Do you know how to start a cleaning business in Texas? You'll need to legally register your company with the state. This is a good choice for a new small business owner since cleaning services are in great demand and do not require substantial capital or special training. You can easily begin a part-time cleaning business and expand as you establish a regular client base. Commercial cleaning contracts can be as much as $3,000 per month, which means you'll only need a few such contracts to turn a profit. Businesses like medical practices, office buildings, and retail shops will always need cleaning services, even in a down economy.

Creating a Business Plan

Your successful cleaning business must start with a business plan. This should contain:

  • An overview of your company.
  • The services you will offer.
  • The marketing strategies you'll use to attract customers.
  • Budget and cash flow information.
  • An action plan to achieve profitability.

A good business plan will serve as a reference document and a map for your company's success. It also allows you to focus on a niche for your business. Will you focus on targeting homeowners, small retail locations, large office complexes, new homes for sale, or another key area? Knowing your audience well will inform your marketing strategies.

Naming Your Cleaning Business

Your company's name should describe the services you offer clearly. It should also be different from the names of other registered Texas businesses.

Establishing Rates

When deciding how much to charge your customers, factor in the cost of your time and expenses. This includes gas, maintenance, supplies, licenses, insurance, and other overhead costs.

Most cleaning companies use an hourly rate structure. You can call similar companies in your area to find out how much they charge. In general, keeping your rates within the average range will keep you from charging too much or too little.

Obtaining a Business License

You can register your business online through the official Texas state website, as well as order your business license and file and pay income and sales and use taxes. You should also check with the municipality where your business will be located to learn about specific license or permit requirements in your city or county. Failure to adhere to these requirements means that you are operating your business illegally, which carries financial penalties.

Opening a Business Bank Account

Even the smallest businesses must separate company funds from personal funds. Ask your bank or credit union about checking accounts for small business owners.

Purchasing Supplies

When you start your cleaning business, you'll need to budget for one-time and ongoing supply purchases. These include a commercial-grade vacuum cleaner and floor buffer, squeegee, mop and bucket, broom and dustpan, paper towels, toilet brush, furniture polish, wet floor signs, extension cords, cleaning products, trash bags, rags, and rubber gloves. A sturdy cart will help you move your supplies from room to room. Browse a local janitorial supply store to get an idea of these costs.

Insuring Your Company

Insurance is essential for a cleaning business since you will be entering homes, offices, and commercial buildings. If something breaks or you are injured on the job, insurance will cover the associated costs.

Filing Business Taxes

As a small business owner, you should work with a certified public accountant (CPA) to help you file your business tax returns. He or she can help you determine what business costs and expenses can be deducted and answer other questions about your tax filing status.

Your Texas cleaning business may need to charge your customers sales tax and remit these taxes to the state. However, this is not usually necessary for self-employed individuals who are limited to housekeeping and don't take on landscaping or repairs.

As your business grows, your CPA can advise on financial decisions such as whether to buy or lease office space, how to create a retirement plan, and how to fund equipment purchases.


The Association of Residential Cleaning Services International likely has a Texas chapter in your area. This organization provides information about industry discounts, new products and services, tax preparation assistance, regular speakers and events, and other benefits.

If you need help with starting a cleaning business in Texas, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.