Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to start a cleaning business in Alaska. Starting a cleaning business can be an extremely challenging and profitable endeavor to entrepreneurs.
The cleaning business industry is estimated to work 49$ billion per year with increasing tendencies.
Unlike most businesses, a cleaning business is fairly easy to start and doesn’t require a large sum of capital or expertise, especially if starting as a sole proprietor with a home based business.
The cleaning industry offers two major markets. Consumer oriented services and Commercial cleaning services. Each has its own requirements in both expertise, skill and of course, investment. It’s generally easier to start offering B2C (Business to Consumer) services, cleaning households, offices, doing limited carpet or window cleaning. Commercial services require better and expensive equipment as well as manpower, vehicles, insurance costs etc.
So, how to start a cleaning business in Alaska?
Follow the following guidelines on how to start a cleaning business in Alaska and make sure you ask the local authorities for clarifications and further guidelines. Also, it’s highly advised that you consult with an attorney and an accountant prior to starting your cleaning business in Alaska. The process can sometimes get a little bit complicated and expert help is needed to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings.
1. Learn as much as possible for the cleaning industry
Doing thorough research will help you to carefully plan your business. You can start by reading our full, 5 part guide on starting a cleaning business. Go ahead and begin reading from Part I, Industry Overview and Personal Qualifications. The rest of the site has some pretty useful information as well, like a complete guide on getting cleaning contracts. Bookmark this site, subscribe and keep coming back for more information on starting and operating your cleaning business. Another guide we highly suggest to get started can be found here.
2. Select a Location
Selecting a location for your cleaning business is a very important aspect of your start-up. Most cleaning businesses choose to establish next to neighborhoods that are rich in households and hopefully offices. Proximity is an ally in your client acquisition efforts. You should be aware of the fact that special zoning regulations may apply so make sure you consult with Alaska’s authorities regarding your ideal location.
3. Picking a legal structure for your Cleaning Business
You must understand the various business legal structures available and find the perfect match for your cleaning business. Most cleaning businesses start under sole proprietorship or as L.L.Cs. To determine which legal structure is best, you should consult with your attorney. Be prepared to fully explain the purpose and volume of your business; each legal structure has its own benefits, requirements, restrictions and taxing regulations. You can get a first clue about the matter in our business legal structures post.
4. Getting a name for your cleaning Business
The first and obvious step is to come up with a great name for your cleaning business. You can start by visiting our cleaning business names article. You need to make sure your cleaning business name doesn’t violate any trademark or copyright laws or other state and federal laws.
5. Business name registration and Business Licensing in Alaska
After you come up with a great name for your cleaning business you need to get in touch with the local authorities of the State of Alaska to register that name and to issue a business license for you to legally operate in Alaska. You can visit Alaska’s Division of Corporations for more information. The state of Alaska accepts online purchases or renews of business licenses. You can find their contact information as well as online registration forms and fees here.
6. Get a Business Bank Account
As required by federal law, you’ll need to open a business bank account to distinguish your business from your personal transactions. This step comes after registering and licensing your business.
7. Get Insurance
This step is mandatory. You should immediately get liability insurance while it’s highly suggested that you get bonding insurance as well. Getting bonding insurance or not may have an impact in your business relations; some businesses won’t hire you if you do NOT have bonding insurance.
8. Apply online for an Employer Identification Number with the IRS
An EIN (Employer Identification Number) is used to identify business entities very similar to the FTIN, the Federal Tax Identification Number. You can apply for an EIN online by visiting the IRS website.
9. State of Alaska Taxes
The state of Alaska requires businesses to register and file for state taxes withholding. You can learn more about Alaska’s tax policies by visiting the Alaska Department of Revenue – Tax Division. It is there you’ll find all the necessary information as well as the forms you need to fill to comply with State Policies. You’ll also need to comply with the State’s policies on the Worker’s Compensation Insurance as well as the Unemployment Insurance Tax. You’ll find detailed contact information should you need to contact the authorities.
10. Report New Hires and Re-hires
You are required to report both new hires and re-hires within a period of 20 days of the hire or re-hire date. To do that, visit the Alaska New Hire Reporting Center.
11. Alaska State Law on Recordkeeping
In Alaska, all payroll records must be kept for a period of three years at least. These records should include the following data:
- The employee’s name, address and occupation.
- The employee’s regular rate of pay and the basis on which wages, salaries or compensations are paid.
- The day of the week and the specific time of that day that the employee’s workweek begins.
- The hours the employee has been working throughout the day and week as well as the amount paid in each pay period.
- The date in which payment to the employee was issued.
While operating your business in Alaska, make sure that you comply with all state and federal laws. You should know that there may be Environmental Permits required and clearing that up with the local authorities is a must prior to starting your business. You should also a look at our guide about Federal and State Law Obligations of a Cleaning Business to get a first idea on what’s needed to legally start and operate a cleaning business in the US.
Hopefully you enjoyed this guide on how to start a cleaning business in Alaska, good luck in your endeavors!