Cleaning can be a chore to do around the house, and with the fast-paced environment of Singapore, most homeowners do not have the time or energy to tackle the cleaning chores around the house after work, school, and other daily activities.
Cleaning businesses have steadily increased over the years as more Singaporeans look to hiring professionals to upkeep their homes. Getting into the cleaning business can become a lucrative venture given the available Singapore workforce, access to well-paying clientele, and the clear incorporation process to be able to provide general cleaning services.
How to Set Up a Cleaning Agency
Singapore is undoubtedly one of the greenest and cleanest countries in the world. Therefore, it is no surprise that the cleaning sector plays a very significant role in this country’s environmental sectors. The authorities take a deep interest and make a lot of effort to maintain a healthy environment to promote the well-being of the citizens.
So if you want to incorporate a company in Singapore which is simple and profitable, there is no option better than a cleaning service, especially when you are at an entry level. In this guide, we will show you all the necessary information and helpful tips to set up your own cleaning business in Singapore.
What to Know When Starting a Cleaning Business in Singapore
It is always better to understand what you need to do before getting started. Thus, let’s take a look at critical steps that you need to take when starting a cleaning service in Singapore:
- List out all the services which you will provide with your cleaning company.
- Do a temporary job in the cleaning industry to acquire some experience in advance.
- Make a comprehensive and detailed business plan.
- Prepare the required documents to get the business from the NEA – National Environment Agency of Singapore.
- Get liability insurance to protect your business and assets during any calamities or unfortunate mishaps.
- Get your supplies and cleaning equipment ready.
- Create a comprehensive marketing plan and gradually implement it. Some common methods include fliers, billboards, ads in newspapers, commercials, online directories, word-of-mouth publicity, or your own website.
Acquiring an NEA Cleaning License (Singapore)
According to the Environmental Public Health Amendment Bill which came into force in 2014, all cleaning businesses in Singapore, even when these services come from a part of the overall business, need to be licensed unless exempted by laws. Unlicensed cleaning businesses will have a maximum financial penalty of $10,000 plus $1,000 for every day of business operations.
Obtaining a cleaning business license is the essential first step in establishing your cleaning business. The license will be issued for one year and can be renewed on an annual basis. There are a couple of requirements that your cleaning company needs to meet before applying for a cleaning business license. These include:
- Registration with ACRA and ROS
- Track Records for Existing Cleaning Companies
- Complete Training for Cleaning Service Providers and Resident Cleaners
- Wage Plan or Progressive Wage Model for Resident Cleaners
Overall, having a solid and finalised business plan will help expedite the process. Licensed cleaning businesses are able to provide their cleaning services, and are allowed to market their company to potential service buyers.
Additionally, licensed cleaning businesses awarded with Enhanced Clean Mark Accreditation are eligible for a 6-month extension of their cleaning license. This clean mark accreditation scheme was developed by NEA to ensure quality cleaning services from general cleaning businesses.
Registration with ACRA and ROS
Like most companies, cleaning businesses are required to register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore, which manages all companies incorporated in the country. Also, all the associations and societies should also be registered with the Registry of Societies (ROS).
All registered business companies (including limited partnership, limited liabilities partnership, partnerships, sole proprietorship) and incorporated companies like private limited should be registered with the ACRA, which includes cleaning companies.
If you have an existing cleaning company, then it must have completed (in the last one year) or at least one on-going cleaning contract right at the time of submitting the application. The company will need to submit the proper documentation and proof of training requirements to continue providing their services.
For a new cleaning business, it should have at least two years of practical experience and one employee in supervising cleaning tasks or has participated in the required training modules organised by the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications for Environmental Cleaning (WSQ) on Cleaning Process and Methods, as well as Supervise Service Operation.
Training for the Workforce
All cleaners of your company who are employed for more than three months are going to attend at least one module organised by the Local Cleaning Industry Environment or under the Environmental Cleaning WSQ Framework. However, NEA might also accept other non-EC WSQ certificates.
All cleaning businesses also have to file a progressive wage model that meets a few requirements of the NEA. Keep in mind that if your cleaning company operates in Singapore without the right business license, the authorities will impose a fine, penalty, or even imprisonment for the owners.
Similarly, all licensed businesses which are in breach of these mentioned licensing conditions will also be held liable for practising legal action and non-compliance taken against them. For these reasons, it is necessary for you to meet all of these requirements before getting started.
Keeping a Clean Business Plan
Incorporating a cleaning business in Singapore is relatively simple compared to incorporating other types of businesses such as food stalls and medical facilities. General cleaning services are also welcome as the country values cleanliness.
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