Providing cleaning services to homes and businesses is a relatively low-cost enterprise for an aspiring entrepreneur. The competition in this space can be fierce, with many larger companies providing a variety of pricing options and features, including environmentally safe and pet-friendly practices. An independent provider can find niches and value propositions that enable them to compete. Cleaners often operate of their home and only use a small portion of their house, like a closet, to store supplies. The biggest cost will be the supplies regularly used for cleaning.

Aside from the business licensing handled at tax time, there are no special licenses or certifications required to provide cleaning services. Successful cleaning services, however, are bonded and insured, protecting both the customer and vendor from loss and damages. Effective cleaners need to establish policies and procedures for access to customer residences and businesses, and for handling any damage done to property while providing service. Please visit the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation at for requirements for your business.

The tables below depict the common issues and costs associated with operating a cleaning business.

Political Labor laws – ensuring that staff is eligible to work in the US. Maintaining a safe work environment and compensating legally
Economic Customers need discretionary income to pay for services
Social Cleaning services can be seen as a status symbol for customers
Technological Cleaning equipment – vacuum
Advertising online and using social media
Record keeping – software and hardware
Handling money and processing payments
Environmental Storage and disposal of cleaning supplies
Legal Bonding and insurance
Critical Success Factor Bonding and insurance is strongly advised to compete in the market
Major Activities Associated Costs Cost Driver
Cleaning – dusting, sweeping, mopping Wages for labor Number of cleaners
Purchasing cleaning supplies Cost of supplies Number of living spaces to clean (square footage is a useful number)




Projected Expenses
Employee Costs including benefits Year One Cost per month
Owner  $          3,500
Book Keeper – Outsourced  $              800
Legal – Outsourced  $              800
Wages Subtotal  $          5,100
Taxes, Fees  $              765
Subtotal  $          5,865
Cleaning Supplies  $              500
Equipment and Maintenance  $              100
Subtotal  $              600
Facility Expense (deductible part of home)  $              250
Internet/Telephone  $              100
Office supplies  $                50
Computers and Hardware  $              250
Subtotal  $              650
Marketing Costs
Web site hosting and advertising  $              200
Web site updates  $              100
Business Cards, Pens, Swag  $                50
Subtotal  $              350
Licenses  and Permits
Bonding and Insurance  $              300
Subtotal  $              300
Projected Monthly Costs  $          7,765