Starting a cleaning business in Georgia requires registration of your unique business name with the secretary of state's offiice and filing your federal tax identification number with state and local revenue offices. Locate your business in an area after considering local demographics; according to the 2010 U.S. Census, Georgia ranks 9th in the nation in population with 9.6 million residents, nearly six milion of whom live in the greater Atlanta area. Promote your services by joining associations where you can learn to improve your services while networking with your peers.
Consult a tax professional and choose what type of business to register. In Georgia, you have the option of a corporation, limited liability company, limited liability partnership or sole proprietorship. Check the business name to confirm it is not already in use by using the business filings website of the secretary of state's office.
Obtain a federal employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office and register the number with appropriate state and local agencies in Georgia.
Register your business with the Georgia Department of Revenue and obtain a business license. Apply for a user ID and password online by visiting the website of the Georgia Tax Center. Once your business license has been issued, you can also use this website to file business income tax returns and pay your sales and use taxes.
Join the Georgia chapter of appropriate cleaning business organizations, such as the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI) if you are serving private homes. Commercial cleaners can join the United Professional Cleaning Alliance or the International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association. These organizations help business owners find employees through their on-line job posting forums and educate owners on available discounts for payroll software, pre-employment background checks, and insurance. The local meetings provide network opportunities for area business owners, and the national annual conferences offer seminars for running a successful cleaning business.
Establish wholesale accounts with local janitorial supply companies. You must show your business license and may be required initially to purchase a minimum order. Consult MacRae's Blue Book, which is a national directory for industrial supplies and equipment. Some of the supplies needed to start a cleaning business include: mops, buckets, brooms, dust pans, vacuums, rolling trash cans, and cleaning chemicals.
Hire a janitorial staff to support your client base. Initially you may opt to hire part-time employees until your business is fully established and requires full-time workers. Part-time cleaning jobs are often a good fit for college students since they have flexible hours. Contact the student affairs office at local colleges and look for students with a clean appearance, ability to work day and evening hours, and who have reliable transportation. Your local Chamber of Commerce can also help businesses find employees. Insist on a pre-employment background screening to insure your employees are honest and reliable.
Advertise your services through the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Members may advertise both on its website and in monthly publications. There are also several events held each year when businesses can showcase their services to the general public. Other advertising options include radio spots, home mailing fliers, and working with real estate offices to offer your services to new home buyers.
Jeri Sullivan is a freelance writer with over 14 years experience based in South Carolina. She works for Flextronics International as a materials marketing manager and specializes in writing about business start-ups. Sullivan has a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Carolina.