How to set up a laundry business

Updated March 23, 2017

As long as people continue to rent, there will always be a need for Laundromats. Starting a laundry business could prove lucrative for the committed entrepreneur. According to, the start-up costs are high, from £130,000 to £325,000. Keep in mind that it may take some time before you break even. However, having a convenient, safe and clean locale, working equipment and good customer service will help you get there that much faster.

Consider what services your laundry business will offer. You may include a snack bar, television, kid's play area, arcade games, vending machines, coffee and tea, and dry cleaning services. Offer notice boards where locals can post Wanted Ads. Consider how you will make your patrons lives more convenient and acclimate yourself into the neighbourhood. Consider playing classic movies, country music or cartoons, or hanging classic movie posters to entertain your patrons while they wait (and ensure that they will come back to your Laundromat).

Find a location for your laundry business where there is a legitimate need for your services. Avoid starting your Laundromat close to another. Watch high traffic areas near condominiums and apartment buildings. Avoid high crime areas. Check out trendier areas downtown, near universities or near newer developments.

Obtain the necessary permits and licenses, such as a sales tax permit, fire brigade permit, air and water pollution control permit, and sign permit, as well as a business license. You'll need to incorporate your business and obtain a federal tax identification number. You may be subject to sewer connection fees.

Purchase your equipment and supplies, such as top or front load washers, dryers, water heaters, soap vending machines, laundry carts, laundry scales, soap, dustbins, clocks and cleaning supplies from Purchase safety mats and coin machines at Purchase store signage from Visit to design your business cards.

Advertise your business. Submit your store to Google Maps, the Yellow Pages and other online directories. Advertise on college notice boards, at local restaurants around town and at apartment or condo buildings.


If you intend to get financing, you will need a business plan. Visit for help on writing a plan. To save on time, consider getting an automatic lock system for £650 to £975. Spend time in your Laundromat. Get to know your customers. Get involved in the community. Frequent your Laundromat daily to clean and inspect your equipment.


Keep all vending machines and your change machine well stocked. Stay on top of repairs.

Things You'll Need

  • Business plan
  • Location
  • Equipment
  • Permits
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About the Author

Shanika Chapman has been writing business-related articles since 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Science in social science from the University of Maryland University College. Chapman also served for four years in the Air Force and has run a successful business since 2008.