Starting a cleaning business can be a lucrative and rewarding career choice. If you’re thinking about launching your own cleaning business this article will walk you through what you need to do to begin, the pros and cons of running the business, and why you should have a business bank account to help you along the way. 

What to consider before starting a cleaning business

There are a few steps to keep in mind when starting up any small business. While a cleaning business can seem pretty straightforward — you or your employees go into other people’s residences or businesses and make sure that everything is spick and span — there are some fundamental questions you need to ask when starting out.

Do you plan on running the business by yourself or with a partner?

If the business has more people involved than just you, you’re going to need a business bank account. There are some documents you’ll need to make this happen. Even if you’re planning to work the business yourself, it’s best to have a business bank account to keep your personal finances separate from the company money. That makes things easier come tax time. 

Do you need a business license?

Business licenses help the government keep track of registered companies. They also help protect the well-being of the public by making sure certain rules and regulations are followed. Whether or not you technically need a business license for a cleaning company varies depending on state laws and how you plan to operate your shop. But having a business license can give your cleaning services legitimacy for your customers.

Do you need cleaning insurance?

Having cleaning insurance makes sure you’re covered in case anything goes wrong during your time — or your employee’s time — on the job. It can be a lifesaver in case of emergencies. 

Once you’ve opened up your business bank account, applied for your business license, and thought about insurance, then it is time to start considering your cleaning company’s business plan. While it’s tempting to jump straight into the deep end and get things going right away, having documents in place and a solid foundation to work from will save you time and money in the long run.

How to write a business plan for a cleaning business 

Writing a business plan can seem intimidating, but it helps first-time entrepreneurs understand all of the components required to be successful in their endeavors. A standard business plan consists of about seven key parts: 

  • Executive summary
  • Company description
  • Market research and analysis
  • Company structure
  • Product or service
  • Marketing or sales strategy
  • Funding request or financial projection 

Thinking through each of these steps and writing them out will allow you to fully understand your position within the community, what you’re hoping to do with the company, and any potential costs and pitfalls. If you need a more detailed description of how to write your own business plan you can check out the article here

How much does it cost to start a cleaning business?   

The cost of starting a cleaning business can be low — it’s possible to put something together with hardly any money at all — depending on how you want to run things. If you’re doing residential cleaning that is going to be less of an investment in supplies than what you’ll need for an office. Some residential cleaners also insist that any customers have their own cleaning supplies available in-house. That includes simple tools like brooms, mops, and vacuums as well as any soaps and surface cleaners. Cleaning services that ask customers to have their own cleaning supplies generally charge less than those who have their own.

Another cost to factor in is transportation. You’re going to need to get to the places that you’re cleaning. In bigger cities, you may be able to get to the locations on a bus or subway. But most of the time running a cleaning service is easier if you have your own vehicle. This is especially true if you’re bringing your own cleaning supplies to the job. Factoring in transportation costs is also something to consider when looking at the profit margins for your business.

If you’re running the business on your own, then you may not think you need a website or social media for your cleaning company. But having a website set up can make you seem legitimate to potential customers. You can put together professional-looking websites for minimal expenses with sites like Squarespace.   

Adding up all of your potential costs including materials, transportation, marketing, taxes, insurance, and fees, will allow you to determine how much you should be charging per hour — or per job — for your services. From there you can start to determine profit margins. 

How to start a cleaning business in 5 steps

1. Do your research

Make sure you’ve looked at cleaning companies already operating in your area, figured out whether you intend to work the business yourself or with other people, and decided on the type of cleaning business you want to move forward with. After you’ve done that work and put together a solid business plan, you’re ready to get your paperwork in order. 

2. Make sure you have the proper paperwork together to open your cleaning business

While it is tempting to jump straight into cleaning when starting out, making sure you’ve got all of the aforementioned paperwork done will save you time and money in the long run. 

3. Open a business bank account

If you want your business to be legitimate in the eyes of your clients, you’re going to need a business bank account. You can get everything you need from a business banking account at NorthOne for just ten dollars a month. Click here to apply.

4. Advertise your business

Advertising your business doesn’t mean that you need to spend thousands of dollars on television commercials or social media campaigns. Letting your friends and family know that you’ve embarked on this venture is a great way to start getting clients. Ask if they can recommend your services to their friends and co-workers. Once you’ve got a few customers, you can build momentum based on your great service.

5. Get cleaning

Get in, make sure everything looks spotless, get out, then do it all over again! Leverage tools like Jobber to keep your business organized as you work. You’ll be able to organize your team, communicate with customers, attract new clients, and grow your bottom line—whether you’re at the office or on a job.

The pros of starting a cleaning business

If you’re still on the fence about starting your cleaning business here are some of the positive attributes that come along with it. 


Running your own cleaning business means that you’re working for yourself. While you’ll still have to schedule cleaning that fits with your customers, it is possible to work when you want and dictate your own availability. 

Low overhead costs

Relative to other businesses, starting your own cleaning company has low overhead. You’re not required to rent office space. You don’t need any inventory aside from your cleaning supplies (unless you ask customers to supply their own).

No training required

While you have to make sure that the cleaning you do is up to professional standards, there is no previous experience needed to become a cleaner. It’s something you can start right away. 

Minimal start-up costs

Running a cleaning business is something you can get started with almost immediately. While we suggest getting your paperwork and business affairs in order before jumping in, doing that work doesn’t take too much time or money. 

The cons of starting a cleaning business

Starting your own cleaning business can be extremely rewarding, but the job can come with drawbacks as well. Here are some of the cons of getting started with a cleaning business. 

There is a lot of competition

Because the barrier to entry in starting your own cleaning business is relatively low, there can be a lot of competition. It’s best to do your research and make sure you’re offering rates that are competitive for your area.  

It is hard to get clients at first

When you’re starting out your business getting customers can be difficult. Once momentum has started things get easier, but securing your first few jobs — and making sure you’re invited back on a regular basis — can be tough. 

The job is physically demanding

Cleaning all day can be draining on your body. Making sure that you take the kind of rest you need can also be hard. It is important to find a balance to make sure that you’re not getting injured.

If after reading these cons it sounds like the cleaning business isn’t for you, that’s okay! There are many industries to chose from. Check out how to start a trucking company or how to open a restaurant for more options!

Hopefully, this article gave you a better sense of how to start your cleaning business, the ways you can jump to it, and the tools you need to succeed. NorthOne wants to support you in running your small business. You can sign up for a business banking account by clicking below.