Starting a Cleaning Services Company in Dubai [Guide]
Cleaning services is one of the most sought-after business activities in the UAE. As a land of expats, the UAE is home to millions of professionals who spend a major part of their day out of their homes. Leading busy lives leaves little time to get any cleaning done, and many may not be inclined towards keeping a full-time house help. As a result, they rely on cleaning services companies for the upkeep of their homes. This, in turn, has made starting a cleaning services company in Dubai a lucrative business venture.
Cleaning services is a large sector that includes residential cleaning, commercial cleaning, and industrial cleaning. Each of these categories has further sub-categories that specialise in one activity such as carpet cleaning, water tank cleaning, AC & kitchen duct cleaning, etc.
Types of cleaning services
Residential cleaning services, like the name suggests, tackle residential spaces such as apartments and villas and specialise in cleaning areas such as bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and other home spaces. Residential cleaning requires basic cleaning equipment and supplies.
Commercial cleaning services cater to commercial spaces such as offices, retail stores, hospitals, and buildings. Since these spaces are usually bigger than residential spaces, they require specialised, heavy-duty equipment and cleaning supplies.
Industrial cleaning services are called in to sanitise and maintain industrial buildings, factories, and warehouses. These spaces can have very specific requirements such as commercial waste clean-up, hazardous waste clean-up, etc. Industrial cleaning deals with a whole different type of clientele and therefore requires industrial-grade cleaning machinery, chemicals, and other industrial solvents and cleaning supplies.
Here we will focus on how to start a residential cleaning services business in Dubai.
To start your residential cleaning services business in Dubai, you must register your company with the Department of Economic Development (DED). The DED is the government body responsible for issuing trade licenses for businesses in Dubai mainland.
Depending on the type of shareholding structure you want for your business, a cleaning services company can apply for either a Professional or Commercial license.
If applying for a Professional license,
- You can have 100% ownership of your business
- Your company can be registered as a Sole Proprietorship or a Civil Company
- You must appoint a UAE National as a Local Service Agent (LSA)
If applying for a Commercial license,
- You must appoint a UAE National as a Local Sponsor
- The local sponsor will hold 51% company shares, as mandated by UAE law
- Your company will be registered as a Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Requirements to apply for a cleaning services license
- Completed application form
- At least 3 trade name options
- Passport copies of shareholders
- Entry stamp or visa page of foreign shareholders
- NOC from the current sponsor, if the shareholder has a residence visa
- Additional approvals, if any, listed by the DED
The process to register your cleaning services company with DED
- Choose your business activity from DED’s list of activities
- Select the company structure for your business. This will be either a sole proprietorship, a civil company, or an LLC
- Get trade name approval for one of the 3 name options submitted
- Get the Initial Approval. This approval indicates that the UAE Government has no objection for your business to be established in the UAE
- Prepare and sign the LSA Agreement (for Professional license) or MOA (for Commercial license)
- Rent a physical office and submit the tenancy contract along with the Ejari. A Dubai mainland company must have a physical office location
- Submit the additional approvals, if any
- Pay the fees and collect the business license
Although starting a residential cleaning services company in Dubai is profitable and fairly low-cost, it is important to factor in other important aspects such as competition, workforce, equipment and supplies, and sub-categories your business will cater to.