Contracts for cleaning businesses are legally binding agreements signed between the cleaning service company and the person or business who uses their service.

The Business of Cleaning

In theory, every building that has people in it has to be cleaned every single day.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows “janitorial” services, what cleaning businesses fall under, as one of the growing industries in the commercial market. It’s easy to see why this is the case. Utilizing a cleaning business protects a customer’s asset. Studies show that regular cleaning of a home or business keeps its value higher than if regular cleaning is not done.

Starting a Cleaning Business

If you possess some of the following traits, you may be a good candidate to start your own cleaning business:

  • Good Judgment
  • Organization
  • Execution
  • Salesmanship
  • Fortitude

These are words that describe someone who can successfully start and run a cleaning business. There are many places to find tips and advice on starting a new business. If you are interested in starting a cleaning business, you would be wise to do some research.

What you Need to Start a Cleaning Business

The most expensive part of a start-up cleaning business is the commercial-grade vacuum. In addition, you will need:

  • Glass cleaner
  • Disinfectant
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Trash bags
  • Towels or Rags
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Spray bottles
  • Mop, bucket and mop press
  • Dust wand
  • Scraper

All of these items are available at local commercial cleaning supply retailers. After you’ve started the business, you may want to add floor care and carpet cleaning. There are additional equipment and training needed to accomplish these services.

What a Cleaning Contract Does for the Business

A cleaning business contract details the relationship between a service provider and a client.

The homeowner or business manager contracts with a cleaning service to provide professional and timely services. This legally binding agreement lays out the details of the relationship between the client and the cleaning business. It also gives the parties the way they can end their professional relationship. How much notice, the form of that notice (i.e., written), and for what reasons the notice can be given can all be addressed in the agreement.

Aspects of a Contract for a Cleaning Business

There are basic things that any contract for a business that provides service should have. Here is a list of a few of them:

  • Services
  • Cost
  • Payment
  • Insurance requirements
  • Responsibilities of parties

In addition, these types of contracts should include a clause that addresses “indemnity.” Indemnity is a limit to liability and the definition of liability. Agreements like these are very helpful to new housekeepers and janitorial service providers to help set up a new business.

While we are on the topic of limiting your liability, there are a couple of other things you should get in place. You should bond your business to cover the cost to repay a client if you fail to finish the project. Also, every business should have general liability insurance which pays for lawsuits when a business damages something or injures someone. Hiring people to work for you is another area where you should do some research.

A Contract for Cleaning Services

If you would like to draft your own cleaning services agreement, there are several things you should do (even if you draft it yourself you should have a lawyer take a look at it). List your company name, address, phone number and hours on the top of the document. The contact information for the client should also appear near the top of the agreement.

The clauses of the contract should address the following issues:

  • Schedule of cleaning (weekly, bi-weekly, once)
  • Location of service
  • Date and time of service
  • Client contact information
  • Payment details, dates and deposit required
  • Whether the client or the service provider will provide equipment (i.e., vacuum) and supplies (i.e., paper towels).
  • Details of the services to be provided (specifically).
  • How the contract can terminate (i.e., with 30 days written notice) on either side.
  • Signatures of both the client and the service provider.

Remember that you should have your attorney review any legal document that you sign or ask a client to sign.

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