Starting a cleaning business in New Jersey involves several steps and considerations to ensure compliance with state and local laws. Below are the essential steps and important considerations:

Register Your Business with the State

Who Needs to Register

All business structures except sole proprietorships need to register.

Where to Register

Register with New Jersey’s Department of Treasury.


The registration fee is $125.

File a Doing Business As (DBA)

For Sole Proprietors and General Partners

Although not mandatory, filing a Trade Name or DBA is recommended with the county clerk’s office.

For LLCs, Partnerships, and Corporations

Required if they operate under a name different from their legal name.


The fee varies by region.

Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

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An EIN is mandatory if the business has employees, or if it is a partnership or corporation.

Where to Apply

Apply through the IRS website.


Obtaining an EIN is free.

Check if You Need a Sales Tax Certificate


Necessary for taxable goods and services such as janitorial and commercial cleaning.

Where to Apply

Apply through the New Jersey Division of Taxation.

Get Your Professional License

General Requirement

Typically, a cleaning license is not required, but certain services might need registration with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.

Specialized Services

  • Service Contract Providers: If providing ongoing maintenance contracts.
  • Environmental Impact Services: Additional local licenses and permits for services like window cleaning, dry cleaning, biohazard cleanup.
  • Mold or Asbestos Removal: Licenses from the New Jersey Department of Health.


Check with local authorities for specific requirements.

Check for Special Permits

Fire Code Permit

Required if using flammable materials or equipment, obtained from the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety.

Hazardous Materials Disclosure

Required if using hazardous materials or producing pollutant wastewater; information must be disclosed to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Local New Jersey Cleaning Business License Requirements


  • Special Requirement: Certificate of Occupancy (COO) for business location.
  • Process: Obtain from building owner or through an OPRA request if the owner is unavailable.
  • Business License Application: Obtain from the Office of Central Licenses and Permits at City Hall.


  • Annual Fee: $300 to the City Clerk for a permanent business location or branch office.

New Jersey Cleaning Business Insurance Requirements

Types of Insurance

  • General Liability: Covers third-party injuries and property damage.
  • Tools and Equipment Insurance: Optional add-on to cover repair or replacement of damaged/stolen equipment.
  • Workers’ Compensation: Mandatory; covers employee medical bills and related expenses after work-related injuries.
  • Commercial Auto: Recommended if using a vehicle for business operations.

Insurance Providers

Companies like NEXT offer business insurance tailored for cleaning businesses, providing coverage options that are both comprehensive and affordable.

By following these steps and ensuring all necessary licenses, permits, and insurance coverages are in place, you can successfully establish and operate a cleaning business in New Jersey. Be sure to stay updated with local laws to maintain compliance and protect your business.

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