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  • Writer's pictureAfsara Khan

What Licenses Are Needed to Start a Cleaning Business

Updated: Feb 24

Many people these days are looking to start a cleaning company since it is quite a dynamic industry. Whether you want to start a cleaning business of your own for residential or commercial properties, getting the necessary business licenses and insurance is crucial in operating a legitimate and trustworthy business. 

Since acquiring certain licenses and filling out paperwork can be tedious and time-consuming, you can consider hiring a legal virtual assistant to help you out.

The assistant will not only offer legal support, but also handle all your administrative tasks like document preparation, research local regulations, draft contracts and prepare service agreements.

Having a virtual assistant to do the tedious paperwork for you will allow you to spend more time on planning your business.

Let's take a look at the steps you need to start your own cleaning service!

Choose A Business Structure

Choose a Business Structure

There are a few business structures to choose from when deciding on a business entity such as:

  1. Sole Proprietorship: Business owned and operated by an individual, this is where the individual has complete control but will have full liability for business debts.

  2. Partnership: Two or more individuals take ownership and share the responsibilities, resources and also liability for business debts.

  3. Limited Liability Company (LLC): The members’ personal assets are protected by limited liability.

  4. Corporation: Business is owned and operated by an individual or a group of individuals, this is suitable for larger businesses and are taxed twice

Acquire Business Licenses

Acquire Business Licenses

Obtaining a general business license is the first step towards starting your business. You will be required to choose a legal company name as well, this will be used for legal and official purposes. 

  1. Vendor’s License / Sales Tax Permit - A Sales Tax Permit or Vendor's License is needed to collect and remit sales tax on your services.

  2. Doing Business As (DBA) License - You might need a Doing Business As or DBA license, this is also known as a fictitious business name that allows a business to operate under a name other than its legal name. 

  3. Employer Identification Number (EIN) - If your cleaning business has employees or operates as a corporation, you will need a federal tax ID number, known formally as an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. The application can be done online at

  4. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Compliance: If there are employees, the company must comply with OSHA regulations that include a safe working environment, training employees and maintaining safety records. More details can be found on the OSHA website.

  5. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Certification - There are a few EPA regulations and certifications that may be relevant to specific aspects of your cleaning business.

  6. Local Zoning Permit - Some areas might have restrictions on businesses that can operate in a certain zone, you will need to check if your business complies with these regulations.

  7. Vehicle Permit - If your cleaning service uses vehicles to clean, you might need a vehicle permit from the local licensing department.

  8. Fire Code Permit- Depending on the type of services you provide and cleaning products you use, you might need to get a fire code permit from the local Fire Department.

  9. National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit: This permit is needed for the discharge of pollutants into water bodies.

  10. Hazardous Materials Disclosure - This disclosure is the requirement for disclosing information about the presence and handling of hazardous materials.

While the steps to starting your own cleaning business are not necessarily complicated, compliance with legal requirements is essential. You will need to take city-specific requirements into consideration and comply with local laws. 

It is best to get guidance from professionals such as business consultants or attorneys to ensure that you're meeting all legal and regulatory obligations. A legal virtual assistant can help you save time and stress as well by reducing the risk of errors and keeping you informed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Hire Virtual Assistant ?

You can explore various Business Process Outsourcing companies like ASL BPO. Freelancers and virtual assistants also showcase their skills on online platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Linkedin and Indeed.

How Much Does a Virtual Assistant Cost ?

What Services Will The Legal Virtual Assistant Provide?

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