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Running a business in the cleaning industry can be a rewarding and effective way to make an income. However, it may be unclear what legal documents or contracts you need to run your business. If you have a cleaning business in New Zealand, you will likely need:

  • a service agreement;
  • an employment or contractor agreement (if you hire other people); and
  • a privacy policy.

This article will outline each of these contracts and detail some key terms you should include in each document.

Service Agreement

A service agreement is a legally binding contract between a service provider and its client. 

For your services business, this contract would create and govern the legal relationship between your cleaning business and your clients. A well-drafted service agreement ensures that both you and your customers know your obligations to one another. This is crucial, as it helps your business to operate efficiently and aids in resolving any disputes regarding your arrangement or responsibilities.

Terms of a Service Agreement

A service agreement should contain a wide range of provisions on: 

  • the services you provide. In this case, this provision should be specific to the cleaning you conduct. You should clearly state what your business is willing to do, as well as what is not included in your services;
  • fees and payment terms. This term should specify whether you work at an hourly rate, or charge a price per job. This amount may include any additional fees, such as travel expenses;
  • the term of the agreement. You may provide your cleaning services on a one-off basis, or regularly. If you regularly offer your services, the agreement should include the period you will be engaged in this contract. For example, your service agreement with each client to clean weekly may last one year, with the option of renewal each December;
  • the extent of your liability; 
  • dispute resolution; and 
  • how you or your client can terminate the agreement. 

You should also include terms that are specific to your cleaning company. These terms include:

  • the supply of the products used in providing your cleaning services; and
  • entering and exiting the premises of your clients. 

Supply of Cleaning Products

It is common practice for cleaning businesses to supply their cleaning products in the provision of its services. These cleaning products would include any cleaning fluids, chemicals or equipment, such as mops and buckets, that you would require to provide your cleaning services.

A cleaning services contract should state that it is the business’s responsibility to provide these products and equipment at its own expense. If you are running a new business and your cleaning business does not provide its own products, you should clearly state this information in your cleaning contract. 

Entering and Exiting Premises

Unlike other services or small businesses, a cleaning business requires you to enter and exit your client’s premises. These premises may be a customer’s home or their workplace. 

The service agreement should clearly state the specific procedure you need to follow when entering or exiting your client’s premises. This procedure may include how your client will provide you with access, such as leaving a key out or providing you with an access card to the building. 

It is best practice to outline all of this information in the service agreement. This will ensure that you are entering and securely exiting your customer’s premises when providing your commercial cleaning services. 

Employment or Contractor Agreement

As your cleaning business grows, you may wish to hire staff or even expand your cleaning franchise. Hiring staff helps to ease your workload so you can take on more clients. If you decide to take on more workers, you will need to have the appropriate agreement with each worker. This agreement will vary, depending on whether you take on workers as:

  • employees of your business; or
  • independent contractors. 

Employment Agreement

An employment agreement should include:

  • the names of the employer and employee. In this case, your business and the worker you are hiring; 
  • a description of the work to be performed by the employee;
  • where you expect the employee to work. For example, you may require your employee to clean premises within a particular area or suburb;
  • any agreed hours of work; 
  • the wages payable to the employee; 
  • a method for dispute resolution; and 
  • the grounds for the termination of the employment relationship. 

Contractor Agreement 

As a contractor is separate from your cleaning company, a contractor agreement will contain slightly different terms than an employment agreement. A contractor agreement should include:

  • the contractor’s obligations. This will be a description of the work to be performed by the contractor;
  • the method and amount of payment; 
  • the commencement and termination date of the agreement;
  • an insurance clause, to ensure that any damage done by the contractor is not the responsibility of your business; 
  • a method of dispute resolution; and
  • the grounds for the termination of the agreement.

Privacy Policy

In conducting your cleaning services, you may have to collect or use personal information from your clients. This personal information may be anything from your client’s phone number, to their street address. 

To ensure that this information is secure and protected, your business should adopt a clear privacy policy. This privacy policy should be provided to each client that you collect personal information from, and should include:

  • an acknowledgement that you are collecting personal information. This acknowledgement should include the kind of information that your business is collecting; 
  • how your business will use this personal information; 
  • the intended recipients of the information. This is crucial if you intend on disclosing this information to parties or individuals outside of your cleaning business; and
  • the client’s rights regarding their personal information, such as the ability to gain access to and correct any of their information that your business collects. 

Key Takeaways

As a small business owner, you put in mass amounts of time and effort into your cleaning business. To ensure that your business operates as efficiently as possible, your business must have:

  • a well-drafted service agreement in place with your clients; 
  • a clear employment or contractor agreement with each of your workers; and
  • a detailed privacy policy.

If you need assistance with drafting contracts for your New Zealand cleaning business, contact LegalVision’s contract lawyers on 0800 005 570 or complete the form on this page. 


What is a cleaning contract?

A cleaning contract is a legally binding service agreement that creates and governs the legal relationship between a cleaning business and its clients.

How do I get contracts for my cleaning business?

It is best practice to engage a legal practitioner to draft a contract for your cleaning business.

What should a cleaning contract include?

A cleaning contract should include terms on: the services you will provide, including whether you will supply your own cleaning products; fees and payments terms; entering and exiting your client’s premises; the length of the agreement; the extent of your liability; dispute resolution; and termination.

How can I get out of a cleaning contract?

A cleaning contract will typically contain a clause detailing the grounds and process for termination.

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