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Thinking of incorporating a business in Singapore? Starting a cleaning business in Singapore can be a rewarding and profitable venture. As one of the cleanest and most developed countries in the world, Singapore places a high value on cleanliness and hygiene, creating a strong demand for professional cleaning services.

Whether you’re looking to start a small residential cleaning service or aiming to build a large commercial cleaning enterprise, this step-by-step guide will help you navigate the process effectively. But first, let’s understand what a cleaning business is.

What Is a Cleaning Business in Singapore?

A cleaning business in Singapore is a commercial enterprise that offers a range of cleaning services to individuals, households, and businesses. The primary purpose of a cleaning business is to provide professional cleaning and maintenance services to maintain cleanliness and hygiene in various settings. These businesses can offer a wide variety of cleaning services, including but not limited to:

Residential Cleaning:

Cleaning businesses in Singapore often offer residential cleaning services, which involve cleaning and tidying up homes, apartments, and condominiums. This may include regular house cleaning, deep cleaning, move-in/move-out cleaning, and more.

Commercial Cleaning:

Many cleaning businesses cater to commercial clients, offering services like office cleaning, retail store cleaning, restaurant cleaning, and industrial cleaning. Maintaining a clean and sanitary environment is crucial for businesses to ensure the well-being of employees and customers.

Specialised Cleaning:

Some cleaning businesses specialize in specific cleaning niches, such as carpet cleaning, window cleaning, post-construction cleaning, and cleaning for healthcare facilities. These services require specialized equipment and expertise.

Janitorial Services:

Janitorial services typically involve the daily cleaning and maintenance of commercial and public spaces. This can include tasks like floor mopping, trash removal, restroom cleaning, and general upkeep.

Event Cleaning:

Cleaning businesses may offer services tailored to events and functions, including pre-event cleaning, post-event cleaning, and ongoing event support. These services are often required for conferences, parties, and exhibitions.

Outdoor Cleaning:

Some cleaning companies also offer outdoor cleaning services, such as pressure washing, window cleaning for high-rise buildings, and façade cleaning to maintain the exterior appearance of buildings.

To operate a cleaning business in Singapore, entrepreneurs must adhere to local regulations, obtain the necessary licenses and permits, and ensure compliance with health and safety standards. The cleaning industry in Singapore is competitive, but it also offers opportunities for growth and profitability, especially as cleanliness and hygiene have become increasingly important in today’s society, making cleaning services in high demand.

How to Start a Cleaning Business in Singapore?

Market Research and Planning

Before diving into the cleaning business, conduct thorough market research. Identify your target audience, competition, and potential niche areas. Consider the types of cleaning services you want to offer, such as residential, commercial, or specialized cleaning.

Business Registration and Licensing

To operate legally in Singapore, you must register your cleaning business with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). The process typically involves choosing a business structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, or private limited company) and securing a unique business name.

Licenses and permits for Cleaning Business in Singapore

You’ll also need to apply for relevant licenses and permits, such as:

Cleaning Business Licence

This is the most important license required for cleaning businesses in Singapore. It is issued by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and is valid for one year. To be eligible for a cleaning business licence, you must:

  • Be registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)
  • Have at least one cleaner who has been trained in at least two modules – one Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) module and one Core module – from the endorsed modules by the Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners (TCC)
  • Have a valid bizSAFE Level 3 certification
bizSAFE Level 3 Certification

bizSAFE is a workplace safety and health program that helps businesses to improve their safety performance. To achieve bizSAFE Level 3 certification, your cleaning business must meet certain requirements, such as having a safety management system in place and conducting regular safety audits.

Other Relevant Licences and Permits

Depending on the specific services that your cleaning business provides, you may also need to obtain other licences and permits. For example, if you provide fumigation services, you will need to obtain a Fumigator Licence from the NEA.

How to Apply for Licences and Permits

You can apply for the Cleaning Business Licence and bizSAFE Level 3 Certification online through the NEA’s website. For other relevant licences and permits, you should check with the relevant government agency.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all the licences and permits that you may need, which would depend on the specific nature of your cleaning business. It is always advisable to check with the relevant government agencies to confirm the specific requirements.

Business Plan and Financing

Develop a comprehensive business plan outlining your goals, target market, pricing strategy, and financial projections. Determine your startup costs and explore financing options, such as loans or grants, to ensure you have sufficient capital.

Insurance and Bonding

Consider obtaining insurance coverage and bonding for your cleaning business. This helps protect your business and clients in case of accidents or damages during cleaning operations.

Equipment and Supplies

Invest in the necessary cleaning equipment and supplies, including vacuum cleaners, cleaning agents, mop buckets, and safety gear. Ensure that your equipment meets industry standards and safety regulations.

Hiring and Training Staff

If your cleaning business requires additional staff, hire reliable and well-trained cleaners. If you are consider hiring foreigners, ensure you apply for the appropriate work passes for them. Provide proper training on cleaning techniques, safety procedures, and customer service to maintain a high standard of service quality.

Marketing and Branding

Create a strong online presence through a professional website and active social media profiles. Utilize digital marketing strategies, such as search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising, to reach potential clients. Develop a memorable branding strategy that sets your cleaning business apart.

Client Contracts and Agreements

Prepare clear and comprehensive client contracts and agreements that outline the scope of services, pricing, payment terms, and cancellation policies. Consult with legal professionals if needed to ensure your contracts are legally sound.

Compliance and Quality Control

Regularly review and update your business practices to ensure compliance with Singapore’s regulations. Implement quality control measures to consistently deliver exceptional cleaning services.

Financial Management

Keep accurate financial records and monitor your cash flow. Consider hiring an accounting and taxation consultant to manage your finances efficiently.

Customer Satisfaction and Feedback

Focus on customer satisfaction by actively seeking feedback and addressing any concerns promptly. Happy customers are more likely to recommend your services and become repeat clients.

Conclusion

Starting a cleaning business in Singapore requires careful planning, compliance with regulations, and dedication to delivering high-quality services. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can embark on your entrepreneurial journey with confidence. Remember that success in the cleaning industry comes not only from hard work but also from providing exceptional service that exceeds your client’s expectations.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that a company incorporation service provider can be an invaluable resource in your journey to start a cleaning company in Singapore. These professionals specialize in helping entrepreneurs navigate the complex process of business registration, licensing, and compliance.

They can streamline the administrative tasks, guide you through legal requirements, and ensure that your business is set up correctly from the start. This allows you to focus on the core aspects of your cleaning business, such as providing exceptional service and growing your client base, with confidence and peace of mind. Consider seeking the assistance of such service providers to make your entrepreneurial journey smoother and more efficient.

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