How to Obtain a Business License in House Cleaning

by Rose Smith; Updated September 26, 2017
States require businesses to apply for licensing and or permits.

Every business requires one or more federal, state or local permits or licenses to operate, according to Licenses range from a basic business license to specific permits. While New York requires a sole proprietorship fill out a Certificate of Conducting Business as a Sole Proprietor form, New Mexico requires applicants to obtain a tax ID number before applying for a business license. Each jurisdiction differs in its requirements.

Step 1
Call the local licensing bureau.

Contact the licensing department in your area. Inquire about what paperwork you need to apply for a business license for a cleaning service.

Step 2
Ask the licensing department if there are any special licenses required.

Find out what the licensing fees are. Fees range from $10 in some jurisdictions all the way up to $75 in others. Also inquire about how they accept the fees--cash, check, money order or credit card. If the agency requires a check or money order, make sure you find out whom to make it out to.

Step 3
In some jurisdictions, forms can be filled out online.

Request the form or forms required in your jurisdiction. Ask whether the forms you need to complete for your cleaning company can be filled out online or mailed to you. Some states allow you to apply online. Others require you pick the forms up at your licensing bureau., an official site of the U.S. Small Business Administration, has a state listing of licensing requirements.

Step 4
Carefully fill out each form in full.

Follow the instructions provided on the forms to fill them out properly. Call your licensing bureau and ask questions if you have trouble filling out any of the forms. If you have employees, you will probably be required to fill out additional forms. If you want to put up a sign for your cleaning company, you may need a signage permit.

Step 5
Some jurisdictions require checks or money orders for fees.

Make sure you have the fees in the form you need. If your jurisdiction requires a money order, you'll need to have it properly filled out. Nothing is more frustrating than making a trip to the licensing bureau with cash in hand, only to find out you need a check or money order. Advance preparation will save you a lot of headaches.


  • Kate Donnelly, owner of Molly Maid in Las Vegas, Nevada, recommends getting $500,000 in liability insurance from a business insurance company. As a sole proprietor, you're personally liable for any losses. Donnelly advises not to skip this important step. Contact a business insurance company in your area to get your policy started.


About the Author

Rose Smith has been writing professionally since 1992. Her how-to and relationship articles have appeared in "Family Circle" and several other national publications. She has also written the books "Sizzling Monogamy" and "101 Ways to Date Your Mate." Smith holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Illinois State University.

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