What you need to know about cleaning business licences in Australia

As far as trade professions go, learning how to become a cleaner is actually quite straightforward. Nonetheless, when it comes to cleaning licences in Australia it’s important that cleaners know and understand the relevant Australian, state, and local council regulations before they start.

Take the time to familiarise yourself with the various legal requirements for cleaning businesses – which in some cases may include holding cleaners insurance*, such as Public Liability insurance, Personal Accident and Illness insurance, and Business Insurance.

Doing so can help cleaning business owners avoid headaches and financial pain further down the road. So, lets dig into everything you may want to be aware of if you are considering applying for a cleaning business licence, and other related cleaning services licences.

Do cleaners in Australia need to be licensed?

By and large, cleaning business owners and cleaning business employees in Australia are not required to hold any specific licence to provide cleaning services to clients. There is also no specific cleaning course that needs to be completed in order to legally operate as a cleaner and provide professional cleaning services.

Of course, you may still choose to complete formal cleaning courses such as a Certificate III in a relevant cleaning discipline to help differentiate your business from other cleaning companies in the market. This may be a great idea if you intend to start your own cleaning business.

Is cleaning profitable?

While cleaning licences in Australia are not mandatory, having a cleaning licence can help you increase the profitability of your cleaning business by differentiating your business from the competition.

In fact, holding a cleaning licence can elevate your cleaning business above the competition – because it demonstrates that you are formally trained to a higher level for your profession.

Local laws

Despite Australia having no overarching licensing requirements or regulations for general commercial and domestic cleaners, there are local councils (and even some states and territories) that do have specific cleaning regulations that may require cleaners to hold specific cleaning permits.

These might refer to more complex jobs such as carpet cleaning, pest control, or upholstery cleaning, or they may be specific to an individual industry. Either way, it’s important that you remain up to date with any local regulations and guidelines from your local council.

Licences for different cleaning services

1. Residential cleaning

If you are operating as a cleaner for households and private homeowners, there may be a need to get certain cleaning licences in Australia and cleaning permits for the work that you intend to do. The specific details of the majority of domestic cleaning jobs may vary, but they most likely won’t fall under any of the categories that require a cleaning licence.

Recommended reading: How to Start a House or Residential Cleaning Business

2. Commercial cleaning

If you are cleaning an office, a corporate building, or another type of commercial premises, chances are you will not need a cleaning licence in Australia. However, some industrial cleaners do choose to upskill themselves depending on the type of worksite, factory, or operational facility they are working in.

Recommended reading: How to Start a Commercial Cleaning Business

3. Car cleaning

Professional car cleaning can be quite the lucrative business model, whether you offer a mobile service or not. While for the most part there are no licences required for cleaning, you may want to consider some basic yet comprehensive level of auto-mechanic training and certification to enable you to offer particularly attractive maintenance services to your clients.

4. Carpet, laundry and pool cleaning

Carpet cleaners also do not need any particular licence to operate in Australia. Carpet cleaners often deal with particular machinery or equipment, and use specific deodorisers, treatment products, and cleaning materials so it’s important that you and your cleaning staff are properly trained to use all of those items.

Just like carpet cleaning, there are no qualifications or licences required to become a laundry cleaner or pool cleaner. As long as you are familiar with the techniques, technologies, and tools, and have some experience providing the services in a safe manner, you will be good to go.

5. Crime scene and trauma scene cleaning

These highly specialised cleaners are brought in in the unfortunate case of a crime scene or an accident scene, such as a car crash. To operate as a crime scene cleaner you may be required to undergo a National Police Check. You may also be required to undergo particular cleaning training that caters for this specific type of cleaning.

As you may imagine, cleaners in this sector can regularly face potentially disturbing scenes, which means that undertaking ongoing training for coping and dealing with such crime scenes is highly recommended. There may also be specialised equipment and cleaning materials used which may require a licence, and additional product training.

6. High rise window and bio-hazard cleaning

Any high rise cleaning work – be it in the construction industry or be it cleaning windows in high-rise buildings – that involves the use of scaffolding or rigging will require a high risk work licence from the regulatory body in your state or territory.

If you plan to carve out a niche in the world of skyscraper window cleaning or bio-hazard and chemical waste cleaning, consider contacting the relevant government department in your state or territory to find out more about the regulations you may need to adhere to.

Are you starting your own licensed cleaning business?

Completing formal cleaning courses and securing your cleaning business licence in NSW, or anywhere else in Australia, means you are ready to take your cleaning business to the next level. And BizCover can help with that when it comes to your business insurance. 

Securing your cleaning business licence is a big step for your cleaning business, and BizCover can support you and your business by making buying cleaners insurance fast, convenient, and cost-effective. Choose BizCover for an easier business insurance experience and make buying cleaners insurance for your business a breeze. Start a quote now.

*This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. © 2023 BizCover Pty Limited, all rights reserved. ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769.

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