Nov 23, 2022 | 8 min read

How to start a window cleaning business

Starting a window cleaning business step-by-step

You’ve honed your window cleaning skills and are ready to expand your offerings with your own business. This guide covers everything you need to get your window cleaning business off the ground, from getting licensed, to branding, to building your client list.

Step 1: Plan your finances

Before you map out financial needs for your business, determine your personal expenses. Financial experts generally suggest having at least three to six months worth of living expenses saved, which you may find especially important when starting a business.

Once you’ve determined how your personal finances can support your entrepreneurial endeavor, make a financial model for your business plan. Here are questions to guide you:

  • How much should I expect to pay in overhead like licensing, local taxes, rent, and utilities?
  • How much money will I need to cover supplies, like cleaning and safety equipment?
  • What is the minimum number of employees I need, how much will they be paid, and what benefits can I offer them?
  • How much will I charge for my services?

Sticking to a well-formulated business model in your brand’s early stages can help you reach profitability while maintaining your personal financial health. 


Step 2: Get licensed and insured 

It’s time to tackle legal matters for your window cleaning business. Depending on local laws, you may need to apply for one or more of the following:

  • Professional license or permit – Certain trades (like electricians, plumbers, and roofers) require professional licenses. While window cleaning businesses don’t typically require an industry-specific license, you may still need to obtain a general permit to operate in your area. Check with your state and local licensing offices to determine what you need.
  • Business or occupational license – As you consider what areas your local business will serve, look into what those different cities and counties require for you to operate in them. Business licenses may double as a Business Tax Receipt, so review local laws carefully.
  • Commercial driver's license – Depending on the vehicles and equipment you’ll use to provide services, you may need a commercial driver’s license (CDL). This requirement varies by state and the type of equipment you use.

Local and state laws also dictate the types of insurance you’ll need. Because window cleaning involves working on others’ property and performing potentially hazardous work, you’ll want to ensure that you, your business, and your employees are protected.


Step 3: Legally form your business

In many states, you must legally establish your business in addition to obtaining a business or occupational license, which entails:

1. Registering your business name 
2. Choosing a business mailing address, which can be your home or P.O. Box if you don’t have a storefront or office
3. Requesting a Tax ID number from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a:
  • C-corporation
  • S-corporation
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Partnership
  • Sole Proprietorship

4. Paying state, city, and/or county business taxes or purchasing a business or occupational license from your local municipality

Since each state and many cities or counties have different requirements for starting and maintaining a business, consider hiring experts, like a local lawyer or accountant with expertise advising other local services businesses.


Step 4: Research window cleaning supplies and find local suppliers

As a window cleaner, you need a reputable source for your equipment. Seeking out different suppliers, and negotiating prices, can even help lower your expenses.

Window cleaning rental equipment for large-scale jobs often include:

  • Scaffolding
  • Cranes
  • Booms/aerial lifts

Window cleaning safety equipment and wearables include:

  • Safety harnesses
  • Hard hats
  • Uniforms

Window cleaning equipment includes:

  • Spray bottles
  • Squeegees
  • Brushes
  • Cleaning solutions
  • Rags and cloths


Step 5: Create your branding 

Your business plan should include an outline of your brand, or the messaging and visuals unique to your business. 

Your brand’s voice and messaging convey the value propositions of your business creatively and effectively: think of it like how your business would speak to clients if it was a person. Branding helps you stand out among competitors on your website, in advertisements, and on social media. 

Consider these tips when establishing your brand:

  • Choose a unique business name – You want your name to represent what you do and who you are, while still standing out from competitors. If your business is and plans to be family-run, you may want to include reference to that in your naming.
  • Work with a graphic designer – You may like to doodle or even design in your free time, but a trained brand or graphic designer will help bring your ideas to life. Hiring a graphic designer to create a logo, and choose fonts, a color palette, and imagery for your business means more professional, eye-catching marketing, advertising, and even uniforms. That means your logo on signage, company vehicles, shirts, and more.
  • Build your digital presence – Service businesses like yours will need social media and a website to get the word out to neighbors, plus a consistent voice that speaks to clients seamlessly everywhere. Create a free business page on Nextdoor to reach your most valuable customers, neighbors, with free monthly posts and hyperlocal advertising. 88% of neighbors on Nextdoor support a local business at least once a week. Make one of them your future window cleaning business. 


Step 6: Price your services

Before you start taking job requests, you’ll need to price your window cleaning services. The right pricing depends on a number of factors, including:

  • The types of window cleaning you’re offering
  • Window size and quantity
  • Bundled services offers
  • Sales and promotional pricing
  • Industry pricing in your area

To create the right pricing for your window cleaning business, compare services with local competition in and around the neighborhoods you want to operate in. Browse their websites, Nextdoor business pages, and reviews for the services, pricing, and promotions they offer.


Step 7: Create a marketing plan 

Once your branding is established, consider what methods your company will use to reach clients and connect with local neighbors. Popular print marketing materials include:

  • Brochures
  • Mailers
  • Flyers

Keeping your website and Nextdoor Business Page updated while consistently posting on social media will support brand awareness and make it easy for customers and clients to learn about you, what you offer, and how to get in touch. Consider:

  • Regular posting on Nextdoor
  • Nextdoor Ads
  • A blog on your website
  • Relevant digital listings
  • Email 

See what marketing can look like for a local window cleaning business:

  • AZ Window Cleaners – Based in Phoenix, AZ, they have a unique logo, brand colors, and an informative website where clients can book online, request quotes, and easily contact them.
  • Window Hero Birmingham – Located in Birmingham, AL, their minimalist logo and website features consistent company branding, plus project pages that detail their services.


Step 8: Build your client list

As you begin to grow your clientele, there are different audiences to consider:

  • Homeowners and local businesses – While local homeowners and neighborhood businesses might have smaller individual window cleaning needs than larger companies, they can be a consistent source of business right in your own backyard. Reach them on Nextdoor, where they already go to connect with services like yours in their local community.
  • Professional cleaning companies – Other cleaning companies that need window cleaning services can prove to be perfect partners with networks you can tap into, too. 
  • General contractors – Whether commercial or residential projects, general contractors usually complete a post-construction clean often including window cleaning services.


Step 9: Request recommendations

Reviews from your first clients will give you valuable feedback about your services and establish your word-of-mouth business. Make it a habit after you complete jobs to ask clients for a recommendation on Nextdoor. 76% of Nextdoor neighbors have been influenced by a recommendation there, so you know their kind words mean business for you.

Here are easy ways to ask for client feedback:

  • When the job is complete, send an automated email or text message to request a recommendation, linking to your Nextdoor Business Page
  • Include a QR code on your business card or receipt that links to your reviews
  • Repost a client’s recommendation on Nextdoor, your website, or other social media to ask for more 


Build your local business on Nextdoor 

Making connections in your community is crucial to the success of your window cleaning business. Consider your free Business Page on Nextdoor a window of opportunity, where you can build your online presence, unlock an instant following of neighbors, and grow your local business with your most important customers, the nearly 1 in 3 U.S. households here.



Corporate Finance Institute. Overheads. 

CDL Training Today. Do I Need a CDL to Operate Heavy Equipment? 

Forbes. Types of Small Business Insurance. What Licenses Does A Window Washing Business Need? 

Internal Nextdoor Data

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Author image Nextdoor Editorial Team At Nextdoor, we love local. The Nextdoor Editorial Team is dedicated to telling stories of local businesses, providing product education, and sharing marketing best practices to help businesses grow.