Cleaning business start-up checklist
Starting your own cleaning business will require plenty of time, effort and physical endurance. Your clients will want to know that your services are trustworthy and that their spaces will be left clean and tidy.
For general information on business start-up, consult our Business start-up checklist.
- Business start-up checklist
When you're setting up your business, you need to ensure that all of your bases are covered. Consider the following steps as you navigate through the business start-up phase.
Buy a cleaning business or start your own?
Setting up a business from scratch can be a daunting task. You may want to look at the benefits (and challenges) of buying an existing cleaning business or a franchise.
- Buying a business
Find out what you need to know before buying a business: where to look, how to evaluate potential acquisitions, and what a fair price would be.
Learn more about buying a franchise as an option for starting a business.
Learn about the cleaning business industry
Before you open up your business, you will need to know who your competitors are and the demographics of your area. Are you trying to target seniors, young professionals or busy working families? Each of these factors will be necessary to decide how and where you will target your clients. Use these resources to help develop your knowledge base and become an expert.
Get data that sheds light on population characteristics such as location, age, income, education level, and more.
- Canadian Industry Statistics — Janitorial Services (NAICS 56172)
Access information on the number of establishments, GDP, labour productivity, capital investment and company directories for the janitorial services industry.
- Association of Residential Cleaning Services International
Find information and networking advice to start or grow your residential cleaning business.
Setting up your cleaning business
Whether you start your business with 1 employee or 100, you will need to have certain skills for your operations to run smoothly. Managing your time and your finances and protecting your business are necessary to keep things on an even keel. Communication skills will be important for marketing your business and keeping repeat clients.
Will you set up a home-based business or open a commercial location? How will you manage your inventory of supplies? You will need enough storage space to keep your equipment and cleaning supplies.
Because cleaning work is done at your customers' locations, will you have vehicles for employees to drive or will they drive their own? If you purchase the vehicles as part of the business, you can customize them with graphics to advertise.
- Choosing and setting up a location
Trying to decide where to locate your business and how to arrange it once you get there? Consider your options.
- Operations planning
Take steps to increase productivity, improve quality, and effectively manage the day-to-day operations of your business.
- Protecting your business
Your company is your greatest investment. Discover safeguard options that will help keep your business secure.
Complying with janitorial or cleaning regulations
You will find that the cleaning industry has a number of regulations or safety measures that are mandatory to run your business. Greening your products can help reduce or avoid certain scents that may trigger allergic or asthma-related medical issues. Explore these regulations and guidelines early on in the planning process.
- Permits and licences
Find the federal, provincial/territorial and municipal permits and licences that you may need to start or manage your business.
- Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System
Ensure safe handling of hazardous materials in your workplace. Learn how to use, store, handle, label and dispose of these materials.
- Household chemical safety
Learn about the safety of common chemical products you use in your cleaning business.
- Canadian facts about household cleaning products
Find information about household cleaning products that are regulated in Canada (from the Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association).
Hiring and training your employees
Your employees will be the soul of your cleaning business. To retain your clients and keep your business running smoothly and efficiently, they will be your most valuable assets. Ensure they have the necessary training tools to make their job easier.
- Bonding insurance
Find out how bonding insurance can protect you from financial losses caused by fraud, theft or contract obligations that are not met.
- Criminal record checks and security screening
Find out how to obtain a criminal record check to protect your business and your employees, and to increase client confidence.
- Light duty cleaners
Read about current trends and statistics under the National Occupation Classification for light-duty cleaners.
- Canadian Green Sustainability Program
Find out how this environmental certification program can assist you in greening your business.
Whether you are just starting out or are an experienced entrepreneur who's been in business for years, you can never be too informed when it comes to your business.
- Starting a business
Want to be your own boss? Find out how to start a business.
- Business support organizations
Seeking the advice of peers, professional business counsellors and coaches can help you transition from new business owner to experienced entrepreneur.
- Contact the Canada Business Network
The Canada Business Network has centres across the country that offer guidance, information and resources to help make your journey in business a success.
- Date modified: