Welcome to our guide on how to start a cleaning business in Delaware, US.
Starting a cleaning business in Delaware can turn out to be a very profitable endeavor for entrepreneurs. The industry offers a vast, $49 billion market to cash in and that’s likely to rise drastically in the years to come.
This guide will start with some basic information about the State of Delaware and the economic climate there in order to give you the spherical view necessary to make an informed decision.
The State of Delaware – An Overview
Delaware is located on the Atlantic Coast, Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. It abuts with Maryland to the south and west, with Pennsylvania to the north and with New Jersey to the northeast. The state has three counties, New Castle, Kent and Sussex. Delaware is the sixth least populous state with 897,934 inhabitants (2010 measurement) but also the sixth most densely populated among the 50 states. The capital city of Delaware is Dover, the second largest city in the state with a population of approximately 37.000. The most populous city of the state is Townsend, located in New Castle County. Not a single city has a population over 100.000 though.
Delaware is the second least expensive of the 50 states. The gross state product of Delaware was $62.3 billion back in 2010 with the per capita personal income reaching the $34,199 mark which ranked the state 9th in the U.S. The average weekly wage was $937 back in 2005, ranking 7th in the nation. The average sales price for homes varies from county to county with Sussex being the most expensive and Kent the least expensive. Homes start at $178,000 and may go up to $300,000 (2011). Considering the per capita income metric, the wealthiest places in Delaware are:
- Greenville: $83,223
- Henlopen Acres: $82,091
- South Bethany: $53,624
- Dewey Beach: $51,958
- Fenwick Island: $44,415
- Bethany Beach: $41,306
- Hockessin: $40,516
- North Star: $39,677
- Rehoboth Beach: $38,494
- Ardentown: $35,577
Overall, Delaware is considered to be an ideal state for doing business. Notably, 63% of the Fortune 500 and more than 50% of all U.S. publicly traded companies are incorporated in the state. That’s mostly because of Delaware’s business-friendly corporation law.
Step-By-Step Guide: How To Start A Cleaning Business In Delaware
1. Learn the industry inside out and come up with a plan. Even if it sounds and is obvious, many people overlook the importance of familiarizing themselves with the industry they’re about to join. These are the people that either fail or don’t ever reach their full potential. You’re in the best website in the world regarding cleaning business start-ups, tips, supplies and resources so take full advantage of that. Bookmark us, follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook to stay up to date with the latest in the industry and don’t forget to sign-up for our newsletter. Hundreds of your competitors already do so! After you read this guide on how to start a cleaning business in Delaware, make sure you have a look out our full, comprehensive cleaning business start-up guide. It’s a 5-part guide that will let you in everything you need to know about the industry, starting and promoting your business, getting clients and more.
Then, you’ll need to make a plan. It is wise to keep all the resources you find online organized. Make a dedicated folder in your browser bookmarks and save all the sites you find with useful information for future references. Create a new desktop folder to save related to your cleaning business start-up files, forms and everything else you find online that’s worth saving. Make a list and write down everything that you need to do. Do not make the mistake believing you’ll remember everything when needed.
2. Business Start-Up Resources in Delaware. Starting a cleaning business in Delaware is very much like starting any other business. In Delaware, you can find both free and paid business training and counseling. Here’s a few of them for your consideration:
The State of Delaware – Entrepreneurial Services: This is a government service; key features include the evaluation of your business idea, guidance, support and resources.
Delaware Small Business & Technology Development Center: DSBTC offers free business start-up counseling. There are free training classes throughout Delaware.
Service Corps of Retired Executives: Score offers free counseling, mentoring as well as low cost workshops. You can find them in Wilmington.
YWCA Delaware: This is a non-profit organization helping women with business start-ups and financial advice.
You may also consider visiting the following resources:
SBA.gov Online Business Training: You can find various advice here on starting, managing and financing a business. There’s plenty of resources available, videos, forms etc.
Association of Small Business Development Centers: Another valuable resource for small business training.
3. Financing your Cleaning Business Start-up in Delaware. Financing your start-up may be one of your concerns. You can get some financing ideas on Part II of our Start-Up guide. To get more information on financing your business with specific loan packages, you can visit Business.USA.gov. The state of Delaware offers carious business financing resources, centered around low collateral loan programs for small businesses. You can learn more about such opportunities here. Another option is to check the First State Community Loan Fund, based in Wilmington. It’s a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution providing small businesses with financing opportunities in Delaware. Such loans may go up to $50.000.
4. Choose a location for your Cleaning Business. Choosing the right location to base your cleaning business is of critical importance. You’ll want to get to know your clientele, their income capacity and several other factors in order to make a good choice. You can get some tips and advice by reading our article: Choosing a Business Location for your Cleaning Company. The local authorities in Delaware, DEDO in particular, can help you with site selection. They utilize CoStar Group’s database for property searches and best of all, they can do it all with confidentiality. Learn more here.
