Are Permits Required to Lawfully Operate

I opened my doors for business in late May and to date have cleaned 20 homes in my area. I believe my next steps are to create an Llc and purchase liability insurance. What am I missing to take my one man operation to the next level? Are there permits that I need to apply for, tax licenses, etc.

I’d like to open this topic up to discuss more than just my circumstances but rather what all goes into creating a lawful, sustainable business.

However here are my circumstances. I live in Houston, TX. I have a full time career that covers my families health insurance, and retirement. I am running my pressure washing business on the weekends and evenings. I currently rent equipment when needed. I am credit adverse, cash flows need to support the business.

Thanks. I hope from this discussion we can all learn how best to launch a business.

John it is fairly easy to create an entity in the state of Texas with minimal costs compared to other states. You must first decide which type of entity your business will be best suited for. You mentioned your interest in creating an LLC. You can visit for all the info you need in regards to choosing you entity type. They have all sorts of information for small businesses in the state. Once you have officially chosen your business structure you can either opt to create an IEN from the IRS if you plan on opening business accounts which I highly recommend. You don’t want to have your personal and your business assets combined, makes no logic anyhow. From there shop around for business insurances. I currently have J.D Walters for my business. I haven’t had a claim(as of yet, knocking on wood) but then I haven’t been in the industry for as longs as the other guys here. As far as permits go, there isn’t s specific permit required (at least in Harris County) for pressure washing. There are however, other permits such as waste/chemical water permits (transportation) which is a whole different topic. Hope this helps


I don’t normally rant about much of anything, but…

You’re about 19 houses and the decision to start a business behind on getting insured… half of one house if you’re pricing it right will pay your monthly insurance premium.

Having insurance is as important to cover your butt as it is a marketing tool.

With most things, I can understand some of the things new guys do because I’m still a new guy and I probably did it… but insurance man…

Every business start up article, book, SBA coach, business license, commercial bid, etc, etc, etc asks if you’ve gotten the proper insurance. I’m 1000% certain anyone that’s ever considered starting a business has read more than once… get insurance.

When I think of guys without insurance I think of the guy here locally that bids next to nothing on Thumbtack because they don’t care if you’re insured or care to do a background check. The same guy that drives an old Dodge Ram that looks like he pieced it together from junkyard parts with the Troy Bilt pressure washer rolling around in back and uses the customers garden hose.

Don’t be that guy. Rant over.


I resemble that remark. But even I have insurance.


I did a job where I was on a roof rinsing and I looked over and there was a pristine 50’s Chevrolet Corvete with the top up…but not closed all the way.

I couldn’t imagine not having insurance.

Alright, got it. Insurance is top of my list.
What is involved with the waste/chemical water permits? This doesn’t mean I need a recovery system for residential does it?

Technically, you don’t need a recovery system for residential properties in the Harris county area. The city of Houston does though require a permit to haul waste water such as water that is not allowed in the city’s drainage system due to the chemicals used while performing cleaning services. Please visit and search pressure washing. They define what the actual permit is for and its intended use, fees, etc. Hope this helps. Insurance is a must in this Industry.

I’m in Houston and insurance from JD Walters will run you about $12-1300 per year.

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I paid 1200 for my year at 1 mil