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How to Start a Cleaning Business in Wisconsin?

How to Start a Cleaning Business in Wisconsin

Are you considering starting a cleaning business in Wisconsin? In this guide, we’ll give you valuable tips and insights for a successful startup, as well as with the important licensing and registration requirements for cleaning businesses in Wisconsin.

Starting a cleaning business can be a rewarding and potentially profitable business endeavour, but it may also come with challenges or risks. Our goal with this guide is to help you avoid common pitfalls and set a strong foundation for your business’s success. This guide caters to everyone in the cleaning industry — whether you’re a newcomer or a skilled cleaner looking to establish your own business. Let’s get started!

Understanding the Cleaning Industry in Wisconsin

Starting a cleaning business in Wisconsin can be a lucrative venture if you understand the specifics of the cleaning industry in the state. Identifying the steps involved in starting a cleaning company and the specific regulations that apply in Wisconsin can help you build a successful and sustainable business.

Steps to Start a Cleaning Company

The first step to starting a cleaning company in Wisconsin is to create a detailed business plan that outlines your goals, target audience, and services. You should also come up with a business name and register your business with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. After registering, you will need to obtain the necessary licenses and permits to start your cleaning operation.

Starting a Janitorial Service in Wisconsin

If you plan on providing janitorial services, you’ll need to obtain a janitorial services license from the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. This license is required for businesses that provide cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitation services to commercial properties in Wisconsin.

Cleaning Business Licenses and Permits in WisconsinCostDuration
Business Registration$30Renewed annually
Janitorial Services License$100Valid for 2 years
Employer Identification Number (EIN)FreeRetained for life

Cleaning Industry Regulations in Wisconsin

The cleaning industry in Wisconsin is subject to specific regulations designed to protect workers and consumers. Cleaning companies are required to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards for employee safety, along with maintaining proper insurance coverage to protect workers and clients. It’s essential to review and adhere to all applicable regulations to avoid potential legal issues and protect your business.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

If you’re planning to start a cleaning business in Wisconsin, it’s essential to understand the registration and licensing process. To begin, you’ll need to first register your business with the state of Wisconsin through the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. You can do this online through the department’s website or with the help of a registered agent.

Next, you’ll need to obtain the necessary licenses and permits to operate legally. The type of license or permit required will depend on the specific services your cleaning business offers, as well as the county or city where you plan to operate.

For example, if your cleaning business involves the use of pesticides or other chemicals, you’ll need to obtain a pesticide applicator license. Additionally, some counties and cities in Wisconsin require cleaning businesses to obtain a local business license or permit.

It’s important to note that failure to comply with licensing and registration requirements can result in fines or legal action against your business.

Creating a Business Plan for Your Cleaning Business

A successful cleaning business starts with a well-crafted business plan. Your business plan should outline your company’s objectives, target audience, and financial projections, among other critical aspects.

Market Analysis

To create a comprehensive business plan, start by conducting a thorough market analysis. This analysis should involve researching your competition, identifying potential customers, and assessing the demand for cleaning services in Wisconsin. Use this information to shape your business strategy and stand out in a crowded market.

Target Audience Identification

Defining your target audience is a vital step in developing your business plan. Consider the types of clients you want to serve, such as residential or commercial customers, and tailor your services and marketing efforts accordingly. Understanding your target audience will also help you set competitive prices and generate profitable leads.

Financial Projections

Creating accurate financial projections is critical to the success of your cleaning business. Consider your startup costs, ongoing expenses, and potential revenue streams to establish achievable financial targets. Be sure to revisit and adjust these projections regularly to ensure your business stays on track.

SWOT Analysis

Another important aspect of your business plan is conducting a SWOT analysis. This analysis should evaluate your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Use this information to develop strategies to capitalize on strengths, mitigate weaknesses, and take advantage of potential opportunities while managing risks.

By crafting a thorough business plan that includes market analysis, target audience identification, financial projections, and SWOT analysis, you can establish a strong foundation for your cleaning business and set yourself up for success.

Effective Marketing Strategies for Cleaning Companies

Once your cleaning business is up and running, the next crucial step is to promote it to the right audience. In Wisconsin, there are numerous marketing strategies that you can take advantage of to grow your cleaning business and reach more customers. Here are some of the most effective marketing strategies worth considering:

1. Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail marketing involves sending promotional material, such as flyers, postcards, or brochures, directly to potential customers via post. This method can be highly effective as it allows you to target specific neighborhoods or demographics that are more likely to need cleaning services.

2. Digital Marketing

Digital marketing involves using online platforms, such as social media, email marketing, or Google ads, to promote your cleaning business. This method is highly targeted and cost-effective, allowing you to reach your ideal customers with precision and track your ROI effectively.

3. Referral Marketing

Referral marketing involves asking your existing customers to refer your cleaning business to their family, friends, or colleagues who may need your services. Word-of-mouth recommendations can be incredibly powerful and can help you grow your customer base organically.

4. Community Events and Partnerships

Participating in community events, such as charity events or festivals, is an excellent way to showcase your cleaning business while getting involved with the local community. You can also consider partnering with complementary businesses, such as real estate agencies or property management companies, to expand your marketing reach.

