How to Start a Cleaning Business in Ohio Today

With over 11 million people, Ohio is the 7th most populous state in the United States, positioning itself as an attractive hub of thousands of startups.

If you are looking for an easy to enter, quick profit business, then starting your own cleaning service is the way to go.

With a low start-up cost, and a huge need for this service in both commercial and residential areas, starting your own cleaning business in Ohio could be the most lucrative decision you might ever make.

It is a business that has fared pretty well even during economic crashes, so it is not susceptible to the volatile labor market.

If you are looking for help on how to start a cleaning business in Ohio today, this article will give you all the information you will ever need, in a step by step manner:-

1. Create a business plan- By creating a business plan, you will be able to have your company history, business goals, strategies, and all the other vital information about your business all in one place.

You also want to decide on what kind of cleaning service you want to provide: Residential, commercial or both.

Maid service- With both members of most families working now, the demand for maid service is growing exponentially. If you are looking for a low cost way to get into the cleaning industry, then being a maid is perfect, because you can run this from your own home. Once your business grows, you can choose to hire staff, and just focus on managing them instead of doing the cleaning yourself.

Janitorial service- This is catered towards businesses and organizations such as schools, restaurants and hospitals. The potential for clients is literally endless. With the right strategy and experience, this can be a very profitable business.

Carpet cleaning and upholstery- This is much more expensive to get started with, but you will find that, soon enough the cost of equipment will pay itself off, along with making you a nice amount of profit. Many residents who require carpet cleaning, also want their sofas and recliners cleaned. So you can make more profits if you decide to them upholstery services as well.

2. Get your business license- First, you need to come up with your company name. Click here to see if it’s available.

Then you need click here, and based on the business model you choose to go with, fill out the appropriate form, along with the application fee, and mail them to the address provided on the site.

Every cleaning company with employees, need an EIN. If you are a LLC, corporation, or partnership, then you need an EIN even if you don’t have employees.

You can apply for an EIN online by clicking here.

Every employee you hire is also required to fill out form I-9, which is an Employment Eligibility Verification form. The form can be accessed here.

Also, all businesses operating within Ohio need to report new employees, even if they work just one day. To learn more about how, when and where to report, click here.

Additional forms required to be filled by cleaning service companies with employees, include:-

Form IT-1:

Form UCO-1

Form U-3:

If you do not have employees, you only need to apply for:


Form U-3:

3. Get your vendor’s license- Click here to download all the required form to get your vendor’s license. You can also choose to apply here: Ohio Business Gateway.

4. Special license requirements- Every state has its own requirements for operation of businesses. Cleaning services don’t have stringent requirements, but some do exist. Below, you will find links to checklist containing all the licensing requirements for the type of cleaning service you want to open.

Carpet/Upholstery Cleaning:

Janitorial & Building Maintenance Service:

Power Washing:

Sewer/Septic Tank Cleaning:

5. Source of funding- Many cleaning service owners start by using personal savings to get started, and then use their profits to grow their business further.

If you need more assistance to buy equipment, and to cover overhead expenses, you might want to ask your friends and families. Another option would be to find a partner who would like to invest in your venture. There are also government programs available to finance your start up. Click here to learn more.

Supplies you will need

Here is a rough checklist of supplies you will need. This is a very general list. Depending on your specialization, you may or may not need all the items mentioned below.

1. Vacuum cleaner

2. Buffer or floor machine

3. Dust brooms

4. Mops

5. Window cleaning supply

6. Paper products

7. Cleaning solutions

8. Gloves

9. Utility brushes

10. Bathroom cleaners

11. Disinfectant

12. Floor and wood cleaner

13. Glass cleaner

14. Furniture polish

15. Carpet cleaners

Once you have the license and equipment, you are ready to start. Remember to always have a great attitude. It is not the most glamorous job in the world, but it is definitely scalable.

This is one business where word of mouth marketing works like magic. Always dress well, and have your printed materials neatly displayed. Keep your equipment clean at all times.

These are all important elements that work towards reinforcing the credibility of your brand.

Market your cleaning business

Unless you market your business, people will never know about is existence. Before you start advertising, zero in on your unique selling proposition, and then focus your marketing efforts into highlighting that point because that is what separates you from your competitors.

Lastly, put every effort to stay memorable. Provide them an unbeatable value that is ten fold of the amount they paid for your service, in quality. They won’t to help but tell their friends about the awesome service they received, giving you free advertisement.