The Lone Star State of Texas does not require any general licensing or business permit requirements for starting a cleaning business. However, it is recommended to check with local governments at the city and county levels for information on licensing or permit requirements for your particular type of business. General information related to setting up a small business in Texas is available on the state website Texas Wide Open For Business. When it comes to getting new customers, word of mouth is often the best way to go.
But if you're just starting out, you'll need to do some publicity. You can advertise your cleaning business through your own website, posting flyers in public spaces, Craigslist, or the phone book. When doing so, make sure to be precise and careful when describing special discounts or saying that something is free. If you offer something for free, you must indicate what the conditions are; if you offer something at a discount, it must actually be cheaper than your regular price. If you operate a pool cleaning, concierge, custody, or maintenance service, you should collect sales and use tax.
Apply for a sales tax permit online. Insurance is essential for a cleaning business, as you'll be entering homes, offices, and commercial buildings. Unlike many other types of companies, such as some professional or consulting firms, your cleaning company will operate in other people's offices or homes, and your employees are likely to be physically active. Most cleaning companies have employees, and in many cases, turnover can be relatively frequent. The International Association for Residential Cleaning Services is likely to have a Texas branch in your area.
Businesses such as doctor's offices, office buildings, and retail stores will always need cleaning services, even in a struggling economy. Cleaning offices or houses may not be the most dangerous activity, but people who are in charge of cleaning may be working with cleaning products that are a little toxic, and when people move around a home or office, accidents can occur. A business must obtain a permit from the Texas State Comptroller's Office to sell tangible movable property, lease personal property, or sell a taxable service in Texas. You should also check with the municipality where your business will be located for information on specific licensing or permit requirements in your city or county. You'll find additional information about worker health and safety through the Texas Occupational Safety and Health Consultation Program (OSHCON), which is under the Texas Department of Insurance. Starting an office or home cleaning business in the state of Texas has its own set of legal considerations.
For a service contract to be legally binding, (a) you and your customer must agree on the subject of the contract (there must be an agreement of ideas) and (b) there must be an exchange of value (also known as consideration in the case of a cleaning company, which usually involves the exchange of cleaning services for money). If you need help starting a cleaning business in Texas, you can post your legal need on the UpCounsel marketplace. Keep in mind that there are some labor laws that may be particularly relevant to cleaning companies, such as those related to minimum hourly wage, child labor, and the documentation required to prove your fitness to work. While you could operate your cleaning company as a sole proprietorship or partnership, you should consider using a legal form that protects you from personal liability, such as a joint stock company or limited liability company. Different customers may have different ideas about the exact services your cleaning company will offer.
Your Texas cleaning company may need to collect sales tax from its customers and remit these taxes to the state.
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