How to Start a Cleaning Business (Step by Step Guide)

Here is a Detailed Guide and Checklist to Aid in the Creation of Your Own Cleaning Company

Starting up a cleaning enterprise is a brilliant idea. There is a strong need for cleaning services, you can make good earnings, and you can get going with minimal funds.

Word-of-mouth is the only way to start your business, but it takes a lot of work and persistence to establish relationships with people in your area and other places you want to be found.

You won’t have a hundred clients right away. It takes time to build a reputation and your business.

I’ve owned and operated a home cleaning service for over 8 years. The business name is Nancy’s Cleaning Service of Santa Barbara, CA

You can do the same, however make sure you have everything organized first. This article will take you through all you need to begin earning money with your own cleaning business.

How to Start A Cleaning Business

This guide can help you start a cleaning business. We’ll cover everything from getting licenses to marketing your new business. If you are starting out or have already begun the process of starting a cleaning business, this guide is for you! It takes a lot of energy to start a cleaning business, since it’s not easy and some jobs are very heavy for a single person. One of the few businesses that you can start with very little investment and earn at least $20 to $25 dollars per month is the cleaning business, but you have to have the energy to finish at least 3 to 4 jobs at a time. You can grow the business more quickly if you have a partner who can help you.

If you want to become a professional cleaner, you have to make sure that you learn as much as you can about the cleaning business. The more you know about it, the better job you will do.
It’s not for everyone, but if you have a good attitude, positive mindset and if you are willing to learn, you can do great.

Start a Cleaning Business from Scratch

If you want to start a cleaning business from scratch you must have good customer relations skills.

With a few clients you can start delegating responsibility to other professionals. Once you have enough clients, you can start delegating work.

If you are seeing this business in the long-term and learn the basics, you will be sure to succeed in this business.

There are many ways to start a cleaning business if you have the right strategy, plan and goal in mind. Starting a cleaning business can be easy and affordable way to own your own business.

Before doing anything, you have to be clear with your state’s laws. It might be different from one state to another.

You need all of your state permits in order to have a stable business, and we recommend having them all so you can operate for many years.

It’s not easy to start a cleaning business and there are some risks and sacrifices you need to be willing to take. First and foremost, make sure you have a strong desire to be your own boss and work independently for a long period of time.

 To start a cleaning service in your area, once you have a clear plan, it’s time to get going.

There are two ways to start a cleaning business – as an self employee or as a franchise owner. as self employee is a great way to earn a little extra income on the side while your company grows with out a lot of investment onfron.

How to Start a Cleaning Business?

To start your cleaning business you will need

You can start your own cleaning business in a variety of ways. If you are looking for a service based around a specialty (e.g., carpet cleaning or window washing) then choose that industry.

Decide your cleaning company’s name. (Make sure it’s not already taken). Legally form a business (LLC). How to charge for your cleaning services. (estimates or bids). Business insurance.

  1. Choose a Cleaning Industry.
  2. Decide Your Cleaning Company Name. (base on your cleaning industry/niche)
  3. Legal Requirements. (sole proprietorship or LLC)
  4. How to Charge for Your Cleaning Services. (Estimates or Bids)
  5. Cleaning Business Insurance. [NEXT Insurance]
  6. Make a House Cleaning Supplies Checklist or Packages.
  7. Make Your Cleaning Checklist. (what will you offer to your customer)
  8.  What Types of Services Will You Offer
  9. How to Market Your Cleaning Business.

Choose Your Niche - Decide which cleaning services you want to offer

When creating your list of cleaning services, examine what your rivals are offering in order to discover what is not available in the market and what you can offer to separate yourself. Begin with a small number of essential services for your final list. Consider both the present and the future: what can you do now and what can you do when you have more money? At this stage, decide if you want to concentrate on residential cleaning or if you would rather be a commercial cleaning company serving companies in the local area. After determining the type of services you will provide, make a decision on whether to manage a single operation from your residence, a bigger business with other staff, or something between the two. You can also decide if you want to work part-time or full-time, on weekdays or weekends, and the area in which you will offer services.

