What Do I Need to Start a Janitorial Company in California?

A California janitorial company offers cleaning services for businesses, schools, public institutions and hospitals. Janitors often work for a larger company or run an independently owned business. Janitors offer a service, so business owners must follow California business regulations because the business is exchanging taxable services for monetary compensation.

General California Business License

A janitorial business operating in California must register the business with the county clerk's office located in the county where the janitorial business operates. A janitorial owner must fill out and submit a fictitious name application to register the janitorial business with the county. The information is then submitted to the state to ensure that no other business operates with the same name of the janitorial business in California.

Employees and Taxes

Additional paperwork is required if the janitorial operator requires help from employees. Employed workers must be verified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, so the owner must prepare an I-9 form for each of the newly employed individuals. In addition, the owner also must use the online IRS application portal to get an employer identification tax number, so she may file proper and legal business taxes.

Local Permits

There are no specific permits associated with running a janitorial business in California. However, some permits may be desired by a janitorial owner, especially if he plans to advertise the business using signs and get an alarm permit to protect the supplies and machines during off-hours. A signage permit is required to advertise using local and community signs and is issued by the local California department of zoning and planning. In addition, an alarm permit is issued by the county’s police or fire department.

Insurance

A janitorial business operator should consider getting insurance to protect the business from any potential legal damage a client may file. If the business is accused of stealing or breaking items during cleaning services after hours in a business building, the insurance may protect the business from potential damages.

References

About the Author

Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.