How to start a cleaning business in India: A simple guide

Rolling up your sleeves and diving into the world of cleaning business? Great! It's a solid way to make a living, and there's a proper demand for cleaning services in India. Let's break down what you need to do to get started.


Rolling up your sleeves and diving into the world of cleaning business? Great! It’s a solid way to make a living, and there’s a proper demand for cleaning services in India. Let’s break down what you need to do to get started.

Whether you’re drawn to the sparkle of residential homes or the gleam of commercial spaces, your pathway to success with a mop and bucket is clear. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the simple steps to get your cleaning business off the ground, and how you can make sure that the legal essentials are covered.

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Calculating start-up costs for a cleaning business in India

Starting your own cleaning business in India requires understanding the initial investment needed. The amount you’ll need can vary widely depending on the scale of your services and the ambit of your business vision. Generally, you might need anywhere from ₹1,50,000 to ₹3,00,000 INR to get started. However, for those eyeing a more expansive operation from the outset, the required capital could soar up to ₹5,00,000 INR or more. Pinning down these costs precisely is critical for crafting your budget, securing the necessary funding, and ensuring a solid foundation for your business.

There are specific expenditures you’ll likely incur while setting up a cleaning business in India. Key purchases might include industrial-grade vacuum cleaners, eco-friendly and regulatory-compliant cleaning agents, and other specialised equipment. Moreover, having dependable transportation is indispensable for reaching your clients reliably. Investing in a sturdy vehicle capable of handling your equipment and covering varied locales is fundamental.

By accurately assessing the start-up costs involved, you can steer clear of financial pitfalls down the line. A careful and informed approach to these initial expenses positions you to launch your cleaning business in India with greater assurance and optimism.

Starting your own cleaning service from scratch

Getting into the cleaning business can be surprisingly straightforward. Here’s a simple guide to help you sweep your way to success.

Step 1: Lay the foundation

First things first, outline your business plan. This isn’t just about how you’ll clean; it’s about who you’ll clean for, how you’ll find these people, and how you’ll convince them you’re the right choice. Think about whether you’ll focus on domestic cleans, commercial contracts, or a specialty cleaning area.

Read also: A step-by-step guide to crafting business proposals in 2024

Step 2: Register your business

After finalising your plan, it’s crucial to address the formalities for setting up your business in India. This involves registering your business name under the appropriate category, which could be a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLP, or company, depending on your business structure. Next, you need to obtain a PAN (Permanent Account Number) for your business and consider applying for a GST (Goods and Services Tax) registration if your annual turnover exceeds the threshold limit set by the government.

Don’t overlook the importance of insurance — securing a comprehensive public liability insurance policy is vital for a cleaning business to protect against potential claims arising from accidental damages or injuries.

Step 3: Tool up

Purchase the right equipment for the job. To start with, keep it simple with the basics – a solid vacuum cleaner, mops, buckets, cloths, and a range of cleaning products. Efficiency is key, so opt for professional-grade products that will stand the test of time.

Step 4: Price it right

Decide on your pricing strategy. Will you charge by the hour, by the square metre, or a flat fee for each job? Research your competitors to ensure your rates are competitive, but don’t sell yourself short. Remember, quality service demands a fair price.

Step 5: Make it official

Draw up a service agreement to outline what your cleaning package includes, your rates, and what you expect from your clients. This professionalism from the get-go sets clear expectations and gives you something to refer back to if there’s ever any confusion.

Step 6: Brand your business

Your brand is important. Choose an appropriate and catchy business name, design a logo, and perhaps set up a business card or flyer. Ensure your brand reflects the quality and ethos of your service.

Step 7: Marketing matters

Spread the word. Use social media, create a basic website and consider word-of-mouth referrals with incentives.

Step 8: Keep it clean with software

Admin can be time-consuming. Consider investing in business management software to streamline scheduling, invoicing, and communication. Free options for invoices like Conta can help keep everything in order at no extra cost.

Read also: How to start a business in India

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What licenses are needed to start a cleaning business?

Embarking on a journey to start a cleaning business in India entails a plethora of considerations, among which, understanding the licensing framework holds paramount importance. A license acts as formal authorisation, typically issued by a governmental body, permitting individuals or entities to conduct specific types of business operations legally. It’s a tool to guarantee that businesses adhere to predefined regulations and standards, ensuring public health and safety.

