Header bg
  • section background

    How to Start a Cleaning Business: A Guide in 6 Simple Steps

    Hero bg 2
    how to start a cleaning business Canada

    Starting your own cleaning business is a great way to make money while providing a valuable and rewarding service to your clients.

    Cleaning businesses are a perfect option for entrepreneurial people looking to start a business with a low start up cost. Let’s take a look at the 6 steps you’ll need to start your own cleaning business.

    Need Insurance for Your Small Business?

    Learn More

    1. Decide on what type of services you want to offer

    There’s lots of different types of cleaning services, from basic routine packages to deep cleans. One of the first things you should decide is whether you want to start a commercial cleaning business or a personal cleaning company such as a maid service.

    A few options for cleaning services that are commonly offered include:

    • Basic home or apartment cleaning

    • Deep cleaning

    • Scheduled cleaning

    • Spring cleaning

    • Move out cleaning

    • New home cleaning

    • Office cleaning

    • Window cleaning

    Spend some time looking at the websites of other cleaning companies in the area. This is a good way to see if there are any gaps in the local market that you can focus on filling.For instance, maybe no one in your market is offering move out cleaning, you can work to make a great move out cleaning program and promote it to make your new company stand out above the competition.

    Need Insurance for Your Small Business?

    Learn More

    2. Register your business and get a business license

    After checking to make sure the name of your new cleaning service isn’t already in use, register and trademark it to make it your own.

    Make sure you follow all the local procedures while setting up and registering your business. Ensuring that you go through all the proper channels is essential to creating a legitimate and trustworthy business that your clients will want to work with.

    Related: How to register a business in Canada

    These can be different not just country to country but even region to region, so be sure to do your homework on exactly what the proper procedures are for your area.After you’ve registered your business, make sure you get a business license before you start looking for your first cleaning jobs. Again, the rules surrounding business registration can vary quite a bit depending on where you are, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the local best practices.

    3. Insure your cleaning business

    Insurance is a very important part to starting up any business, and a cleaning business is no exception.

    Making sure you have business insurance can save you down the road from having to pay out of pocket if you run into any claims from unhappy customers of negligence, even if you’re not at fault.

    Need Insurance for Your Small Business?

    Learn More

    A good insurance policy can end up being the difference between running a smooth, successful business and having to go into debt or having to claim bankruptcy to pay for damages from an unhappy client.

    Typically, cleaning business insurance will include four types of insurance:

    Commercial General Liability Insurance

    This portion of your policy will protect you against general business risks such as damage to your client’s property or injuring someone as a result. For instance, if you accidentally knock over a vase while cleaning a house, you could be held liable for the cost of replacement.

    Professional Liability Insurance

    Also known as errors and omissions, Professional Liability Insurance helps protect you against any claims of failure to provide service or negligence. Should the quality of your work ever come under dispute, this policy can protect you from having to pay out of pocket.

    Pollution Liability Insurance

    Cleaning products can contain toxic elements, so it’s important to protect yourself in the event of something going wrong. This policy ensures you won’t be held responsible for any damage to property or health from toxic chemical solutions.

    Need Insurance for Your Small Business?

    Learn More

    Tool and Equipment Insurance

    This coverage will pay for the replacement of any work related tools that may get damaged, lost or stolen. This includes most cleaning supplies and cleaning equipment, such as buckets, mops, vacuums and buffers.

    These four types of insurance are the backbone of any good cleaning business insurance policy.

    APOLLO Insurance combines competitive rates with an easy-to-use online platform that saves you hours of time on the phone with an agent.Contact APOLLO Insurance today to find a great policy that works for you. Get a free quote in less than five minutes emailed directly to you and get protected today!

    Related: The importance of business insurance

    4. Start purchasing your cleaning equipment

    Starting a business venture can be an intimidatingly expensive task. But starting a cleaning company alleviates a lot of those worries with an inexpensive start up cost because of how little it takes.

    Need Insurance for Your Small Business?

    Learn More

    You really just need the basic cleaning supplies to get started. You can always build up your supplies with more equipment once your business grows, but there’s nothing wrong with starting small. However, it is good to note that anything priced over $1,500 is considered equipment, while anything below that is a tool.

    A few common examples of cleaning equipment that you’ll need to purchase before you begin your jobs are:

    • Broom and dustpan

    • Mop and bucket

    • Vacuum

    • Rags

    • Squeegees

    These few basic and inexpensive items are all the tools you need to begin looking for jobs. Once you start getting some money to put back into your business, you can start purchasing some other tools and equipment that will allow you to offer more luxury services to your clientele, such as:

    • Steam cleaner

    • Floor waxer

    • Window cleaning kits

    • High-pressure washer

    Need Insurance for Your Small Business?

    Learn More

    5. Build up a unique marketing plan

    So you’ve made your business stand out amongst the competition, registered, licensed and insured it. The last step you need to do before you start cleaning houses is to make sure you have a solid plan for getting your business out there. Here are a few tips to consider as you’re getting your business off the ground:

    Ask your friends to be your first few customers

    For those with limited funding, try asking your friends and family for your first few jobs. This is a great way to get some practice in while finding out what does and doesn’t work.Like any business, there are plenty of kinks that you may not have thought of that will be easier to iron out when you aren’t worried about a bad Google review. Plus, a bad review on platforms like Google or Yelp in the initial stages of your business can be devastating to future business.

