Start a cleaning business in Florida. Florida is a great place to start a cleaning business. With the growing population and high tourism rates, there are plenty of cleaning jobs out there for you.
House cleaners can make anywhere from $25 – $75 an hour cleaning houses in Florida.
The majority of cleaning companies are made up of small businesses. There can be little start-up cost involved and as you grow your cleaning business, you can add on the fancy tools.
How to start a Cleaning Business in FL
This guide includes resources for starting a cleaning business in Florida. Visit the state’s Division of Corporations to learn more about running a business in Florida.
Decide what type of cleaning service you will offer
There are many different types of cleaning businesses you can start in Florida. It is best to start with 1 specialty, then as you grow then add on more services.
Here is a listing of Cleaning Businesses that would be successful in Florida.
- Recurring House Cleaning
- Rental/Airbnb Cleaning
- Hotel Cleaning
- Foreclosure cleaning
- Office cleaning
- Move out cleaning service
- Restaurant Cleaning
If you live in one of Florida’s coastal cities or anywhere near the Orlando area, Rental cleaning services and Airbnb cleaning services will be in high demand and can be very lucrative.
Choose a name for your cleaning business
When choosing a name, you will want to consider SEO (search engine optimization, how new clients will find you on the internet) and the name should represent what your business does. This way when someone hears your business’s name, they know you are in the business of cleaning houses.
To brainstorm a name for your cleaning business, start with the words Maid, Cleaning, and Service. Put these words at the top of a sheet of paper. If your business is on the coast of Florida, you can add the words coast or coastal. For businesses located in the Tampa Bay area, you can use a variation of ‘Bay Area’ or ‘Best of the Bay’.
Start writing as many adjectives and adverbs that you can think of that match your company or play on Florida’s uniqueness. This will help you to create a list of possible business names for you to choose from.
Once you choose a name you will need to verify, no other businesses are registered with the same name in Florida. You can do a Business Name search here to verify your business name is available in Florida.
Choose a Business Structure for your Cleaning Business
Before registering your new cleaning business, you will need to know what legal structure you will register your business in Florida. The different structures include sole-proprietor, partnership, corporation, s-corporation, or limited liability corporation. You can learn more about each business structure here.
The structure will determine how your cleaning business will file its tax returns and how you as the owner will be taxed on your earnings as well. It’s extremely important that you become familiar with and understand the different structures and how taxes are paid and filed with each.
When choosing your business structure, consult with your Florida tax professional. They can also help you file all the necessary paperwork.
Apply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number)
Getting an EIN for your cleaning business is a must if you will be hiring employees.
If you will be operating as a sole proprietor and not hiring employees, you may be able to use your personal social security number when filing taxes and such for your business. But it is always best to talk to your tax professional to see what you will need.
To apply for an EIN you will file an SS-4 with the IRS. It is free and you can do so on the IRS website. If you file online you will get your number right away.
You can also apply by snail mail, but it will take much longer to get your number. Read more about your filing options on the IRS website.
File your business with the state of Florida
The state of Florida requires that all businesses register on SunBiz.org.
If you are forming a Corporation, you will file an Articles of Incorporation with the state. The current fee to file Articles of Incorporation in Florida is $70.00. For instructions on filing an Articles of Incorporation visit Florida’s Sunbiz.org webpage for required filings for Corporations.
To file a Limited Liability Company in Florida, you will file an Articles of Organization. The current fee to file an Articles of Organization in Florida is $125. For instructions on filing an Articles of Organization visit Florida’s Suniz.org webpage for starting a Limited Liability Company.
If you are not ready to file as a Corporation or an LLC, you are able to operate as a sole proprietor. To file your cleaning business in Florida as a sole proprietor you only need to file a fictitious name through Sunbiz.org. The Fee to file a fictitious name in Florida is only $50.00. For more instructions on filing a fictitious name in Florida visit sunbiz.org’s webpage for filing a fictitious name.
Business licensing needs in Florida
At the time this article was written, Florida does not require a business license for general house cleaning businesses. I recommend checking with the state’s licensing needs when registering a new business. You can do that here: Click here to check to see if your business needs a business license in Florida.
While the state does not require licensing, you need to check with your individual county, city, or local municipality. Some may require a general business tax, licensing, or other filing requirements for business. Call your local municipality office and inquire if this is required.
