How to Start a Laundromat

a laundromat sign.

How To Starting a Laundromat

You’ll find a lot of information in this article for starting and running your own laundromat.

Imagine you’re laundromat is open and in operation.

What does it look like?

How big is it?

In what location are you open?

You don’t have to have the whole plan in place, but it’s good to have an idea of what you want before you get started.

We’ll begin with the steps to start a laundromat, then look at some points to consider, then we’ll end with a selection of resources that can help you start and run your business.

Steps To Start a Laundromat

1. Research the Industry

Research is one of the most important steps you can take before starting a laundromat. Therefore, let’s look at three important considerations you should keep in mind.

a.) An Inside Look at The Business

The best source of information you can get for starting a laundromat it’s from laundromat business owners.

They are the ones that do this for a living, and they will have the most relevant information that you can depend on. There are a few ways where you can get information from existing owners.

Let’s go over them now.

Method Number One:

.Seek out laundromats for sale and make an appointment with those business owners to review the opportunity.

When you contact these people, let them know that your plans are to start your own laundromat, but before you do, you want to see if purchasing an existing laundromat is a better route to take.

The benefit of this approach is you’ll be able to get inside information, and you may actually find a business that’s a good fit and be able to make a deal and get into business quicker than starting your own.

Before the meeting, you want to make a list of questions to avoid wasting the owner’s time.

Your list should start with questions such as:

  • What made you want to start a laundromat?
  • If you had to start over, what would you do differently?
  • What do you like most about running a laundromat?
  • What is the most challenging part of running a laundromat?

Questions like the above relate to the business owner and their experience, and it sets the mood to have a conversation and get to know the business owner.

This approach may work better than starting with asking questions, like how much money does your laundromat make? And trying to see their profit and loss statements, etc.

You can ask those questions but not before setting the mood. While you’re there, you’ll also want to tour the business, meet any staff members, look at the washing machines, driers, etc.

Method Two:

Explore any franchise opportunities for laundromats and contact the company representatives to review the opportunity.

When taking this approach, you can start with any question you want because the company representatives are used to people asking everything there is to know about the opportunity.

Method Three:

Search for established laundromats online or in an area you won’t be competing with.

Then, contact the owners and see if they are willing to give you advice about starting your own laundromat.

Naturally, you don’t want to contact anyone you’ll be in competition with, and when speaking with the owners, you want to make sure they understand you’re not competing with them directly.

It would also be a good idea with those who speak with you to build an alliance and stay in contact to brainstorm ideas where you can benefit.

Method Number Four:

Search online for laundromat business owners that offer interviews and read every article that you find.

You can even contact the owner and tell him that you read the article and try and build a relationship with them so that you can brainstorm or benefit.

You will find more in the resource section of this article for; buying a laundromat, laundromat franchise opportunities, and laundromat business owner interviews.

For more on this method, see An Inside Look Into The Business You’re Considering.

b.) Expand Your Knowledge of the Industry

Learn as much as you can about laundromats.

There are numerous resources to get information about the laundromat industry. You can search for newsletters and subscribe to any you find.

You can search for blogs and follow them so that you’re up-to-date with any new information. You can subscribe to industry publications etc.

The point is there is information out there. You just have to find it and use it.

Click Here for the Latest Publications Related to a Laundromat.

c.) Choosing a Location

a women putting coins in a washing machine.The location you choose for your laundromat is an important decision in the start-up process.

There is no use opening a laundromat in an area where there’s no demand. But, on the other hand, avoid areas where there is too much competition.

You want an appropriate location. For example, you wouldn’t open a laundromat in a popular area for nightclubs.

You need to locate in an area close to your target customers to get the best results. You also want to check with city hall to make sure the area’s zoning allows you to open a laundromat.

For more, see Choosing the Best Location for Your Business.

2. Choose a Business Name

Choosing a name for your business is another important step. You want an appropriate, memorable, and catchy business name.

The name you choose today is the name you will use for as long as you own your laundromat; therefore, take some time to consider your options and choose a name you’ll be happy with years down the road.

