Cleaning businesses offer a wide range of services, including disinfecting, vacuuming, dusting, tidying up, floor mopping, and waxing. More recently, cleaning businesses are specializing in CDC recommended procedures to kill the COVID-19 virus. In this guide, we talk about low-cost strategies to get your cleaning business up and running on a budget. We cover how to get your cleaning business started in seven steps.
1. Choose Your Type of Cleaning Business
The very first step you need to take is to determine if you’d like to create a residential or commercial cleaning business. Your decision here will affect everything else you do, from the financing to the equipment to the marketing.
Most cleaning companies don’t provide services to both residential and commercial customers. The specialization is because each provides different services and requires unique equipment. You also need to decide if you’re starting your biz from scratch or purchasing a cleaning-based franchise.
Residential vs Commercial Cleaning Business
As a basic definition, a residential cleaning service specializes in homes and commercial specializes in businesses. But, it gets more complicated. Typically, the residential cleaning business is a lower cost to start; however, commercial can be very lucrative because of the add-on services such as floor waxing, window washing, and deep disinfecting.
You also want to consider that residential is done during the day, and the commercial is during the night. Also, residential cleaning is more detail-oriented because the homeowner is more likely to inspect your work and be particular about how you do certain tasks such as arranging pillows and blankets. Commercial covers more square feet, so you’ll have to work faster and less detail-oriented than residential.
From a business perspective, you’ll find less competition in residential space because there are more customers available. Overall, your choice between residential and commercial depends on your budget for equipment and lifestyle.
Should You Buy a Cleaning Franchise?
Cleaning franchises are popular—you can choose from over 15 brands. One aspect that makes cleaning franchises appealing is they’re generally low-cost to start. Many also provide an option to start from home or part-time. The Stratus Building Solutions franchise costs as low as $3,500.
Now, it’s important to remember that not all cleaning franchises are low-cost. Some require up to a $200,000 investment. These types of franchises often require vehicles, a location, and advanced equipment.
Many new business owners choose to buy into a franchise because it provides business and industry training. For example, The Maids offers seven weeks of business training, plus two days of culture training at headquarters, six days of admin training, and four days of on-site training at your location. It’s a cleaning business boot camp!
Top cleaning franchises to research:
$4,000 – $73,000
$4,000 – $54,700
$6,000 – $37,000
$11,000 – $68,000
$58,000 – $222,000
$63,000 – $141,000
$90,000 – $125,000
$112,000 – $156,000
2. Write a Quick cleaning business plan
The next step house cleaning insurance and bonding to start for a cleaning business are to create a one-page business plan. You should get your ideas out of your head and on paper. You should also research starting a cleaning business in Florida and forecast how much money the cleaning business will earn and spend over the next two years (called financial projections).
If you’re seeking a large amount of financing from a bank or investor, you will need a traditional business plan. Most people will use business plan software to assist with planning financial projections. If you find yourself wondering what an income statement, balance sheet, or break-even point is, you likely will need software. Insurance for cleaning business is also needed item.
Create a One-Page Business Plan
You should be able to complete the one-page business plan in less than 15 minutes. It’s simple: Write down one to two sentences to the questions in the free template below:
Set up a Budget. How to get commercial cleaning contracts?
Along with the business plan, you need to estimate the financials of your cleaning business. You need to determine three figures: startup costs (how much it costs to start), estimated monthly expenses, and estimated monthly income.
The following are common expenses for a low-cost cleaning business:
- Licenses and permits: $100 to $500 to register as a limited liability company.
- Insurance: $500 to $3,500 annually, depending on a number of employees. Expect to pay a few hundred dollars per month.
- Cleaning equipment and products: $300 to $600 depending on the type of tools. High-quality vacuums can cost $200 to $300, $10 for several large all-purpose cleaning solutions, $10 for a broom, $20 for a mop, and $20 for dusting supplies.
- Advertising: $100 to $200 for print and online marketing.
- Labor: Roughly $12 per employee, per hour.
Once you have your expenses estimated, you need to determine your rates and how much income you will earn every month.
Set Your Cleaning Rates
Factors such as your location, competition, clientele, and interior condition will determine your exact rates. You can also earn additional revenue with upgrades such as window cleanings, appliance cleanings, or wall washings.
