How to Start a Cleaning Business

Published on October 2, 2023

Wondering how to start a cleaning business?

Even though it might seem overwhelming at first, the right resources and steps can help simplify the process of getting your cleaning business up and running.

In this article, you’ll discover exactly how to start a cleaning business by:

  • Taking the right legal steps
  • Properly pricing your services for profit
  • Choosing the right business insurance
  • Hiring the best cleaners to help you conquer goals
  • Harnessing the power of effective marketing strategies
  • Consistently meeting with a financial advisor to stay on target
  • Developing a detailed business plan to evaluate your whole strategy
  • Choosing the right cleaning service software to streamline everyday operations

Now, let's explore how to start a cleaning business using these effortless steps to ease your worries.


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1. Choose Which Services to Offer

One of the easiest places to start is with the types of services you plan to offer.

If you’re not sure which services to offer based on your experience and knowledge, ask yourself these questions:

  • Will you serve residential, commercial, or both accounts?
  • What services do clients need the most in your area?
  • What services are your specialty?

Typically, most cleaning businesses select a few basic services in residential cleaning and then grow into additional services later on.

By starting with a few basic services and with a specific target market, you won't have to purchase as much equipment and materials at one time.

2. Check Your State's Requirements for Local Licensing

Abiding by your state’s laws and legal requirements is one of the key things to know regarding how to start a cleaning business.

Once you know your legal requirements, you may choose a training program to better help you and your team with everyday business operations.

Plus, if your business expands into additional service categories, there's advanced training for those areas, including:

These training programs and others will help to level-up your business and set your services apart from the competition.

3. Choose the Right Name for Your Cleaning Business

It's important to choose the right name for your cleaning business before being able to register it.

Use these guidelines to help you decide on a name:

  • Keep it simple
  • See if localized domains are available
    • E.g.
  • Pick 2-3 words related to your services

Remember, there's no need to include:

  • Excessive details
  • A cute or clever pun
    • Save it for your slogan
  • "[Your Name's] Cleaning Services"

4. Meet With a Trusted CPA

In order to secure a successful, financially responsible business, it's important to meet with a trusted CPA (i.e. Certified Public Accountant) to help you establish basic factors like:

A great CPA is crucial because they’re able to evaluate all of your available assets at hand, weigh costs, decide if a loan is necessary, determine when to go full-time, as well as countless other factors.

Plus, a CPA can even flag financial obligations or factors you haven't even considered.

With the right CPA, you can have a clear path to success with mitigated risks.

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5. Register Your Cleaning Business

Once you've met with a trusted CPA, you're ready to register your cleaning business.

Remember, registering your business is simple, mitigates legal risks, and secures personal assets. For these reasons, there's no excuse to skip this essential step!

Plus, an S Corp (i.e. S Corporation) or LLC (i.e. Limited Liability Company) protects personal assets from disputes and lawsuits and aids in filing taxes.

DO NOT WAIT to register your cleaning business. Before starting a cleaning business, you MUST get registered.

S Corp vs. LLC

For tax reasons, the IRS classifies businesses as sole proprietorships, partnerships, C corporations, or S corporations.

An LLC doesn't have a classification type, so it gets taxed as another business type.

In other words, registering your business as a sole proprietorship LLC forces you to pay self-employment taxes (e.g. Social Security and Medicaid)—taxing the entire business' profit for that year.

For this reason, many businesses register as an S Corp.

When you register as an S Corp or LLC, the business owner can get a salary. 

This means the business owner's salary will get the self-employment tax—as opposed to your total profits.

AS ALWAYS, meet with a CPA before choosing how to register your business

6. Develop a Business Plan

Once you've registered your business with the help of a CPA, you're ready to create a business plan with the financial information you've already gathered.

Keep in mind, virtually anyone providing financing for the business (e.g. loans, grants, investors, etc.) will ask to see your plan.

Even if you don't apply for any financial assistance, a great business plan helps to keep everyone on the right track for pursuing your desired vision and goals.

Here's a basic outline of how your business plan should look:

  • Cover Page
  • Executive Summary
  • Business Overview
  • Cleaning Services
  • Market Analysis Summary
  • Business Strategy
  • Implementation Summary
  • Management Summary
  • Financial Plan

The best business plan can set your business up for growth, provide insightful details, and reduce stress. 

However, it's not a one-and-done document. You must consistently update it with new contact information, financial updates, and more.

Generally, financial revisions are performed monthly, and complete revisions are performed annually.

As always, ask your CPA to review your business plan before finalizing it.

7. Set Up a Business Bank Account

Unfortunately, many new business owners make the common mistake of using their personal bank account for their business.

In turn, using your personal bank account for your business can lead to problems down the line.