There are numerous resources online to help you come up with a business name for your laundromat.

Some websites will list names for a laundromat, and you’ll come across business name generators that can also help you come up with a name.

I would use these resources to get the creativity flowing because you have to keep in mind everyone else has access to the same resources. In addition, you want your name that be unique and available for registration.

Keep in mind, that you’ll also want a matching domain name for your website.

For Laundromat Name Ideas, See Google’s Latest Search Results.

3. Legalizing Your Business

a.) Decide on a Legal Structure

.There are various types of business structures to choose from.

Many new business owners start off as a sole proprietorship. This is the easiest to start. However, a sole proprietorship has the least protection for your personal assets.

This is because you and the business are considered one entity. Therefore, everything you own, your home, your vehicles, etc., and the business assets are considered one. So, for example, if the business went bankrupt, creditors could seize your home and other personal assets.

Many small business owners start off as a sole proprietorship because it’s simple to set up. If the business becomes successful, they convert it to a limited liability company, a corporation, or other available structures.

For More, See How To Register Your Business Using These Resources.

b.)Get a Tax Id

Depending on the size of your business, whether or not you hire employees right away, and your business structure will determine if you need a tax ID during the start-up phase.

For more see Here’s How To Get A Business Tax Id

c.)Local Permits and Regulations

Contact City Hall or your local municipality to get your standard business license. You’ll also want to ask about zoning and find out if there are any special regulations for a laundromat.

For example, there may be special permits for water and sewer usage for a laundromat since that will be something you’ll be using a lot of.

Visit the Licensing and Permits Page for More Information.

4. Create Your Corporate ID

Your corporate ID is an important part of branding your business. Components include your business cards, logo, website, letterhead, checks, etc.

You will want a professional design to leave a good impression on your customers.

However, corporate ID packages are expensive, and if you don’t want to spend a lot of your budget during the start-up phase, you can start with business cards and a logo and complete the rest when your business it’s up and running.

For More See:

How To Design A Business Logo – Make it Good It Might Last Years.

How to Design Business Cards That People Will Pay Attention To

Business Signs – Have a Look at These Ideas.

A Complete Introduction to Corporate Identity Packages

5. Estimating Your Start-up Cost

a row of commercial washing machines.Estimating your start-up costs takes time and research. If your estimate is too high, you may have a hard time when it comes to getting funds to start your business. On the other hand, if you estimate too low, you could run out of money before opening your doors to the public.

No one can tell you how much it will cost to start your laundromat because you first have to decide on the type of setup and the type and quantity of machines you’ll be purchasing.

However, once you have your plan in place and a location picked out, you’ll be able to start estimating your start-up costs.

Start off by listing all the items and expenditures you’ll need. Then, as you start estimating and getting quotes, other issues will appear, and you can add them to your estimate.

For more see Estimating Start-up Costs: Are You Missing Anything?

6. Writing a Business Plan

Your laundromat’s business plan is an important document to create. It keeps you on track and is a must-have document if you’re looking for investors or considering a loan for your new business.

It takes time and thought to develop a business plan. Although there are many sections to complete, many of them require deep thinking.

For example:

  • Who are your customers?
  • How will you reach your customers?
  • What makes your business unique?
  • What are the most difficult challenges you face?
  • How will you determine success?
  • What is your operating budget?
  • Etc.

A business plan can be created in a variety of ways. You can use a template and fill in the blanks. You can use software to walk you through each step.

You can also hire a professional to write one for you. You are the one who must fill in the information, regardless of which method you choose.

For more, see How To Write A Business Plan.

7. Banking Setup

Choosing a bank

a washing machine control panel.You will want a bank that’s nearby where you can make deposits. You’ll be dealing with a lot of coins, and you don’t want to leave a lot of cash on hand; instead, you want to make deposits either daily every few days.

The bank you choose is important, but it’s more important to deal with a competent banker that understands your business, and you’ll be able to build a trusting relationship with that person.

For example, you find a deal on new washing machines.