Consider these options when determining your rates:
- Hourly Rate: $30 to $90 per hour. The hourly rate is the most common billing method. Establish an estimate for your hourly rate by calling competitors and inquiring about how much service would be.
- Flat Rate: $120 to $150 for a single-family home. Determine this rate by estimating how long it will take to clean a particular house. Customers may prefer this rate because they know the exact amount to pay every month.
- Square Foot Rate: It’s standard in the commercial cleaning business to charge per square foot rate. Expect to charge an office building anywhere from $.05 to $.20 per square foot.
Put Together the Income and Expenses
Now you have your startup costs, monthly expenses, and potential income, the next step is to determine your net income (income after expenses), and how long it will take to earn your initial investment back—also called breakeven.
For example, let’s say your startup costs are $4,000. Regarding monthly expenses, you determine that you’ll spend $1,000 every month, including your quarterly tax withdrawal (about 20% of income).
For income, if you clean 20 homes per month at $120 per home, that is $2,400 in revenue. After taking out the $1,000 in monthly expenses, that leaves you with $1,400 net income every month.
In this scenario, it will take you at least four months to breakeven and make your initial $4,000 back. Keep in mind, it’s likely you won’t have 20 homes in your first month in business. It may take longer than four months to build up this clientele and make your money back.
3. Get Necessary Funds
Whew, you did one of the hardest parts. You crunched the numbers and know how much money you’ll need to start the businesses that need cleaning services and keep it afloat for at least six months. Now you need to come up with the cash. But how?
Ideally, you’ll want to use personal funds to start the business. You want to avoid debt at all costs. That may not be possible if you’re starting a cleaning business with vehicles or a physical location. Whatever type of business you’re opening, remember that you still have to pay back the debt if the company fails.
Consider the following funding options to start your cleaning business (bullets):
- Personal funds: Before using any of your personal funds to start the biz, transfer the money into a business bank account (discussed below).
- Crowdfunding: This is a funding option many new cleaning businesses overlook. Use crowdfunding to raise funds from potential customers such as family and friends, before opening. Use the funds to purchase equipment and then perform the prepaid services.
- Credit cards: Remember, we don’t recommend taking on a substantial amount of debt to start your first business. However, if you choose to take on debt, a credit card is an option. If you have good credit, you can get a 0% introductory APR for 12 to 18 months.
- Personal loan: Generally, we recommended that you don’t take out a personal loan to start a cleaning business. The interest rate is relatively high (above 12%) because the loan isn’t secured to collateral.
- Home equity loan: If you have equity in your home, you can take out a loan to start your business. Because this loan is tied to your home as collateral, the interest rate will be low.
- Rollover for business startups (ROBS): Only look into this if you’re opening a franchise. A ROBS is when you use 401(k) money to open a business.
Until you have at least a three-year history of income and expenses, or paid off equipment such as vehicles, don’t apply for a traditional bank loan or SBA loan. Typically, banks don’t lend to startups.
If you’re franchising, a bank loan or franchise financing could be an option. The franchise may have a relationship with a bank and can organize funding for you. A bank may be open to financing a franchise if the overall failure rate is low.
4. File Legal Paperwork
Once you have the funds to start your cleaning business, it’s time to get your legal paperwork in order. You’ll need to get an employer identification number, register the business legal entity, and open a business bank account.
Get an Employment Identification Number
The employment identification number (EIN) is provided by the federal government to identify small businesses. You’ll use this number when filing taxes, opening a bank account or getting a loan. You can get an EIN for free through the IRS. The entire process takes about 15 minutes.
Register the Legal Entity
All cleaning business owners need to register their business as a legal entity. Registering as a legal entity protects personal assets if a lawsuit were to ever occur against the business. Depending on your state, the cost to register a business is anywhere from $40 to $500.
- Sole proprietorship: This is the default business structure if you don’t register your business as a legal entity. There are no legal protections with a sole proprietorship.
- Limited Liability Company (LLC): The LLC is the legal entity you’ll most likely choose for your cleaning company. It’s easy to set up and takes little maintenance every year.
- C corporation: The C-corp is the other legal entity. Compared to the LLC, it’s more complicated to set up. Often, business owners hire an attorney to assist in the setup. The C-corp is typically for larger companies that have multiple investors in the business.
