How Much Money Do I Need to Start My Carpet Cleaning Business?

Both commercial and residential carpet cleaning businesses are in high demand and can easily be a lucrative business opportunity. Although this type of business does require start up capital, it is substantially less than businesses that require office space, several employees, and an IT network. A carpet cleaning business can be started from your home office and operated without employees until it grows.

What Carpet Cleaning Start Up Costs Should I Expect?

Business Licensing

Depending on which business structure you decide to use and what your state and local governments require, you will need to file at least a few papers and pay a few fees. 

You may consider legally protecting your intellectual property as well with trademarking. This will prevent other businesses from using your logo, business name or any of your branding. 

Other legal documents you may need include:

  • EIN application
  • Business license
  • Business plan
  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Memorandum of understanding
  • Non-disclosure agreement
  • Operating agreement
  • By-laws
  • LLC agreement 

If paperwork is not your strength, consider hiring an attorney and CPA to get things off to the right start.



Before launching your carpet cleaning business and taking on clients, purchase enough general liability insurance to cover yourself in the event of damage. You will also need business insurance for the vehicle you will be using to get to jobs and transport equipment.

Many small business owners purchase a surety bond. A surety bond is an escrow account that holds a specific amount of funds as a type of guarantee to clients that your business operates in good faith and according to industry standards. In the event that you are sued by a client, a surety bond will be used to award damages.

Once you have these insurances in place, you can market your business as "Bonded and Insured."


Carpet Cleaning Training

It is important to properly educate yourself and make sure that you have appropriate training before entering a customer's home. TMF Academy Trainings have everything from comprehensive training for beginners to refresher courses and issue specific training. 

Most courses include discounted chemicals and other bonuses, making them well worth the investment.


Commercial Vehicle

Unless you plan to use your personal van or truck to transport equipment and travel to clients' locations, you will need to purchase a vehicle for your carpet cleaning business. 


Retrofitting Equipment

Once you have your vehicle, you will want to customize it to make your daily operations seamless and efficient. The easiest way to do this is to purchase either TMF Profire or Starfire systems. These packages provide everything you need to retrofit your work truck or van and get started.


Professional Carpet Cleaning Equipment

Carpet cleaning businesses oftentimes offer auxiliary services to clients, as well. While creating your business plan, decide whether you will offer commercial carpet cleaning, residential carpet cleaning, pressure washing, tile and grout cleaning, or any other related services. Once you are clear about which services you will offer, create your cleaning equipment list and begin researching. Many retailers offer financing programs. Applying for a bank equipment loan is also an option if you are low on capital. 


Carpet Cleaning Chemicals 

Depending on the services you will offer, you will need to stock up on chemicals for different cleaning situations that will arise. Purchase chemicals for:

  • Pre-Treating Stains
  • Pet Odors
  • Upholstery Cleaning
  • Protecting 
  • Boosting

Do not try to cut costs with lower quality cleaning products. The result will be clogged lines and unsatisfied customers. 



Once you are set up and ready to go, you will need to invest some time and effort into a marketing campaign to launch your business and bring in some customers. Your marketing strategy may include: 

  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing
  • Collaborations
  • Radio and TV Advertising
  • Referral Program
  • Website with Sales Funnels


To determine how much starting your carpet cleaning business will cost you, begin by exploring your local market. If you do not need a vehicle right away and will be starting off small, it is possible to get started for as little as $10,000. The average start up cost for a carpet cleaning business is $30,000 and if you plan to scale immediately, plan on investing $75,000.

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