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New venture, help needed.


 
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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 896
Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:54 am    Post subject: New venture, help needed. Reply with quote

I am currently in a position to set myself up as a self employed "jobbing gardener". Does anybody know what legal loopholes I'll need to jump through? I already have satisfied customers, but it's cash in hand. I've never done this before. What are the pitfalls to watch out for? I'm legal, trained, and want to come across that way.
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tagwex
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 4170
Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck with your venture Tippben. Sincerely.
But I don't want to come across the wrong way but you are contradicting yourself in that post. Legal and cash in hand are an oxymoron. Pitfalls = Inland Revenue. I know as I have had enough rows with them. Anyway, I do believe that there is a figure of €5000 that one can earn per annum without having to pay taxes. Maybe somebody else can expand on that a bit more.

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“It’s my field. It’s my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!”

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Greengage
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 09 Nov 2011
Posts: 2747
Location: Kildare

PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How can you be legal if its cash in hand, There are a lot of Qualified gardeners out there, some haven't a clue no matter what qualifications they have after their name, If you did a start your own business course you could find out all this info. Remember you are competing against people who have huge investments in machinery, Insurance both public liability and personal insurance etc, You will also be competing against the black market, Postmen, Soldiers, Guards, School teachers etc I kid you not. You need a certificate if you are going to use a chain saw even then your limited to what you can cut. and you need PA1 andPA2 city and Guilds for spraying on public propeerty you also will need a health and safety statement.
Ok you need none of these BUT when something goes wrong you will learn some very hard lessons. Best of luck. Listening to you on here you know your stuff if your self employed its all about the money and the next job. This might help.
http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/employment/types_of_employment/self_employment/self_employment_as_an_individual.html
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Sue Deacon
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 31 Dec 2014
Posts: 1302
Location: West Fermanagh

PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We used to make gardens for a living and it was HARD WORK! Not the gardening but extracting money for the work we did!

We actually started out doing something else. But with my design background and love of gardening and OH's plumbing, electrics and building experience it all came together with a job for a friend. He had a riverside plot and could not get anyone to build the garden he wanted.

We had already set up as a business with a home 'office' and an Accountant, so we just 'morphed' into a garden design business - NOT landscaping, any builder can do that!

The best jobs were always by word of mouth. But we had some horrible experiences working for strangers.

It was after one such project that OH was taken ill. He has not worked full time since. The stress of that job didn't help.

The biggest job I ever did was for another friend. She was having a house built and wanted the garden doing at the same time. Her builder was in on the job, I could not have done it otherwise. His team did most of the groundwork. I felt like Capability Brown.

The others are right in what they are saying. If you are going to do this right, you will have to consider training, certificates, insurance and more insurance!

I don't want to put you off, really I don't. But I enjoy what I do now, maintaining my friend's garden, doing a bit of pruning and potting up plants for other friends. My main 'job' now is housewife and Carer for my mum. The gardening gives me a break and stops me going doolally!

If it is really what you want to do, go for it. But PLEASE do your research first.
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Greengage
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 09 Nov 2011
Posts: 2747
Location: Kildare

PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sound advice there, I also retired too much stress, You give more free advice and never get a penny, I now work for the man and thats it for me. Never again.
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Good guy
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 11 Feb 2013
Posts: 2356
Location: Donegal

PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ive occasionally designed gardens for friends and the experience has been positive. But maybe I've just been lucky. I considered doing it as a business, as I approached retirement, but I shied away. Too many pitfalls and I don't need the hassle. These days, if I do any designing for anyone, I do it in as little detail as possible, just suggesting ideas for planting or for organising space. And I refuse to be hands-on at all.
I wish you all the best with your plans. You've always given good advice on here, so go for it but be careful. That citizens' information link sounds good.
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Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 678
Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over time, Tippben, you've told us bits and pieces about yourself with details of medical and financial situations and there are several other 'What Ifs' that you need to ask yourself.

Will you lose Medical Card(s)? Getting them back could be a problem. Someone I knew has existed for well over ten years on Unemployment Benefit plus two days work per week. Evidently you can do two days without losing benefit but, in his case, whilst he could have easily gone full time in the summer, he daren't do so because of all the hassle getting back on to benefit in the winter. If your proposal didn't go well, could you afford to be in that sort of position?

If it were me, I think I'd be inclined to find myself a low paid 'proper' job that would keep the Tax man happy but stick to the cash in hand jobs on the side - at least until you've got so much of it on a regular basis that you can give up the other one. If this area is anything to go by, the Credit Control aspect would certainly be a major problem - too much 'Can I pay you later'.

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Sue Deacon
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 31 Dec 2014
Posts: 1302
Location: West Fermanagh

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All good advice there. I left college right in the middle of a recession and there were no jobs to be had in the industry I had trained for. For a while, I helped out at church, gardening for older folks and doing a bit of decorating. Someone suggested I do it for a living as she was so pleased with the standard of work and that I tidied up afterwards!

I looked into it and got some inquiries for which I gave quotes (reasonable, living quotes). To a man, they all replied that they could get the job done cheaper by 'a man up the road'. So I left them to it! Rolling Eyes

There is one related story that always makes me laugh. I heard of a guy (a farmer) who did some fencing for someone. When he finished he went to be paid and was told the man didn't have the money and he would have to wait. The farmer got the impression it would be a LONG wait, so he attached the fence to his tractor and ripped out the lot. Shocked Laughing
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ponddigger
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 682
Location: co tipp

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:00 am    Post subject: hi Reply with quote

hi this might be of some use to you setting up your business. jack . http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/social_welfare/social_welfare_payments/social_welfare_payments_and_work/back_to_work_enterprise_allowance.html
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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 896
Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you everyone. I've decided that a formal business is a bad idea. Just had an epidural for three prolapsed discs. Spent the money on new boiler, kerosene, lights for the kitchen, a boiler stove for the kitchen, car fixed, bills paid etc. I'll stick to what I'm good at. I have 14 blackcurrant slips to plant in the local "park". Ox eye daisies, strawberries, primroses and foxgloves. I will plant them in the right place for all to enjoy. Is míse guerrilla gardener. Always will be. If someone is willing to give me fifty quid once in a blue moon, I'll take it.
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Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 678
Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was a bit afraid my contribution might have put you off unnecessarily but, if together, we've helped you avoid a mistake, that's great.
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A novice gardener on newly cultivated, stoney ground.
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Margo
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 11 Oct 2010
Posts: 1762
Location: Summerhill Mayo Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:48 pm    Post subject: Re: New venture, help needed. Reply with quote

tippben wrote:
I am currently in a position to set myself up as a self employed "jobbing gardener". Does anybody know what legal loopholes I'll need to jump through? I already have satisfied customers, but it's cash in hand. I've never done this before. What are the pitfalls to watch out for? I'm legal, trained, and want to come across that way.


Reading and re-reading your post I take it you have done gardening jobs and had cash in hand. You now want to set yourself as a self employed.
Firstly do you want to do landscaping, designing etc which is a totally different thing to cutting a pensioners lawn or digging a veg patch for somebody.

Secondly as everybody has said Inland Revenue is a biggy. On saying that you can claim for quite a bit. Travel Expenses, petrol, car wash. Telephone calls, Stationary, tools, Chemicals, advertising to name just a few.

If you don't get paid for a job don't hesitate to go to the small claims court. You charge for the work done, stationary, phone-calls and interest. If you win they also have to pay the court fees you paid initially, so you won't be out of pocket.

Lastly and most important get yourself a public liability insurance it protects the customer and also yourself.

I wish you all the luck for the future.
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