- S corporation: Technically, the S-corp (small business corp) is not a legal entity; it’s a tax designation. Congress created the S-corp so that small businesses could get similar tax advantages as corporations. You can use a custom calculator to determine if designating your LLC as an S-corp will save tax money.
To register your business, visit your state’s official business registration website. If you find the site cumbersome and challenging to navigate, consider using an online legal service to handle it for you. IncFile will register your business for free (plus any state fees).
Open a Business Bank Account
Before incurring any expenses or taking on any new clients, get yourself a business bank account. As a business owner, you want to ensure you keep personal and business finances separate.
Separate bank accounts help with keeping track of business income and expenses for tax purposes. Plus, this separation of finances helps the process go more smoothly if the IRS ever audited you.
If you have a current banking relationship, you can go to that bank to open a business checking. If you’re looking for a bank, consider Azlo. They are an online bank designed for small businesses. Also requires no minimum balance for their checking account (big banks often require $1,500). They also provide free invoicing software, which is great for charging customers with monthly cleaning plans.
5. Get Proper Licenses & Insurance
A cleaning business is likely to need a license in the city where it’s operating. Regarding insurance, all cleaning businesses will need at least general liability insurance to cover any damages in a customer’s home. If you are hiring employees, you’ll also need workers’ compensation insurance.
It’s likely your state won’t require a license for a cleaning business. To confirm there is a license requirement, search on your state’s business regulation website.
Regarding your city, it’s likely it will require a General Business License. Most cities simply want a record of what businesses are operating. To obtain the General Business License, visit your city’s official government website.
For example, Atlanta requires all businesses to obtain a General Business License—even at-home and online businesses. The cost to acquire the license is $75. Failure to obtain a license can result in a $500 fine.
General Liability Insurance
At a minimum, you’ll want to purchase general liability (GL) insurance. This insurance will cover bodily damage and property damage. GL insurance for a small cleaning company will cost around $300 per year.
You may find that customers ask for proof of general liability insurance before hiring your cleaning business. They want to know they can collect on any damages your cleaning may cause in their home or business.
You will try to hire the best employees for your cleaning business, but unfortunately, you can’t guarantee they won’t commit theft on the job. A janitorial bond (the surety bond) protects the homeowner’s assets in the event of a theft.
Here’s how it works: If an employee steals an item from a customer’s home, the bond company will pay to replace it. The bond company puts your business on a payment plan so you can pay them back over time. This is preferable to a lawsuit or a large payment to the customer.
New cleaning companies definitely need a bond so that a significant expense from a theft doesn’t sink the business. A janitorial bond will cost around $200 per year.
If you have employees, you’ll need workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance provides payments for medical bills, rehab costs, and lost wages for employees who get injured on the job. Workers’ comp will cost around $450 per employee per year.
6. Purchase Cleaning Equipment
You’re almost ready to accept your first customer! But first, you need to purchase the required equipment to get the job done. We’ve compiled a list of low-cost items to get your cleaning business started on a budget.
Here are some basic supplies you will need:
- Cleaning uniform or apron
- Paper towels
- Microfiber cloths
- Latex gloves
- Scrubbing brushes
- Toilet brush
- Grout brush
- All-purpose cleaner
- Window cleaner
- Wood cleaner
- Tile and grout cleaner
- Extendable duster
If you’re starting on a budget, don’t get overwhelmed with the number of cleaning supplies—and brands. Remember that when first starting out, purchase items that will get the job done. Don’t spend more money, or go into more debt, than necessary.
Regarding your wish list cleaning items, write them down. You may want that premium vacuum now but resist the urge to acquire it.
List your wish list items in your business plan. Indicate at what net income level you’ll make each purchase. You’ll have milestones to look forward to in your business!
7. Market Your Cleaning Business
Let’s talk about low-cost and free strategies to get your cleaning business noticed. Online marketing such as Google My Business, social media, and online directories are all free. Physical marketing materials will have a cost, but you can use it creatively to make a memorable impact on customers.
Physical Marketing Materials
There are several options for physical marketing materials, such as business cards, flyers, and postcards. Because we’re discussing marketing on a budget, I’m only going to discuss one low-cost marketing strategy for a cleaning business to implement.
After every cleaning of a new home, leave a card with a handwritten note. In the note, thank the house cleaning license for their business and ask them to pass your card to anyone interested in getting their home cleaned.
