As your business gains momentum, don’t forget to keep your cleaning business license up to date.

When you open a commercial cleaning business, you need to file some paperwork before you can begin signing those customer contracts. In most cases, you need a cleaning business license, or at the very least, a regular business license. Unfortunately, they don’t last forever, so it’s important to remember to renew your licenses and stay in compliance with your state regulations.

A cleaning business license has different requirements in every state. Some states don’t require specific cleaning licenses at all, in which case you can obtain a general business license. You can learn more about state requirements, including tax requirements, by visiting the small business section of USA.gov. In all cases, however, you will need a general business license, while the cleaning license is an add-on in some states.

In most cases, you’ll need to be bonded. A license bond acts as a protection for the government providing the license, while a janitorial bond protects your customers in the unlikely event your business performs poor work for them. These bonds are required in most places and you need to maintain them to keep your cleaning business license in good standing.


Keep track of license renewals and more with Janitorial Manager’s work management software. Schedule a free demo today to learn more!


cleaning business license

Cleaning business license: Requirements and renewals

While the requirements to obtain a license vary from state to state, you should expect a small fee to register your business name and get a license to operate your business. You also need business insurance, and if for some reason that’s not a requirement, it’s definitely a good idea.

When you obtain the necessary licenses, display them prominently at your primary facility. This makes it easy for customers to see your credentials and also establishes you as a professional business, even if you’re brand new.

Remember also that licenses generally have to be renewed every 1-3 years. It is your responsibility to remember when to renew. For the most part, renewing is easier than filing, but you might still want to be prepared to spend some time completing paperwork.

Additionally, monitoring changes to cleaning business license requirements is a key step to staying in compliance. Just because your license isn’t up for renewal doesn’t mean there aren’t new regulations you need to uphold. It’s helpful to read industry publications, attend trade shows, and talk to others in the business about how they’re maintaining their licenses and other necessary paperwork.

If you have the resources, engage legal counsel familiar with the cleaning industry to help keep you abreast of changes and updates to the laws in your locality. You don’t want to end up on the wrong end of license requirements by mistake!

cleaning business license

Cleaning business license: State and local laws

As we mentioned earlier, a cleaning business license is almost always governed by state and local laws. Make sure you become familiar with these as you start and grow your business. Federal law provides very little in the way of requirements for a cleaning business, but many states, especially some like California and Colorado, have additional requirements for obtaining and maintaining a cleaning license. These laws will virtually always supersede federal regulations, which were designed to be more general.

Some cities, like New York City and San Franciso, have additional requirements for a cleaning business license. Read through these carefully to ensure you’re doing all you can to stay in line with local rules and take some time to update yourself once a quarter on any changes to local law. Remember that failure to have the appropriate licenses, bonds, and insurance for your business can result in fines or even closure of your company. Prevent that from happening by being proactive and keeping up with any changes.

Obtaining and maintaining a cleaning business license will take work, but dedicating yourself to the task when the time comes will allow you to later focus more of your energies where they belong—on growing the cleaning business you started.


Stay on top of every job with Janitorial Manager’s work management system, built by custodial workers, for custodial workers. Learn more about the great features through a free demo!


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