Starting a cleaning business can be a rewarding venture as the demand for cleaning services continues to rise. Like starting any kind of small business, there are a lot of factors that need to be considered before you start taking new clients. 

In this article, we’ll cover some legal requirements for staging a cleaning businesses, including: 

  • Cleaning service agreements
  • Confidentiality agreements
  • Contracts of employment
  • Contractor agreements 
  • Supply agreements
  • Workplace policies
  • Wet and dry hire agreements
  • Terms and conditions
  • Privacy policies
  • Additional employer obligations 

How To Start A Cleaning Business

When you start a cleaning business, you’ll need to go through the usual process of deciding on a business structure, registering your business, getting a business name and applying for the relevant taxes. 

This step is important as your structure and registration process will set the stage for your business performance moving forward. It should complement your business goals and your general business plan. 

The exact specifics will depend on your unique business, so if you need any help with this, our legal experts are ready to assist.  

A few other things you might think about when starting your cleaning business are: 

  • The locations you will be available in 
  • The kinds of cleaning services you will provide (specialised, residential or commercial)
  • The hours your business operates
  • The amount the service will cost and how payment will be handled 
  • What cleaning products and materials you will use (if you are the one supplying them) 
  • Whether you will be operating alone or hiring staff to assist you 
  • How you will promote and market your services 

What Are The Legal Requirements For Starting A Cleaning Business?

Like any other business, starting a cleaning business also requires consideration of your legals. It’s important to get this right from the beginning, as many potential issues can be avoided by simply having the right agreements and contracts in place. 

Cleaning Service Agreement

A Cleaning Services Agreement is the document you will hand to your clients. This agreement is one of the most important, as it will outline the duties and responsibilities of both parties. The contract will contain important matters such as the scope of the services that will be provided to the client, hours of operation and relevant fees. 

If there is any disagreement or confusion around what needs to be done or anything else that might be related to the provision of cleaning services, the Cleaning Services Agreement is where you’d look first. 

Cleaning Services Agreements also address potential liabilities, to make sure you are protected in case something goes wrong. 

Confidentiality Agreement For Cleaners

Cleaners enter private spaces, whether it be someone’s home or an office space. Therefore, it’s reasonable for people to want a guarantee of confidentiality from their cleaners. 

Having a Confidentiality Agreement in place can give clients the peace of mind they need to be able to trust you or any of your staff in their personal spaces. 

A Confidentiality Agreement will usually outline the private details of the client, whether it’s their contact information, address or details of the space. It should also specify that this private information will not be shared publicly or with unauthorised third parties. 

Contract Of Employment For A Cleaner

If you’re thinking of hiring staff to assist with your business, then an Employment Contract for cleaners is necessary. Like every other business that employs people, it’s important to have a contract in place that outlines matters such as:

  • Duration of employment
  • The expected pay and work hours
  • Leave and other entitlements 
  • The scope of work the cleaner will be required to do 
  • Termination of employment
  • Professional conduct expected of the employee  

Employers owe certain duties to their employees, such as workplace health and safety obligations. It’s important to understand how you can meet these obligations. 

A good way to do this is by having Staff Handbooks and internal policies. This can maintain a healthy workplace culture and good processes for any work-related mishaps. 

Contractor Agreement

Contractors are external employees of a business, often hired for a brief period of time to complete a specific task. For example, if you have larger projects such as an end of lease cleaning job, you may require a larger vehicle to carry your equipment. In this case, you may hire a contractor who can safely operate larger vehicles, but they are only required for end of lease jobs. 

This is different to an employee, as employees are internal and are more involved in the business. They also have different entitlements and responsibilities. So, it’s important to understand the difference between an employee and a contractor

If you are thinking of hiring contractors, it’s important to have a Contractor Agreement to set out the terms of your working relationship. This is particularly important as contractors have a little more flexibility with their duties. For example, they decide how much to charge you. 

A Contractors Agreement, much like an Employment Contract, outlines the duties and expectations of both the employer and the worker. 

