Did you know the commercial cleaning industry is a billion dollar market? According to Statista the janitorial services have already reached a value of $77.25 billion with more growth projected for the future.

One way to play this industry is by applying for a Vanguard Cleaning franchise. The company was founded in 1984 and has over 3,000 franchised janitorial businesses operating in the United States and Canada.

How much does it cost to open Vanguard Cleaning? The initial investment range for this janitorial service is $5,500 to $37,100 and the franchise fee is $5,000. You’ll need a liquid capital of $7,000 to $45,000 and a net worth of $50,000 to $250,000 to qualify from a financial perspective. The industry average startup cost for a cleaning business is $42,500 so this falls in line with expectations.

But is this five-figure investment in a new business worth it? Read on to know more about Vanguard Cleaning and what to expect as a franchisee. Take our 7-minute franchise quiz to find the right opportunity for you. 

Financial Requirements and Fees

Vanguard Cleaning Systems has two business franchises opportunities: The Master Franchise and Janitorial Business Franchise. Though Vanguard Cleaning has not provided the financial requirements for their Janitorial Business Franchise and that prices may vary, it may be the fees presented below:

Fees / Expenses Financial Amount
Liquid Capital $7,000 to $45,000
Net Worth $50,000 to $250,000
Total Investment $5,500 to $37,100
Franchise Fee $5,000

In addition to these financial requirements, expect royalty fees to be 11.5%. You can get a discount if you’re a veteran which is 10% off. The term of agreement to run this franchise is 5 years.

As for the Master Franchise, the liquid capital needed is $200,000 to $400,000 while the initial franchise fee is $100,000 to $350,000.

Average Sales / Revenue per Year

According to one report, Vanguard Cleaning franchise owners only net $20,000 after expenses. This is not a very appealing net-revenue estimate if you’re planning to invest five-figures to get started.

Vanguard Cleaning Systems has seen a consistent increase of revenue from 2014 to 2020 according to Statista. For the year 2020, total sales from their locations in the United States and Canada amounted to $296 million.

Vanguard Cleaning Franchise Facts

Total Units Over 50 Master Franchises; Over 3,000 Janitorial Business Franchises
Incorporated Name Vanguard Cleaning Systems
Franchising Since 1984
Industry Maintenance
Subsector Commercial Cleaning

Vanguard Cleaning Systems was founded in 1984 as a commercial cleaning service. The company handles Vanguard Master Franchises who in turn handle the Janitorial Business Franchise.

The services that Vanguard Cleaning Systems offers are the following:

  • Electrostatic Disinfection Process
  • Standard Cleaning and Additional Touch Point Disinfection
  • Commercial Floor Care Services
  • Additional Services and Janitorial Supplies

As for the facilities they serve, they offer their services to the following areas:

  • Car Dealership Cleaning
  • Quality Cleaning Services for Religious Facilities (Churches and Places of Worship)
  • Commercial Offices
  • Gym and Fitness Centers
  • Medical Facility Cleaning Services
  • Cleaning Solutions for Property-Managed Buildings
  • School Cleaning Services
  • Warehouse and Industrial Cleaning Services

Vanguard Cleaning Services have also adapted to the difficult times brought about by the pandemic. They also offer Covid-19 Cleaning Services which help in reducing the spread of this virus in the work place.

In addition, Vanguard Cleaning Services also offers Green Cleaning. This type of service makes use of eco-friendly cleansers and green cleaning products that have the proper eco-friendly certification. These products are made with environmentally-friendly ingredients.

As mentioned above, Vanguard Cleaning Systems offer Master Franchises. Master Franchises are for entrepreneurs who to recruit and manage franchisees across a certain territory (often a country). These Master Franchises main role is to recruit and support Janitorial Business Franchisees. These are the folks who make money through royalty and franchise fees. In order for you to franchise Vanguard’s Janitorial Business, you’ll need to contact the regional Master Franchise to assign you a location. Master Franchises also set the franchise financial requirements and prices for janitorial businesses.

Not Sure What Franchise to Start? Take Our 7-Minute Franchise Business Quiz!

Janitorial Business Franchises under the Master Franchises have over 18,000 customers from manufacturing, industrial, educational institutions, office spaces, and healthcare. Should you decide to sign up with them and would like to expand, they also have potential for growth. If your Janitorial Business Franchise has a good record, the regional office may offer you an additional account.

Vanguard Cleaning Systems is recognized for their services and has won many awards. They are consistently on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 List and Top 100 Veteran Franchises. They are also recognized on Franchise Direct Top 100 Global Franchises, Military Times, World Franchising Network – Bond’s Top 100 Franchises, Franchise Times Magazine – Fast and Serious Top 40 Franchises, and USA Today.

Vanguard Cleaning Systems remains to be a privately held business at the moment. They are headquartered at San Mateo, California.

How Much Does Vanguard Cleaning Make in Profit?

Vanguard Cleaning Systems has not disclosed how much the business makes in profit. The best I can do is provide you with an estimate based on the average net-profit of 20% – 25% in the cleaning industry. Of course, you could get a higher profit margin if you aren’t hiring out the work and doing all the cleaning yourself.

