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How Much Does it Cost to Start Lawn Care?

12 Min Read

cost to start a lawn care
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Writing a business plan?

Thinking of turning your passion for lawns into a thriving business and wondering, how much does it cost to start a lawn care business? We heard you and brought a complete guide on lawn care.

From mowers to marketing, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get your business up and running. Furthermore, we’ll break down the real costs and share practical tips for starting your very own lawn care business.

So, let’s explore the guide and make your lawn care business dreams a reality!

Average costs for starting a lawn care business

Before we dive into details, check out this lawn care startup cost checklist. It will help you plan your startup budget and know how much financing you need to get started.

Item Average Cost
One-time Expenses
Vehicle Purchase/Lease $20,000 to $50,000
Equipment $3,000 to $8,000
Trailer $2,000 to $10,000
Business license and permits $200 to $1,000
Legal fees $1,000 to $3,000
Insurance $15,00 to $3,000
Office Setup $500 to $15,00
Tools and Supplies $500 to $15,00
Marketing Materials $300 to $800
Website Development $500 to $2,000
Total One-Time Expenses $29,500 – $81,800
Recurring Expenses (Per Month)
Business Insurance $150 to $500
Rent or mortgage $100 to $300
Marketing and advertising $100 to $300
Staffing and payroll $2,000 to $5,000
Fuel $500 – $1,000
Equipment Maintenance $200 – $500
Utilities $200 – $500
Software Subscription $50 – $200
Total Recurring Expenses $3,300 to $8,300
Total $32,800- $90,100

Using this lawn care startup cost checklist, you can plan your startup budget and get an idea of how much financing you will need.

Let’s move ahead and understand how you can calculate lawn care startup costs.

How to calculate the cost of starting a lawn care business

You now have a list of potential expenses and a rough estimate of your startup costs. Let’s estimate your actual startup costs using these two proven methods.

The first, traditional method involves using a startup costs calculator to estimate the startup costs. However, the second, the Upmetrics method, is an innovative method that uses the Upmetrics financial forecasting tool.

Let’s understand both methods so that you can choose one that suits your requirements the best.

The traditional method—startup costs calculator

The calculator includes categories such as pre-trading, website setup, marketing, operations, and people. You can enter the estimated costs in each field and let the calculator estimate the costs for you.

Remember that many startup costs fall under recurring expenses, so cover those costs monthly, quarterly, or annually.

Calculate your startup costs using this calculator.

The Upmetrics method—financial forecasting tool

It is an intuitive and efficient method of calculating startup costs. Using Upmetrics will not just help you estimate startup costs but also help with financial forecasting.

All you need to do is enter your sales, costs, and other financial assumptions and let the tool calculate monthly/quarterly/ and yearly projections for you.


Check out the financial forecasting tool for accurate financial forecasting. Once you have an accurate estimate of startup costs, you can easily identify funding requirements for your lawn care and other landscaping businesses.

Financial Planning to calculate startup costs

Calculate Your Startup Costs

Once you have a clear estimate of the startup costs for your lawn care business (or landscaping company), you can determine the funding requirements more accurately.

Securing funds for a startup can be a daunting and time-consuming process, but having a comprehensive lawn care business plan can simplify it.

Now, let’s proceed to discuss the factors influencing the startup costs of your lawn care business.

Factors that affect lawn care startup costs

Various factors come into consideration while calculating lawn care startup costs. Let’s have a look at each of these factors in detail.

1. Equipment costs

When estimating equipment expenses for your lawn care business, consider the specific needs of both residential and commercial customers. While residential jobs may require smaller, more maneuverable equipment, commercial properties may demand larger and more robust machinery.

You can expect to spend approximately $3,000 to $8,000 on essential business equipment, including lawnmowers, trimmers, blowers, and other necessary tools.

Beyond purchasing lawnmowers, trimmers, and blowers, it’s essential to take into account other necessary expenses for safety equipment (gloves, goggles, etc.) and maintenance tools (sharpening kits, oil, etc.). However, opting for durable and fuel-efficient equipment can save on long-term costs.

2. Vehicle expenses

Investing in a reliable vehicle, such as a truck is essential for transporting equipment and crew to job sites efficiently. In addition to the initial purchase cost, consider ongoing expenses like fuel, insurance, and maintenance.

