How to Start a Cleaning Business in Oregon | The Ultimate Guide

Oregon Cleaning Business

Are you considering starting a cleaning business in Oregon? If so, you’re not alone. According to Market Research Future, the cleaning industry is growing, with an expected annual growth rate of 7% between 2021 and 2026. With the increasing demand for cleaning services, now is the perfect time to launch your Oregon LLC in the cleaning business.

In this comprehensive guide, Webinarcare Editorial Team will walk you through the process of starting a cleaning business, including the necessary steps, legal requirements, and best practices to follow. By the end of this article, you will clearly understand How to Start a Cleaning Business in Oregon.

What is a Cleaning Business?

A cleaning business in Oregon is a professional service provider that offers various cleaning solutions to clients within the state. Depending on the business’s niche, these services can include residential, commercial, and specialty cleaning. Residential cleaning involves cleaning homes, apartments, and condos, while commercial cleaning caters to offices, retail spaces, and other business establishments. Specialty cleaning services can include carpet, window, and post-construction cleaning.

Cleaning businesses in Oregon must follow the state’s legal requirements if you will form an LLC, such as registering the business with Oregon’s Secretary of State, obtaining necessary licenses and permits, and adhering to tax regulations. Furthermore, these businesses must develop a solid business plan, invest in high-quality equipment and supplies, employ and train staff, and create effective marketing strategies to grow and succeed in the local market.

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How to Start a Cleaning Business in Oregon

To start a cleaning business in Oregon, you must follow the guidelines that include identifying your niche, developing a business plan, registering your business with the Oregon Secretary of State, obtaining the necessary license and permit, purchasing equipment and supplies, setting your prices, develop a marketing strategy, and hiring and training staff. 

Step 1: Identify Your Niche

The first step to starting a cleaning business in Oregon is identifying your niche. Various cleaning services include residential, commercial, and specialty cleaning. Residential cleaning involves cleaning homes, apartments, and condos, while commercial cleaning involves cleaning offices, retail spaces, and other business establishments. Specialty cleaning services include carpet cleaning, window cleaning, and post-construction cleaning.

Residential CleaningCommercial CleaningSpecialty Cleaning Services
HousesOfficesCarpet Cleaning
ApartmentsRetail SpacesWindow Cleaning
CondominiumsPost-Construction Cleaning

Choosing a niche that aligns with your skills, interests, and the demand in your local market is essential. Research your competition and determine the type of underserved cleaning services in your area. Focusing on a niche will help you attract your target customers and set your business apart. If you will create a rental property LLC in Oregon, it is better to know about starting Oregon cleaning business as well.

Step 2: Develop a Business Plan

A solid business plan is crucial for the success of your Oregon cleaning business. A business plan will help you outline your business goals, identify your target market, and develop a marketing strategy. It will also help you estimate your startup costs and plan your finances. Here are the key components of a cleaning business plan:

  • Executive Summary: Provide an overview of your cleaning business, including your mission statement, goals, and objectives.
  • Company Description: Outline the structure of your business, the services you will offer, and your target market.
  • Market Analysis: Research your local market and competition, and explain how your cleaning business will stand out.
  • Marketing and Sales Strategy: Describe how you will attract new clients and retain existing ones, including your pricing and promotional strategies.
  • Operations Plan: Explain how your cleaning business will operate, including your staffing requirements, equipment, and supplies.
  • Financial Projections: Estimate your startup costs, projected revenue, and expenses for the first few years of your business.

Step 3: Register Your Cleaning Business

Before starting your cleaning business in Oregon, you must register your business with the Oregon Secretary of State. Here are the necessary steps to register your cleaning business:

Choose a Cleaning Business Name

Selecting a name for your Oregon cleaning business is essential to forming. There is a complete guide on Oregon Business Name Search for you to have a proper Oregon cleaning business name. 

In Oregon, if you do not wish to file your cleaning business right away but want to hold the name that you have decided on, then you can reserve your cleaning business name for 120 days. You must file a name reservation application with the Oregon Secretary of State to keep the name. 

You can check the availability of your desired business name by searching the Oregon Secretary of State Business Name Search‘s website.

Hire a Registered Agent

A Registered Agent is a person or entity responsible for receiving legal documents and official notices for your Oregon cleaning business. In Oregon, your Registered Agent must:

  • Be a resident of Oregon or a business entity authorized to do business there.
  • Have a physical address in Oregon (P.O. boxes are not acceptable)

Choosing a reliable and responsible Registered Agent is essential, as failure to receive and respond to legal documents can seriously affect your business. 