This means you could expect to make $25,000 in net-profit based on $100,000 in sales. Expenses for a cleaning business include transportation costs, fuel, cleaning supplies, labor and taxes.

Of course, you can offload some of these costs to customers by asking the customer to buy supplies. I had a housekeeper who used this approach and we were happy to do it. This gave us more control over the products being used to clean our home.

Advantages of a Vanguard Cleaning Franchise

Operating a business like Vanguard Cleaning Systems that’s recognized across so many markets has advantages.

Long Running Experience

Vanguard Cleaning Systems have been in the business of franchising and commercial cleaning for over 35 years. They have a long-running experience of running a commercial cleaning system and a stable business model. They’re also recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine, USA Today, and many more.

If you franchise with them, you’re assured of the stability that Vanguard Cleaning Systems will be in business for the longterm.


Let’s say you decide to franchise Vanguard Cleaning Systems’ Janitorial Business. What can you expect as a franchise owner? The Master Franchise regional branch will be ready to provide you the support you need. You’ll receive their support on technical information, account requirements, and business developments to help you with your operations.

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The opportunity that Vanguard Cleaning Systems offers to their franchisees includes the use of their business systems information such as providing interactive sessions, digital and online -material, on-site and hands-on education. You can feel confident you’ll learn the ropes of this business with the companies training program.

Green Cleaning

As mentioned above, Vanguard Cleaning Systems participate in Green Cleaning Services. This not only helps promote the use of environmentally friendly products but also promotes awareness to their clients which in turn will help inspire others to use the same methods. To a certain segment of customers, cleaning with environmentally friendly products is extremely important. This distinction allows you to better market and promote yourself to customers.

Franchise Packages

Vanguard Cleaning Systems having two franchise packages helps interested applicants in deciding what to franchise that also depends on their expertise and budget. Compared to other franchise opportunities like starting a restaurant that could require an investment of $500,000 – $1,000,000 this is a business you can get involved in for under $50,000 all in. The low cost makes this business accessible to many more entrepreneurs.

Diverse Service Opportunities 

There’s no shortage of work opportunities in the cleaning business. Residential and office cleaning are popular services. But here are a few other places you could find work: hotels, apartments, hospitals, retirement facilities, shopping malls, restaurants. Pretty much every business and home in the United States is an opportunity for your cleaning services.

Challenges of a Vanguard Cleaning Franchise

Despite the long-running business model that Vanguard Cleaning Systems follow, the business still faces challenges for prospective franchise owners. Here are some of the difficulties you can expect to face.

Mixed Reviews

There have been claims from people who work for Vanguard Cleaning Systems that “pay was less than desired” and that there were no benefits such as healthcare. Another claim that training was not handled properly. These are serious claims to take evaluate before signing a franchise agreement.

If you are to franchise with Vanguard Cleaning Systems, it’s best to check all the details necessary such as pay, benefits, and training so you and your staff are clear about the terms and that no complaints will be brought up in the future.

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Customer Issues

Not every customer you serve will become an ideal customer. The ideal cleaning customer is one that pays on time and has realistic expectations of work being completed. Some customers may complain about toilets aren’t clean enough to meet their standards. Others will try to get free services like window treatment cleanings without this service being built into the quote.

Sometimes mistakes like this are the fault of employees. But often times, they’re just cranky customers. Part of the process of running a successful cleaning business is filtering out the bad customers. Over time you want to drop demanding clients who don’t pay on time and nurturing those clients who are nice to work with and pay well.

No One Price for Janitorial Business Franchises

According to Vanguard Cleaning Systems, the financial requirements and startup costs in franchising their Janitorial Business depends on the regional Master Franchisee. This is a disadvantage since other regional areas may have a different price than the rest. As a business owner, it’s nice to know you’ll be paying the same amount as other franchisees that join the company. You don’t want to feel like you could be getting taken advantage of.

Is the Vanguard Cleaning Franchise Right For You?

There are strong headwinds for commercial cleaning businesses so you’re in a market that’s proven in growing or recessionary economic environments with Vanguard Cleaning Systems. Be sure to inquire about locations, exclusive territories, competitions, and average revenue to understand if this business is a good investment for you. Not all markets will have the same potential revenue. If you operate in a smaller market, make sure you’re not investing on the high-end of startup costs.

What is an alternative Vanguard Cleaning franchise?

To know more about other commercial cleaning franchises, check out Jani-King. This janitorial service also covers a lot of facilities and provides the same services, including Covid-19 cleaning and green cleaning. They have over 9,000 franchisees and have been around since 1968.

To franchise Jani-King, expect the total investment to be around $13,000 to $218,000. Read more about Jani-King in our guide here.

Commercial cleaning is a big industry that won’t be going away anytime soon. According to BLS data, maids and housekeeping services employ more than 90,000 workers in California alone. I hope this guide will be able to help you in your decisions in franchising Vanguard Cleaning Systems.