the process started.

Their website will tell you everything you need to know about the hiring process in the United States for new employers (AKA you).

Quick Side Note: If you’re in Canada, the process is a bit different. Instead of an EIN, you’ll need an SIN (Social Insurance Number). Click here to find out more about the Canadian hiring process.

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Step 4: Register Your Snow and Ice Removal Business

Remember when we talked about how a financial advisor will help you to decide how you should register your snow removal business?

It’s important to consult with a financial advisor because how you register your business can not only make or break your business, but it can also make you personally liable as well.

In other words, if your business goes bankrupt, then you can also become bankrupt.

However, there are many considerations that need to be considered before you decide if you want to register your business as an S Corporation or LLC.

While this may not seem like a big deal just yet, when you file your snow removal business’ taxes next year, it can make or break you.

A financial advisor can walk you through the process and help you to choose an option that best suits your needs.

Plus, depending on your state’s guidelines, you’ll likely have certifications and licenses to acquire as well - which a financial advisor can also help you with.

Step 5: Protect Yourself from Liability By Getting Bonded and Insured

Before you can even think about taking on new snow clients, you need to get your business licensed, bonded, and insured.

By getting your snow business bonded, you’re ensuring that if one of your snow employees damages or steals property, your insurance will pay for it.

Additionally, the snow industry is dangerous for both you and your snow team. Your main insurance policy will protect you and your clients from lawsuits if one of your employees gets injured on a property.

As a result, insurance and bonding protects both you and your clients from liability.

Plus, you can use your insurance and bonding to justify your higher snow removal prices to your clients.

BONUS Pro Tip: Use Snow Software to Protect Your Business from Legal Implications

At times, you might have snow clients who argue the terms of their contract… or worse, they claim they never signed it at all.

When you make your clients electronically sign your snow contract, you’re protecting your business from legal implications.

In Service Autopilot, you can email your clients the contract, and then Service Autopilot will log the IP address and time that the client electronically signed the document.

Never again will you have shady clients that can viably argue whether or not they’ve signed a contract!

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Start Your Snow Removal Business Legally to Be Long-Lasting and Successful

If you want to build a long-lasting and successful snow removal business, then you must ensure that you’re taking the proper legal steps.

Since the snow industry is highly dangerous, many states have strict regulations and guidelines, so it’s important that you have professional help.

From the start, meet with a financial advisor that can guide you into the right decisions for your snow business.

If you follow this step-by-step guide, you’ll be well on your way to making your snow removal business legal in no time at all!


Related: How to Start a Snow Removal Business


Alyssa Sanders

Alyssa is a Marketing Specialist at Service Autopilot. Her bookworming began after she discovered the Harry Potter series. Her love of books evolved into writing and creating content. When she's not writing an SA blog to help service industry owners, she's watching sci-fi or has her nose in a book.
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