When promoting your business with marketing materials, make sure to leave a small gift such as chocolates or something the homeowner would find beneficial, such as a small hand sanitizer. This is a persuasion tactic called reciprocity. This personal marketing makes an emotional connection with the homeowner and makes them more likely to reciprocate a customer in return.
Consider these free online marketing strategies to get your cleaning business noticed online:
- Google My Business (GMB): The GMB is a free listing Google provides to all businesses looking for local customers. When a potential customer searches for what you sell (residential cleaning business), they will read your GMB before your website.
- Google My Business website: Once you create your free GMB listing, Google also provides a free one-page website. This isn’t a “forever” website, but it’s an excellent option for a cleaning business on a budget.
- Social media profiles: A great best piece of advice for social media success is to choose one platform and do it well. Choose whichever social platform you enjoy the most (for cleaning, either Facebook or Instagram) and grow your following there.
- Local business directories: For a cleaning business, you should be listed on at least Yelp and Yellow Pages. To determine other directories to be on, do a Google search for the specific service you provide and see what directories show in the results.
Network in Your Community
In-person networking is a memorable and effective way to get your business in front of potential customers. Experiment with attending several small business organizations in your cities such as the Chamber of Commerce or Rotary club. To make a lasting impact on an organization, volunteer to be in a leadership position.
How to Start a Cleaning Business in Florida
The best thing about starting a cleaning business is the built-in job security that comes with the business. In every city and every town, there are houses, offices, large buildings, and factories that need cleaning on a regular basis. Professional cleaning services extend the life of buildings and their furnishings, making your cleaning business even more valuable to the customer. Plus, large cleaning business chains like Service Master and Merry Maids only account for 30% of the market, leaving a whopping 70% open to small businesses and entrepreneurs like yourself.
How should you start a cleaning business in Florida?
Step 1: Write a business plan
Step 2: Register your business
Step 3: Get insured and bonded
Step 4: Buy equipment and supplies
Step 5: Market your business
Step 6: Work hard to succeed
Starting a cleaning business is a great work-from-home opportunity requiring little investment and by having an office at home, you’ll save on overhead costs that would come from renting out office and storage space. Just remember, the first 3-6 months will be slow going, income-wise, as you build your business so be sure to have a small nest egg to fall back on or start out working part-time while keeping the job you have.
Write a Business Plan
Every successful business starts by creating a business plan that will:
- State the name of your cleaning business
- Identify the goals of your business
- List the marketing strategies you plan to utilize
- Project the earnings you expect to make from your cleaning business
A business plan doesn’t have to be anything complicated or confusing. It is more of a guideline you create to ensure your cleaning business is on track for being a success. Successful business owners reassess their business plans every 3-6 months and make any adjustments to the plan to reflect the direction the business is going.
Another reason for having a well-written business plan in place is if you ever need to get financing for your business. Once you begin to grow your business, you may find a need to expand and branch out. This may require you to purchase an office building, more equipment, hire employees, buy company vehicles for employees to drive, or buyout a competitor in the cleaning market.
A bank will be more likely to loan you money if you have a clear plan of action with detailed steps you have taken and plan to take in order to succeed. They want to have some reassurance that your business will be capable of paying back the loan and a well-organized business plan is one way to do that.
Register Your Business
The state of Florida requires all businesses to register with the state through the Department of Revenue. While there is not a specific license needed to run a cleaning business, you will need to obtain a business license from the state. In addition, you’ll need to check with your city and county governments to see if there are any additional permits needed where you plan to do business.
When you register your cleaning business, you will need to decide whether you will operate as a corporation, a limited liability company (LLC), a partnership, or as a sole proprietor. Corporations involve shareholders and LLCs are made up of members. Unless you’re creating a cleaning business with another owner, a partnership, then you should register your business as a sole proprietor.
The Internal Revenue Service will require your business to obtain an Employer Identification Number, (EIN). This nine-digit number is used to identify your business, similar to how your Social Security Number is attached to your personal identity. It is very simple to obtain by filling out an application on the IRS’s website and is used when filing your business taxes and opening your business bank accounts.
In the state of Florida, you are required to register for sales tax if your cleaning business will be servicing non-residential buildings. This is necessary in order for you to be able to charge your customers a sales tax on your cleaning services. Customers of residential cleaning services are exempt from paying sales tax.
