How to start a cleaning business in Iowa

February 23, 2023 in Business

Why start a cleaning business in Iowa?

Ready to bring your cleaning expertise to the Midwest? Then consider Iowa, where business owners are supported and the demand for cleaning services is high. With its vibrant communities, low cost of living, and bustling economy, Iowa is the ideal location for starting a successful cleaning business.

This article will provide all the essential information you need to know on how to start a home cleaning company in the state of Iowa, including necessary permits, training for staff, equipment needed, insurance requirements, and more. Let’s get started!

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 Iowa.

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 Iowa?

You do not need a specific license to clean houses in Iowa. However, depending on the particular services you offer and the city or county where you operate, you may need to obtain a business license, which is generally issued by the city or county where your business is located. To learn more about cleaning codes and cleaning certifications, save this post to read next. 

Apply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) for Iowa

You can apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your home cleaning business in the state of Iowa by following these steps:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 Iowa as well for any additional requirements.

Here are the steps for an online application:

  1. Visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov/businesses and select the option to “Apply for an EIN online.”
  2. 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.
  3. Submit the application.
  4. Once your application has been processed, the IRS will provide you with your EIN.

File/Register your business with Iowa

The state of Iowa requires that all businesses register with the Secretary of State. To register a business in Iowa, you can visit the Iowa Secretary of State’s website and file the necessary paperwork online. The Iowa Secretary of State’s Business Services Division handles all business registrations.

Starting a limited liability company (LLC) in Iowa costs just $50 for filing Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. If you’re going the route of a sole proprietorship or partnership, obtaining a local business license will likely cost around $50. Or if you choose to incorporate, the cost is $50 for Articles of Incorporation and another $50 for the local business license.

For more instructions about filing and registering your cleaning business in Iowa, please visit the state’s Forms and Fees resource page

Business License Requirements in Iowa

Iowa does 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. 

Call your local municipality office and inquire if this is required.

Get Business Insurance 

It is recommended to have business insurance when starting a cleaning business in Iowa. 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. To learn more about getting business insurance, please visit the Iowa Insurance Division. 

Other Resources

Iowa Association of Chamber of Commerce

Iowa Economic Development

Iowa Business Resources

The ZenMaid Mastermind

Check these guides out next:

Ways to market your cleaning service for free

How to price your cleaning services 

Free cancelation policy templates

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

ZenMaid

Amar is the founder and CEO of ZenMaid Software, Inc. He started and ran Fast Friendly Spotless, a maid service in Orange County, CA. With the help of customized software to automate work he successfully operated the service in under 30 minutes per day. He created ZenMaid scheduling software to help other maid service owners do the same.

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