The Full Guide to Becoming Self Employed: Cleaner

Taking on cleaning jobs might seem like a simple task, but in actuality, it can be quite complex. Over the last few years, a cleaner’s average salary has started to drop, due to covid-19 restrictions. Now that covid regulations have gone away, cleaning jobs are back to being more lucrative. This leaves the question, how do you break into the cleaning industry?

cleaning jobs, cleaning tools, spray, gloves, bowl, bottle, sponge, dim light, flower pattern

Training, experience, and qualifications

When starting a career as a cleaner, you might find that you’re not getting as much work as you would like. Cleaning is a heavily experience-based profession. There are no qualifications that are mandatory and experienced cleaners will usually take priority. But you can get around this, by offering your services at a more competitive rate when starting out.

Though there aren’t many required qualifications for basic cleaning, there is still the opportunity for training and experience. You can gain this by working under an agency or a workplace before starting your own business. This would allow you to get on-the-job training whilst also getting paid. 


Cleaning qualifications are few and far between, however, they are available. The most common example is the Cleaning and Support Services Skills level 1-3. To qualify for this, you are only required to have a job in the industry, with an appropriate amount of experience for the level.

  • Level 1 is entry-level, for those looking to show their skill when just starting out.
  • Level 2 is for more experienced industry professionals, for those who have experience and would like the qualification to show it.
  • Finally, level 3 is for those who hold management positions in cleaning: a display of skill with both the profession and as a team leader within the workplace.

There are more complex qualifications available, however, they dip into external fields such as chemical engineering and law enforcement. These are part of a larger qualification and cleaning would be a subcategory of it.

Setting up the business

Once you earn £1000+ as a self-employed business, you are legally required to submit a self-assessment tax return. When doing this you have the option to stay a sole-trader, or to register as a limited company. 

As a sole trader, you have complete ownership and responsibility of your business, its accounts, and any decisions are yours to make. You do not answer to a board of shareholders. This kind of business is suitable for little or no employees.

As a limited company, you are an employee under your own business. You pay yourself through a salary and dividends, as the accounts are separate from your own. The decisions are made by a board of shareholders, including the business owner. This type of business accommodates for larger and faster expansion.

I recommend anybody with a level 2 or lower qualification to stay a sole-trader. You might not have the experience to run a cleaning business with so many people involved.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top