5. Coming up with a name for your Cleaning Business. Coming up with a great name is your first task. It is advised that you take your time with this process as your cleaning business is, after all, what you name it. The name you choose will follow you through your entire business career so make sure you get it right at first. Even though you could change the name down the road, it certainly wouldn’t be wise to do so having spent time and money branding it. You can get tips, advice and root cleaning business name ideas here: Cleaning Business Names.
6. Registering the name you’ve chosen and licensing your business. Having chosen a name for your cleaning business, you have to check with the United States Patent And Trademark Office to determine availability and possible copyright or trademark violations. Make sure your chosen name does not conflict with another entity’s trademarks / copyrights. Should you find that it does, you’ll have to come up with a different name. Registering your business name is a vital step; you’ll be making sure that nobody else can use the name you came up with. Furthermore, registration allows you to file for lawsuits as a business. Your next step, even though optional, is to register a trademark. Doing so will further protect your business name, much like other cleaning businesses are protected against you from the USPTO. To begin your business name registration, you can visit Delaware’s One Stop Business Registration and Licensing System. You’ll be filling for a DBA (Doing Business As) which will allow you to run a cleaning business with a name other than your personal name (should you choose so). To file for a fictitious name (DBA), you will have to determine the legal structure of your cleaning company first (see: Choosing a legal structure for your cleaning business).
For a general partnership or a sole proprietorship registration in Delaware, you’ll have to visit your county’s Superior Court Prothonotary’s Office. More information here. If you’re starting as a Limited Partnership, a Corporation, an LLC or an LLP, you’ll have to register with the Delaware Secretary of State.
Your business may (or may not) need specific licenses or permits to operate legally in the state of Delaware. The state’s one stop business registration and licensing system will guide you through the process of licensing your cleaning business and getting any special permits that may apply.
7. Register the respective domain name. In order to secure your cleaning business’ presence on the Internet, you should immediately register the respective domain name from either GoDaddy.com or Namecheap.com. That way you’ll have it available when you decide to build a website to promote your brand and services and acquire more leads as a result. Domains cost as little as $5 and up to $20 a year, depending on the TLD (whether it’s a .com or a .biz domain for example). When considering domain names, make sure you go for a .com if available and if that’s not available, consider .net, .biz, .us. Securing your web presence is extremely important considering that a staggering 97% of US citizens search online in order to find local businesses.
8. Get your EIN (Employer Identification Number). The EIN, also known as the Federal Tax Identification Number, is used to identify your cleaning company as an entity. Every business needs an EIN in order to operate legally in the United States. Applying for an EIN is easy. You can apply online, by direct mail, fax or even via the telephone. Visit the IRS for more.
9. Taxation in Delaware. The next step into starting a cleaning business in Delaware, is to file for taxation with Delaware’s Department of Revenue. You may be required to register for several tax identification numbers depending on your legal structure like personal income taxes, employment taxes, self-employment taxes and excise taxes. You are also required to pay for the Unemployment Insurance Tax. Registering for business taxes with the State of Delaware is easy. The state incorporates a One Stop Business Registration and Licensing System. Which means that you use Delaware’s system to both register the name of your business and register for taxes as well as for special permits / licenses that may apply.
10. Get a bank account for your cleaning business. This step is required in order for the federal and state authorities to be able to tell your personal from your business transactions. Opening a business bank account will require a, relatively, small initial deposit as well as the completion of the above steps.
11. Get insured. This is another important step on your way to start a cleaning business. You are obliged by law to get liability insurance and pay the Worker’s Compensation Insurance. It is strongly recommended that you get bonding insurance as well.
12. Reporting Re-Hires and New Hires in Delaware. Should you hire a new employee or re-hire summon to work in your business, you are required to report that to Delaware’s New Hire Reporting program. Click here for more information.
13. Comply with Delaware’s wage and hour record keeping requirements. As an employer, you are obliged by law to keep records for three years for each and every employee containing the following information:
- First and Last name, the employee’s address and occupation.
- Pay rate and the amount paid to the employee each period.
- Wages paid and wage scales.
- Hours worked for each day and each week.
14. Further requirements. It is recommended that you consult with the local authorities about all the federal and state laws you and your cleaning business must comply with. Asking a lawyer is a great idea too. To have a first look on some fundamental federal and state law requirements of your cleaning business, click here.
This concludes our guide on how to start a cleaning business in Delaware. We highly recommend that you also read our step-by-step guide on starting a cleaning business to get a better look inside the industry as a whole. If you’re looking to jump start into this business, we recommend you also read this.