How to Start a Janitorial Business in Minnesota


People and even Mother Nature leave in their wake a certain amount of mess and garbage. A janitorial business exists on its ability to deal with such mess and clean everything from rooms to garbage bins. Most janitorial businesses usually deal with cleaning up of offices and homes, the two major market groups.

An ever present need for janitorial services has resulted in a competitive industry in Minnesota, with the 2002 Economic Census recording 969 janitorial businesses that hire employees. In Minnesota, as in any other state starting a janitorial business from scratch or investing in a franchise can be financially and professionally rewarding. The opportunities that a janitorial business presents are unmatched when compared to other industries states Entrepreneur Magazine in its Cleaning Service start-up guide.

Things Needed

  • Office space for business
  • List of potential customers
  • Market niche and customer demographic
  • Appropriate vehicle
  • Equipment required
  • Effective time management
  • Calculate cleaning materials needed
  • Marketing Plan
  • Acceptable profit margin and pricing
  • Appropriate government licenses

Startup Phase

Step 1

Identify the niche in the market you want to target and the location of your customer base, as this influences your profits. You can offer janitorial services to offices, schools, colleges, small businesses and local restaurants. Cleaning private homes or providing a maid service usually does not require specialized cleaning equipment or solutions, is cheaper to set up than a janitorial service and can be operated from home.

A full fledged janitorial business does bring in more profits but the associated startup costs are more. So decide whether, you want to start your janitorial business from a home based office or have enough capital to invest in renting an office. Setting up and operating a janitorial business from a spare room in the house is the most cost effective way to start up and is becoming increasingly popular. At this point, consider hiring an employee if you cannot work at night as most offices require their premises cleaned during the night.

Step 2

Whether you are working out of one room in your home or have rented an office get the appropriate licenses. Several residential neighborhoods have specific rules governing the operating of home based businesses and some even prohibit them.

Step 3

Minnesota law requires sole proprietors of businesses to obtain federal and tax identification numbers for all employees. Additionally all necessary licenses and permits should be obtained from the relevant authority.

Operational Phase

Step 1

Develop an effective marketing plan and consider what type of image you want your business to portray. Everything from your invoices, leaflets, equipment and vehicles goes towards building a favorable impression in the minds of customers.

Step 2

Ensure you have the right equipment to handle jobs such as shampooing of carpets or rent them.

Step 3

If your janitorial business handles niche jobs you might have to get additional training to use special solutions and equipment.


Effective time management is all important in a janitorial business as described in “Work with Passion: How to Do What You Love for a Living” By Nancy Anderson, because in this business if you don’t know how to clean you will go broke.


Pricing of your janitorial service will usually vary according to the type of job and quantity of work involved. When setting up a janitorial business, do not to rush through the pricing process as it is a competitive industry and mistakes can be costly. Move slowly through pricing, especially if you have no previous experience with pricing. High prices can cause you to lose customers while very low prices will eat into your profits.

Key Concepts

  • Benefits of Setting up a janitorial business
  • Location of office
  • Janitorial service always in demand
  • Effective management of time
  • Pricing


  1. How to Start a Cleaning Service
  3. 101 Great Ways to Earn Extra Cash; Michelle Anton, Jennifer Basye Sande; 2006
  5. Industry Statistics Sampler NAICS 561720 Janitorial Services


  1. How to Start a Cleaning Service