Once you have registered your business and obtained your EIN, you will be able to open a business bank account. I recommend shopping around at your local banks to see what each bank offers in the way of service.
For example, SunTrust offers a small business account with no minimum balance required and options available to waive the monthly maintenance fee, saving your business money from the start. Some banks, like TD Bank, charge a monthly service fee that can be waived on certain accounts upon meeting the daily balance minimum. Totally free business banking options can be found online like Azlo.com, that offer great services geared for small business.
Get Insured and Bonded
The next step required to start a cleaning business is to obtain insurance and become bonded. There are several types of insurance policies for you to consider for your cleaning business needs.
- Commercial Liability Insurance: protects your business in the event a customer sues your company for damages and/or bodily harm.
- Property Insurance: protects your office, your property, and equipment, as well as your customer’s property. Property insurance also compensates your business in the event of lost or stolen equipment.
- Business Owners Policy for Cleaning Professionals: Some insurance companies offer a bundled package that combines liability insurance and property insurance into one policy, often at a lower rate.
- Worker’s Compensation Insurance: If you plan on hiring employees to work for your business, you will be required to carry worker’s compensation insurance in the event they are injured on the job.
- Commercial Auto Insurance: This type of insurance policy covers vehicles being used to travel to and from cleaning jobs. Many insurances require a policy of this nature due to non-coverage from using your personal vehicle for work. This policy is definitely needed if you have employees who are driving company vehicles to their jobs.
While not required for most cleaning services, obtaining a surety bond, also known as a contract bond, gives clients a sense of security that you’re a trustworthy business and it boosts your credibility as a business owner. A surety bond protects the customer through an agreement made between your business, the customer, and your insurance agency.
Here’s an example of how a surety bond works.
- Your cleaning company is unable to complete a job and you do not have the money to refund the customer
- Customer files a claim on the bond through your insurance company
- The insurance company reimburses the customer the amount they lost
- Your cleaning business repays the money to the insurance company
Since not every cleaning business qualifies for bonding, becoming bonded will make you more marketable and give you a better chance of obtaining customers. Being bonded gives new customers the incentive to hire you because they know they are covered if you fail to do your job. Additionally, large cleaning contracts will require you to be bonded, so it’s best to cover all your bases by getting bonded and properly insured.
Buy Equipment and Supplies
The tasks involved in a cleaning business are nearly identical to those used when cleaning your own home. Dusting surfaces, sweeping and mopping floors, vacuuming carpets, emptying trash cans, and cleaning bathrooms are all duties you will perform as a professional cleaner.
When cleaning people’s homes, you may find that they prefer for you to use their tools and cleaning supplies. Some people may have allergies or sensitivity to chemicals or perfumes common in cleaning products and will request that you don’t use your own cleaning supplies.
For most jobs, however, you will be expected to supply all the equipment and cleaning supplies needed to perform the job. The following list is what your cleaning business should have in order to meet any cleaning needs.
- Vacuum cleaner
- Broom and dustpan
- Dust mop
- Wet mop and bucket with press
- Trash collecting receptacle
- Trash bags
- Dusting rags
- Paper towels
- Microfiber cloths
- Cleaning sponges
- Multi-purpose cleaner
- Window cleaner
- Spray bottles
- Toilet bowl brush
- Dust mask
- Cleaning cart
Choosing organic cleaning products may be a worthy investment if you’re considering cleaning homes, daycares, schools, or other family-oriented businesses where there could be children who may have allergies or sensitivities to chemicals. Using natural products may be the key to acquiring a new customer contract. There are a number of high-quality organic cleaning product companies to choose from with many offering online ordering and discounts on your first purchase.
Deep cleaning of carpets, floor care, and external window washing will require specialized equipment and in some cases, additional training. These are services you could offer customers in addition to your regular cleaning services.
Modest jobs, like homes and small offices, may only require services once or twice a week while large buildings, like schools and factories, will require daily cleanings, often performed after regular business hours.
In addition to cleaning supplies and equipment, your cleaning business will need an office where you’ll manage accounts, create invoices, and market your services, A good home office has internet access, a computer, and printer, as well as a filing system to keep you organized for tax time. Some home offices have a phone-line and voicemail service to catch all those calls that come in during your busy hours of cleaning.
