How To Start A Cleaning Company In South Africa (2023)

If you are looking for a business you can do in South Africa that requires more skill than capital, does not involve perishable items, and that can give you the flexibility to combine with any other hustle or endeavor then you have to give a thought to building a cleaning company in South Africa. 

This industry has really started to gain traction of late in South Africa, especially as the desire to be self-employed seems to be coming back into fashion. This is a brief guide on how to start a cleaning company in South Africa. 

How To Start A Cleaning Company In South Africa

Register your business

Invest In Professional Branding

Premises for your Business

Get Insurance For The Business

Labour Requirements



Marketing, Branding, And Awareness

Initial inventory

Here are details on the steps l listed above on how to start a Cleaning Company in South Africa.


Register your business

A good first step is registering your business, as any business mentor will tell you. Registering a business in South Africa only costs R175. 

Registering your business will make you more credible, give you the opportunity to have a business account with any South African bank of your choice, and help you rise more quickly in business. This is because a registered business will help you quickly earn the trust of potential clients and companies alike.

When you present a business account to a client he knows you mean business, and companies know you are not going to run away with their money.


Invest In Professional Branding

Branding is very important for every business. You will not get a second chance to impress your clients, so you have to give them the wow factor at first glance. You, therefore, need to invest in getting a logo, a website, uniform, and other things that will boost your brand. 

Good branding is just as important as registering your business; these are the things that will make you look credible and professional- without which you will find it very hard to get any offers. Branding is not even as expensive as you may think; a good logo costs anywhere between R150 and R1 500 in South Africa, and you can get a professional website for between R1 200 to R 2 500.

A uniform for your staff will also be an advantage, and the uniform does not have to be drab and colorless; like they used to be in the past. These days there are some very cool uniform ideas that you can use. 


Premises for your Business

You need a base of operations where you get to store your equipment and to carry out administrative work such as teaching new staff what to do, and office work like emailing and calling clients, scheduling cleaning rounds, and so on.

Luckily, you don’t need to hire a commercial office space to work from when doing this business; this is something you can do from home. This will save you some money, which you can use for other purposes. In this particular business, clients rarely ever have to visit your office. You are the one who visits clients, and any communication between you and them would be electronic.



Liability insurance is a deal you make with an insurance company that protects you from the possibility of an employee of yours damaging something valuable to a client. This insurance can come in very handy because mistakes can occur at any time, and you do not want to lose a client over a simple mistake like that. Furthermore, this can cause a massive financial strain on the young company. You may decide to hold off on this as long as you can especially if you are not getting many clients, but as soon as a business takes off, you need to do this because one slip can put a company out of business if there is no insurance.


Labour requirements

Of course, a cleaning company will need labour; you cannot do it alone. Besides that is why it is called a company. So how much labour does your company need? That may very well depend on how much work your company is getting. You can get started with one or two employees, especially if they are hardworking and dependable, and you would need to pay them anywhere between R40 and R120 per hour, depending on your geographical location. 

I good idea would be to think positively, especially when you have one or two clients in your books. The fear of a burden of salaries can hold you back, but if you have good staff, and do excellent work, you can get a lot of clients by referrals very quickly.



Pricing is one important factor that can determine the success of your business. You need to charge enough money to make a profit for your services and pay your workers. You need to maintain your vehicle, and you need materials for the work.

Sometimes your location, clientele, size of operation, and how long you have been in the business can determine your price. Cleaning companies usually charge anywhere between R500 and R900 for one hour of work.

As a new company, just aim for a little profit; you can gradually raise your prices with time.



You will need a company vehicle to transport all your equipment and supplies. This is a very good investment because it can be very difficult to transport all your supplies in public transport like a bus or taxi. As a person just starting out in business you can probably hire a vehicle. If you show up at your client’s premises with the same vehicle every time, and if the vehicle is parked there until you are through with work, that makes you look more trustworthy, clients won’t hesitate to pay your asking price.

With time you can get your own vehicle, and brand it with your company logo.



Marketing is one of the most important aspects of business, and this particular business needs lots of marketing. When you are well established you can depend on word of mouth, but as a business just starting out, you will need to do marketing in the form of printing and distributing flyers to advertise your business.

You can also put up an advert in your local paper, or do some digital advertising. This can work quite well since you have a company website that can receive online queries for your services. If you do not have a website, remember that it will cost you just about R1 200 to R 2 500 to get a professional website.

You can then pay a digital marketing consultant to put up adverts for you on places like Google, Facebook, and other high-traffic online places. Of course, it is possible to do it yourself if you know what you are doing, but it is always best to engage a professional.


Initial inventory

These are some of the things that you need to have in order to start up a cleaning business. 

Uniform: this helps bring professionalism to the business.

Window cleaner, Paper towels, Cloths, Latex Gloves: for the protection of your hands from some of the substances used for cleaning which are harmful.

 Scrubbing brushes, Disinfectants, Duster, All-purpose cleaner, Sponge.

These are all very important things that you will need for a cleaning business, but they are all cheap and inexpensive to purchase. In fact, you will need to have them as much as possible in-store, and also carry extra with you in the van when you are on your cleaning rounds.


For the benefit of clarity, the demand for cleaning services will come from two sides of this same market; residential clients and commercial clients.

Residential cleaning

Residential Cleaning is a direct service to individuals and families right at their homes. This is a very straightforward service where you come in to clean up the house at agreed times and intervals. Clean the room, dust off the furniture, floors, toilets, windows, and so on. 

If the contract includes the terraces, lawns, and other parts of the house it will be specified in the agreement. Of course the better you are at the job, the better your chances of a recommendation.


Commercial cleaning

Commercial cleaning services are more focused on cleaning the premises of companies and such institutions. The major difference between this kind of service and the one above it is that commercial cleaning is usually done in the evenings, after the companies’ business hours. It involves the same services; window cleaning, carpet cleaning, dusting up furniture, cleaning toilets, and so on. This sector requires you to be more organized, and hire more staff, but it is usually worth it; the pay is usually a lot better.

Most companies choose one sector to serve; either the residential side or the commercial side, although it is possible to serve both of these market groups.



Opening a cleaning business doesn’t require a lot of capital, but is a business that can give you the flexibility that most businesses may not give you. this is something that you can start small, and then gradually grow up. This business can expand quite rapidly and can get you the financial freedom, and even the freedom to live the life you desire.

Of course, a lot depends on how good you are at the job; it is a business that depends heavily on your expertise which you can improve by getting a job in a cleaning company and working for a few months.