You can serve as your Registered Agent or appoint a friend or family member or hire the Best Oregon Registered Agent Services.

Recommended: Professional services will ensure your business gets legal notices and critical mail. With LegalZoom’s Registered Agent Services, they offer peace of mind and expert support for businesses, ensuring compliance and seamless communication with state authorities. That’s why we recommend using –

LegalZoom – $249/year

File For Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation

If you form an LLC for your cleaning business, you must file the Oregon Articles of Organization, which costs $100. However, if you form Oregon Corporation for your cleaning business, you must file the Articles of Incorporation. The Articles of Incorporation filing fee costs $100 for online and by mail filing. It is crucial to provide accurate and complete information on this document, as errors or omissions may result in delays or rejection of your filing.

  • Online Filing: Create an account/Log in to the SOS site, get the online form, fill it, and submit online 
  • Offline filing: Send the form by mail to Secretary of State, Corporation Division, 255 Capitol St. NE, Suite 151, Salem, OR 97310

Recommended: Filing the Articles of Organization and the Articles of Incorporation is easy and hassle-free if you hire a professional service. We recommend using –

LegalZoom – ($0 + State Fee)

Create an Operating Agreement

An Operating Agreement is a document that contains all of your company’s organizational details. It is optional to draft an operating agreement in most states. Yet, having one as an internal document is strongly advised. Creating the Oregon Operating Agreement includes information like-

  • About Business
  • Members and management
  • Capital contribution
  • Profit Distribution
  • Change of membership
  • Dissolution

Recommended: Creating an Operating Agreement is like having a personal legal guide at hand; it’s efficient, thorough, and ensures the smooth and compliant operation of your business. With LegalZoom’s operating agreement, it will protect your rights as an owner, keeping misunderstandings at bay and your business on the path to success. That’s why we recommend using –

LegalZoom – Starts at $99

Obtain an EIN 

Register your business with the Oregon Secretary of State and obtain the necessary licenses and permits. Before that, you must obtain an Employer identification number (EIN) in Oregon to open a business bank account or hire an employee for your Oregon cleaning business. 

The application of an EIN in Oregon can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The online EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that the Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is four weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone-International Applicants – International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

Recommended: Professional services have the EIN included in their LLC formation package. We recommend using –

LegalZoom – ($0 + State Fee for LLC formation)

Register for State and Local Taxes

Depending on your business structure and location, you may need to register for state and local taxes, such as sales and income taxes.

Oregon Sales Tax

Oregon sales tax is a government-imposed tax on the sale of goods and services. It is generally added to the price of a product or service at the point of sale and paid by the consumer. The tax is collected by the retailer or service provider, who then remits the collected tax amount to the relevant government authority. In Oregon, the sales tax rate is 0% since Oregon has no sales tax. 

Oregon State Income Tax

State income tax in Oregon is calculated based on a progressive tax rate, which means that individuals with higher incomes pay a higher tax rate. The tax rates in Oregon vary depending on income levels, with the highest rate imposed on those with the highest incomes. The revenue generated from state income tax funds various public services and programs in Oregon.

Step 4: Obtain the Necessary Licenses and Permits

In addition to registering your cleaning business in Oregon, you must obtain the necessary licenses and permits. Some of the common licenses and permits required for cleaning businesses include the following:

  • Oregon Sales Tax Permit: If you sell products, such as cleaning supplies, you may need Oregon Sales Tax Permit from the Oregon Department of Revenue.
  • Occupational License: Oregon requires an occupational license specific to the cleaning industry. 
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: If you plan to hire employees, you must obtain workers’ compensation insurance to comply with Oregon law. As well as the EIN.
  • Business License: Your local city or county government requires a business license in Oregon. The business license fee in Oregon ranges from $50 – $300.

Step 5: Purchase Equipment and Supplies

You must purchase the necessary equipment and supplies to start your cleaning business in Oregon. Some of the essential tools and equipment for a cleaning business include:

  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Carpet cleaners
  • Mops and buckets
  • Brooms and dustpans
  • Cleaning chemicals and solutions
  • Microfiber cloths and towels
  • Sponges and brushes
  • Protective gear, such as gloves and masks
  • Ladders and step stools

Investing in high-quality equipment and supplies is essential to ensure efficient and effective Oregon cleaning services. You can purchase these items from local retailers or online suppliers specializing in cleaning products.

