Set Up Your Business
Create a plan
Create a plan that determines what type or range of handyman services you will provide.
Choose a business structure
Choose a business structure. LLCs, Corporations, and Limited Partnerships must register their structure with CA Secretary of State before registering locally.
Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax ID Number from the IRS. This is used to identify your business and allows you to hire employees. If you are a sole proprietor, you may be able to use your Social Security Number instead.
Register your business
Register your business with the City through the Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector (TTX) and the Office of the Assessor-Recorder.
You may choose to obtain a separate business address, or you may use your personal address for your registration. Whichever you choose, it must be a physical address, not a P.O. Box.
Choose and file a business name
File a Fictitious Business Name (FBN) Statement at the Office of the County Clerk if you will be using a name other than your given name, the names of your partners, or the officially registered name of your LLC or corporation.
If you plan to hire employees, be sure to follow all wage and employment guidelines.
Adopt workplace safety measures
Adopt workplace safety measures that comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements. These include providing a workplace free of hazards, training employees to do their jobs safely, notifying government administrators about serious workplace accidents, and keeping detailed safety records.
Dispose of hazardous materials properly
You can dispose of up to 220 pounds or 27 gallons of hazardous waste using the City’s drop-off program at SF Recycling and Disposal Inc. Call (415) 330–1425 for an appointment.
Consider obtaining insurance to cover accidents. In a cleaning business, you will be performing various types of physical activity and operating in other people’s offices or homes. As a result, it is more likely for injuries and property damage to occur.
The SF Department of the Environment offers a green cleaning pilot program that certifies local cleaning business as Green Businesses. To learn more, call (415) 355 3700.
There are a number of ways to seek out work, including using the web, word-of-mouth, advertising, partnerships, etc.
Ask for references from existing customers. Word-of-mouth can be the most effective way to gain new customers.
Negotiate compensation & payment plan prior to signing a contract. Consider taking a class or seeking other advice on contracts.