A competent banker who understands your business may streamline the process and get you the funds you need to take advantage of the deal.

Consider the same situation without having a relationship with a banker. You may not be able to get the loan approved in time.

For more, see our page on How To Choose A Business Bank.

Acquiring a Merchant Account

Some commercial washing machines process payments through credit and debit cards. To process those payments, you will need what’s called a merchant account.

A competent banker that understands your business can streamline the merchant account application and help you to get approved.

See How To Open A Merchant Account for more information.

8. Get the Funding for Your Business

By the time you reach this step, you will have your location set up, your business registered a corporate ID and a business plan in place.

Now it’s time to make copies of your business plan and start looking for funding.
Most people start with their personal bank when looking for funds to start their business.

You have to consider banks view start-ups as high-risk loans. Many businesses fail in the first few years, and that’s why many lenders would rather loan money to a business that’s established and has a good track record and taking a chance on a start-up.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you won’t get approved, but it may take multiple applications with different lenders to get your funding.

If your loan is declined, find out the details and do your best to address them before moving on to the next lender instead of taking it personally.

If your loan is denied, there are other options for obtaining the necessary start-up capital. You could, for example, look into finding a partner or investors.

You could also sell personal assets. In addition, you might be able to re-mortgage your home. Another option is to consider an SBA loan, in which the government secures a portion of the loan if you default.

Also, take a look at our post on, Getting a Small Business Loan.

9.  Office Setup

The more successful you become with your laundromat, the more time you’ll need to spend in the office for administrative work and planning and managing your business.

Your office may be in the laundromat or set up at home. Whatever you choose, it must be organized and fully equipped so you can manage your business effectively.

For more see, Here Are Considerations for the Setup of Your Office.

Software Setup

I would suggest looking at software packages that will allow you to track your finances and keep organized records of expenses and sales.

You may also find software that is specialized for a laundromat.

Another idea is software to ensure your washing machines and dryers are maintained properly. And when considering the software package, it’s good practice to search for reviews and ask for demos when they’re available.

Check Out Google’s Latest Search Results for Software Packages Related to a Laundromat.

10. Get Your Business Insured

You’ll need to get the proper insurance for your laundromat. Make sure your property and, more importantly, your customers and employees are covered in case of an accident.

You may also want to consider interruption insurance, which covers the average revenue in case of a fire or other incident that causes your operation to shut down for repairs.

A competent insurance broker with experience can be a great asset to help you get the right insurance for your laundromat.

For more, see our page about business insurance.

11. Create a Team of Advisors for Your Start-up

Depending on the size of your laundromat and how many locations you have, you may want to consider creating a team of advisers. Your advisers are not on your payroll but are professionals you depend on.

You pay them either on a retainer or by the hour. Your team of advisers may include some of the following:

  • A lawyer
  • A bookkeeper
  • A business strategist
  • A graphic designer
  • A Marketing specialist
  • An HR representative
  • Etc.

It’s a good idea to develop a relationship with your team before you really need their services. Some of your advisers will become friends, and you will have a long-term relationship with them, while others won’t be a good fit, and you’ll have to replace them.

For more see, Building a Team of Professional Advisors for Your Business

12. Hiring Employees

a woman removing clothing from a washing machine.Have you considered if you’ll be running your laundromat on your own, or will you require employees?

If you have one location, then you’ll be able to do everything yourself. But, on the other hand, if you want somebody on-site at all times, you may need to hire a couple of people, especially if you’re running 24/7.
When choosing employees, it’s important to hire the right person for each position.

Making mistakes during the hiring process has a huge cost and lost time, so it’s better to take your time and go through the interview process thoroughly while also having a probational period.

So if the person doesn’t work out, it will be easier to dismiss them.

For more on hiring, see How and When to Hire a New Employee.

What To Consider Before Starting

You have the steps to follow for starting your laundromat. Let’s look a little deeper into this venture and consider a few issues before you get started.

Is Running a Business Right for You?