Step 6: Set Your Prices

Determining the prices for your cleaning services can be challenging, especially if you’re new to the industry. For you to set the prices for your Oregon cleaning services, research the prices of your competitors in Oregon to get a general idea of the going rates for cleaning services, calculate the cost of labor, including your hourly wage and that of your employees, and determine the profit margin you want to achieve and factor that into your pricing.

It’s crucial to strike a balance between competitive pricing and ensuring profitability. Consider hiring an accountant for bookkeeping. 

Step 7: Develop a Marketing Strategy

A well-planned marketing strategy is essential for the success of your cleaning business in Oregon. Here are some effective marketing tactics for your cleaning business:

  • Create a Professional Website: A website is essential to showcase your Oregon cleaning services, share client testimonials, and provide contact information.
  • Leverage Social Media: Create business pages on popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, to connect with potential clients and share updates about your cleaning business.
  • Utilize Local Advertising: Advertise your Oregon cleaning services in local newspapers, magazines, and community bulletin boards.
  • Offer Promotions and Discounts: Attract new clients by offering promotional discounts and referral incentives.
  • Network with Local Businesses: Establish relationships with local businesses and property management companies to generate referrals and create strategic partnerships.

Step 8: Hire and Train Staff

As your cleaning business grows, you may need additional staff to accommodate the increasing workload. Investing in your Oregon cleaning business is better, but it is best to invest in your employees. Ensure they receive the proper compensation and training for their welfare and your company. 

Benefits of Forming a Cleaning Business

Forming a cleaning business can be a wise entrepreneurial decision as it offers a range of benefits. Here is the list of benefits to consider before you form one.

  • High Demand: With the increasing population of Oregon, which is currently 4,359,110, there is a growing need for cleaning services. This translates to a high demand for cleaning businesses.
  • Flexibility: Oregon cleaning businesses offer flexible work hours, which allows you to work around your schedule. You can choose to work part-time or full-time.
  • Low Start-up Costs: Starting a cleaning business is relatively inexpensive compared to other businesses. You can start with just a few cleaning supplies and grow your business as you gain more clients.
  • Recurring Revenue: Oregon cleaning businesses offer recurring revenue since most clients require regular cleaning services.
  • Personal Satisfaction: Oregon cleaning businesses offer a sense of personal satisfaction since you get to see the results of your work immediately.
  • Diverse Clientele: Oregon cleaning businesses can cater to a diverse clientele, including residential, commercial, and industrial clients.
  • Growth Potential: Oregon cleaning businesses have a high growth potential since you can expand your services to include additional cleaning services or target new markets.
  • Low Overhead Costs: Oregon cleaning businesses have low overhead costs since you can operate from home and do not require expensive equipment or inventory.


