Setting up a cleaning business - Finder UK

Setting up a cleaning business

In this guide, you'll discover all the necessary steps to setting up a cleaning business in the UK.

Launching a cleaning business in the UK is easier than you think.

However, there is a series of important steps you’ll need to take to do it properly.

This guide reveals the compulsory steps required to set up a cleaning business, plus some useful tips to help ensure your business becomes a roaring success.

What permits or qualifications do you need to start a cleaning business?

You don’t need any formal educational qualifications to become a cleaner, nor to start a cleaning business.

You may need to pass a DBS criminal record check if you’re cleaning in public venues with children or vulnerable people present, such as a school or a care home.

How to register your cleaning business in the UK

You can launch a cleaning business as a sole trader, partnership or a limited company.

With the first two options, you’ll have to register your business with HMRC for tax purposes only. When you set up a company, you’ll also have to register with Companies House.

Here are the basics of how these three options differ from one another:

    • Sole trader. As a sole trader, you and your business are one and the same. You’ll continue to pay income tax and national insurance as an individual. You could be held personally liable for business debts or business lawsuits.
    • Partnership. This can work in the same way as a sole trader set-up, except your business income is shared with your business partner(s).
    • Limited company. Here, you and your business are separate entities – your personal finances are separate and you can’t be held liable for the debts of the business. You’ll pay business tax, plus other taxes, and you’ll have to submit reports to Companies House.

    How to write a business plan for a cleaning business

    You don’t have to write a business plan unless you’re seeking third-party investment.

    Nevertheless, it’s still highly recommended to do this for a cleaning business either way. It’ll help you to create a clear idea of how to rise to success with your business. More importantly, it’ll help you to spot potential hurdles in advance.

    At the very least, a cleaning business plan should include:

    • A company overview. Your business name, the names of all business owners, business address and business type.
    • Your target market. Include what type of cleaning you’ll specialise in: residential, commercial or focusing on cleaning specific parts of a building (the roof or the carpets, for example).
    • Products and services. A full list of what products and services are offered by businesses. How much do each of them cost?
    • Competitors. Who are the main competitors in your niche? What will make customers choose you over them? What is your unique selling point?
    • Marketing plan. Where and how will you market your business? What is your marketing budget for each platform?
    • Financial plan. Use this part of your business plan to estimate the cost of launching your business, monthly running costs and your sales forecasts. It’s recommended to write forecasts for minimum viable sales, average sales and stretch target sales.

    Setting up your cleaning business

    You may not need commercial premises for your cleaning business, depending on its size. You’ll need somewhere to store your cleaning equipment, but for small businesses this could be stored in your home.

    However, to be successful, you’re going to need to build an online presence. That means setting up a website and social media pages.

    All of your offline and online spaces should be branded with your company logo to make it look extra-professional.

    Setting up a cleaning business will usually require a large financial outlay to buy all the equipment you need. So, you’ll need to think about the best way to finance this.

    Open a business bank account

    A business bank account basically works like a personal one – the main difference is that it’s dedicated to your business’s finances. You should therefore expect the same features, such as a debit card, the ability to make and receive payments, an overdraft option, a banking app and so on.


    Use Tide to open a business bank account

    • Award-winning, smart, simple business account
    • The hassle-free account for your business
    • Get your sort code and account number in minutes

    Do owners of a cleaning business need insurance?

    Here are some insurance products you may need when setting up a cleaning business.

    • Public liability insurance (PLI). This protects you against having to pay for legal costs or damages if someone is physically harmed due to the activity of your business.
    • Professional indemnity insurance (PII). This protects you against having to pay for legal costs or damages if someone is harmed by professional negligence within your business.
    • Employers liability insurance (ELI). This protects your business against paying damages when an employee suffers an illness or injury in the workplace.
    • Business contents insurance. This protects you from covering the cost of stolen or damaged business contents.

    Some insurance companies out there offer tailored insurance cover for cleaning businesses, so it’s possible to be covered for all of these scenarios with one product.

    How much should you charge?

    This ultimately depends on demand for your services and what your competitors are charging. Research this and price your services appropriately.

    If your service is better quality than theirs, you should be able to get away with charging more.

    How to market your cleaning business

    The number one rule of marketing is to know your audience and put yourself where they are.

    So, domestic cleaning businesses will market themselves differently to a commercial cleaning business.

    With that said, here are some ideas:

    • Flyers. If you’re a domestic cleaning business, sending out flyers can be useful. Post flyers through letterboxes, pin them up where homeowners are likely to see them.
    • Set up a website. Your website should contain all of your important business information, including what services you offer. Ideally, you’ll be able to optimise the website for terms that your customers will be searching for when looking for a cleaner.
    • Make use of social media. Create social media pages and post content that your audience would want to consume. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about cleaning. An office cleaning company could post any content about improving your office space or even tips for small business owners! Think outside the box and post content your potential customers would enjoy.
    • Have a referral scheme. Happy customers will be pleased to refer you to their friends, especially when you prompt them to do so. Perhaps you could even introduce a referral incentive system.

    We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

    More guides on Finder

    • Best shares to buy now

      We’ve compiled the top trending stocks from leading investment platforms to see which stocks people are buying today.

    • Commercial bridging loan

      Everything you need to know about commercial bridging loans. We look at when they’re useful, how they work and what to be aware of before taking one out.

    • Car insurance and mileage

      Find out why the number of miles you drive impacts the cost of your car insurance premiums.

    • Loans for small businesses affected by coronavirus

      Learn about government support and alternative options for businesses needing finance to help deal with the impact of coronavirus.

    • Why it pays to be a patient investor

      One way to develop healthy investing habits is to make regular contributions to your investment pot over a period of time, instead of investing a large lump sum. This is called “pound-cost averaging”. It’s a way of investing without trying to time the market.

    • Best shares to buy now

      We’ve compiled the top trending stocks from leading investment platforms to see which stocks people are buying today.

    • What are SPACs?

      SPACs are a unique way for companies to float on a stock exchange. Find out how they work and how SPACs differ from IPOs.

    • Jaguar X-Type insurance group

      Find out which insurance group the Jaguar X-Type falls under and how much it costs to insure.

    • Car insurance for 17-year-olds

      Find out the average cost of car insurance for a 17-year-old, the cheapest cars to insure and how to cut down your insurance premium as a young driver.

    Ask an Expert

    You are about to post a question on

    • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
    • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
    • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
    • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

    By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

    Questions and responses on are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
    Go to site