If choosing a truck, ensure it has adequate towing capacity and storage space for equipment, and if opting for a trailer, factor in installation costs for racks and storage solutions.

For instance, a new truck suitable for hauling lawn care equipment can range over $20,000 depending on the particular model.

3. Business Registration

Registering the business entity and seeking legal counsel for contract drafting and compliance with regulations are essential steps that may entail initial costs.

Budgeting approximately $500 to $1,500 for business registration and legal consultation fees is advisable.

4. Licensing and insurance

The costs for licensing and insurance for a lawn care business can vary depending on factors such as location, business structure, and coverage needs.

Here’s a rough estimate of expenses for small business owners:


  • Business License: $50-$500 (varies by state and local regulations)
  • Landscaping Contractor License: $100-$500 (if required in your area)
  • Pesticide Applicator Certification: $100-$300 (if offering pesticide application services)

For this, consulting with local authorities or a business advisor can help determine the exact licensing requirements and associated costs.


  • General Liability Insurance: $500-$2,000 per year
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: $500-$3,000 per year (varies based on the number of employees and payroll)
  • Commercial Auto Insurance: $1,000-$3,000 per year (if using company vehicles)

These are approximate costs and can vary based on specific circumstances and insurance providers. It’s essential to research and obtain quotes from multiple insurance companies to find the best coverage options at competitive rates for lawn care companies.

5. Marketing and advertising

New business owners may undergo the following marketing and advertising expenses for promoting lawn care services:

  • Website Development: $500-$10,000
  • Online Advertising Campaigns: $500-$5,000 per month
  • Printing Materials (such as flyers or business cards): $20 to $500

Develop targeted marketing strategies to reach both residential and commercial clients effectively. Tailor your messaging and advertising channels to appeal to the specific needs and preferences of each segment.

The initial budget for reaching residential customers through online social media platforms and local directories ranges from $500 to $2,500. For targeting commercial clients, forming partnerships with property management companies and attending networking events may cost an additional $500 to $2,500. Overall, the initial budget could be around $1,000 to $5,000 to cover marketing expenses.

6. Employee wages

Consider the skill level and experience required for servicing both residential and commercial properties. Residential lawn care may involve more personalized service and attention to detail, while commercial contracts may demand efficiency and reliability on a larger scale.

Structuring employee wages is essential for attracting and retaining skilled workers. The rough estimates for startup employee wages could range from:

  • Entry-level Lawn Care Technicians: $10-$15 per hour
  • Experienced Landscapers: $15-$25 per hour
  • Supervisors or Managers: $20-$30 per hour

The above costs may vary according to experience, location, and complexity of the lawn care projects.

If you take into account taxes, benefits, and training expenses, the initial investment for hiring staff during the startup phase might average between $2,000 to $5,000, depending on the size and scale of the business.

Offering incentives like performance bonuses or opportunities for advancement can help motivate employees and foster loyalty. Once hired, proper training and supervision of employees are necessary for ensuring quality service delivery.

7. Maintenance costs

Regular fueling and maintenance of vehicles and lawn care equipment are recurring expenses that should be accounted for in the startup budget. You should estimate fuel costs based on the travel requirements for servicing both residential and commercial properties.

As per the reports, U.S. annual fuel cost statistics reveal that prices vary from below $2,000 to over $6,800 per year, depending on the model and fuel type (as of November 2021). However, the small pickup trucks exhibited the narrowest fuel cost range, ranging from $1,950 to $3,000 annually.

In urban cities where the competition is fierce and property sizes vary significantly, average monthly maintenance costs for a fleet of lawn care equipment can range from $200 to $500 per vehicle. This includes expenses such as oil changes, blade sharpening, and general repairs.

Also, increased wear and tear is associated with servicing commercial properties. Therefore, you should implement a preventive maintenance schedule for equipment to reduce the breakdowns and costly repairs (if any).

8.  Training and certification

Invest in training programs and certifications that cover the specific skills and knowledge needed for servicing both residential and commercial properties. This may include certifications in landscaping techniques, pesticide application, or safety protocols relevant to each segment.

You may also look for training programs offered by equipment manufacturers or industry associations. They can provide hands-on experience and certifications at a lower cost.

Ideally, you should incorporate the expenses for ongoing training programs. This will help you and your employees to stay updated on industry best practices thereby ensuring the highest level of service for your new, and existing customers.

