I hear a lot of times that window cleaners are licensed. This may be a stupid question but what exactly does that mean?? As far as I know, in my state we don’t have to have a license. I am a sole proprietor and the only thing I have to do is file an dba under an assumed name with the county recorders office which I have done.

I’ve checked with the Secretary of State and other government resources and they all basically tell me that I don’t need to fill out any special forms, etc. I file my taxes under my name and social security number. I am insured and bonded, but I keep hearing this license thing. Is it that different from state to state that some of you have to have a special license to operate? And is this a window cleaner license or a general business license. Am I missing something here??

I’m new at this, but my understaning (at least in AZ) is that the only license you need to have is a city business license from the city you are based out of.
I could be wrong on this, but some window cleaners may include the word licensing to help customers feel comfortable that they are legitimate. Lots of other service industries have to be licensed (contractors, etc.) and I think some customers may have a red flag go off if they don’t see the word 'licensed.'
Hope that helps.

Licensed, Bonded, Insured

1.Licensed.I have filed with Secretary of State to do business. In my case I also have separate business licenses for every city I work in. Just means you are paying taxes and are a legitimate business.
2. Bonded.In my case i carry a contractors bond
3. Insured. I carry the equivalent of contractors insurance

Technically in WA state window cleaners should be registered as contractors and to do so you have to have a bond and insurance, though many guys just work with a janitorial bond, which is basically a theft insurance from what I understand. Does that answer your question?
In N Out Window & Gutter Cleaning, LLC
In N Out Window and Gutter Cleaning, Seattle, WA 206-432-0025

Thanks Brad. Yeah I’m a bit confused on it. I was a home inspector awhile back and we needed to be licensed by the state and go through testing and all that. But window cleaning?? Not so much, … actually not at all. So that’s why I ask.

Hope things are well for you in AZ, I lived there for 8 years, loved it. I bet Maricopa has grown some since 2006 when I moved back to the midwest. Viva Los Suns!!

It’s weird but I don’t even have to file with the SOS unless I’m an LLC or some other corporate entity. I am paying taxes and am a legitimate business as well. And insured and bonded. I’m just making sure I’m not making some rookie mistake, … and it doesn’t appear that I am. I just don’t know what I would say if someone asked me if I was licensed. I guess I am.

Paying taxes and being insured and bonded doesn’t mean you are licensed.

I just moved to Maricopa in October, but I’m an AZ native. Yes, Maricopa has gone from 1,100 residents in 2002 to about 40,000 now! It’s crazy how fast it’s grown!!!

[B][I][U]Yes, Viva Los Suns!!![/U][/I][/B] :smiley:

Let me expand on my previous post. In Wa State Window cleaners are technically considered contractors(Because we do work on peoples homes and buildings. To be a licensed contractor here you must provide a contractors surety bond( all it is really for is if you take a deposit on a job and never do the job or if you don’t pay your accounts with your suppliers they can sue your bond for up to $10,000. You are also required to have liability insurance that covers at least 1,000,000 for resi and 2,000,000 for comm.
So when I say I am licensed and insured. I am telling my potential customer that i am not a fly by night outfit and that my prices are higher because I do pay taxes and have higher overhead. It also gives them the ability to look my company up and see that the above is true. Therefore building a lot more trust with the customer.
In my case I also advertise and market heavily. If I were not licensed i’m sure I would have Labor and Industry or OSHA or the Washington State Depatment of revenue breathing down my neck real quick, cause they all want there cut!
In N Out Window & Gutter Cleaning
In N Out Window and Gutter Cleaning, Seattle, WA 206-432-0025

In WA, is there a difference between a [B]licensed[/B] contractor and a [B]registered[/B] contractor?

Indiana doesn’t license window cleaners; if you’ve registered your DBA you’re all set.

You’ll need workers comp when you first hire, but that’s about it. Liability insurance is a good idea, but technically not required.

We have had this discussion on this forum before. My opinion was on there too…and I will give it here as well.

Its a load dude. People say that, so that people that are potential customers will THINK they have a license just like a contractors license. Otherewise they would put “Business License”.
Either you are a contractor or you are not. No such thing as technically. Just because you have a bond someone can go after or have GL dont make someone a licensed contractor.
I don’t put licensed on nothin’ and I have heard from my customers and potential clients ask me if I am licensed…so I gotta tell them its a business license and there is no such thing as a state monitored or controlled license for window cleaners…Alot of people put it on their sites, thats cool for them…but since the guy asked…that was your answer…its a load.
You have a business license, so you can advertise anything you want.

Here where I am though, people will mistake it for a contractors license.

So you have a contractors liscence? and what the hell do you need a surety bond for?

so your not paying all the cities your workin in? need to watch what you post. Here you go trashing people again I’m guessing your high rise s___ isn’t workin out

You’re not making sense, Norgan. Have you been drinking?

Oranges=Oranges Same=same
Yes same thing unless of course you are a plumber or electrician, pipefitter, hvac and so on then they need additional licenses…

Licensed+ Legitamate business. A city license is not the same as a business license and offers you no protection on your tradenames. Being reigistered with secretary of state is as good as trademarking your name.!

What are you talking about man! I dont know why you got it in for me dude, but if you want to single me out and be a doink go ahead. I dont care. You know what, you know nothin’ about how I run my show, don’t worry about my business license.

How do they differ?

This is an example of why I think sharing your business online can be a bad idea. Not to make an example of anyone, but just the exact reason why I don’t link my site and business, not worth the drama.

Youre right, I edited the post.
Rivetor, me and this guy are in the same area. He has chosen to single me out. He has been doing this a long time (window cleaning), and has pretty good name recognition. So actually, him targeting me is actually a compliment. There normally isn’t any drama at all. Getting to know others in your area can really be of benifit to you. It has been for me.

Don’t take this example of bad blood as the norm because its not, not at all. I get along with everyone in my area except for him and one other. There are literally HUNDREDS here.

Didn’t mean to make it look like this is the norm…sorry man.

Lets see if i can explain this right. City license just gives you “permission” to do business in that particular city. Its also how they trck your B&O tax if you have that in your area. Then there is the business license with the state you live in. In my case I am registered with the secretary of state and licensed as a window cleaning contractor through the department of labor and industry.(I know alot of guys around don’t do the contractors license but because I have employees on the books I am on L&I’s radar so I choose to have it).
I started this company last year without knowing anyone else in the industry so i just went on what the state said I have to do to do what I do. And went with my insurance agents recomendations. Though this year when I renew my insurance policy I may change some things up.
Hope any of this made sense or helps in any way.
In N Out Window & Gutter Cleaning
In N Out Window and Gutter Cleaning, Seattle, WA 206-432-0025