There are many “niches” in the cleaning industry, it is not the same to know how to clean residences to clean commercials. To start you will be facing with two types of customers with different needs.

The different cleaning niches can be differentiated by:

When starting a cleaning business, it is advisable to choose a specific niche, that way you will know what type of customer it is and what needs to be done. It will be simpler to know where to find your customers when doing your marketing. 

There is a positive aspect to the cleaning industry, which is that each niche or category of cleaning service businesses have their own operating styles and niches. It’s possible to start a cleaning business company that fits your style and talents.

Is it necessary to have professional instruction in order to provide cleaning services?

Unless your city or state has regulations regarding accreditation, it is not a necessity to have professional schooling to launch a cleaning company – informal education is sufficient. Nevertheless, it is essential to gain knowledge on how to clean professionally before starting to clean homes, and understand how to prevent cross-contamination from one place to the other.

The AHCA offers certification courses in cleaning to teach guidelines, chemicals, disease avoidance, and even the history of the cleaning industry. It is likely that money is limited for a business owner just starting out, therefore certification might not be possible yet. However, you can start learning by making use of resources like our checklist for house cleaning. Do your research on cleaning chemicals, and find out what can damage what, what will harm surfaces, and what is safe to use. Get that education even before you begin cleaning anyone’s house.

Prepare everything necessary: enrolling, obtaining a business permit, securing insurance, and setting up an accounting system.

Before you begin providing cleaning services to your first customer, it’s important to take care of the necessary legal and financial aspects to ensure you have a reputable business that customers will be willing to hire.

  • Local License. & Permits.
  • Get a EIN Number.
  • Sole proprietorship or LLC registration.
  • Business Checking Account.

First you will need a city licence and permit from you city to be available to star a cleaning business.

City permit cost from $30 to $120 if you register as a sole proprietor, you will also have to request

a Employer Identification Number (EIN) this is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to business entities operating in the United States for the purposes of identification you can request a EIN on the IRS website.

A Federal Tax ID number which will be required if you want to file any taxes with the IRS. Bank account. If you plan on hiring employees you will need a checking account that has sufficient funds to cover payroll taxes and withholdings. You can set up a business checking account with your bank and use this account for all business transactions.

The Cost to open a LLC is between $100 to $850 (depending the state) it’s recommend that whenever you open a company you register it as an LLC.

  • Do you need a license to clean houses or commercial cleaning?

Yes, you need a license ether if you planning to start a residential cleaning business or a commercial cleaning business,  at least a vendor’s license. All business owners must pay sales taxes on non-wholesale revenue they earn within their state.

As someone who is currently working in a commercial cleaning business I can tell you that the answer is yes.

After you have registered your business, take all of your registration paperwork and open up a business checking account. This is very important since you don’t want to co-mingle your cleaning income with your personal checking account. This is also important for the overall financial reporting and monitoring of your business, especially when keeping track of your business income and expenses when it comes to filing your taxes.

Banks will ask for several pieces of documentation to verify your business, but there are only two documents that you need to have ready: a Business License and a Tax ID number. It is also a good idea to have a business credit card with your name on it, or at least one that you plan on using exclusively for business transactions.

Steps to open a business checking account: Call your local bank and set up an appointment to open your new business checking account.

Decide Your Cleaning Company Name. (base on your cleaning industry/niche)

You should consider how it will be perceived by potential customers or clients when picking your cleaning business name, you have to find a business name that is:

  • Easy to remember.
  • Easy to pronounce.
  • It’s concise.
  • It’s original.
  • It’s pleasant to hear and repeat.

You should decide what kind of image you want to convey about your business through your name. You should pick a name that: Is easy to remember. Is catchy.

Cleaning Business Niches

Understand how to determine the cost of your cleaning services and calculate jobs.

In the cleaning business industry when you start and have at least the basic permits and on your own you can start charging at least $25 an hour, and this is to say a minimum.

To be exact, prices vary between $25  to $80 per hour, but this depends a lot on where you are located. To give you an idea of how the market in your area is for this service, what you should do is call at least 5 different local companies and request an estimate, some of them will ask for a walk through estimate or some will give you an approximate phone number When they ask you about this, just ask them what their average hourly price is.