9. Technological expenses

Integrating technology into your lawn care business is essential for enhancing operational efficiency and delivering exceptional service to your clients. Depending upon the requirements, you might require a dedicated office space to convert your business idea into a profitable

To ensure smooth coordination between field and office operations, you’ll need a combination of hardware and software solutions tailored to the unique needs of the lawn care industry.

Here’s a breakdown of hardware essentials for a successful lawn care business:

  • Point-of-sale (POS) Setup
  • Mobile devices (laptop, tablet, or smartphone)
  • Payment processing terminal

The hardware setup for a lawn care business typically ranges from $5000-$20,000, depending on the specific requirements and scale of your operations.

In addition to hardware, you’ll also incur monthly expenses for software subscriptions to facilitate various aspects of your business operations:

Here are some common monthly subscriptions for software subscriptions

  • Field service management software: $50 – $200/month
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software: $30 – $100/month
  • Route optimization software: $20 – $80/month
  • Billing and invoicing software: $15 – $50/month

The initial costs for software licenses and setup depend on the complexity of the software and the number of user licenses required.

In addition to the given operational costs, you should allocate a budget of approx. $500-$1,000 for miscellaneous expenses (such as stationery, business cards, and administrative materials). It allows for flexibility in covering unforeseen needs and ensuring efficient day-to-day operations.

By carefully considering these requirements, you can plan for the startup costs of your lawn care business and position it for long-term success.

Tips for reducing lawn care startup costs.

Here are some practical suggestions to help you cut down the initial costs involved in starting your lawn care business. By implementing these tips and strategies, you can effectively manage your budget.

1. Start small

Begin with essential equipment and gradually invest in additional tools as your business grows. Focus on the basics like personal protective equipment, lawn care mower, trimmer, and blower to minimize initial expenses.

2. Buy used equipment

Consider purchasing pre-owned equipment instead of brand new. Look for deals on online platforms or at equipment auctions to save money without compromising on quality.

For example, you can potentially save a few hundred dollars upfront by opting for a used lawn mower in good condition. Consequently, you can allocate your resources toward other aspects of your business, such as marketing or additional equipment.

3. Strategic partnerships

In the landscaping industry, partner with local suppliers to negotiate bulk discounts on materials like mulch, fertilizer, pesticides, and other lawn-mowing equipment. Buying in bulk can lower your per-unit cost and save money over time.

4. Focus on targeted marketing

Identify your target market for residential/commercial lawn care businesses. Tailor your marketing efforts to appeal specifically to them. Invest in targeted advertising channels to reach potential clients more effectively.

5.  Efficient routing

Plan your routes and schedule jobs efficiently to minimize travel time and fuel expenses. Utilize route optimization software or smartphone apps to plan the most optimal routes between job sites.

6. Business operations

In small business administration, you can handle tasks like invoicing, scheduling, and customer management yourself using free or affordable software solutions.

Thus, most lawn care businesses can save on hiring costs and facilitate smooth business operations. It helps new business owners to achieve, and even exceed average profit margins in the long term.

For example, utilizing scheduling software allows you to manage appointments with clients effectively. It ensures timely service delivery and minimizes scheduling conflicts. Likewise, billing software simplifies invoicing processes by enabling prompt payment collection and improving cash flow management.

Apart from the above, you can take advantage of free or low-cost training resources to improve your skills and knowledge in lawn care services and business management.

Furthermore, you can begin marketing by designing flyers, business cards, and other advertising materials in-house using free tools such as Canva to save on outsourcing costs.


Before you leap into launching your own lawn care business, it’s crucial to do thorough research and planning. Take the time to delve into all aspects, particularly the financial commitments involved.

With the right market research and tools at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any challenges that come your way. So, roll up your sleeves, crunch those numbers, and get ready to make your mark in the lawn care industry!

Explore Upmetrics to learn more about our services.

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About the Author


Shyam Dua

Shyam Dua is a seasoned tax professional with 40+ years of experience & a mentor at SCORE. He stands out due to his exceptional business planning skills. With a keen eye for detail and a strong financial acumen, Shyam crafts compelling business plans that pave the way to success. A CPA with a philanthropic heart, Shyam's strategic expertise, and dedication make him an invaluable asset in shaping thriving business ventures. Read more


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