Is there a lot of competition for cleaning businesses in Oregon?
Yes, there is a fair amount of competition, especially in larger cities like Portland and Eugene.
What specific licenses or permits do I need to start a cleaning business in Oregon?
You may need a business license and/or a contractor’s license if you plan to hire employees. Check with your local government to see what is required in your specific area.
What kind of insurance do I need for my cleaning business in Oregon?
General liability insurance is crucial for any business, including cleaning businesses in Oregon.
Should I consider getting bonded as a cleaning business owner in Oregon?
Getting bonded could give your customers more confidence in your business, but it is not required by law in Oregon.
Do I need to have a cleaning business plan in place before starting in Oregon?
While it is not required by law, having a business plan is strongly recommended for any business, including cleaning businesses.
Is it important to do market research before starting a cleaning business in Oregon?
Yes, knowing your target market and competition is essential to being successful in any business venture.
Can I start my cleaning business from home in Oregon?
Yes, you can start a cleaning business from home in Oregon, but there may be zoning laws and other regulations to follow.
Should I hire employees or work alone as a cleaning business owner in Oregon?
Depending on the size and scope of your business, both options are viable. If you plan to hire employees, you will need to have proper paperwork and taxes in order.
Is there a demand for eco-friendly cleaning and is it worth considering as a cleaning business in Oregon?
Yes, many people in Oregon prefer eco-friendly cleaning products and services, and offering this as an option could attract more customers.
Can I use my own cleaning equipment or do I need to purchase new equipment for my business in Oregon?
You can use your own equipment, but be sure it is in good condition and up to industry standards to provide top-notch service.
Are there any trade organizations or associations for cleaning companies in Oregon?
The Oregon Cleaning Contractors Association is one such association that could provide resources and support for cleaning businesses in Oregon.
How much should I charge as a cleaning service in Oregon?
This will depend on a variety of factors such as the services you offer, your local competition, and the size of the space being cleaned.
Should I offer different levels of service packages for my cleaning business in Oregon?
This could be a smart move, as some customers may only want basic cleaning while others may want more thorough services. Offering packages gives customers more options.
What kind of benefits should I offer my employees as a cleaning business owner in Oregon?
Depending on the size and nature of your business, offering health insurance and retirement plans could set you apart as an employer in Oregon.
How can I market my cleaning business in Oregon?
Consider using social media, online advertising, and even direct mail to get your name out and reach new customers.
Is it necessary to disclose my cleaning rates to potential clients?
Being transparent about your rates with potential clients should be a top priority to avoid confusion later on.
Can I operate a cleaning business while still working another job in Oregon?
Yes, part-time cleaning businesses are viable in Oregon, but keep in mind you will need to keep up with proper paperwork and taxes.
How do I handle taxes as a cleaning business owner in Oregon?
You will need to register for an Oregon Business Registry Number, and possibly obtain other licenses or permits to ensure you are paying the correct taxes.
Are there any cleaning certifications or training programs available in Oregon?
Yes, many institutions offer specific cleaning certifications and training programs, such as the Academy of Cleaning Excellence.
How can I build a professional network as a cleaning business owner in Oregon?
Consider joining local business organizations and attending networking events to meet potential customers and form relationships with others in your industry.
Should I focus my cleaning business on commercial or residential cleaning in Oregon?
This depends on your skillset, desired workload, and target market. Do market research to learn about demand for both types of cleaning.
How do I handle payment from clients as a cleaning business owner in Oregon?
Consider using online payment platforms like PayPal or Square to make the process easier for you and your customers.
Is it necessary to offer guarantees or refunds for my cleaning services in Oregon?
While not required by law, these could be a good selling point to set yourself apart from competitors and ensure customer satisfaction.
Can I expand my cleaning business from Oregon to other states?
Yes, but be sure to research regulations and licenses required in other states you plan to operate in.
Is there a slow season for cleaning businesses in Oregon?
Like many businesses, there may be a slowdown in the summer or around holidays when people are typically away from home, but this will depend on the size and nature of your business.
Are there grants or loans available for new cleaning businesses in Oregon?
Some government or private organizations may offer small business grants or loans, but research should be done to find options.
Should I invest in marketing materials like brochures or business cards for my cleaning business in Oregon?
Yes, having professional marketing materials can help make a positive impression on potential customers.
How can I ensure my cleaning business is environmentally friendly in Oregon?
Using eco-conscious cleaning products, implementing recycling programs in offices you clean, and offering specific “green” cleaning services could reduce your environmental impact.
How long does it typically take to start a cleaning business in Oregon?
This will depend on factors such as how quickly you can obtain any necessary permits, equipment and supplies. It could take a few weeks to a few months to fully launch your business.
What are the licensing requirements for starting a cleaning business in Oregon?
In Oregon, businesses that provide cleaning services are required to have a license issued by the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB).
How much does it cost to obtain a cleaning business license in Oregon?
The cost of obtaining a cleaning business license in Oregon varies depending on the size and scope of your business, but usually ranges between $50-$300.
Is it necessary to carry liability insurance for a cleaning business in Oregon?
Yes, it is a good idea to carry liability insurance for your cleaning business in Oregon in case something goes wrong, like accidental damage to a client’s property.
What type of cleaning services should I offer when starting a business in Oregon?
You could offer a variety of cleaning services in Oregon, such as residential cleaning, commercial office cleaning, carpet cleaning, floor cleaning, and more.
Do I need any special training or certification to start a cleaning business in Oregon?
