Start Up Requirements
Like any entrepreneurial endeavor, it is important to treat a new cleaning business with the professional respect it deserves. This includes avoiding the temptation to circumvent the license, bonding, and insurance process or accepting unreported cash payments for services. For the serious cleaning business owner, building the company on a solid foundation includes a proper business license, registering with federal and state governments for tax reporting purposes, and obtaining appropriate liability insurance in case of an unexpected incident.
It is also important to establish a relationship with an accountant and lawyer to determine the appropriate legal status for the business. A sole proprietor is the easiest business classification, but incorporation provides certain appealing tax benefits and eliminates most personal liability in the event of a judgment or default.
Initial financial capital requirements will vary substantially by the scope and chosen segment of the industry. Many successful residential cleaning services were started with one vehicle, a basic inventory of cleaning supplies, and a vacuum cleaner. A one person residential maid service can be started with as little as $500 assuming the owner already owns a computer for scheduling, invoicing, and accounting purposes.
Establishing fees for services is also a critical step in the process. It is important to create an hourly rate structure based on the individual elements of the cleaning process as well as the square footage of the structure. Generally, rates of $20-$50 per hour are competitive in the cleaning industry depending on the thoroughness of the services provided and the area where you reside.