By calling about 3 to 5 companies you will know how much to charge and you can safely give your price to a customer.

How Much to Charge for House Cleaning?

In our House Cleaning Company in Santa Barbara we have tested both ways and we have noticed that it is better to give a fixed price only if you or employees have the experience and speed to finish a job well done and in a short time, but if they start, it is better to go by the hour, so that you know little by little and with time how long you finish cleaning certain types of houses, you will know how long it will take you to clean a deep cleaning of 2 rooms 2 bathrooms. Only way to give exact prices.

If you are just starting and you don’t know how much time you will spend in a deep cleaning of 2 rooms 2 bathrooms and you give a price of $ $130, that would not be a good business.

Another advantage by knowing how much time you will spend on each type of cleaning, when it is time to have employees you can tell them how much time they have in each house, since you know it is a fair time and your employees will not be able to deceive you.

The the average hourly cleaning rate per maid in USA is between $25 and $45 or if your have the reviews and you add a lot of value to your clients you can charge up to $45 to $90 per hour.

What type of general liability insurance do you need for a cleaning business

Engaging in home cleaning without having insurance is a dangerous bet. When it comes to protecting your business and the employees you may hire in the future, it is a must to have cleaning insurance. As a novice entrepreneur, the last thing you want is to cause unintentional damage to a customer’s residence, not have coverage and wind up in debt when you pay for the property damage out of your own pocket. 

There are various types of insurance based on what you require: insurance provides a cushion and is an integral element of running a cleaning company. Look around for the best plan for your business and examine various providers in your vicinity. You should not clean anyone’s home without insurance. Mistakes can happen, especially when you are just starting out, like accidentally burning down the house, damaging something precious, or scraping something.

Best Insurance For Cleaning Business:

There are many insurers that offer general liability for cleaning companies. but the most popular are:

Some insurance companies make janitor services and commercial valid in the same insurance certificate.

Establish financial record keeping and bookkeeping systems.
It is essential to have a dedicated business bank account for your company in order to accept payments and keep track of cash flow separately from your personal funds. Then, you need to make a budget that covers expenses such as supplies, tools, fuel, promotion, and any other overhead costs. This should be the spending plan that you adhere to every month, although you may need to modify it over the course of time. Additionally, you should determine the amount of money you will pay yourself by setting up an automatic bi-weekly withdrawal from the business profits (including for any employees, if you have them). Moreover, it is essential to check all your income and outgoings so you can report them accurately when submitting taxes. The entity that you need to file your taxes with varies, depending on the place you live and work.
One of the best accounting software is Quickbooks.

Bond Insurance.

A bond is a form of insurance that acts as a financial guarantee against the terms of the bond. Obtaining a bond shields your business and your clients from losses due to employee theft. Many clients prefer cleaning businesses that are bonded, as they are guaranteed protection from any theft. Investing in a bond can provide peace of mind for you and your clients.

The cost of General Liability Insurance start from $80 if you are a “solo cleaner” to $3,500 annually depending on number of employees you have.

Many house cleaners use hiscox insurance, personally i use it in my company. And the cost for Worker Compensation Insurance this depends on the number of employees you have.  I recommend “Ap-intego” because you pay as you have employees, no big down payments.)

As an example, there are houses that a piece can cost hundreds of dollars.
There are floors, counter and other parts of the home that can be damaged even if you have a lot of experience. General liability Insurance for Cleaning Business covers the cost of property damage.

Obtain the necessary products and tools for cleaning.
When launching a residential cleaning firm, the startup costs are generally low; however, you will have to acquire some of the items on the following list of cleaning supplies prior to your initial job. The saying, “it takes money to make money” is certainly true. Here is an example of a checklist of the materials you may require. Yet, as you are setting up your business with a limited budget, you don’t have to purchase everything immediately. Here is how to create that budget and determine what you need to acquire:

To Start a Cleaning Business you will need:

Also you will need to buy essential cleaning supplies, these may be the basic things like:

  • Glass Cleaner (can be Windex)
  • Aprons:
  • Vacuum Cleaner.
  • Microfiber Mop. (optional if you are just starting)
  • Regular Mop.
  • Gloves.
  • Toilet Bowl Brush.
  • Bags for Dirty Rags.
  • Bags to Carry Clean Rags.
  • Neutral Floor Cleaner. (bona)
  • Disinfectant Cleaner.
  • Cleaning Bucket.
  • Mini Grout Brush.
  • Toothbrushes.