Simplify things with your CPA, reduce confusion, and prevent costly errors by keeping your personal and business financials separate.

8. Get Bonded and Insured Before Doing Jobs

A great bonding and insurance policy protects your business from inevitable mistakes.

Plus, depending on your state (and whether you're servicing residential and/or commercial accounts), it may even be required to have bonding and insurance.

Also, business insurance offers an extra financial cushion to help prevent the business from going bankrupt in a lawsuit.

Choose the best insurance policy possible that reasonably aligns with your budget. However, every business' insurance needs vary. Choose the right insurance policy that meets the needs of your business.

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9. Win Clients With Effective Marketing Strategies

By far, marketing is one of the best ways to win clients fast, establish your branding, build credibility, and increase local awareness.

Take a sneak peek at a few of the top marketing strategies you can use when exploring how to start a cleaning business:

When you institute a marketing strategy early on into your business, you'll have the ability to quickly win more clients and establish brand awareness.

Remember, it's important to build a website, and then slowly shift focus onto SEO (i.e. search engine optimization) as the business grows.

Also, prioritize local industry keywords and improve Google search engine ranking (e.g. “Dallas house cleaning”) by creating relevant content for clients and leads.

Plus, higher Google rankings make your website more discoverable for leads.

While there's no established rule that you need a website to start a cleaning business, it'll aid you in increasing conversions, building an online presence, and creating credibility.

Hire a freelance web developer when you have the budget for it. Alternatively, you can use an easy website builder (e.g. Wix or Squarespace) with simple tutorials for newcomers.

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10. Start the Hiring Process

Once you've finalized your business plan with your CPA, you'll probably have an idea of whether or not you'll need to hire any cleaners before starting.

As you explore how to start a cleaning business, here's a quick look inside the hiring process:

Perform a Complete Background Check

Once an ideal candidate has passed their initial phone screening and in-person interview, it's time to perform a complete background check.

Look out for any potential liabilities or red flags they can cause your business.

For instance, if a cleaner has been caught stealing, they're probably not an ideal candidate who can be trusted working inside client homes or offices.

Plus, be sure to follow up with the candidate's references before offering them a position. Remember, they should have at least two recent professional and two personal references.

Use these referrals to verify the provided information and offer additional insight into the candidate's background.

Next, if everything goes well, verify if the candidate is legally ready to work—including any certifications or visas.

Also, depending on the job being filled, verify that the candidate is willing to dedicate adequate time and effort into training or obtaining the necessary credentials to fulfill their position's requirements.

Acquire an EIN

Get an EIN (i.e. employer identification number) in the US and a SIN (i.e. social insurance number) in Canada to legally begin hiring.

If you're in the US, the process is as simple as filing an online application at Also, if you're in Canada, there's a similar process at

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Clients after their property has been serviced​
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Update outdated or declined payment information​
Inform them when a service can’t be completed due to unforeseen circumstances (i.e. weather)​
Remind them of maintenance tips (i.e. putting a cover on the outdoor faucet before the winter)​
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11. Use the Best Cleaning Service Software to Spark Long-Term Growth

Service Autopilot is the best cleaning service software for sparking long-term growth in cleaning businesses of all sizes. 

The #1 cleaning service software has the power to help you:

  • Get paid faster
  • Rapidly bulk invoice
  • Track cleaners’ time and GPS
  • Create instant, on-the-go estimates
  • Track assets, equipment, and chemicals
  • Generate instantly optimized routes
  • Access job history, notes, and client information from anywhere

Service Autopilot has helped THOUSANDS of businesses just like yours become even more successful.

Automate your everyday operations, spark long-lasting growth, and maximize profits using the best cleaning service software for your business.

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How to Start a Cleaning Business With Long-Term Success

Now, you know how to start a cleaning business by taking necessary steps like:

  • Meeting with a CPA to talk about finances and liabilities
  • Seeking outside specialist help as needed
  • Developing a strategic business plan

When exploring how to start a cleaning business, these easy steps will help to simplify the process and provide the stepping stones to becoming successful.

Also, don’t forget that the best cleaning service software has the power to help you become quickly profitable and optimize time.

Pick a few action items and tackle them this week. Don’t wait around. Seize the opportunity today, and become the cleaning business owner you’ve always known you could be!

Related: 5 Steps to an Amazing House Cleaner Job Description

Originally published Jan 22, 2019 7:00 AM, updated Oct 3, 2023 6:52 AM


Cody is a copywriter with Service Autopilot. He was writing before he could read, dictating stories to his mom. Of late, he distills business principles and practices learned from his ever-increasing trove of books and his year with SA Support into digestible blog posts designed to provide maximum value to service industry business owners.


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