If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming your own boss, one of the first steps is thinking about what kind of business you’d like to start—and if you like working outside with your hands, owning a pressure washing business may be right for you. Continue reading to learn some of the ins and outs of how to start a pressure washing business.

6 steps to starting a pressure washing company

Starting a pressure washing business takes time and effort. If you want to be successful in the industry, here are the steps you need to take.

1. Learn how to pressure wash

Unlike other industries, owning and operating a power washing company doesn’t require any special certification. That said, you need to know how to properly operate the equipment if you’re going to run a successful company.

Improper use of a power washer leads to a shoddy job, but the greater risk is causing damage to a customer’s property. If used on the wrong setting, power washers can break glass, crack siding, and damage roofs.

Plenty of videos online can teach you the best practices for power washing, but you may want to get started in the industry by getting some hands-on training from an experienced professional.

2. Develop a business plan

Every small business needs a business plan, especially if the business owner wants to apply for a loan. So, the next step in starting a pressure washing business is drawing up your business plan. Here are the elements to include in your plan:

  • Mission statement: Every business starts with a mission statement. Take your time when crafting your mission statement, as it will be your guiding light going forward.
  • Company description: Provide details about what your company will do and how you will be successful.
  • Market research: Be sure to analyze the market to ensure there’s a need for a pressure washing business in your area. Additionally, get a sense of who your competitors will be.
  • Organization: How do you want your business to be structured? Will you be the sole proprietor, or do you plan on hiring employees and setting up a limited liability company (LLC)?
  • Scope of services: Will you solely focus on pressure washing, or do you plan on offering other types of cleaning services as well? This is the section where you’ll lay out the details of what your business will actually do for its customers.
  • Financial projections: What are your predictions for your income and expenditures over the next few months? How about the next few years?

3. Set up your business

The next step in how to start a pressure washing business is actually filing the legal paperwork to set up your company.

The main options for structuring your business include forming an LLC, a general or limited partnership, S corporation, C corporation, or a sole proprietorship. While there are certainly factors that will impact your decision, there’s no right or wrong answer for how you structure your company—it’s all up to you.

Every small business owner who plans on hiring employees must also apply for an employer identification number (EIN). This process is free and can be done online through the IRS website.

4. Obtain insurance and licenses

Owning a pressure washing business doesn’t require its own certification, but you will need to have insurance as well as some type of business license or permit.

You’ll likely need a few different insurance policies, including general liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, equipment insurance, and business property insurance. With these policies, you can rest easy knowing your business is fully covered.

Each state has different regulations for business licenses, so you’ll need to check out your state’s small business website for details. You’ll need to have the required license and permit before you start operating.

5. Open a business bank account

Opening a business bank account is a must for any small business owner, and it’s the next big step in starting a pressure washing business. A business bank account helps keep your finances in order, and it makes things easier come tax time.

You may also qualify for a business credit card, which can give you big rewards—like cash back or travel miles—for your everyday purchases. Do some research to ensure you open a business bank account that will fit your needs.

6. Buy your equipment

With your business credit card in hand, you can head out and buy all of the necessary pressure washing equipment. Along with a pressure washer, you’ll need pumps, nozzles, surface cleaners, and safety gear. You’ll also need a truck or a van to haul all of your gear from one job site to the next.

Depending on how much gear you buy and the quality of your equipment, you’ll likely need to invest as much as $10,000 to get your pressure washing business up and running.

Get your pressure washing business off the ground

Now that you know how to start a pressure washing business, it’s time to get out there and do it! Work with your local business licensing board, your financial advisor, your business advisor, and any other experts you have access to in order to ensure you’re taking all the necessary steps. Getting your business started on solid footing is the best way to set yourself up for success down the road!