How to Start a Cleaning Business With No Money

A close up of a professional cleaner using a vacuum cleaner on a carpet.
Starting a janitorial cleaning business costs less than you would expect. Hispanolistic / Getty Images

The cleaning industry generally targets the consumer market by providing residential maid service or the commercial market by providing janitorial services for businesses. Some cleaning businesses specialize in areas like move in/move out cleanup, post-renovation cleanup, or window, carpet or upholstery cleaning. Not only is a residential cleaning service the simplest kind of cleaning business to start in terms of the necessary cleaning skills, it requires much less equipment starting a janitorial service or niche cleaning service [source: Entrepreneur].

Here are a few ways to start your business with no money:


  • Use credit cards.
  • Borrow from friends and family. Remember to be professional and put everything in writing.
  • Find a partner who's willing to invest in the business.
  • Apply for funding from the Small Business Administration and other government programs. There are special financing options available for women, veterans and minorities.

[source: Entrepreneur].

Once you have some start-up money, here's what you need to do:

  • Decide what kind of cleaning company you want to run.
  • Decide whether you're going to do the cleaning yourself or hire cleaners, and hire employees if necessary.
  • Get insurance for your company.
  • Find out if you need a license or if you need to get bonded, and do so if necessary [source: FabJob].
  • Set up a bank account for your business.
  • Meet with an accountant to find out how to run the financial part of the business.
  • Set up an office. You might want to find out whether zoning ordinances and land restrictions allow you to run the business out of your home [source: Home Business Center].
  • Print up business cards and marketing materials.
  • Advertise your business to get customers.

Cleaning businesses generate revenue very quickly. Reinvest those initial profits into your business to help it grow.