Market Your Business
Once you have completed the steps above, you’re now ready to start marketing your cleaning company business plan to get customers. It’s not necessary to spend a small fortune on marketing materials and advertising of your cleaning business.
Now that your business has a name, you need a logo or slogan for your business cards, shirts, and any marketing materials or signs you create to drum up customers. You can create your own image or if you’re artistically challenged like me, professional graphic designers and web designers can be hired through online platforms.
From the comfort of your new cleaning business office you can:
- Create and print professional business cards, colorful fliers, informative brochures and business address mailing labels with the help of online services and products
- Design a user-friendly website featuring the services your cleaning business offers and easy to find contact information to make an appointment or an inquiry to your business email address
- Build a social media presence to reach people in your area and keep in touch with the cleaning needs of your local community
- Advertise with local papers or community newsletters to let people know who you are and the cleaning services you offer
- Contact businesses in your area that would benefit from your cleaning services and propose to them an introductory offer for new customers
The best marketing tool you can put together for your new cleaning business is known as a professional bid proposal kit and within it, you’ll find:
- Flyer or brochure describing your company’s cleaning services
- List of complete cleaning specifications
- Clearly written service contract
- Details about your cleaning services
- Business card (magnetized are great for homes)
This well-prepared kit can be given to prospective customers who have shown interest in hiring your cleaning company and will provide them with all the answers to any questions they may have about your services. A great cleaning proposal offers an annually renewable contract with an affordable monthly fee.
Work Hard to Succeed
Bidding a job requires a bit of research combined with good estimation skills to determine the right amount to charge a customer for a job. If your quote is too high, you’re going to lose the job to a competitor. If you bid the job too low, you may get the job but learn it’s more costly than you quoted them in your bid.. Using a formula to evaluate all the variables of the job will help you decide the ideal bid amount for each proposal.
These variables include:
- Number of hours per visit that are required to complete the job as determined by the size of the building
- Average hourly rate of labor in the area you are bidding the job
- Costs directly involved with the job including payroll, equipment, and supplies used, and travel costs, such as gas, tolls, and vehicle maintenance
- Overhead costs of the home office including rent, utilities, office supplies, and printing supplies
- Net profit paid to you, the owner
There are bidding software programs available that can make this complicated task easier to manage and understand. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to do some research and become knowledgeable about how to properly bid large jobs by first working small jobs.
Your cleaning business has the potential to make you a sizable steady income if you’re up for the challenge. Cleaning homes and offices every day requires you to be physically able to perform a strenuously thorough cleaning. Bending, kneeling, reaching, and repetitive actions are a daily part of cleaning on a larger scale.
In addition to knowing how to clean well, you will need to possess basic office, accounting, and organization skills to manage, customers, vendors, and employees. Staying on top of your bookkeeping will aid in managing your budget and preparing taxes. Knowing how much your spending will give you insight into where you can make adjustments and changes to improve your bottom line.
Personality and trustworthy demeanor are crucial in the cleaning business, especially if you are working inside people’s homes. Being friendly and respectful to the customer’s needs and circumstances will ensure repeat business and new business from recommendations. Word of mouth is still a powerful tool that can make or break any business.
Self-employment through running a cleaning business isn’t for everyone. Beyond the labor-intensive nature of the job, a successful cleaning business owner must have:
- Determination to continue forward in the face of adversity and rejection
- Salesmanship and the mastery of closing the deal with new customers
- The organization both on-site and behind the scenes to ensure everything is getting done
- Performance with consistent results from detailed work and self-discipline
- Astuteness needed to weigh the pros and cons of business decisions
Starting a cleaning business in Florida is a small undertaking with the potential for sizable rewards. The potential to make vast fortunes in the commercial cleaning market is there for the taking. Hard work, dedication to your cleaning business, and smart decision making will lead to a highly profitable occupation and exponential growth of your company.
How to get cleaning contracts with banks?
How much money does a cleaning business make?
In Florida, the average salary for residential cleaning (housekeeper) is $14 per hour, roughly $30,000 a year. With a commercial cleaning business, the sky’s the limit in good locations, easily making $100,000 a year by your fourth year of business as you expand.
What if my business did not qualify for bonding?
You are still able to run a cleaning business without being bonded, but you may be limited to the types and sizes of contracts you get. Over time, your business will build a positive reputation and after a year or more in business, you can apply again.