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Window Cleaning Business License: What's Required by State
Posted on Wednesday, August 9th 2023


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Window Cleaning Business License: What's Required by State

Window cleaning is not a nationally licensed profession. Therefore, it’s not required to get a window cleaning license to own and operate your business. However, to open a window cleaning business, license requirements include business formation, employee, tax, and operational licenses and permits, which vary by state.

Here is an overview of the licenses and permits you should anticipate needing to launch a window cleaning business.

Business Formation

You need to choose a form of business by which you will operate your window cleaning business. License requirements or business formation requirements will vary depending on the format you choose:
  • Sole Proprietorship or Partnership: With these forms of business, you choose a business name which you then register with the state.
  • Corporation or Limited Liability Corporations (LLC): With these forms of business, registration is a little easier because the name is registered when the entity is formed with the state.

To determine which entity is right for you, the U.S. Small Business Administration provides a good explanation of the four forms of business formation.

Window Washing: Licenses at the City Level

The city in which your business is located will require you to meet certain criteria for operation. They may also require a general business license or permit.

If you plan to operate a home-based business, you need to check with the city’s building department to ensure you are permitted to do that. Alternatively, if you plan to operate in a commercial location, you will likely need a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) and will be required to comply with the zoning standards in that area. Consult your city building department or economic development officer for clarification on their requirements.

State Licenses

You are likely required to charge, collect, and remit sales tax when you sell products or services with your window cleaning business. Licenses may or may not be required, but a tax ID number or seller’s permit may be needed so the state can track your remittances. You will find this out by checking with the state’s Department of Revenue agency.

Federal Licenses

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also needs to have you on file and will require you to obtain a federal employee identification number (EIN). Sole proprietorships and single-owner LLCs without employees can use the owner’s social security number for this purpose. All other forms of business require the EIN.

Resources You Can Use

To be sure you don’t miss anything when it comes to your licensing and permitting requirements, a free resource for businesses is the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC). This national network of more than 1,000 offices can help you find out exactly what you need to operate your business.

The SBDCs are connected to the U.S. Small Business Administration, which also has a reference for finding out if you need to register your business.

Alternatively, you can pay a company, accountant, or lawyer to research this for you.

Join Fish Window Cleaning® For an Easier Business Launch

What we have discussed here is just the licensing and permitting requirements to open a new business; there are still many other steps when it comes to how to start a window cleaning business. Some of the items you will need to obtain in advance of getting your business up and running include:
  • Marketing and advertising plans
  • Accounting software and customer relationship management
  • Bidding and sales processes
  • Tools and materials to complete jobs
  • Insurance requirements

Fish Window Cleaning® offers a business ownership opportunity through franchising. The entire business package is prepared for you, and you have a supportive team to walk you through every step of the franchise process. The best part? Your Fish Window Cleaning® business could be open in less than three months.

Contact Fish Window Cleaning® Today

Starting a business is not an easy task. To do it properly takes time, a solid financial plan, and a marketing strategy that will ensure your best chance of success.

With a Fish Window Cleaning® franchise, you have a proven business model and programs in place that have helped hundreds of other franchisees in their window cleaning businesses. Fish Window Cleaning® is the world’s largest window cleaning company. Request more information about our franchise today and start your path to business ownership.

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