Arizona Cleaning Business Start-up Laws

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This article provides three key state business startup requirements for self-employed sole proprietors and general partners who run residential house cleaning businesses in Arizona. Information from the Secretary of State, the Arizona Department of Revenue and selected city and county government sources were used to research this article.

Be aware that sole proprietor and general partner startup requirements in this state are always changing. Some requirements even vary from county to county.  It is important that you call or visit your local county or city government to find out local requirements for residential house cleaning businesses and home-based businesses. This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal or tax advice.

Business Name Registration

Sole proprietors and general partners are not required to register a statewide trade name in Arizona. If you choose to register a trade name, the name should be different from any other name already registered with the state or county. Start with a statewide business name search to avoid legal problems and customer confusion. Search online for trade names, trade name application forms and fees at the Arizona Secretary of State’s site.

Then do an online search for names similar to the one you plan to use. For example, if you want to use the name, Crystal Clean Maid Service, do simple Google searches for “Crystal Clean Maid Service+Arizona” plus Crystal Clean Maid Service+your county” and “Crystal Clean Maid Service+your town or city”. Search beyond the first page of results. Go at least five pages deep into the search results to see if the name you want or similar names are being used in your state, county or city.

Sole proprietors and general partners who want a business name that does not include the owner(s) full names (for example, Janice Smith’s Cleaning Service or Martha Harris’ and Tom Graham’s Maid Service) need to find out whether the name they want to use is available in the state of Arizona or their local county recorder’s office.

A DBA (doing business as) or “fictitious name” should be registered with the county recorder’s office where the business will be based.   Find a county recorder’s office:

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Business License Registration

Sole proprietors and general partners do not need a state business license in the State of Arizona. Residential house cleaning service businesses should check with the local city or county clerk’s office for licensing requirements.

In Arizona, both an individual and a husband and wife team can operate as a sole proprietorship.

In Arizona, a general partnership is created when two or more owners form an oral or written agreement to start a business together. While general partners are not required to file any documents with the Secretary of State, it is advisable to file for a trade name and have a written partnership agreement drawn up by a lawyer. Partnership agreements do not have to be filed with the state.

Sole proprietors and general partners may apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS even if they do not plan to hire employees. Getting an EIN may make it easier to open a bank account and reduce your risk of identity theft.  You can apply for an EIN online.  In addition, some business registration forms will require a NAICS business classification number for the house cleaning industry.

Note: The Arizona Commerce Authority has a simple checklist for start up businesses. The checklist directs sole proprietors and general partners to state and county license and tax information.

Business Tax Registration

Residential housecleaning services are not taxable in Arizona. Cleaning services do not have to collect and send sales taxes to the Department of Revenue.

Sole proprietors and general partners who start residential house cleaning services do not need to register for a state transaction privilege sales tax.

Sole proprietors and general partners pay tax on business income to the state of Arizona through their personal state tax return. Sole proprietors and general partners are responsible for paying estimated self-employment income taxes in Arizona (on Form 140ES) similar to the way self employment taxes are paid to the federal government. Get more information about estimated tax requirements by calling the Arizona Department of Revenue at (602) 255-3381 from Phoenix or from area codes 520 and 928, toll-free (800) 352-4090.

Arizona general partnerships that file a Federal partnership information Form 1065: as of the 2016 tax filing that occurs in 2017 and after, the Arizona Department of Revenue no longer requires business partnerships to send:

• federal Form 1065,
• federal Schedules K-1 (Form 1065)
• and all federal supporting paperwork

with their Arizona income tax return. Taxpayers are still required to provide these documents available upon request. Get more information from a CPA or qualified tax preparer to find out when your partnership must provide those documents.

Selected Arizona City Licenses

Avondale Business License:

Buckeye Business License:

Chandler Business License:

Casa Grande Business License:

Flagstaff Business License:

Gilbert Business License:

Glendale Business License:

Goodyear Business License:

Lake Havasu City Business License:

Mesa Business License: The city of Mesa does not require a business license for house cleaning services.

Peoria Business License:

Phoenix Business License: The city of Phoenix does not require a business license for residential house cleaning services.

Scottsdale Business License:

Surprise Business License:

Tempe Business License: The city of Tempe does not require a business license for residential house cleaning services.

Tucson Business License:

Yuma Business License:


  1. Judy E Brault says:

    An acquaintance of mine does occasional housekeeping / lawn care for neighbors / friends while he’s in Arizona for the winter months. Is he required to carry any license / liability insurance to continue? His total income from this would be under $300 a month. Thank you for any information you can provide.

    1. Hi Judy,

      For accurate and legal information, your friend should contact his local city or county government. They would also be able to tell him whether he needs to carry liability insurance. There are links to city licensing offices in Arizona on the last part of this page.

  2. Does a cleaning service company have to register with AZ DES?
    We are not expecting the need to hire help for the remainder of this year as we get the business running. So it will be just my spouse and I working for the business.

    1. Hi Kevin and Reyna,

      You will have to contact AZ DES directly with that question.

  3. Does the city of maricopa rewuire any type of license for a sole proprietor cleaning service that makes about $1000 a month

    1. Hi Misty,

      Have you contacted the city of Maricopa about licensing? Every city, county and state is happy to provide information to business owners. It’s best if you contact them directly for that information.

  4. Dawn Shankey says:

    IAM starting my own cleaning services for home and office cleaning do I need to get a licence for each place like mesa tempe or does a licence cover all of it and if I have another person working for me does she needs to get licence also

    1. Hi Dawn,

      You may need to get a license for each county and city in Arizona where you do business. Go to the website for each city to find out if you need a license. Some cities require business licenses, others don’t. License links to the largest AZ cities can be found on this page.

      All W-2 employees you hire don’t need a business license. However, independent contractors should have their own business license.

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