How To Start A Commercial Cleaning Business

If you like to keep things spick and span, you may be interested in starting up your own cleaning business. There are many types of cleaning businesses you could get into; there’s the house cleaning business, the carpet cleaning business, or you could start a commercial cleaning business. Starting a commercial cleaning business might seem simple, but it’s a more complex affair than you might think. Let’s go over all the steps you need to take to start a commercial cleaning business the right way. 

cleaners for commercial properties

Make A Business Plan For Your Commercial Cleaning Business

Firstly, you need to determine a business plan for your commercial cleaning business. It’s one thing to get the idea in your head and another thing to outline your objectives, budget, and market space.

When we say business plan, we mean that you need to answer questions like:

  • How many people will be working in the commercial cleaning business?
  • How often will it run?
  • What kinds of companies will you serve?
  • What kinds of cleaning will you offer?

Getting these questions down early will help you make the decisions coming later in the process.

Business Plan for commercial cleaning

Determine Your Market/Rate

Perhaps the most important part of determining your business plan for your commercial cleaning business is figuring out your market and how much you will charge for your services.

The profit margins for commercial cleaning businesses are typically very thin, meaning that you’ll only profit at less than 10% when all is said and done. This in mind when figuring out your finances and when selecting your clients.

Determining your market means figuring out who you plan to offer your services to and what you’ll clean. Some types of cleaning are more intensive or in-depth, and some cleaning companies only handle certain spaces (offices, restaurants, etc.). Each type of cleaning has different needs, cleaning supplies, and regulations you need to follow.

Outline Your Financial Situation

Related to the above, figure out your financial situation before you fully commit to your commercial cleaning business. It helps to start out with some money in the bank, but you may have to ask for a loan or otherwise take on debt in order to get your business started.

This all depends on your projected operating expenses. More expensive cleaning businesses probably have a few employees and go through cleaning supplies pretty quickly. Cheaper commercial cleaning businesses may only have one or two employees and only use a few bottles of cleaning supplies every day or two days.

Again, the exact details don’t matter; every commercial cleaning business can be successful. The point is that you have these answers down before you actually start the business in earnest.

Create Your Commercial Cleaning Business

Once you’ve answered all the above questions, now it’s time to actually create your business.

Create Your Commercial Cleaning Business

Name Your Business

Of course, the first thing you need to do is come up with a name. The name can actually help you significantly when it comes to marketing and brand recognition, so it helps to make a snappy and informative name that people can easily remember. We say “informative” because the name should clearly demonstrate that you have a commercial cleaning business instead of another service. “Paul’s Cleaning Crew”, is a good example, as is “Mary’s Marvelous Commercial Cleaners”.

commercial space business name

Form An LLC Or Similar Business

Next, you’ll have to establish your business as a legal entity. You do this so that you aren’t personally liable if someone tries to sue your commercial cleaning business. You can form an LLC, or limited liability company, or a similar business entity. LLCs are usually good choices, although corporations or DBAs (which stands for “doing business as”) are alternatives.

Register For Taxes/Get An EIN

All of this will also necessitate that you register your business for state and federal taxes. You have to do this before you can take on your first client. To do this, you’ll need to apply for an EIN, or an employer identification number. This allows the IRS to appropriately track your legal business and will also help you take on employees (including yourself).

Get A Business Bank Account/Card

You’ll also probably want to get a business bank account and/or credit card. Keeping your business and personal expenses separate is almost always a good idea, and this will allow you to keep better track of your finances and taxable income. A business bank account may also protect your assets from the company assets or help you take out additional loans.

Fortunately, getting a business bank account or card usually only takes a few minutes at your local bank.

Business Bank Account for cleaning business

Check For Permits And Licenses

As a commercial cleaning business, you’ll need to obtain state and local business licenses and permits. For instance, if you want to operate a commercial restaurant kitchen cleaning business, you’ll need to obtain a special permit and sign documents stating that you’ll uphold certain government guidelines and cleanliness regulations.

Draw Up A Service Agreement

Speaking of guidelines, go ahead and create a service agreement that you can use for all of your clients regardless of whether your business will have you cleaning restaurants, offices, or other commercial businesses. This spells out the full agreement in paper form and can protect you from lawsuits, as well as outline clearly what the client expects you to clean.

Learn The OSHA Guidelines

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, is the government body responsible for regulating the standards and safe use of various chemicals and other cleaning supplies. You need to be aware of these guidelines to their fullest extent so you can train your employees and protect yourself from liability or injury.

Get Business Insurance

Business insurance is a must for practically any business, but it’s also likely needed for workers’ compensation if you decide to hire employees. 

Hire Employees

Now’s the time to hire those employees if you plan to run your business with more than just yourself – likely since cleaning a whole business by yourself might take too much time! Be sure to hire people who are well worth your time and money; it’s a much better idea to spend some time locating the perfect business partners than it is hiring just anyone who applies.

Employees for cleaning business

Market Your Commercial Cleaning Business

After all is said and done, now you can finally begin to market your business! There are several ways you can accomplish this.

cleaning business concept

Business Card/Emails

One of the easiest and most classic ways to market your business is through creating and handing out business cards or emails. These are direct ways to reach out to potential clients or friends and family, who may be your first clients if they have their own commercial spaces.


You can also go door-to-door and advertise your cleaning services. Be aware that this may not be possible if there are no soliciting laws in a particular area, but many businesses might just be looking for new cleaners.

Phone Advertisements

You can always advertise by phone, particularly if your commercial cleaning business is based around doing cleaning for businesses like restaurants or offices.

Make A Website

In the digital age, every business should have a website, and your commercial cleaning business is no exception. Create this with love and attention so that it can be a great base for future clients and even a way for you to get new clients with a minimum of effort.

Run Your Business!

After doing all the above steps, you’re set! Now all that’s left is to run your commercial cleaning business to the best of your ability and, hopefully, watch your profit margins rise!

Kevin Martin

Kevin is an ambitious entrepreneur that is obsessed with all things related to finance. From a young age, Kevin has always been involved with side hustles ranging from online selling to freelance work. Over the years, Kevin graduated from side hustles and started launching multiple online and offline businesses. Kevin is a serial entrepreneur who loves starting new businesses and exploring all things related to business and finance. He is constantly looking for new ways to save money, invest money, and create income streams.

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