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Is It Illegal to Start a Valet Trash Company in an Apartment Without Approval?

Yes. Not just in the United States, it is illegal to start and run any business without adequate approval from the relevant authorities anywhere in the world. When starting any business, it is always advisable to look into all the regulations your business might face and what you are expected to do to be considered legal to operate in your area.

While there may not be a specific license needed to start a valet trash company, it doesn’t mean that one doesn’t exist in some counties or localities.

But since the valet trash service business model involves collecting trash from doorways and taking them to dumpsters or trash compactors, it genuinely limits your exposure. Your business isn’t set up like an actual waste management service that transports garbage from the property to a facility.

However, if your business involves transporting the garbage from the apartment to a landfill or facility, then you might have to consider getting a license to transport or haul the garbage. Truth be told, each state and county vary, therefore you’ll want to carry out extensive research to note if you need anything specific.

If you just serve the community and everything stays onsite, then you may not really be expected to get a license. But if you take recycling or garbage offsite, then you may likely be expected to consider trash hauling permits. If possible, consider limiting the demands of your business by taking items offsite, as it can open the door for more issues.

How to Start a Valet Trash Company 

Starting a valet trash business doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds. Note that all you have to do is take certain steps to ensure you achieve your business dreams. Here are steps to guide you;

  1. Identify a Promising Niche

Irrespective of the demographics you intend to target, your valet trash service should cater to the needs of customers from a vast range of housing backgrounds. Whether you decide to work with singular apartment renters, multifamily units, or senior care facilities, deciding early on about the right mix of trash pickup options is very critical to the success of your endeavor.

A good number of valet trash pickup outfits choose to only work with standard household garbage while others will collect and dispose of everything from electronics to furniture. Ensure you explicitly note the things you can afford to do at the very beginning and put together a detailed plan.

2. Write a Business Plan

Note that putting together a well-detailed business plan for your valet trash business will ensure you research your competitors, estimate your expenses, estimate your revenue, and create a SWOT Analysis. Have it in mind that all these will provide you with the necessary directions as to where your business will be headed. Envisage your business plan as the blueprint for your success.

In addition, if at any point you require additional funds or a bank loan, this business plan will help to inform them if you would be a worthy investment or a failed cause.

3. Register and Fund your Business 

After you must have noted your unique selling point, the next step is to form a company and have it registered with the Local Secretary of State Office. There will be necessary permits and licenses owing to the requirements of your city.

Ensure you find out all the relevant local laws concerning the recycling of hazardous and electronic waste. Once again, the Secretary of State’s office or the local chamber of commerce can help you to negotiate the red tape you’ll encounter.

4. Locate a Good Landfill Operator

Right before you set out to start collecting trash and recycling from clients, you must set up a contract with the right landfill to receive your trash. Most often, a landfill or dump will charge a garbage collector by the ton.

You may also consider renting a commercial space to store trash temporarily while you wait to drop it off. Nevertheless, there may be some incentives or perks in your area when it comes to recycling things like electronic trash and used motor oil that can reduce your business costs.

5. Determine Your Rates

Note that the cost of the services you provide to clients will surely vary from as little as $8 per month to as much as $35 per month, all depending on numerous factors like location, type of service being offered, and frequency of service (once, twice, or thrice per week).

However, to determine your prices, you must carry out extensive market research. Take your time to find out how much other similar services are charging in your area and also get to know your clients. As a new valet trash service business, you can choose to start on monthly contracts at competitive rates.

Note that this will let clients test out your services and in the process, you can note how best to conduct your business. As your business expands and the number of clients grows, you can then increase your prices and maybe decide to offer additional services to your clients at an extra cost.

6. Market your Valet Trash Service Business 

A good number of people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about valet trash service providers, therefore you must invest time and resources in branding and marketing. Consider leveraging the usual social media suspects like Google+, Facebook, and Twitter to grow your local reputation.

You should also join the local chamber of commerce to make business contacts. Also, utilize word-of-mouth advertising by directly speaking with local landlords and real estate rental firms. You can issue out business cards, put up posters, hand out flyers and encourage people to spread the word about your services to friends.

7. Grow Your Operation

After you must have established your valet trash pickup service, you can now work on growing your business. As your business expands and clients increase, have it in mind that you will definitely need to hire employees to handle the day-to-day bric-a-brac.

Always aim for the right people to entrust with your business and ensure you maintain a competitive edge over would-be rivals as these are the keys to reliable profits. Note that with the right consumer demographics, a viable business plan, and a well-detailed marketing plan, your valet trash service business can be a massive success.


In this modern age, valet trash services are considered essential services. A good number of people consider this as one of the best amenities an apartment complex can offer since it ensures the premises are always clean. However, as noted above, each state, county, and city have their own codes and restrictions.

Have it in mind that you will need to carry out a little research to find out all that is required in your area. After all your searching, you will have a better idea or insight on whether your company needs any form of business license for the valet trash services you intend to offer.