How to Start a Window Cleaning Business

Almost every building has windows, from residential to commercial. And almost every owner of those buildings hates cleaning those windows; not many individuals or businesses have the proper equipment, or the time, to clean their own windows. By starting your own window cleaning business, you will be providing a much needed service and become your own boss.

There are a few very important steps involved before you actually put squeegee to glass. One of the first is determining what type of license you’ll need for the areas where you’ll be working. At the least, you’ll need a small business license and, depending on your location, licenses or permits for operation. The U.S. Small Business Administration website provides a free search to help determine exactly what type of license is needed. Without proper licensing, you run the risk of fines from local or state agencies.

The next step is adequate insurance, specifically a business owner’s policy, known in the insurance trade as a BOP. The insurance can be tailored to cover your equipment, vehicles and any employees you may hire. It also can be structured to cover any injuries you suffer on the job. Without adequate insurance, any loss of equipment or injury sustained on the job could result in a substantial financial loss. You can start by doing an online search for insurance agents in your area that offer small business owner’s insurance.

Consider your business name and how you’ll attract clients. Choose something simple yet memorable. Try to include “window” and “cleaning” in the business name, so potential clients know exactly what you do. Once you have a name, have business cards printed. It’s very easy and inexpensive to order business cards online. Make sure your cards are easy to read and contain all the information clients need to reach you. You can pass out cards to family and friends or ask to leave them at hardware stores or places where homeowners frequently visit. You can post cards on bulletin boards at grocery stores or laundromatscontinued.

You can also list your business with your local chamber of commerce and with online small business listing sites, either through free sites such as or, or on paid sites, such as AT&T’s, depending on your budget.

Supplies are next on the list. The basics for a window cleaning business are washer sleeves in sizes ranging from 6 inches to 30 inches, along with handles and other accessories. You’ll also need squeegees in the same lengths. Additional equipment will include cleaning solutions, scrapers, steel wool and a belt and holster to carry equipment. Finally, you’ll need ladders in several different heights to accommodate jobs on multi-story buildings. Again, an online search for suppliers can help you find the best deals.

You’ll want to learn how to quote a job for your clients. One of the quickest ways to determine how much to charge and to know what your competition is charging is to do an online search of window cleaners in your area. Most offer online quotes or detail their quotation process. You can determine your prices based on what others are charging.

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