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How to Start Cleaning Company Business: Step-by-Step Guide

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Free How to Write a Cleaning Company Business Plan + Free Template Template

January 25, 2024

8 Min Read

start a cleaning company
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Writing a business plan?

Considering launching your own cleaning business? The good news is that there are fewer obstacles and licensing demands than many other businesses. Plus, it’s a venture you can begin quickly and without a hefty financial investment.

However, you might be wondering about the specifics of starting and running a cleaning business.

Let us understand through this comprehensive guide that will provide you with a roadmap to launch your business successfully.

But before that, it is necessary to get an overview of the industry you are stepping in.

Get an Industry Outlook

The cleaning service sector comprises a diverse range of professionals, including janitors and cleaners, maids and housekeeping cleaners, and first-line supervisors responsible for overseeing housekeeping and janitorial staff.

As of 2022, over 2.1 million people were working in the cleaning industry in the United States. The first-line supervisors providing house cleaning services and janitorial services earned approximately $47,500 for the year. On the other hand, maids and housekeeping cleaners earned an annual wage of almost $32,000.

By 2025, the retail and dry cleaning segment of the laundry facilities and dry cleaning services market in the United States will amount to $5.2 billion. So this can be one of the profitable sectors.

So after having a glimpse of the industry trends, now let’s see what you need to follow next to start your business journey.

1. Select a Cleaning Business Type

Selecting the right business type lays the foundation for your service offerings.

Let’s have a look at the different specialties you can choose from:

  • Commercial cleaning
  • Residential cleaning
  • Window cleaning
  • Pool cleaning
  • Pressure washing
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Deep Cleaning

So you must select your business type accordingly from the above-mentioned niches as it will decide the future of your cleaning business.

2. Prepare a Cleaning Company Business Plan

Once you have decided on your business type, it’s time to prepare a business plan. A well-structured cleaning business plan will help you build a roadmap for your business, by setting out the strategies you require to reach your goal.

This business document will include details about your new business, service offerings, management, target market, financial health, competitors, exit strategy, and more.

A business plan becomes particularly crucial when one seeks financial support from banks or other institutions. It helps in establishing a legally compliant business and operating it successfully.

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Before setting up your own cleaning business, it is necessary to do the paperwork and registration to ensure that you are committed to legal norms. These become particularly important for cleaning services with corporate clients.

First things first— brainstorm different names and pick something that reflects your idea.

Register your Business Name

Once you have decided on a name, it’s time to register that with the state and local government. This will ensure that the name of your business is officially yours and you can do business using that name.

Register your Business Structure

The business structure describes how a company is legally organized. This is an essential part.

You can choose from different business structures like operating as a sole proprietor, a partnership, or an LLC (a limited liability company, which ensures you won’t be held responsible for the company’s debts or other actions).

Get an EIN: Federal Tax ID Number

The process of getting an EIN can vary, so you can reach out to the office of your state’s Secretary for specific guidance. Moreover, obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS Internal Revenue System is essential.

Once you have your EIN, you can open a business bank account, apply for a business loan, and separate your personal and business finances.

4. Get Licenses, Permits, and Insurance

The only way to operate a business legally is to apply for the proper permits and licenses. They indicate that you’ve complied with the set of requirements for running a business legally.

Let’s get an overview of the licenses you need for your cleaning business.

Vendor’s License

This license typically functions as a standard business license. It’s necessary for collecting sales tax on cleaning supplies, a requirement in some states.

DBA (Doing Business As) License

If your business operates under a name different from your legal name, then you’ll need a DBA license. This license will protect your potential clients from fraudulent business practices and ensure that your business name belongs to you only.

Along with these licenses, it’s necessary to get business insurance when you start any small business.

So let’s have a look at the insurance you may require.

General Liability Insurance

This policy provides liability coverage related to Customer injuries, customer property damage, and advertising injuries.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

This insurance provides coverage in three primary areas Employee injury and illness expenses, employee injury lawsuits, and compliance with state laws.

Commercial Auto Insurance

This insurance covers legal bills, medical expenses, and property damage if a company vehicle is involved in an accident.

5. Get Your Finances in Order

Before getting on the entrepreneurial journey of starting a cleaning business, it is necessary to build up your budget.

This budget will encompass expenses such as business permits, licenses, insurance, supplies and equipment, initial labor, and advertising costs. Fortunately, the cleaning business requires relatively low upfront costs.

6. Hire and Train Cleaning Staff

Good employees are at the core of any successful cleaning business. Hiring and retaining employees takes a lot of time and effort, and sometimes it can feel like an uphill struggle.

First, figure out what type of people would do well in your business.

Whatever your ideal employee might be, make sure their skills and job needs match up with the role you’re hiring for. This will give you a much better chance of finding the right fit for the job.

Once you’ve hired your team, invest in their training. Training should not only cover the practical aspects of cleaning but also provide consistent service to customers and safety protocols. Tools like job checklists, employee handbooks, and regular evaluations will help you keep your cleaners’ skills sharp.

7. Get the Necessary Equipment

Starting a cleaning business requires having the right tools and equipment to provide efficient and high-quality specialized services.

Based on your business type (residential, commercial, specialized cleaning), list the cleaning materials and supplies. This might include vacuums, mops, buckets, cleaning solutions, cloths, brushes, Sponges, Rubber or latex gloves,  and protective gear.

For specialized cleaning services like carpet cleaning or window washing, you’ll need specific tools like carpet cleaners or squeegees.

Prioritize which items you need initially, then make decisions based on importance, price, budget, and how soon or how often you’ll use them.

8. Outline a Marketing Strategy

You need to build effective marketing strategies to spread the word about your cleaning services to attract target clients and establish your brand in the competitive world of the cleaning industry. You also need to set some marketing budget.

Here are some key areas to consider:

Build a professional website

Create a website that is visually appealing, informative, user-friendly, and easy to navigate. Design the company logo in such a way that it will resonate with your idea. It should be readable from a distance so potential customers can see your business name.

Digital Marketing

Be active on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, and share visually appealing content, and engage with your audience.

Run advertisements on local paper or online.

Showcase your satisfied clients to demonstrate your capabilities. Post the reviews of your potential customers on social media accounts.

Utilizing Vehicle Wraps for Advertising

You can get great graphics from a local sign shop that wraps vehicles. As you drive your vehicle from house to house, people will notice your service offerings. Having your contact information, company name, and a list of your services in colorful bold lettering can be effective.

Utilizing Business Cards for Effective Outreach

A business card can be used to advertise your house cleaning company.

There are many places you can post your business cards. These include hair salons, churches, senior apartment buildings, local coffee shops, and more.

If you do a great job for your clients, leave your business card with them.


Now you might be much clearer about how to start a cleaning business.

That was the ultimate cleaning business startup guide for you. Here’s a quick recap for you—start with research of the market, select a business entity, write a business plan using the business tool, and register your business.

Remember, completing the registration isn’t the end of the process but the beginning of your business journey; get your finances in order, hire the cleaning staff then get the necessary equipment, do the promotion, and get ready for the big launch.

Follow these steps and you have a successful cleaning business up and running.

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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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