In India’s cleaning industry, the demand for various cleaning services—from residential cleaning to specialised offerings—is on the rise. Each segment of the cleaning service spectrum may be subjected to different regulatory requirements, making it crucial for entrepreneurs to acquire a comprehensive understanding of these legal mandates. Obtaining the necessary licenses or permits validates your business’ credibility and instills confidence among your clientele, affirming that they’re investing in services rendered by qualified and officially recognised professionals.

Now, let’s navigate through the diverse cleaning services rendered within India and unearth the specific licensing prerequisites tied to each. Equipping yourself with this knowledge will place you in a position of preparedness and assurance as you set foot into the industry.

1. Household cleaning services

For those venturing into cleaning services within residential settings, such as private homes, it is important to note that specific licences or permits might be necessary. The requirements can vary greatly depending on the types of domestic cleaning services offered, although generally, these services do not typically demand a specialised cleaning licence.

2. Business premises cleaning

When it comes to maintaining corporate buildings, offices, or commercial spaces, a cleaning licence may not be mandatory. Nevertheless, cleaners who focus on industrial environments may benefit from obtaining additional training to better serve the unique demands of their workplace, be it a factory or an operational site.

3. Vehicle Cleaning

Delving into the professional car cleaning industry can prove to be a profitable venture for entrepreneurs. This sector often doesn’t require a licence; however, acquiring some auto-mechanical knowledge through training and certification could enhance service offerings and attract a broader client base.

4. Specialty cleaning for carpets, laundry, and pools

In India, carpet cleaning enterprises can function without a specialised licence specific to carpet cleaning. Even though there is no formal licensing requirement, it is vital that operators possess a comprehensive understanding and proficiency with the equipment and chemicals employed in the carpet cleaning process. Likewise, initiating services concentrating on laundry or pool maintenance does not mandate formal qualifications, as long as you have the requisite skills and experience to perform these services safely and effectively.

5. Cleaning after crime and trauma

Crime scene and trauma cleaning in India is a highly specialised field that demands individuals who are equipped to manage both the technical aspects of cleaning and the emotional toll it can take. While specific nationwide licensing for this niche is not standardised, a background check or police verification is often necessary due to the sensitive nature of the work. Additionally, specialised training pertaining to biohazard cleaning and handling of hazardous materials is crucial.

Given the emotionally charged environments these professionals work in, it is also recommended that they undergo training in mental health support and coping mechanisms to help manage the psychological impact of their duties. The use of specialist equipment and chemicals in this domain may require adherence to certain health and safety regulations, potentially necessitating further licensing or certification for the safe use of these materials.

6. High-Rise and hazardous cleaning

For high-rise cleaning tasks that require the use of scaffolding or rigging in India, adherence to specific safety regulations and possibly obtaining a high-risk work permit becomes imperative. Individuals looking to specialise in high-rise window cleaning, or manage bio-hazardous and chemical waste, should consult with the relevant state or central government authorities to gain a thorough understanding of the necessary regulations and to ensure compliance before beginning their operations.

In summing up, navigating the licensing framework is an essential step for any entrepreneur aspiring to carve a niche in India’s burgeoning cleaning industry. Whether you’re setting your sights on residential cleaning or venturing into the commercial sector, grasping the importance of and acquiring the required licenses is crucial to establishing the legitimacy and facilitating the growth of your business.

Free invoicing software for cleaning businesses

When embarking on the entrepreneurial journey of starting a cleaning business in India, managing your finances efficiently from the get-go is critical for success. That’s where Conta comes in – a leading free invoicing software tailored for Indian businesses, offering an indispensable tool for the cleaning industry.

Our software is not just about simplicity; it’s about integrating super smart automation that streamlines every aspect of invoicing. From generating invoices to sending out payment reminders, Conta handles the repetitive tasks so you can focus on what you do best – growing your business. Let our intelligent system take care of the mundane work with its built-in automation features.

You can also forget about chasing late payments. Conta’s automated payment reminders ensure that your customers are prompted to settle their invoices on time, streamlining your cash flow without the need for manual follow-ups.

Getting started with Conta is straightforward. Visit this site to sign up for free and join the businesses in India already benefiting from our powerful invoicing solution. With Conta, handling the financial side of your operation becomes tidier than ever.

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