Last Updated on February 23, 2023 by The ZenMaid Team
Why start a cleaning business in California?
Looking to start a cleaning business in California? California is an awesome location for cleaning businesses because of its dense population, diverse industries, and booming economy. There’s a thriving tourism industry that creates an on-going demand for cleaning services. And if you’re interested in a niche market, California’s commitment to sustainability and green living has led to an increased demand for eco-friendly cleaning services.
This article will provide all the essential information you need to know on how to start a home cleaning company in the state of California, including necessary permits, training for staff, equipment needed, insurance requirements, and more. Let’s get started!
- Why start a cleaning business in California?
- Choose a Business Structure for your Cleaning Business
- File/Register your business with California
- Other Resources
A quick note:
The contents of this article are meant to help you grow your cleaning business, but should not be taken as legal advice. Always consult with an attorney and/or accountant to help make legal and financial decisions. If you need help finding a professional in your area, see what other cleaning business owners recommend in our ZenMaid Mastermind.
Read this guide first: How to Start a Cleaning Business
For an overview and general guide, including a checklist, to starting a cleaning business, start here: How to Start a Cleaning Business in 10 Steps.
We suggest you read that first if you haven’t already, then return to this guide to continue with the specific requirements for California.
Choose a Business Structure for your Cleaning Business
This is an important step that cannot be skipped. Go here for more information on the different legal structures and which one to choose for your cleaning business.
Do I need a cleaning license in California?
In California, there is no state-wide licensing requirement for starting a cleaning business. However, some cities and counties within the state may have local regulations and business license requirements that must be met.
Apply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) for California
You can apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your home cleaning business in the state of California by following these steps:
- Determine if you need an EIN: An EIN is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the IRS to identify a business for tax purposes. You may need an EIN if you have employees or if your business is a partnership or corporation.
- Gather the necessary information: To apply for an EIN, you will need your legal business name and address, as well as the name and Social Security number of a principal officer.
- Apply online: The quickest and easiest way to apply for an EIN is online through the IRS’s website. You can fill out the online application form and receive your EIN immediately.
- Apply by mail or fax: You can also apply for an EIN by mail or fax by completing Form SS-4 and sending it to the IRS. This process can take several weeks.
- Apply by phone: You can also apply by phone by calling the IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line at 1-800-829-4933.
Please make sure you have all the documents ready and also check the state laws in California as well for any additional requirements.
Here are the steps for an online application:
- Visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov/businesses and select the option to “Apply for an EIN online.”
- Complete the online application form, providing information about your business, such as the name and address of the business, the type of business entity, and the name and Social Security Number of the business owner.
- Submit the application.
- Once your application has been processed, the IRS will provide you with your EIN.
File/Register your business with California
The cost of registering a business in California can vary depending on the type of business structure you choose and the specific requirements of your local government. In general, the following fees are commonly associated with registering a business in California:
LLC: A limited liability company (LLC) must file Articles of Organization with the California Secretary of State, which costs $70.
Sole Proprietorship or Partnership: If you are operating as a sole proprietorship or partnership, you will need to obtain a business license from your local government, which typically costs between $50 and $100 in California.
Corporation: Incorporating a business in California requires filing Articles of Incorporation with the California Secretary of State, which costs $100, as well as obtaining a business license from your local government, which typically costs between $50 and $100.
Business License Requirements in California
California does not require a business license for general house cleaning businesses. But as things often change, check with the state’s licensing needs when registering a new business.
Be sure to also check with your individual county, city, or local municipality. Requirements can vary and some may need a general business tax, licensing, or other filing requirements for business. Search for special filing requirements right here.
You can also call your local municipality office and inquire if this is required.
If you’re planning to hire employees, you will need to register with the California Employment Development Department and obtain workers’ compensation insurance to protect your employees and your business.
Get Business Insurance
For a breakdown of why you need insurance, the different kinds of insurance to consider, plus the difference between insurance and bonding, read this guide first.
It is recommended to have business insurance when starting a cleaning business in California. Business insurance can help protect your business and personal assets in the event of a lawsuit or other legal claim. Common types of business insurance to look into for cleaning businesses include general liability insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, and commercial property insurance. You can learn more about getting business insurance for your cleaning company at this Commercial Insurance Guide.
Check these guides out next:
5 automations to grow your cleaning business (that cost less than $100/month)
Still have questions or looking for advice from a fellow cleaning business owner? Ask your question in The ZenMaid Mastermind.