No special training or certification is required to start a cleaning business in Oregon, but it’s a good idea to take basic cleaning courses if you are inexperienced.
What are the basic cleaning supplies that I will need for my Oregon-based cleaning business?
Basic cleaning supplies that you will need to start your Oregon-based cleaning business include cleaning chemicals, disinfectants, gloves, mops, brooms, vacuums, and other essential equipment and tools.
Is it possible to get a small business loan to help start my Oregon-based cleaning business?
Yes, small business loans are available to help start cleaning businesses in Oregon, and there are many organizations that offer helpful resources and programs to support small business owners.
What are some tips for marketing my new Oregon-based cleaning business?
In Oregon, marketing your cleaning business effectively involves building a professional website, networking with other business owners, leveraging social media, and offering a unique value proposition to potential clients.
Are there any specific regulations that apply to cleaning businesses in Oregon?
Yes, cleaning businesses in Oregon need to comply with a variety of regulations, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards for handling cleaning chemicals.
Can part-time cleaning businesses be successful in Oregon?
Yes, many part-time cleaning businesses can be very successful in Oregon, especially if you market your services effectively and provide top-notch service to clients.
How much should I charge for my cleaning services in Oregon?
Cleaning service rates in Oregon vary by region, the services offered, and other factors. Research other cleaning businesses in your area to determine the appropriate rates for your services.
What are some of the challenges of starting a cleaning business in Oregon?
Some of the challenges of starting a cleaning business in Oregon include recruiting and retaining employees, managing the competition, and dealing with regulatory obligations.
Do I need special equipment for my cleaning business in Oregon?
While you may not need special equipment for a basic cleaning business in Oregon, depending on the services you are going to offer, you may want to invest in carpet cleaning machines, pressure washing equipment, or other professional equipment.
How long does it take to start a cleaning business in Oregon?
The timeline for starting a cleaning business in Oregon varies depending on the business type and other factors, but typically can take anywhere between a few weeks to a few months.
Should I plan on hiring employees for my Oregon-based cleaning business?
It is possible to start a cleaning business in Oregon as a sole proprietor with no employees, but plan on hiring employees and growing your business as it grows.
What are some common mistakes that new cleaning business owners make in Oregon?
Common mistakes for cleaning business owners starting in Oregon often include pricing services too low, not conducting background checks on employees, not scheduling long-term client contracts.
Is it possible to run an Oregon-based cleaning business from home?
It is possible to run a cleaning business from home in Oregon, but your business license may indicate certain restrictions depending on the house configuration.
What are the busiest cleaning seasons in Oregon?
The busiest cleaning seasons in Oregon depend on the type of cleaning you offer. But, in general, spring and summer are the busiest seasons for many cleaning businesses who focus on homes being cleaned before the holidays.
Should I form a Limited Liability Company (LLC) for my Oregon cleaning business?
Yes, it is typically advisable to form an LLC for your Oregon-based cleaning business as this type of business structure allows you to take advantage of increased liability protection.
How do I handle the financial aspects of starting an Oregon-based cleaning business?
You should maintain detailed accounting records for your Oregon-based cleaning business; we recommend hiring an accountant specifically seasoned with taxes and financials.
What types of insurance are necessary for a cleaning business in Oregon?
Some common insurance policies that cleaning businesses in Oregon should have include general liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and auto insurance.
What are some ways I can differentiate my Oregon-based cleaning business from others in the area?
Examples of how to differentiate your Oregon-based cleaning business include offering eco-friendly cleaning services, scheduling recurring cleaning every week, adding residential home cleaning with customer’s personalized requests.
How should I approach sales for my Oregon-based cleaning business?
Generating new sales for your Oregon-based cleaning business can come from networking and word-of-mouth approaches, flyers/postcards with local deals, or online advertisements/campaign strategies focused on certain aspects of cleaning.
Should I use social media for marketing my Oregon-based cleaning business?
As most potential clients look for social media, it can be extremely beneficial for your Oregon-based cleaning business; you should promote a good website, engaging with customer and sharing news about the business and its services, and portfolios before and after customer photos.
Would it be prudent to hire an accountant or financial advisor for my Oregon-based cleaning business?
It is recommended that cleaning businesses starting in Oregon should hire a qualified accountant or financial advisor to help ensure financial stability moving forward.
Is it essential to hire full-time cleaners for an Oregon-based cleaning business?
Not necessarily, as it’s possible that some cleaner teams may be hired sporadically. What’s essential is maintaining enough cleaners to meet client demand.
What are the benefits of owning your cleaning business in Oregon?
Few benefits include controllable work hours/days been versatile for business demands and offering the flexibility to work in various domiciles and locales.
When applying for a cleaning business license in Oregon, make sure you define any services passed to customers to avoid confusion?
At the time of registering your cleaning business for a license in Oregon, it is recommended to define all offered services carefully to avoid misunderstandings with potential clients.
How do I find reliable subcontractors for my Oregon-based cleaning business?
You can find reliable subcontractors by conducting background checks, researching Oregon district options, scheduling phone installations with subcontract managerial professionals, and asking referrals.

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Starting a cleaning business in Oregon can be rewarding and profitable if you follow the right steps and adhere to the legal requirements. By identifying your niche, developing a solid business plan, registering your business, obtaining the necessary licenses and permits, purchasing high-quality equipment and supplies, setting competitive prices, developing a robust marketing strategy, and hiring and training a reliable staff, you will be well on your way to launching a successful cleaning business in Oregon.

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