If you want to start a successful junk removal business, you’ve come to the right place to get guidance and advice. Starting any service-based business can be challenging, but with some hard work and the right tools, you’ll be enjoying a stable income from your own junk removal business in no time. 

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to get your business up and running, from deciding on a business structure to setting up your business to marketing your new company. vcita’s all-in-one business management software adds the ongoing assistance you’ll need to build your junk removal empire. 

Select your business structure: sole proprietorship vs. single member LLC

When starting a service business, you have two main options for your business structure: either a sole proprietorship, or a single member limited liability company, or LLC. Setting up as a sole proprietorship is simple, but it means that your personal assets are at risk if your business is sued. 

Registering as a single member LLC protects you by separating your business and personal assets. To start an LLC, you’ll need to file articles of organization with your state, which typically costs $50-$500. This establishes your LLC.

Develop a business plan for your junk removal startup

A solid business plan is essential to starting a junk removal company that succeeds and thrives, or in fact any service business. It’s vital if you plan to request a business loan, and key to convincing anyone that you’re serious about your new business. Writing a business plan doesn’t need to be stressful though, and it can be fairly short. Here’s the information you need to include.

Your business model

Will you focus on disposing of residential junk, commercial items, or both? Define your unique selling proposition which sets your business apart from the competition, whether it’s your eco-friendly practices or 24-hour emergency service, and outline your operational processes, from estimating jobs to disposing of the junk you picked up.

Financial projections

Estimate startup costs for things like trucks, tools, and marketing. Forecast your likely revenue and expenses over the next few years and check that you can operate profitably as a small service business. If not, revise your model.

Marketing strategy

Include your plans for promoting your new business, attracting customers, and growing consistently. Consider methods like:

  • Building a professional website to establish your brand. 
  • Running ads on social media and search engines to increase visibility.
  • Offering promotions and discounts to get new clients in the door.
  • Networking with realtors, contractors and property managers who can refer jobs.
  • Gaining reviews and word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied customers.

With a well-crafted business plan in place, you’ll soon have a successful small services company helping your community and the environment.

Obtain licenses, permits, and insurance for a junk removal business

You’ll need to obtain the proper licenses, permits, and insurance. Here are the vital prerequisites to get your junk removal business off the ground.

Business registration and licensing

You’ll need a business license or permit to operate in cities and counties you serve, so register your business with your state, typically through the Secretary of State’s office. Requirements vary in each location, so check with your local municipality.

Liability insurance

For a small service business like junk removal, general liability insurance is essential to protect you if a customer is injured or their property is damaged due to your work. Other types of insurance you might need include umbrella insurance, which provides extra coverage beyond your policy limits, and workers’ compensation that covers employees in case of work-related injuries. As your business grows, you may need auto and property insurance to cover your business vehicle and premises.


You’ll need permits to collect and transport waste, and sometimes for dumping certain materials like tires, appliances, and electronics. Check with your local waste management department about requirements for hauling junk and debris, and bear in mind that each municipality or county might require a different permit. Some permits may come with a fee.

Professional certification

You don’t have to get industry certifications to start a junk removal business, but they can help you to build credibility and trust with customers. The National Association of Property Managers (NARPM) offers a Certified Professional Property Manager (CPPM) certification, and the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) also provides certification for residential and commercial property managers.

Purchase equipment and vehicles for your junk removal Company

To get your junk removal business up and running, you’ll need to invest in essential equipment, but you’ll also want to keep costs low when first starting your business. Here are the basics you need to get your junk removal business up and running, and then you can add more equipment and tools as needed as you grow.

Truck and trailer

The largest expense will be a truck and trailer to haul away junk and debris. You can find older second-hand models from as little as $5,000, but the price will depend on the size and age of the model. Start with a basic pickup truck and small trailer, and remember to get a hitch, straps, and other equipment to properly secure loads for transport.


Essential tools include a dolly or hand truck, shovels, rakes, heavy work gloves, tarps, bungee cords, straps ,and tie-downs. You may want a small generator, shop vacuum, and basic cleaning supplies as well, depending on the services you’ll be offering. $500 is the average cost for a starter set of tools and equipment.

Business management software

Don’t forget tools to manage the admin side of your business, like scheduling jobs, creating estimates, sending invoices and receipts, and creating email marketing newsletters. An all-in-one junk removal management solution like vcita streamlines and automates essential business tasks. The online booking tool lets customers schedule pickups 24/7; automated invoices, payment processing, and accounting features reduce time on paperwork; and a custom website and business profiles establish your online presence.

Optional Add-Ons

As your business grows, you may want to add more trucks, a larger trailer, a warehouse, forklift, and additional staff. You can also expand into related areas like demolition, cleaning, or hauling construction debris. 

Market your new junk removal business and get customers

Once you have the legal and operational aspects of your junk removal business set up, it’s time to start finding customers. Marketing your new company will be key to building a successful business. Here are the best ways to start attracting new customers and ensuring that everyone knows about your junk removal business.

Promote your business online

Set up a professional website that includes full details about all the services you offer, your pricing, and the area you cover, and invite customers to book appointments and pay online. Pay-per-click ads and search engine optimization help drive traffic to your site, like a Google Ads campaign targeting terms like “junk removal” and “hauling services” in your area.

Reach out locally

Don’t underestimate the power of old-school marketing tactics. Send promotional postcards or mailers to homeowners in your target neighborhoods, and ask real estate agents to recommend you to their clients. You can also buy targeted mailing lists to reach people who recently moved or just purchased a home, and offer them a special discount to incentivize them to use your service.

Build Referrals

Once you start completing jobs, ask happy customers if they would be willing to provide a review or refer your business to others. Word-of-mouth referrals are very influential, and reviews on Google, Yelp, and other digital forums can reach many people in a short space of time. You can also offer existing customers a small discount for any referrals that turn into new jobs.

Create social buzz

Promote your junk removal business on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Post photos of your truck, team, and before/after photos of jobs you complete, and engage with followers by posting tips on decluttering and organizing. You can also sponsor social media ads that target people in your local area, to raise brand awareness.

Join the community

Get involved in your local community by sponsoring charity events, sports teams, or school fundraisers. This is a great way to raise visibility, build goodwill, and network. You may even get additional business or referrals from the organizations and people you support. Offering discounts or donating services to non-profits in your area can be part of your social responsibility plan.

Your successful junk removal business is on its way

You now have the basics to get your own junk removal business up and running. It will take a lot of work, but if you build a solid plan, invest in the right tools and team, and provide great customer service, you can build a successful company helping homeowners and businesses with this necessary service.