Get Business Insurance
Insurance protects you and your business’s assets, or money in the event of an accident or other unplanned event.
Types of insurance your cleaning business may need include liability insurance, bonding insurance, and commercial car insurance. If you hire employees you may also be required to carry Workers’ Compensation in the state of Florida.
The easiest way to shop for business insurance is to start with an insurance broker and they will do the shopping around for you to find the best deal.
This article goes more in-depth on what types of insurance are best for cleaning businesses along with some FAQ’s.
Additional Resources to start a cleaning business in Florida
The Florida Chamber of Commerce has lots of resources for small businesses in Florida. They offer online training, new and existing business counseling, as well as business training and events.
Florida Small Business Trends is a publication that offers information and resources to small businesses operating in Florida.
Next Steps to start your cleaning business.
Now that you have taken care of the boring (but oh so necessary) legal steps to getting your cleaning business official, you can now start with the Cleaning!
Below are resources on how to operate a cleaning business successfully.
Purchase cleaning supplies and equipment
You’ll need to get all the needed supplies to start cleaning your first client homes. I have that taken care of for you.
Visit my page to get a complete list of cleaning supplies and equipment needed to run a Professional Cleaning Business.
If you need help purchasing a vacuum visit my page on purchasing a vacuum for your cleaning business
Marketing your cleaning service
You can’t start cleaning houses if you don’t tell people you have a cleaning business.
Your first step to marketing will be to tell all your friends, family, and contacts in your phone and email that you have started a house cleaning business and you are currently taking new clients.
Next, get your business online. Most homeowners now search for services online before hiring a business. Make sure your business is visible online when a homeowner searches for cleaning services in your area.
Claim your My Business google profile. By claiming your My Business google profile your business will show up in searches when someone searches Cleaning Businesses in Florida.
Start a website. You can start a website using this link for just $2.97/ month. Use your business name as your domain name. Once you register a Domain Name, apply a free Word Press template. There are several cleaning service templates that you can choose from.
As soon as you apply a template, you are ready to enter your business information. Make sure to add your contact information, a list of your services, and an about me page where you introduce yourself. Include high-quality before and after images of your cleaning.
Activate a Facebook Business Profile. Ask to join local groups that are meant for local businesses and homeowners in your local Florida city. Actively participate in the groups and always maintain professional communication etiquette
Price your cleaning services
Decide whether you are going to price your cleaning services by the hour or by a flat fee. Most Florida cleaning businesses make between $25 – $75 an hour.
Charging by the hour for house cleaning services:
It is best to charge by the hour when you are offering services that will take longer to complete and when the tasks can vary each time you clean a house. When your cleaning times vary it becomes much more difficult to charge a flat fee per clean.
It is best to charge by the hour if you plan to offer the following tasks similar to the following:
- picking up clutter/toys
- organizing spaces
- personalizing cleaning service to each client
Charging a Flat Fee
Charging a flat fee is the best way to streamline your business and start building more profits. But a HUGE disclaimer: Only charge a flat fee if you are completing the same cleaning service for each client.
This means you define the checklist and tasks that you will complete at the home. If you do not follow the same cleaning checklist for each client and each time you clean, DO NOT charge a flat fee to clean.
Check out the following articles for more information on Pricing Cleaning services:
- How to get paid for Cleaning Services (including how to collect electronic payments)
- Pricing Guide for Cleaning Services
- How to provide a quote for cleaning services
- How to talk cleaning fees with clients (and charge what you are worth).
If you plan to hire employees you will need to make sure you have filed for an EIN (Review step #4) and have proper insurance (Review step #7).
You will also want to have a training plan in place. In my experience, it is best to have a 3-step training plan in place.
- Have your new employee read through or watch a video that you have put together on how to clean your way.
- Next, have the new employee follow you while you clean. Talk through all the steps they should be taking for each task and room in a home.
- Now, you shadow the new employee for a few houses. It is important to correct any movements that do not fit into your cleaning strategy. For this step, you are helping your new employee to develop the same habits to clean the home your way.
Well Kept Clutter helps aspiring entrepreneurs start their own cleaning businesses and start making money right away.
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Get additional resources for your cleaning business from the Well Kept Clutter
- Professional Cleaners cleaning guide to providing top-notch cleaning service and customer service
- Ready to Print New Client Forms
- Marketing Power Pack, with 35 Marketing ideas
- Client Email communication templates