    Have a strong social media presence

    Making sure people know your name by promoting it on social media is an effective way to make sure that your target audience hears about your business.Staying active on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn is an important way to not just engage with previous customers, but to attract potential new customers as well.

    Need Insurance for Your Small Business?

    Learn More

    6. Hire more employees to grow your staff

    Many successful cleaning companies were started with a staff of just one. This allows you to figure out the ins and outs of the specific type of business as well as your local market while working from the ground up.

    Once you have a good name and are beginning to build up your client base, you can start hiring new employees and focus more on taking the skills you’ve built and your entrepreneurial spirit and focusing it on making sure you’re managing your company in the best way that you can.

    Remember to only hire people that will respect your brand. You’ve worked hard to create a unique and distinctive voice, and it only takes a few uncareful employees to tarnish your reputation.

    Frequently asked questions about starting a cleaning business

    Q: What are the disadvantages of being a cleaner?

    A: Being a cleaner can be physically demanding. They’re required to unload and carry the cleaning supplies from your vehicle to the jobsite and back. If the job is in an apartment or a condo in a building with no elevator, that may require carrying heavy equipment up staircases.One of the benefits of starting your own business is that if you’re successful, you’ll have a team under you to perform the work.

    Need Insurance for Your Small Business?

    Learn More

    Q: Is there money in cleaning?

    A: While the income may be slow at first (which is why we recommend not hiring anyone initially), there is a lot of money to be found in cleaning services. It’s important to plan to put everything you make back into the company for the first few months, or in some cases years. However, once you build up a solid client base with a unique brand recognition and get some employees under you, there’s the potential to make a lot of money in the cleaning industry.

    Q: What do cleaners charge hourly?

    A: Cleaners generally charge by the square footage or property type that they’re hired to clean. However, there’s a vast difference in how much cleaners charge depending on what region you’re in — it can range from $30 to $150 per hour. Try to find out what your local competition charges to see what price range they’re in. Once you’ve found that out, you can either undercut their prices or offer more premium services for the same price.

    Starting a cleaning business can be a great way for entrepreneurs to make a lot of money with little initial investment. All that’s needed are some cleaning supplies, some free time, a vehicle, and the drive to seek out the business.

    Just make sure that you work hard to do everything by the book and not miss any important steps, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful business.

    APOLLO Has You Covered

    Get the protection you need in minutes with custom Business Insurance from APOLLO.

    Learn More

    Originally published March 18, 2022, updated August 25, 2023

    Back to APOLLO Magazine
    Share this article

    Get Tenant Insurance in less than a minute

    Get no-nonsense coverage that's the best value for your money. Purchase policies from your computer or phone, receive your documents instantly, and save when you buy online.

    Get a free quote

    4.7 rating

    Google Logo

    Get Tenant Insurance in less than a minute

    Get no-nonsense coverage that's the best value for your money. Purchase policies from your computer or phone, receive your documents instantly, and save when you buy online.

    Relevant articles

    tenant insurance vs landlord insurance canada

    APOLLO Insurance Introduces FinShore

    how to sell on amazon Canada

    Business and Insurance Requirements: How to Sell on Amazon

    how to start a contracting business

    How to Start a Contracting Business

    does tenant insurance cover damage to landlord’s property

    Can I Buy Tenant Insurance Online?

    section background
    section background

    Getting insured is as easy as 1 - 2 - 3

    Tell us (very little) about yourself

    Tell us (very little) about yourself

    Just tell us your address, your name, email and phone number. And that's it. We'll give you a price in less than a minute.

    Pay online easily and securely

    Pay online easily and securely

    You can choose to pay monthly or save money by paying for the entire year in one easy payment.

    Get your documents in your inbox - instantly

    Get your documents in your inbox - instantly

    As soon as you complete your purchase, you'll find your proof of insurance and policy documents waiting for you in your inbox.

    Get covered today - it couldn’t be easier

    We’ve provided more than 1,000,000 quotes to Canadians just like you. Give it a try!

    Google Logo


    4.7 rating

    1,683 reviews

    view all

    Across Canada

    Contact Us
    Apollo logo

    © 2024 APOLLO Insurance Solutions Ltd.

    111 Water Street, Unit 210, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 1A7

    APOLLO Insurance Agency Ltd. (o/a APOLLO Brokerage in the province of Ontario only) is a licensed retail brokerage, offering our clients with a comprehensive set of insurance solutions to meet their individual needs. APOLLO Insurance Agency Ltd. maintains necessary corporate licensing in provinces across Canada. Availability of products and service depends on licensing and product availability. The information that appears on this page is provided for information purposes only. Advertised products and prices are not guaranteed and vary based on insurance provider and/or insurance company's discretion and product availability.

    Transparency and Disclosure: APOLLO Insurance Agency's role is to provide you with exceptional service and the best insurance products that suit your needs. As a licensed retail brokerage, our compensation is based on a commission basis already built into your insurance premium and varies based on the product purchased through our platform. For a description of how APOLLO Insurance Agency is compensated and how this is calculated, please refer to our Compensation Disclosure document. For consumers in Ontario, please review the RIBO Conduct Fact Sheet and the RIBO Conduct Guidance document.