You know, Everything you need to get started and that doesn’t require a high cost, At the beginning we want to start with the lowest possible cost, as soon as you have more customers, we can buy more things. You can find all these cleaning supplies at very affordable prices in Costco or also in The complete kit so you can start with the cleaning business will cost you a total of $ 244 plus the price of the vacuum.

This is the most common and most important question to be available to start.
In fact, obtaining those first clients is usually the most difficult part when starting your own cleaning business.

Because most clients want to know how long you have been in business and they want references or reviews these days.

The best thing to do is let clients know that, yes, you are new to the business but that you have thoroughly researched all aspects of the cleaning business and assure them that you know what you are doing and that you are quite capable of cleaning their home to their specifications.

But you have to be confident. Clients love to see confidence. It relieves their worries and lets them know that their home is in good hands.

When you have your first clients, the simplest thing you can do to be referred to is simply to ask them, as I mentioned before, honesty is very appreciated by the customers if you tell them that you are starting they usually understand and help.

The other option is to give something in exchange for the referral, it can be like free window cleaning or free oven or even a free cleaning every time you are referred to (this should be seen as an investment)

Creating a business profile on Google also know as “Google My Business”  and is completely free. You just need an address and it can be your home address!
If you register your business, it will show up on Google Maps. You can include information like your website, phone number, and business hours. Registering your business also lets customers leave a Google review. Positive reviews help you draw in new customers. Registering your business on Google makes it much easier for people to find your cleaning company. If you have a strong online presence is important so that when potential customers search for cleaning services in your area, your business is one of the first to pop up. Having a strong online presence includes having a website and active social media accounts so that customers can find you easily, no matter how people searc

Start passing out your business cards to friends and family members. You can also ask your local businesses if you can leave some cards on their counters.

Posters: Post a few flyers around your neighborhood with your contact information on them. Post one in front of your business, on your street sign, and even at the grocery store. This is a great way to get your business out there without paying for expensive advertising.

Direct Mail: Send out postcards and letters to your past customers. They are a great way to remind people of your business and let them know what you have available for them.

Use the power of Google, Facebook and social networks!
Maybe you have heard from Homeadvisor or Thumbtack or Angie’s List or Yelp if you have not heard from them, you probably know as soon as you are in the business, these companies sell you the information of the clients interested in the cleaning service for a certain amount, but do you know how they get those customers?

cleaning ad example

Establishing an online presence through Digital Marketing is essential for success.

They get their customers through Google and Facebook Ads, In the case of Google, Yelp, HomeAdvisor and all those companies they positioned their website in the first places of Google to be more visible when a prospect searches for the service and then they try to sell you the client.

The solution?

Create a website or invest so that an expert makes you the website and puts it in the search engines, so customers will find you without any intermediary. (This may be a long-term investment but it is the best and the safest.)

It is the best way to get customers right now, since we are all using these platforms. one way to grow your business fast is to use Google Ads. Google Ads is very effective since the people who search on the Google platform are already looking to get the service you just have to convince them that you are the best option, this is achieved by having a professional website and showing your reviews and adding value. the client has a problem you must talk to him and tell him that you are going to solve that problem.

When paying Google Ads, Google will put your website in the first 4 results if the person clicks on your website, Google will charge you a certain amount, the rest depends on how much you convince the client that you will solve the problem.

Company Name and Logo

Once you know what your business values are, you can come up with a name and logo for your business. You could choose a name that plays off your values, or you could choose to let your creative side come up with something that catches the eye. It adds to your professional look to have a designer create a logo for your business. Adding it to your quotes, invoices, and receipts will make you look like a pro from the beginning.


Business Website Design and Development for cleaning businesses

Business Website Design A website is a must-have for any cleaning business. It’s a great way to promote your business, as well as a way to showcase the services you offer.
Your website should be easy to navigate and have a unique design that makes it stand out from the competition. You could also use it to host content such as blog posts and articles. The more information your customers see, the more likely they are to buy from you.

Business Website Design for cleaning business

Want to grow a cleaning business fast?

Use Scheduling Software to Manage Appointments.

Cleaning Business Software’s are essential for small business owners. Many systems have been developed to take care of all your administrative tasks.

Using systems will take away many headaches, there are software for business cleaning some of them are:

These will help you from sending invoices, controlling employees, sending reminders to your clients and even knowing how much money I go in a day – week – month or year.

Is it Worth Starting a Cleaning Business in 2022-2023?

Well, United States cleaning industry is more than a $78 Billion per year industry according to a study made by Marketdata Enterprises Inc. A cleaning business is lucrative and rewarding. Enter a field of unlimited opportunity. As the boss, you it’s easy to set your own financial goals and make your own schedule.

When you are starting a residential cleaning business, the investment is very low and you easily recover it, you could say that you spend as the business grows. There is no high investment and you have to spread a miracle to at least recover what you have invested.

Goal: Establish Your Brand

This should be the main objective to obtain a business of great profits, when creating the brand people will recommend you more, search engines like Google will promote you better, people will look for you to get your services and pay better for them.

Attention to detail, a consistent uniform, client profiles — all of the details we’ve covered contribute to a strong and trusted brand.

Promote your cleaning business and acquire the first group of customers.

In order for your new business to thrive, marketing is a must. You'll be up against a lot of other cleaning companies in terms of gaining attention and obtaining customers. Don't be too anxious, however, as there are plenty of free ways to get started. Although word of mouth is one of the best forms of promotion, if your aim is to expand your company and create a large-scale enterprise, advertising and promotion are unavoidable.

Establishing an online presence through Digital Marketing is essential for success.

Establishing an online presence is the key to securing long-term customers in the cleaning business, so it is critical to comprehend the fundamentals of digital advertising.


Bill for the cleaning services you provide and keep track of your money.

Establishing a method for collecting funds and staying in contact with customers who haven't settled their invoices is an essential step. This is an example of what that may involve: There is a possibility that some clients may be slow in paying or not pay at all, so it is best to figure out how to handle that situation ahead of time.

Acquire the knowledge needed to run your cleaning business and maintain strong ties with clients.

After that, you must figure out a way to conduct your business and provide your customers with an enjoyable experience. You can modify the plan depending on what is successful and what is not. Jobber is an example of cleaning software that can aid you in managing your business on a daily basis.

Employ and educate janitorial staff so you can expand.

When the workload intensifies and you become overwhelmed, it's time to find a team of cleaners to help out. To ensure they're well-prepared for the job, dedicate some time and energy to training them. Utilizing resources such as job checklists, employee manuals, and regular reviews will help to keep their abilities sharp.

Are you prepared to launch your own cleaning company?

Starting a cleaning business is one of the most straightforward forms of enterprises to launch. You can start taking in revenue immediately, and you don't have to obtain a loan. You also have the opportunity to be your own boss, create your own rules and regulations, and offer services that have a real impact on your clients and the local community. The most essential aspect is the enthusiasm and attitude. If you have the desire to initiate a cleaning business, you will reach your goal. Failure is not an option.

So you’ve decided to start your own cleaning business. That’s great

Making the decision to become your own boss is a big step, but it’s one that can lead to a lot of personal and financial freedom down the road. In this post, we’re going to walk you through some of the initial steps you need to take in order to get your business off the ground.

Start by discussing what type of cleaning industry you should choose and then move on to things like company name, legal requirements, how to charge for services, and insurance.

2 thoughts on “How to Start a Cleaning Business”

  1. I’m planning to put up a cleaning business someday because I heard that this type of business has a steady profit. I’m glad you were able to elaborate here that it is necessary to obtain liability insurance because this could help protect a service just in case damage occurs. Anyways, if I were to push through with the plan, I’ll make sure to look for a legit supplier of cleaning equipment.

    1. Thanks for all the information, it was very helpful. I’m cleaning houses on the side but want to make it a business.

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