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Before starting a laundry business, the first thing to consider is which type to open. Coin operated laundromats typically involve very little time investment, though the equipment can be costly to purchase and maintain. A dry cleaning laundry business is another option that typically requires both expensive equipment and employees. Home based laundry businesses usually involve a significant amount of time, though existing equipment can often be used. After the type of laundry business has been determined, a business license and physical location will be required.
The first step in starting any new business venture is to obtain the proper license. A laundry business may be operated as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or any other type of entity depending on the needs of the owners. Registering as a limited liability company or a corporation can provide some protection against lawsuits, and the type of business license chosen can affect the way profits are taxed.
When starting a coin op or dry cleaning laundry business, a physical location has to be purchased or leased. If an existing laundromat or dry cleaner has gone out of business, these properties may already have many of the amenities required for starting a new venture. Other important factors to consider when choosing a location is the potential source of customers and any local competition. If the population density is low or there are several other similar businesses nearby, there may not be enough customers to go around. Areas with many rental homes and apartment buildings are typically good locations for laundromats, especially if the apartments tend to lack laundry facilities.
After a location has been found, the next step is typically to purchase equipment. This can be a large investment when starting a laundromat or dry cleaner, so many times a commercial loan will be obtained. A laundromat usually needs a number of coin operated washing machines and dryers, soap dispensers, coin changers, and often a waiting area for customers. If the facility is not staffed, a closed circuit video system may be installed for security purposes.
Starting a dry cleaner also involves purchasing equipment, and employees will typically need to be hired as well. It is often a good idea to run background checks on any potential employees and train them in the use of the equipment. Coin operated laundromats often operate without employees, and home based laundry businesses are typically one person operations. Business insurance is usually required regardless of the type of operation, though dry cleaners with dangerous chemicals, equipment, and employees will often need higher levels of protection.