People have different reasons for starting a business. Some people want to be the boss and call the shots, while others want to get away from a job. You have those that are interested in the lifestyle they can have by running their own business.

Then you have those people that are passionate about what they’re doing, and that’s important because when you’re passionate about the business you own and problems occur, you’ll be looking for solutions rather than an exit strategy.

It’s important to start your business for the right reasons, and it’s important to start a business that suits you because you don’t want to just do it for the money.

Instead, you want to enjoy the work you’re doing because it takes a lot of time and effort to start a business and make it a successful operation.

For more, see Reasons To Start a Business

Is It Better To Start a Business From Scratch or Buy One?

Buying an existing business has its advantages and disadvantages.

a woman holding a laundry basket full of clothing.When you purchase a laundromat that is already up and running, you start making money from the day you take over. As a result, you bypass the setup phase and planning.

One of the issues to consider with the laundromat is there may be limits to how many laundromats can open in the area.

The reason is the high water and sewage usage; therefore, an existing business already has the permits. If permits are scarce, then purchasing an existing laundromat might be the better route to take.

Some of the disadvantages include change.

If you want to take the business in a different direction, the changes you make may not go well with your existing customers; therefore, you might be better off starting from scratch.

Another disadvantage is when you purchase a business already in operation, it’s usually more expensive than starting your own because you’re purchasing the Goodwill, which relates to everything the business has built up, including the customer base.

Click Here To View a Laundromat Listed for Sale From Google’s Search Results.

Should You Consider a Franchise?

Getting into a franchise has advantages and disadvantages. Some of the advantages include that the business already has a proven system in existence and all you have to do is follow the procedure.

In addition, a successful franchise is known in the marketplace, and customers already know what to expect.

It’s like going into a McDonald’s or a Burger King. You expect The products and services to be similar no matter what location you visit.

Some of the disadvantages of owning your own franchise include ongoing franchise fees.

Plus, you can’t change how you operate the business or the products or services you supply. Everything is standard according to corporate.

To Browse the Marketplace for Laundromats Franchise Opportunities, See the Latest Google Search Results. Also, see, What You Need To Know About Owning a Franchise.


Let’s look at a few ideas about your laundromat business.

What kind of environment will you offer?

People will have to spend time in a laundromat, so you have the opportunity to make their time more enjoyable. The better the experience, the more customers will return.

For example, you could provide:

  • Free WIFI.
  • Have TVs.
  • A play area for children.
  • An information station for using the machine and best practices for washing your clothes and what to avoid.
  • Folding centers with tools to help you fold clothing.
  • Offer a comfortable seating area.
  • Etc.

Offer Add-Ons:

The above showed add-ons for comfort and to improve the customer’s experience, which is free for the customer.

In this section, let’s go over a few ideas that improve the customer’s experience and bring revenue.

  • Have vending machines.
  • Add an arcade area.
  • Offer a snack and food area, where you can see a menu and order hot food.
  • Create a massage chair section.
  • Offer a workstation. If you’re in an area with many busy professionals, they can log in to their accounts and get caught up on work while waiting.
  • Etc.


Next will take some time to look at resources that can help you better understand the industry, keep up with changes and access more information.

Trends and Statistics

Studying trends and statistics will help you identify if the industry is on the rise or fall. You’ll also pick up tips and insights while improving your knowledge in the industry.

Click Here for the Latest Google Search Results Related to Trends in the Laundromat Industry.


The washers and dryers you choose for your business will have a huge effect on your start-up and operating costs as well as your profits.

It’s essential to purchase the right machines for your laundromat. The right equipment will streamline operations, while poor equipment can put you out of business.

a woman holding a her son in a laundromat.You want machines to be able to handle the wear and tear of commercial use while being user-friendly.

Look at used versus new machines. Although purchasing used washing machines and dryers will reduce your start-up cost, they may also come with problems.

Purchasing used machines is an option if they come with a warranty and a service agreement. Another option is to purchase refurbished machines.

You’ll also want to take into consideration the area where you’re opening your laundromat.

