How to Start a Nursery Business in Texas

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Nurseries are businesses that grow and sell flowers, plants and trees to retail customers as well as other nurseries, florists and corporate customers. In Texas, nurseries can sell native plants or non-native plants from around the country. Operating a business legally in Texas requires specific licenses and permits prior to opening your doors for the first time. Following a well-planned step-by-step process for business development will make a successful business more likely.

Write a business plan for your nursery business. Well-laid plans are a necessary foundation for any business, and a Texas nursery is no exception. Commit your plan to paper before you proceed with your business.

Obtain the necessary licenses and permits to operate a business in your state. Texas state law requires you to obtain a business license and a tax identification number through your secretary of state and local county clerk offices, respectively. You also have to register your business name with the state, also through the county clerk. Different cities and counties in Texas may have specific requirements for operating your business as well.

Choose your business structure and determine whether you will hire additional employees. Your business structure can sometimes influence the licenses and permits you need to function legally. If you plan on hiring employees, for example, you will need to acquire an employee identification number from the state government. Will your business be a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a corporation?

Select a location for your business. Check with local zoning requirements to ensure that your chosen location is compatible with your business structure. Some areas or buildings may not be zoned properly for a nursery. Some people operate nurseries out of their homes, but only if zoning regulations allow it.

Determine what types of customers your business will sell to, such as individual consumers, other businesses or florists. Who you plan to sell to should have an influence on the types of products that you sell. Determine what inventory you will sell and create a plan accordingly. Commit your plan to paper, including what types of plants you will sell.

Begin growing your inventory as soon as possible, as a full inventory is the key to a successful nursery business. The ideal growing time will vary depending on the inventory you intend to sell. Trees should be big enough that they can be planted easily after purchase. Flowering plants should have evidence of flower growth or be in bloom. The longer you allow your plants to grow and flourish before opening your business, generally, the better they will sell.

Stock your nursery business with plants, landscaping supplies, gardening supplies, bulbs and seeds and information products like books and magazines on the subject of gardening. Open your business as soon as your products are ready to sell.

References

  • Biz Incorporation: Texas Nursery Business License
  • "So You Want to Start a Nursery"; Tony Avent; 2003
  • "How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Landscaping, Nursery, or Lawn Service Business"; Lawrence Matthews; 2009
  • "Growing Profits: How to Start & Operate a Backyard Nursery"; Michael Harlan; 2000

About the Author

Jennifer Uhl has been writing professionally since 2005. She writes primarily for the web and has been published as a ghostwriter in "Tropical Fish Magazine" and "Entrepreneur." She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in health care from Mira Costa College.

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