5. Offer Competitive Pricing and Incentives

Offering competitive pricing and attractive incentives, such as discounts or free trials, can help you stand out among your competitors and attract more customers. Make sure to promote these offers through multiple marketing channels.

In conclusion, implementing effective marketing strategies for your cleaning business is crucial to attract and retain customers in Wisconsin’s highly competitive cleaning industry. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, experimenting with various marketing approaches and analyzing the results can help you find the most effective marketing mix for your unique business needs.

Growth Strategies and Profitable Cleaning Business Ideas

As your cleaning business gains momentum, exploring growth strategies and new avenues for profitability becomes crucial. Diversifying your services and targeting niche markets are effective ways to expand your business and increase revenue. Here are some profitable cleaning business ideas to help you take your cleaning company to the next level:

1. Green Cleaning

With the increased demand for environmentally friendly products and services, eco-friendly cleaning has become a profitable niche market. Offering green cleaning services can differentiate your business from competitors and attract new clients who prioritize sustainability.

2. Specialized Cleaning

Specializing in a specific type of cleaning service can also be a profitable strategy. Deep cleaning services for commercial kitchens, post-construction cleaning, and high-end residential cleaning are examples of specialized cleaning services that can generate high profits.

3. Maintenance Services

Adding maintenance services like carpet cleaning, window washing, and janitorial services to your repertoire can increase your revenue streams and boost client retention. Offering bundled packages that include maintenance services can provide added value to your clients and make your business more profitable.

4. Franchising

Franchising your cleaning business can be an effective growth strategy. This allows you to expand your business without the capital investment of opening new locations yourself. With the right support system, franchising can be a lucrative way to grow your cleaning business.

Tip: Before committing to franchising, make sure your business is profitable, has a strong brand reputation, and a well-defined system that can be replicated in other locations.

5. Partnership

Partnering with other businesses can also be a profitable growth strategy. Collaborating with real estate agencies, property management firms, and other commercial businesses that require regular cleaning services can help you expand your client base and increase revenue.

6. Social Media Marketing

In the digital age, social media marketing can be a powerful tool to grow your cleaning business quickly. Through platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, you can target specific audiences and generate leads. Creating engaging content, sharing client testimonials, and offering promotions can help you attract new clients and retain existing ones.


Starting a cleaning business in Wisconsin can be a fruitful endeavor with the right planning and execution. As we have discussed, understanding the industry landscape, complying with licensing and registration requirements, and having a comprehensive business plan are crucial steps to consider.

Effective marketing strategies and exploring new avenues for growth and profitability can help your cleaning business thrive in Wisconsin’s competitive market. Always strive to provide high-quality services and build strong relationships with your clients, which can lead to positive reviews and referrals.

Remember, success in the cleaning industry requires hard work, dedication, and a passion for providing exceptional cleaning services. By following the steps outlined in this guide and implementing smart business practices, you are on your way to establishing a successful cleaning business in Wisconsin.


How do I start a cleaning business in Wisconsin?

To start a cleaning business in Wisconsin, you will need to follow several steps. These include registering your business, obtaining the necessary licenses and permits, creating a business plan, and implementing marketing strategies. It’s important to research and comply with the regulations specific to the cleaning industry in Wisconsin to ensure a successful startup.

What are some cleaning business startup tips?

Some essential tips for starting a cleaning business include identifying a target market, creating a strong brand identity, investing in quality cleaning equipment and supplies, employing competent and trustworthy staff, offering competitive pricing, and delivering exceptional customer service. Building relationships with clients and seeking referrals can also be beneficial for growing your business.

What licensing requirements apply to cleaning businesses in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, cleaning businesses must register with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions and obtain a Wisconsin Seller’s Permit if selling tangible goods. Depending on the services offered, additional licenses or certifications may be required. It is recommended to visit the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services website to ensure compliance with all licensing requirements.

How do I create a business plan for my cleaning business?

Creating a business plan for your cleaning business is crucial for setting clear goals and identifying strategies for success. Your plan should include an executive summary, business description, market analysis, competitor analysis, marketing and sales strategies, operational details, and financial projections. Consider seeking guidance from a business advisor or utilizing online resources to help you create a comprehensive business plan.

What marketing strategies can I use for my cleaning business?

Effective marketing strategies for cleaning businesses in Wisconsin include creating a professional website, utilizing social media platforms, networking with local businesses and organizations, distributing flyers or brochures in targeted areas, offering referral incentives, and leveraging online review platforms. Additionally, investing in Best SEO Company in Wisconsin can help improve your online visibility and attract more customers.

Are there any profitable cleaning business ideas in Wisconsin?

Yes, there are several profitable cleaning business ideas in Wisconsin. Some niche cleaning markets that have shown growth potential in recent years include eco-friendly or green cleaning services, specialized post-construction cleaning, commercial kitchen cleaning, and medical facility cleaning. Exploring these niche markets and tailoring your services to meet their specific needs can help you stand out and increase your profitability.

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