Future business owners who want to positively impact the environment, enjoy clean spaces, and want to help their town or city may find success and satisfaction in starting a litter removal business. Litter removal businesses may cater to public places (such as parks and walkways) or may prefer to work with private clients. No matter what combination of clientele a litter removal business chooses to cater to, it's likely that they'll always have a busy roster of clients to serve.
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Learn how to start your own Litter Removal Business and whether it is the right fit for you.
Start a litter removal business by following these 10 steps:
- Plan your Litter Removal Business
- Form your Litter Removal Business into a Legal Entity
- Register your Litter Removal Business for Taxes
- Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
- Set up Accounting for your Litter Removal Business
- Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Litter Removal Business
- Get Litter Removal Business Insurance
- Define your Litter Removal Business Brand
- Create your Litter Removal Business Website
- Set up your Business Phone System
There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your litter removal business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas.
STEP 1: Plan your business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
- What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What are the costs involved in opening a litter removal business?
Costs involved with opening a litter removal business may include:
- Contracts with a waste management company to dispose of collected litter
- Supplies, including trash removal items and trash bags
- Uniforms or other forms of employee identification
- Transportation capable of moving litter removal equipment from one job to another
- Advertising, marketing, and accounting costs
What are the ongoing expenses for a litter removal business?
Ongoing expenses for a litter removal business may include:
- Updating reusable equipment
- Keeping an inventory of single-use equipment (like trash bags)
- Bills for large-scale removal of collected litter by a waste management company
Who is the target market?
Anyone who owns, manages, or takes care of large amounts of public or private property may be interested in litter removal. The target market for this type of business can be vast and can include owners and managers of both indoor and outdoor spaces.
How does a litter removal business make money?
A litter removal business makes money by contracting with clients to remove litter in a public or private space. Jobs may be ongoing (such as contracting with a city government to remove litter on a daily basis at a local landmark) or one-time (such as contracting with a festival to remove litter after the event).
How much can you charge customers?
It's hard to say exactly how much a litter removal service can charge, as the price of the service will change depending on what the customer needs. It's important that litter removal business owners learn more about the going rate for their services in the area. The cost charged likely depends on several factors, including the expected manpower needed for the job, the frequency of the job, the space that needs to be covered, and the amount of litter present.
How much profit can a litter removal business make?
Similar to the hourly pay for a janitorial service, many litter removal companies charge about $50 per hour. Larger events, of course, allow litter removal companies to charge higher fees. Some litter removal companies may make deals with regular customers to lower the fee in exchange for a long-term contract.
How can you make your business more profitable?
Like any business, one of the most important factors of a profitable operation is working with well-trained, trustworthy employees. Putting extra time into the screening and training processes can help ensure that a litter removal business becomes as profitable as possible.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is very important. Read our detailed guide on how to name your business. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your litter removal business is sued.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.
Small Business Taxes
Depending on which business structure you choose, you might have different options for how your business will be taxed. For example, some LLCs could benefit from being taxed as an S corporation (S corp).
You can learn more about small business taxes in these guides:
- LLC Taxes
- Sole Proprietorship vs LLC
- LLC vs Corporation
- LLC vs S Corp
- How to Start an S Corp
- S Corp vs C Corp
There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business's name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
Open a business bank account
Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:
- Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.
Open net 30 accounts
Net 30 accounts are used to establish and build business credit as well as increase business cash flow. With a net 30 account, businesses buy goods and repay the full balance within a 30-day term.
NetMany net 30 credit vendors report to the major business credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how businesses build business credit so they can qualify for credit cards and other lines of credit.
Recommended: Read our best net 30 vendors, guide and start building business credit.
Get a business credit card
Getting a business credit card helps you:
- Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money later on.
Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from Divvy and build your business credit quickly.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
STEP 7: Get business insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.
Learn more about General Liability Insurance.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator. Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.
How to promote & market a litter removal business
Social media marketing, in-person conversations, and networking events can all be smart ways to promote a litter removal business. Trustworthiness is key, so promoting reviews from satisfied customers may help new customers decide to give a litter removal service a try.
How to keep customers coming back
Word-of-mouth marketing can be helpful in a litter removal business, and litter removal business owners may want to think about setting up a referral program to encourage satisfied customers to talk to their friends in other, similar businesses about utilizing their litter removal business.
Still unsure about what kind of business you want to start? Check out the latest Small Business Trends to help inspire you.
STEP 9: Create your business website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldn’t take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
STEP 10: Set up your business phone system
Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.
There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2022 to find the best phone service for your small business.
Recommended Business Phone Service: Phone.com
Phone.com is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.
Start a Litter Removal Business in your State
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
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Is this Business Right For You?
People who love a clean environment, have a knack for customer service and know how to manage a moderate team of employees may be successful in the litter removal business. Typically, litter removal is far too large a job for just one person, so it's important that a litter removal business owner knows how to work with a large team of employees, providing direction and communication through each step of each job.
Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!
What happens during a typical day at a litter removal business?
A litter removal business owner must complete several tasks throughout each day. Litter removal daily business tasks may include:
- Taking inventory of supplies and ordering new supplies when necessary
- Scheduling employees
- Interviewing potential new employees
- Talking with potential customers about possible upcoming jobs
- Talking with current customers about current jobs
- Troubleshooting with unsatisfied customers about how to improve their litter removal experience
- Developing digital and print marketing campaigns
- Invoicing clients and managing payroll (if these tasks are not outsourced to a private accounting company)
- Working with trash removal companies to coordinate litter drop off
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful litter removal business?
While a basic understanding of litter management is important, people skills and communication skills are also key for a successful litter management business. Contacts with local businesses or government workers who could utilize litter removal services can also come in handy when launching a litter removal business.
What is the growth potential for a litter removal business?
The growth potential for a litter removal business is nearly limitless, as long as the owner of the business is willing to delegate management tasks to others. A litter removal business may start by working with a small local area and eventually branch out to offer services to a larger area.
Take the Next Step
Find a business mentor
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
Learn from other business owners
Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a litter removal business?
Relationships are key for a litter removal business. Trash on the ground can make or break an event, and customers need to know that they can depend on their litter management service to get the job done right. It's important that litter removal businesses complete every single job and work tirelessly to correct any mistakes.
How and when to build a team
It's quite difficult to run a litter removal service as a one-person operation, especially when the service is working on large events. It can be a smart move to build a team right away. At first, the owner of the litter removal service may need to be present at each vent, but that can change over time as the owner begins to notice leadership qualities in employees and decides to promote them to middle management.