Starting a lawn mowing business can be a worthwhile and rewarding venture, though the initial start-up procedure can be somewhat frustrating. Because licensing requirements vary from state to state, and some states do not require a business license at the state level at all, simple licensing requirements can be a headache for some entrepreneurs. With a few business tools and a little patience, though, you can be licensed to mow lawns with only minimal hassle.

Get a State Business License

Step 1.

Get all applicable local and county licenses. Although this step appears to fall outside the scope of this article, personnel at your local municipality or county business licensing agency can be an excellent source of information on what state-level credentials are required. Since a county business license is required in almost every state, the county clerk who issues these licenses can inform you of applicable state requirements.

Step 2.

Determine if an occupational certification is required. In some states, an occupational license for manual labor is required in addition to a state business license. If your state requires this additional license, it may be necessary to pass an occupational exam before conducting business.

Step 3.

Determine if an employer identification number is required. If you plan to hire employees to assist with your lawn mowing business, you will likely need to secure a state employer identification number, or EIN. In some states, this number is required even if you will not be hiring employees; ask your state licensing agency if an EID is necessary for your particular situation.

Step 4.

Complete an application for a state business license. Depending on your state, you can obtain applications for business licenses from local state offices, county offices and official state websites, or by calling the state licensing agency. Not all states require a state business license for mowing lawns; if you are unsure whether your state requires a license, or where to secure a license application, consult the state licensing section of the US Small Business Administration (SBA) website. When you obtain the application, fill it out completely and accurately.

Step 5.

Pay state licensing fees. Depending on your state agency, you may need to submit payment for your license along with your application or on a quarterly basis. Once you submit payment, your state business license is active and ready for use.


State business licenses may need to be renewed periodically, typically after 1 to 3 years. Check with your state licensing agency to verify how often your license needs to be renewed.


When submitting the application, do not withhold any requested information, as doing so may jeopardize your business standing if the omission is discovered.