A Guide to Starting a Thriving Cleaning Business in Toronto

The cleaning industry is booming in Toronto, with annual growth rates in the double digits in recent years. Low startup costs, flexible hours, and unlimited earning potential make the cleaning business an appealing option for many entrepreneurs. But like any new venture, properly setting up your cleaning business in Toronto takes research, planning, and hard work.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to start a successful cleaning business in Toronto. We’ll cover all the basics including: developing your business plan, estimating costs and pricing, finding reliable staff, marketing your services effectively, and more. Follow this guide and you’ll be well on your way to starting a rewarding and profitable cleaning business in this vibrant city.

Key Takeaways

  • Thorough research and planning are essential for starting a successful cleaning business in Toronto.
  • Registering the business and securing start-up capital are crucial steps in the process.
  • Providing excellent customer service and building a reliable team are key to maintaining a successful cleaning business.

1. Researching the Toronto Market

When starting a cleaning business in Toronto, it is important to conduct market research to understand the local demographics and competition. This information can help determine the demand for cleaning services and identify potential target markets.


Toronto is a diverse city with a population of over 2.9 million people. According to Statistics Canada, the city has a high percentage of renters (44.5%) and a median household income of $65,829. The top three industries in Toronto are professional, scientific, and technical services; health care and social assistance; and finance and insurance.


Toronto has a competitive cleaning industry with many established companies and independent contractors. According to Yellow Pages, there are over 3,500 cleaning services listed in the city. Some of the major players in the industry include Merry Maids, Molly Maid, and The Cleaning Authority.

To stand out in the market, it is important to offer unique services or specialize in a specific niche. For example, a cleaning business could focus on eco-friendly cleaning products or offer specialized services for medical facilities.

2. Creating a Business Plan

Before starting any business, it is essential to have a solid business plan in place. A well-crafted business plan can help you define your goals, identify potential challenges, and develop a roadmap for success. When creating a business plan for a cleaning business in Toronto, there are a few key elements to keep in mind.

Market Research

One of the first steps in creating a business plan is conducting market research. This involves analyzing the competition, identifying potential customers, and determining the demand for your services. By understanding the market, you can better position your cleaning business to succeed.

Services Offered

When creating a business plan for a cleaning business, it is important to clearly outline the services you will be offering. This may include residential cleaning, commercial cleaning, or specialized services such as carpet cleaning or window washing. By clearly defining your services, you can better target your marketing efforts and attract the right customers.


Pricing is a crucial element of any business plan. When setting your prices, it is important to consider your costs, the competition, and the value you are providing to customers. By offering competitive pricing while still maintaining profitability, you can attract and retain customers while growing your business.

Read more: How to create a pricing system for your cleaning business

Marketing Strategy

A successful cleaning business relies on effective marketing. When creating a business plan, it is important to outline your marketing strategy. This may include online advertising, social media marketing, direct mail campaigns, or other tactics. By developing a comprehensive marketing plan, you can reach potential customers and grow your business.

3. Registering Your Business

Your new cleaning service business will require registration and licensing to ensure that you are operating legally. This section will cover the necessary steps to register your business in Toronto.

Legal Structure

Before registering your business, you need to determine the legal structure of your business. There are several legal structures to choose from, including sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation. Each legal structure has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your business needs.

Business Name Registration

Once you have determined the legal structure of your business, you need to register your business name. The registration process can be done in-person or online through the Ontario Business Registry. It’s important to choose a unique business name that is not already in use. You can find more information on business name registration in this guide.

Licenses and Permits

In addition to registering your business name, you may also need to obtain licenses and permits to operate your cleaning business in Toronto. The type of licenses and permits required depend on the type of cleaning services you provide. For example, if you offer carpet cleaning services, you may need a license from the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks. You can find more information on licenses and permits required for cleaning businesses in Toronto on the City of Toronto website.

4. Securing Start-Up Capital

Starting any business requires some initial investment. While it is possible to start with minimal capital, having enough funds to cover expenses for at least six months is recommended. Here are some ways to secure start-up capital:


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    Personal Savings

    Using personal savings is the most common way to fund a new business. It is also the least risky because it does not involve borrowing money or paying interest. However, not everyone has enough savings to cover start-up expenses. If this is the case, there are other options to consider.

    Friends and Family

    Another way to secure start-up capital is to borrow money from friends and family. This can be a good option if they are supportive of the business idea and willing to invest. However, it is important to have a clear agreement in place, including repayment terms and interest rates if applicable.

    Small Business Loans

    Small business loans are available from banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions. These loans typically require a solid business plan and collateral. It is important to shop around for the best interest rates and terms.

    Government Grants and Programs

    There are government grants and programs available to help small businesses get started. These can be a good option because they do not require repayment. However, they often have strict eligibility criteria and application processes.


    Crowdfunding is becoming increasingly popular as a way to raise start-up capital. It involves creating a campaign on a crowdfunding platform and asking people to contribute money in exchange for rewards or equity. This can be a good option for businesses with a unique concept or product.

    5. Services and Pricing Strategies

    For any cleaning business, it’s important to offer a variety of services to attract a wide range of clients. Some common cleaning services include residential cleaning, commercial cleaning, carpet cleaning, and window cleaning. It’s important to tailor your services to meet the needs of your target market and to differentiate yourself from competitors.

    When it comes to pricing strategies, there are several options to consider. One popular method is to charge an hourly rate, which can range from $25 to $50 per hour depending on the type of cleaning service provided. Another option is to charge a flat fee per cleaning, which can range from $75 to $200 depending on the size of the space and the scope of the cleaning.

