Dusting Up on Business
Important Contracts for a Cleaning Business

A cleaning services contract explains and defines the relationship between a cleaning company and the client it serves. While every contract is different, a commercial cleaning contract usually outlines…

  • Which services you will provide for a client.
  • How much these services will cost.
  • When you will be paid.
  • What types of cleaning insurance you're required to have.
  • Which party is responsible for accidents, injuries, and property damage.
  • How much responsibility you have for accidents.

Business contracts always include a section for "indemnity," which defines and sometimes limits what each party can be sued for. Unfortunately for small-business owners, you don't have much bargaining power. Typically, your client contracts will hold you fully responsible for theft, property damage, injuries, and other problems that could lead to a lawsuit.

Types of Cleaning Business Contracts

Types of Cleaning Business Contracts

Chances are, your cleaning business will encounter the following kinds of contracts:

  1. Client services contract. These can be janitorial cleaning contracts, office cleaning contracts, or other commercial cleaning agreements. We'll go over what to look for in a client contract in the next section.
  2. Lease agreements. To rent a storefront or office, you'll need to sign an office lease. Many landlords require your business to have General Liability Insurance in case you start a fire or damage their building.
  3. Vendor agreements. Cleaning businesses need to be well stocked with cleaning agents, equipment, and other supplies that vendors deliver to your premises.
Which Insurance Coverages Do Cleaning Services Contracts Require?

Which Insurance Coverages Do Cleaning Services Contracts Require?

In "Licenses, Bonds, and Contracts: Legal Documents for Cleaning Businesses," we explain that local laws often require cleaning businesses to have a license and insurance. Contracts may require that your business has…

  • A Contract Bond / Surety Bond. This covers the cost to repay a client if you fail to finish a job. Say you hire a temporary employee who shirks their responsibilities and doesn't fully clean a client's building. If the client demands a refund, the Surety Bond will repay them for what they spent on the unfinished work.
  • General Liability Insurance. This pays for lawsuits when your business damages a client's property or someone is injured as a result of your cleaning. If someone slips and falls after your employee mops a floor, General Liability Insurance can cover your lawyer fees and damages you owe the injured party in a lawsuit or medical expenses for the injured party.
Why Do Cleaning Businesses Need Contracts?

Why Do Cleaning Businesses Need Contracts?

If you've worked in the cleaning business for a while, you know that some clients can be hard to please. They may allege that you didn't deliver exactly what they wanted (or expected). Your contract can help you…

  • Navigate client issues with your services. Say a client calls you to complain that their windows weren't cleaned this week. They chew you out on the phone as you calmly try to explain that you only clean windows every other week. Because your contract explicitly defines the services you offer a client, you can show your client what they agreed to.
  • Ensure timely payments. If a client balks at the price of your services or refuses to pay your full fee, a contract protects your business so long as it clearly outlines your fees and payment dates. This allows you to sue your clients for the back payments they owe. Without a clear contract, it will be your word versus theirs in court.

In summary, cleaning contracts are a crucial way to protect your business. They make sure you get compensated for your services, and they can help you manage client expectations. If you need cleaning business insurance to fulfill coverage requirements, submit an online insurance application for free quotes.

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