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The laundry and dry-cleaning industry in Australia is worth over $3 billion a year. So, it's easy to see why more than 4,600 laundry companies are needed to meet this demand.
From the initial research to legal documents to growing your clients, read on to find out how to get started in the laundry industry.
There are different models to consider before getting started. The four most common types of laundry businesses are:
There are no mandatory certifications to start a laundry business. However, if you don't have much experience in this sector, then a training course may well be a good idea to help you get started.
The Australian government offers training for anyone interested in learning the skills required to operate a laundry and dry-cleaning business. These include:
To start a laundry business, you'll need to decide on a business structure. In Australia, there are three common business entities. These are:
Once you've decided on the business structure that works for you, it's important to register for your Australian Business Number (ABN). If your annual income is projected to be over $75,000, you'll need to register for goods and services tax (GST) as well.
Writing a comprehensive business plan at the start of your journey can save you many headaches down the line. It will also be important if you're looking to borrow money or attract an investor. Your plan doesn't need to be too long or detailed, but should contain the following for setting up your laundry business:
The government has various resources on how to write a business plan.
There are several legal documents a new business requires before it can operate. Depending on the type of business structure you choose, you may need a partnership agreement if you start a laundry business with someone else. You may also need a share certificate to determine legal ownership of the company. When hiring your first employees to help you operate your laundry business, you'll need an employment agreement.
You can find more templates of legal documents in Finder's guide to legal document templates.
Some clients may require that your business follows The Australian Standards for Laundry Practices. While it may not have been updated in a number of years, it's still seen as the benchmark and reference for the industry.
If you are operating a dry-cleaning company, you'll also need to make sure you're aware of any specific local regulations. For example, in Victoria, it's illegal to dump your dry-cleaning waste in the rubbish bin, sink, toilet or drain. Similarly, in New South Wales you will need to comply with the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.
Additionally, may want to have an environmental policy to show clients that your business is committed to sustainable practices.
Again, you can sign up with online legal services such as Sprintlaw to ask any questions and to confirm that your business is legally operating within local and national regulations.
The basic equipment a laundry business needs to communicate with clients includes a computer and a phone. Depending on the type of laundry business you're looking to start, you may or may not need to purchase additional specialised equipment and software.
Here's a list of some the equipment you could need:
How much does it cost to start a laundry business?
This depends on the type of laundry business you start. If you choose to operate a small, local laundry business from home, then your costs will be comparatively low. However, scaling up your operations and investing in commercial washing machines will of course be more expensive.
Another option is to look into franchises or even buying an existing laundry business. Depending on the location, the size and the equipment included a laundry company's value can vary a lot. Our research found them to range from around $60,000 to $1.7 million.
How profitable is a laundry business?
A laundry business may be very profitable. However, there are many costs involved in launching and operating a laundry business. Typical running costs for this type of company include rent, utilities (water, electric, sewer), business insurance, employee salaries and benefits, advertising and the servicing of washing machines.
To cover these costs and to increase their profit, laundry businesses often have vending machines or offer other money-spinning services whilst customers wait for their washing.
Are laundry businesses dying out?
No. In fact, figures from the research provider IBISWorld suggest laundry businesses are far from dying out. Between 2015 and 2020, the laundry industry in Australia grew by 3%.Back to top
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