How to Start a Maintenance Business

Many Americans dream of being their own boss and running their own profitable business. There are many different types of maintenance businesses. This article discusses general small business startup considerations and then some of the different maintenance businesses.

General Business Requirements

You will need to research local business requirements, such as license and insurance coverage. You will also need an employer identification number (EIN) for payroll and income tax paperwork. There will be different requirements if this business is home-based rather than using leased office space. Check with your accountant, local chamber of commerce or small business association for advice. Consider your requirements for bookkeeping, payroll and taxes. Talk with your insurance agent concerning policy coverage. For marketing your business, consider contacting friends and relatives, your neighbors, former co-workers and employers, various social clubs and neighborhood associations.

You can operate a maid service by yourself or with a few employees. You will need skills not only in cleaning but customer relationship building and employee management. You will probably want to start out with residential services and consider commercial work only after you have an established business. If your business grows you can rent a small office with supply storage space.

You could start a janitorial service, but this would require more technical skills and special equipment. You would be doing commercial work on clients' facilities and buildings. The hours would be different from the maid service's because the company’s staff would have gone home before your work started each day. It would be larger work than maid services jobs. You can also look at carpet cleaning services since there are so many commercial buildings that need this service.

You can start a lawn maintenance business if you are physically able to do the work. You would need to obtain equipment and a trailer. There are lots of potential clients, but the initial services marketing would be time-consuming.

If your local area has many residential swimming pools, maintenance would be a potentially viable business. Check with your city hall about a business-operating license. You could do the work yourself or hire experienced employees.

If you are not inclined to develop your own business, you could consider a franchise. They would provide guidance in running the business and also marketing support. This would be a more expensive starting option. There are many maintenance franchises available.


  • Associations, magazines and publications, and franchise providers can also provide additional information.