What is the NAICS or SIC code for a house cleaning or janitorial company?

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by Tom Watson on January 5, 2014

When you operate your own cleaning business you will be asked all types of questions from time to time.

One of those questions will be the following… What is your NAICS or SIC code? When I was asked I replied “Huh… what’s that?” A little homework uncovered the answer.

The NAICS code for the cleaning industry

The six digit code is… 561720 for anyone who is in the janitorial or house cleaning industry. The only catch is the MAJORITY of your revenue must come from cleaning services.

This means you can’t classify as a cleaning company with the code of 561720 but have most of your earnings come from carpet cleaning. This is because carpet cleaning falls under another code.

So to make a long story short, if MOST of your income is just your run of the mill cleaning services then 561720 is your code. Sometimes people may muddy the water and ask you for a “SIC code” instead of a NAICS code.

They are really the same thing, as the SIC code was the OLD SYSTEM that was used up until 1997, when the new NAICS code replaced it. The code gets updated every five years by the U.S government with the next update coming in 2017.

What’s the NAICS used for?

NAICS is shorthand for the North American Industry Classification System. This is a system that our government came up with to classify business establishments into 20 industries according to their economic activity.

The classification system is used to collect, analyze, and publish all types of useful data about our economy. Both Canada and Mexico have also agreed to use NAICS. This creates a “standard system” of how to measure the economy across North America.

When will I need to use the code?

There is no easy answer to that question, as it all “depends on the circumstances” so to speak. In some cases state or federal agencies (or both perhaps) require a business to provide a NAICS code for administrative, contracting or tax purposes.

In other cases some state governments offer tax incentives from time to time to businesses. When they do they use the NAICS codes to sort it all out. So if you fall under the proper code, you get the credit that is currently being offered.

At the end of the day you probably won’t need to know the code all that often. My company needs to supply it once per year to the state for some year-end report we are required to submit. Other than that I can’t remember many other times we needed it.

If you need more info on the code or just want to see for yourself how to find your code then head on over to the NAICS search page and look up janitorial services. If you have any questions or comments leave them below and get the conversation started!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brenda January 5, 2014 at 12:19 pm

If I was going into foreclosure property cleanup. What are required such as license or do I need to meet OSHA guidelines? Any info is helpful

2 Tom Watson January 5, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Hi Brenda! Other than being a regular company (registered with your county or state as a sole proprietor, LLC etc…) with proper insurance you should be fine as far as I know. I’ve done a fair share of that work without incident.

3 Brandon January 6, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Mr. Watson,

In your opinion, how many times a year should a commercial property have their vct floors stripped, sealed, and waxed?

4 Tom Watson January 6, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Hi Brandon! There is no real answer to that, as it depends on usage and the amount of care the floor gets over the course of a year. With that said… I normally strip a floor (that I am hired to care for) every few years.

Generally you want to do the strip and wax THEN stay on top of the floor via buffing and top coating the floor once or twice per year. You want to avoid doing the big strip and wax because it’s a lot of work plus the customer should not have to pay for all that work when just maintaining it (for a much lower cost) would be just fine.

5 Brandon January 6, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Thanks a lot Mr. Watson! So I guess the real money is made when you’re maintaing the floors. If I want to calculate how much to charge a particular client to maintain the floors, do I base it off the sq footage?

6 Tom Watson January 6, 2014 at 9:53 pm

TONS of money to be made maintaining floors. Get the cleaning job first, then go to the floors (not just VCT, but carpet cleaning too). Pricing is generally done by square footage. With that said… that is not the only issue.

You need to factor condition of floor, how much needs to be moved in order to perform the work (which you need to put back when done), when the floor can be done (sometimes it needs to be done overnight or on weekends which drive your labor costs up). Lots to consider.

7 Logan May 11, 2016 at 4:23 pm

How can I search under those NAICS numbers to find the actual business’s that fall under them? I’m trying to find possible competition in that market. 561720 for cleaning and 561790 for parking lot cleaning


8 Tom Watson May 11, 2016 at 9:58 pm

Hi Logan! Don’t know how to do that exactly. If I had to guess, you can probably buy a list of all businesses that have those codes in your area. I doubt there is a free way to do it.

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