However, the agreement specifies that it’s a contractors agreement and includes key differences like the contractor’s obligation to manage their own taxes and insurance. This is crucial as it can be easy to confuse a contractor and an employee, so make sure you distinguish between your internal and external employees as you may end up owing employee duties to contractors. 

This can be a tricky line to walk so talk to one of our legal experts today for some professional advice. 

Supply Agreement

A Supply Agreement is a contract between a business and their supplier. This is usually someone who provides materials which are needed for the business to operate. 

For example, a builder might have a supplier for specific materials. In the case of a cleaning business, you might hire a supplier to assist in delivering specific cleaning materials. In this instance, a Supply Agreement should be in place. 

A Supply Agreement will detail the goods to be supplied, delivery, fees and what happens in case something goes wrong. It also covers aspects such as warranties and liability. So, it’s always advisable to have a Supply Agreement in place

Workplace Policies

Workplace policies are important for any work environment. As a cleaning service, your business is unique from most other businesses as your employees are working outside of an office, away from you. Despite this, workplace policies are still applicable.

So, as a cleaning business, you should have staff handbooks and internal policies to ensure all employees are on the same page and understand any important processes to follow. 

Workplace should be well-developed and handed to all employees when they are hired. It should cover matters such as: 

  • A statement of purpose outlining the overall goal of the policy 
  • The conduct expected of employees
  • Occupational health and safety (especially important when dealing with heavy duty cleaning materials) 
  • Dispute resolution 
  • A complaints process 

What Else Might I Need?

Many businesses that provide a service allow their customers to book online. It’s a far more convenient and effective process for both parties. However, if you are running a website for your business, then you will be needing certain agreements that are catered for online use. 

In other words, you want to look into documents commonly used by eCommerce businesses

Cleaning Business Terms And Conditions

Terms and Conditions are generally a set of rules that lays out your duties to customers visiting your website and their obligations as well. 

It’s good business practice to have these terms available to your online users as it can limit your liability, prevent people from infringing on any copyrighted materials or trademarks and allows you to regulate activity on your website.  

Usually, users will not be able to proceed to use the website until they have fully agreed to the terms and conditions set out by your business. This ensures they are aware of key risks and liability protections. 

Privacy Policy 

According to the Australian Privacy Principles, any website that collects the personal information of their customers needs to have a Privacy Policy in place. 

As a cleaning business, you will be needing the names, addresses, phone numbers, emails and payment details of clients. Therefore, you are legally required to have a Privacy Policy in place. 

A Privacy Policy upholds the rights of customers regarding their data by letting them know what data is being collected, how long it is being stored for and what purposes it is being used for. 

Remember, privacy is a legal duty of businesses and non-compliance can lead to consequences – make sure you’re covered with a strong Privacy Policy

What Are My Employer Obligations?

As an employer, you have a number of duties to your employees. We’ve mentioned some of them briefly in this article, including workplace health and safety, leave, entitlements and employment contracts. 

Essentially, an employer is responsible for making sure their employees are being treated according to Fair Work standards and ensuring they have a safe working environment. 

For a cleaning business, keeping your employees safe can involve giving them options to decide whether or not they would like to provide services to a particular client, determine the locations they will operate in, hours they feel comfortable working and maintaining consistent communication with them.  

But, of course, this also depends on your workplace culture. You can always take that extra step to ensure your employees are satisfied with their work and are being treated well. 

After all, they keep your business running, so you want to make sure they’re happy! 

Key Takeaways

Starting a cleaning business has the potential to be a profitable endeavour. However, the success of your business is highly dependent on the strength of your contracts and meeting all legal obligations. 

To summarise what we’ve covered: 

  • Choose the right business structure as this will influence your business performance moving forward
  • Contracts for supplies, employment and confidentiality are all important to secure your business
  • As an employer, you still need to enforce workplace policies and any legal obligations towards your employees
  • Your cleaning businesses website must also comply with legal obligations, such as having a privacy policy and terms and conditions

If you would like a consultation on starting a cleaning business, you can reach us at 1800 730 617 or team@sprintlaw.com.au for a free, no-obligations chat.

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