    It’s important to be transparent about pricing and to provide clients with a clear understanding of what is included in each cleaning service. This can be achieved through the use of detailed pricing tables or packages that outline the specific services included in each cleaning.

    Offering add-on services can also be an effective pricing strategy. For example, offering carpet cleaning or window cleaning as an add-on service can provide clients with additional value and increase the overall revenue of the business.

    When setting prices, it’s important to consider the cost of supplies, equipment, and labor. It’s also important to research the prices of competitors in the area to ensure that your prices are competitive and reasonable.

    6. Purchasing Equipment and Supplies

    The type and amount of equipment and supplies needed depend on the cleaning services offered. For instance, if the cleaning business provides residential cleaning services, it may require basic cleaning equipment such as rags, mops, buckets, brooms, dustpans, dusters, toilet brushes, spray bottles, and squeegees. On the other hand, commercial cleaning services may require specialized equipment such as floor buffers, carpet cleaners, and pressure washers.

    When purchasing equipment and supplies, it is essential to consider the quality, durability, and cost. Buying high-quality equipment and supplies ensures that they are efficient, effective, and long-lasting, reducing the need for frequent replacements. Additionally, it is crucial to compare prices from different suppliers to get the best deals and save on costs.

    One option for purchasing equipment and supplies is to buy them from local suppliers. This option allows cleaning businesses to inspect the equipment and supplies before purchasing, ensuring that they meet the required standards. Another option is to purchase them online from reputable suppliers. Online suppliers offer a wide range of equipment and supplies, and they may offer discounts and delivery services, making it convenient for cleaning businesses.

    7. Building a Reliable Team

    Starting a cleaning business in Toronto requires a reliable team that can deliver exceptional service to clients. Here are some tips to help you build a team that you can rely on.


    Recruiting the right people is crucial to the success of your cleaning business. When recruiting, look for individuals who have experience in cleaning or a related field. You can post job openings on job boards, social media, or local newspapers. You can also reach out to local colleges and universities to find potential candidates.

    During the interview process, ask questions that will help you determine if the candidate is a good fit for your business. Ask about their experience, their availability, and their work ethic. You can also ask for references and conduct background checks to ensure that you are hiring trustworthy individuals.


    Training your team is essential to ensure that they can deliver high-quality service to clients. You can provide on-the-job training to teach your team the specific cleaning techniques and products that you use. You can also provide training on customer service to help your team interact with clients in a professional and friendly manner.

    To ensure that your team is up-to-date with the latest cleaning techniques and products, you can provide ongoing training. You can also encourage your team to attend industry conferences and workshops to learn new skills and network with other professionals in the field.

    8. Marketing and Client Acquisition

    Marketing is an essential aspect of any business, including a cleaning service. Without effective marketing, it can be challenging to attract new clients and grow the business. There are various marketing strategies that a cleaning business owner can use to promote their services and acquire new clients.


    Creating a strong brand identity is crucial for any business, including a cleaning service. A well-designed logo, website, and business cards can help establish a professional image and build trust with potential clients. It is essential to ensure that the branding is consistent across all marketing channels, including social media, print materials, and the website.

    Digital Marketing

    In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is critical for any business. A cleaning service can use various digital marketing strategies to reach potential clients. For example, creating a website with search engine optimization can help the business appear higher in search engine results. Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, can also be effective for promoting the business and engaging with potential clients.

    Traditional Marketing

    Traditional marketing methods can also be effective for a cleaning service. For example, creating flyers and distributing them in the local community can help raise awareness of the business. Attending local events, such as fairs and festivals, can also be an effective way to promote the business and connect with potential clients.

    9. Customer Service Excellence

    Providing excellent customer service is crucial for any business, especially for a cleaning business. Customers want to feel valued and appreciated, and they expect their cleaning service to meet their needs and exceed their expectations. By providing excellent customer service, a cleaning business can build a loyal customer base and attract new customers through positive word-of-mouth.

    One way to provide excellent customer service is to communicate with customers regularly. Cleaning businesses should ask for feedback from their customers and use that feedback to improve their services. They should also be responsive to customer inquiries and concerns, addressing them promptly and professionally.

    Another important aspect of customer service is reliability. Customers expect their cleaning service to show up on time and complete the job as promised. A cleaning business should have clear policies and procedures in place to ensure that they are always reliable and consistent.

    Finally, a cleaning business should go above and beyond to make their customers feel appreciated. This can be done through small gestures such as leaving a thank-you note or offering a discount on future services. These small acts of kindness can make a big difference in how customers perceive a cleaning business.

    10. Frequently Asked Questions

    To start a cleaning business in Toronto, you will need to obtain a license from the government. The license allows you to offer other services like window cleaning, furniture, and more. You can find all the information about the licensing requirements on the City of Toronto’s website.

    The cost to obtain a cleaning business license in Ontario varies depending on the type of license you need. For example, a building cleaner licence cost $440.16. It includes application fee of $208.59 and $231.57 licence fee.

    Yes, a cleaning business can be profitable in Canada. However, the profitability of the business depends on the size of the business, the types of services offered, and the target market. It is important to research the local market and competition to determine the potential profitability of a cleaning business.

    The equipment necessary for starting a cleaning business includes cleaning supplies such as mops, brooms, vacuums, and cleaning solutions. Additionally, you may need to purchase a vehicle for transportation and storage of equipment. You can find more information on the necessary equipment for a cleaning business on the Ontario government website.

    11. Resources for Cleaning Businesses in Toronto

    Government Resources

    Industry Resources

    Other Resources

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