19 March 2019
What is a legitimate Junk Removal and Hauling Business? Your website and Facebook page telling everyone that “I’M LEGIT, BRO!” Seems reasonable. But for the sake of conversation, let’s unpack this a little bit.
One could argue that a City License alone distinguishes between the two. Although, The BMV might be concerned if the vehicles being used to perform services are not registered and properly plated. They need their cut. The DOT and State Police may take issue if the company can cover the first two points, but won’t be pleased if the junk removal truck is missing DOT numbers, the drivers don’t have DOT Physicals and they are missing a properly mounted fire extinguisher.
Consumers and fellow motorists won’t look too kindly on your company if you’re not carrying proper auto insurance in the event of a fender bender or an accident much worse than that. Your team members will probably appreciate you carrying Workman’s Compensation insurance so let’s be sure to protect them.
Large companies will want to make sure you carry the appropriate Liability insurance. Back to your employees, are they W-2 or 1099? Have you educated them on the difference? If you elect to go 1099, you have a responsibility to educate them on the fact that they will need to take appropriate measure to pay their taxes and Uncle Sam. If not, that team member will get an ugly tax bill at the end of the year and you’ll be partially responsible. Not paying W-2 or 1099 and electing for the old cash under the table game? Uncle Sam will take issue with that for sure and the penalties are not a simple slap on the wrist. I think people go to jail for tax evasion these days.
YIKES! THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY!
Starting a Junk Removal Company
Okay, time to be honest here. When we started our company, there was nobody holding my hand teaching me how to follow all the rules, ensure profitability and build a utopian business. As entrepreneurs, or in my case, as firepreneurs (link here), we stumble along in the beginning and learn a lot of this along the way. That said, it’s best to learn quickly and seek out the right answers so that you avoid these costly pitfalls.
All that said, the purpose of this article is to both help other business, but also to arm our customers with the knowledge of what type of company they should use. A number of the aforementioned items, as well as the ones listed below, are in place to protect the consumer if something undesirable happens.
In our opinion, a legitimate junk removal business will do the following:
- Have a company name that is not vulgar or offensive
- Use a marked vehicle to perform the service, not an unmarked sketchy white van that looks like it was used on the latest bank robbery movie. Stay at home Moms will not like that and you should make your customers feel Safe and Comfortable
- Build a website
- Register your website and company or review sites to work on building an online reputation
- Register your business with the state in which you will be doing business
- Apply for the appropriate business license
- Get Workman’s Comp insurance
- Get Auto Insurance
- Get Liability Insurance
- Register your vehicle at the BMV and be sure to plate the truck/asset appropriately so you don’t get yourself in trouble with the State Police or DOT
- Depending on your vehicle, you may also need to get your drivers DOT Physicals and have your truck comply with local State Police and DOT Standards
- Decide if you are going to pay your team members W-2 or 1099. If 1099, educate them on their tax responsibilities so you are leaving your team in the dark
- If you’re paying CASH UNDER THE TABLE, you are not Legitimate. You’re one audit away from thousands of dollars in fines, jail time or jeopardizing the financial health of your employees if they happen to get in trouble
- If performing junk removal and hauling, don’t just take it back to your property and burn it to avoid paying disposal fees. It’s just wrong all around.
- Customers, please don’t hire companies like this. Most of what we haul away can be recycled, reused or donated. Hire a LEGITIMATE company that will be responsible.
What is a Legitimate Junk Removal and Hauling Business?: Conclusion
I think these are all good starting points to determining the differences between a Legitimate Junk Removal and Hauling business. That said, there are levels of professionalism that will separate companies, but I consider that a different topic as that gets into customer service, tactics, branding, etc.
This article is more about educating customers about the differences between a company offering our service for next to nothing and the company offering a reasonable price. You can still elect to go with the illegitimate company because they’re advertising to take it free. Be leary of the Free part because once they get on scene it is rarely even free. That said, these types of companies have been around for decades and are certainly not going anywhere. However, after reading this article, you at least know that both the company providing the service, and you as the consumer, are rolling the dice if something goes wrong.
So, What is a Legitimate Junk Removal and Hauling Business?
Comment and let us know your thoughts below!