Why start a cleaning business in Washington State?
Washington’s diverse economy and well-educated workforce offer opportunities for cleaning businesses of all sizes. The state’s natural beauty, from Mount Rainier to Lake Chelan, makes it an attractive place to live and work. In addition, Washington’s vibrant cultural scene, including museums, music venues, and festivals, provides plenty of opportunities for relaxation and entertainment after a hard day’s work. All of these factors combine to make Washington a great place to start a 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 Washington, including necessary permits, training for staff, equipment needed, insurance requirements, and more. Let’s get started!
- Why start a cleaning business in Washington State?
- Choose a Business Structure for your Cleaning Business
- File/Register your business with Washington State
- 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 Washington.
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 Washington State?
In general, you do not need a specific license to clean houses in Washington State. 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 Washington State
You can apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your home cleaning business in the state of Washington 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 Washington 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 Washington State
The state of Washington requires that all businesses register with the Washington State Department of Revenue.
The cost of registration varies depending on the type of registration you choose, but it can range from $20 to $200. To form an LLC, you’ll need to file a Certificate of Formation, and for a Corporation, you’ll need to file Articles of Incorporation. For instructions and a list of filing costs to expect, please visit the state’s online business portal.
Business License Requirements in Washington State
Washington State requires 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
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 Washington State. 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.
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.