For example, if your customer base is a younger generation, you may want the high-tech machines that will work off an app, where you can pay and check the availability of washing machines.

For example, when all machines are in use, the customer may postpone their trip and schedule when it’s not busy instead of coming in and finding the laundromat busy and waiting their turn.

On the other hand, if your laundromat is in a location with seniors, you may want to stick with the simple coin-operated machines.

Washing machines and dryers are expensive. They can start anywhere from $1,000 to over $10,000 per machine, so as you can see, it will be something that you need to research before making any decisions.

Speak with different dealers to gain insights into the most reliable brands. And then you can research the brands they offer you.

You can also speak with other laundromat business owners that you’re not in competition with to get feedback about their machines. Another option is to search the brands online for reviews.

Click Here for the Most Recent Google Search Results Related to Laundromats Equipment.


It’s a good idea to take a look at the supplies available for your laundromat.

The supplies you use in your laundromat affect your profits and the quality of how clean your customer’s clothes will turn out.

You’ll also want to always keep an eye on new products that you can use to enhance your profits without affecting your quality.

See the Latest Google Search Results for Laundromat Supplies.


Joining a laundromat association is a great way to network with other laundromat business owners and benefit from the association’s resources, such as industry news, publications, member discounts, trade conventions, etc.

You may also want to join your local Chamber of Commerce to network with local business owners and get to know their businesses while promoting your own.

Click Here To View Associations Related to the Laundromat Industry. You May Also Want To Check Out Our Page for Tips and Insights About Joining a Trade Association.

Top Laundromat Businesses

Studying top laundromats will allow you to get an overview of what your competition is doing. You may also come up with an idea missing in the industry when you study many laundromats.

You may also find something that you’re missing that others are providing. Take some time to study top laundromats for tips and insights you can put in place for your business.

Search Google for the Top Laundromats in Your Area.

Marketing Tips

To keep your business going strong and get new customers, you need to market your laundromat.

You can pick up a lot of tips by simply going through articles online.

When I’m looking through a good marketing article, I often don’t reach the end because I find a great idea that is put to use. The thing with marketing is you want to try one thing at a time. If you try multiple ideas at once, you won’t know what’s working and what’s not.

If you try a new strategy every month and each one of those was successful in one year, your marketing strategy can take your business to the next level.

Have a Look at the Latest Articles for Marketing a Laundromat.

Published Interviews

We talked about going over interviews from laundromat business owners earlier on in this article. In the section, you’ll find a link for the latest available interviews online.

This information is priceless because you’re getting tips and insights from people working in the field.

These people have gone through good times and bad times, and they’re willing to share their experiences with you.

I highly encourage you to take some time to go through all the articles you come across to get tips and insides for running your laundromat.

Search Results  Related to Interviews From Laundromat Owners.


Books are another great source of information for learning more about laundromats.

Whenever you come across a book that looks interesting, flip through the table of contents to get an overview of what the book offers. Then you can just get to those chapters that look promising.

One of the things with non-fiction books is that you don’t have to read the whole thing and only go over the chapters that interest you.

View the Most Recent Google Search Results for books related to Laundromats.


Courses are another great way to improve your knowledge of running a successful laundromat.

There are a few courses you can take online, which I recommend to help you understand the industry, and if you already have some experience, it’s a good refresher, and I’m sure you can pick up a tip or two!

Find the Most Current Courses Related to Running a Laundromat Using Google’s Search Results.


Here’s a tip for keeping up with the laundromat industry.

Go to Google News and type in a keyword related to the laundromat industry, and you instantly get a list of new and archived news stories related to the industry.

You can even set up an alert to get notified of when new stories are available.

Go to google news and type in a keyword related to the laundromat industry and you instantly get a list of new and archived news stories related to the industry.

See Google’s News Search Results Related to the Laundromat Industry.


You can gain a lot of tips and insights from YouTube. New videos are posted every day.

You can subscribe to channels to stay up to date with any topic, and you can set time aside for viewing longer videos.

See the Most Recent Videos Related to a Laundromat.