Licensing the Power Wash Industry: What Do I Need?

As a member of the power wash community, it likely doesn’t come as a surprise to hear that there are a variety of licensing and permits needed to operate a power washing business. Some states require special registrations and require washers to adhere to various regulations, while others are not as strict. It is important to know what kind of requirements you need to meet depending on your location, and this article is here to help. We will break down the various types of requirements, licensing and permits for the mobile washing industry.

Occupational Licensing

The licensing requirements vary depending on state and county that your business operates in. Some states require an occupational license, while others do not and some counties may require it while other counties don’t. Commonly, the requirements needed to get a license include meeting certain financial requirements, passing a test to prove your experience in the industry, and having a clean criminal record. To find out what requirements apply in your state or county, call your city’s licensing office.

Environmental Permits

In some states, special environmental permits require the business to follow certain guidelines that pertain to the elimination of waste water, pollution prevention practices or city ordinances.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued strict laws on how exterior cleaning is carried out. Failing to meet proper precautions could result in fines totaling a costly bill. Check with your local licensing department to learn what requirements are applicable to your business.


Some states require a pressure-washing business be bonded in order to receive licensing. A business bond assures both clients and government officials that you know your city regulations and intend to follow them. In the event that a licensee breaks any rule or regulation set by the governing body issuing the license, a claim can be filed against the bond to compensate for the repair or loss. Before purchasing a bond, you should first pass the license testing and course requirements. Many bonding companies cannot return the bonding fees if the license is denied.


To obtain licensing, a state may also require the business to have commercial general-liability insurance. This insurance covers accidental water damage to interiors, property or furnishings, which can occur when using water-pressure equipment. It also covers any physical damage caused to a person or property as a result of the power-washing equipment malfunctioning, falling or moving. The minimum insurance required is sometimes stated in the licensing documentation but if not, maintaining at least $1 million in commercial general-liability insurance is advised.

At Joseph D. Walters, we know what power wash professionals need, and we offer you the right coverages to protect you properly. Just call us at 1-800-878-3808 today for a free quote or review of your current policy. Our agents would be happy to answer any questions you may have as well.

4 comments on “Licensing the Power Wash Industry: What Do I Need?

  1. I want to know what type of licenses, permits, and insurance I need to run a company that mainly does pressure washing of peoples homes. I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

  2. Hi Tyler! It can depend on the business. I’m going to send you an email and can help get you in touch with an agent who can go over all the details with you.
    – Jessi

  3. I want to know what type of licenses, permits, and insurance I need to run a company that mainly does pressure washing of peoples homes. I live in Charleston, SC.

  4. Hello Connor! It can vary company to company depending on a number of factors. I am going to send you an email to get a little more information and can get an agent to go over the options that would be the best fit for you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *