You would need a minimum of $125,700 to open a medium–scale tattoo shop in any city in the United States of America.
Please note that this amount includes the salaries of all the staff for the first three months of operation. The tattoo industry comprises businesses that provide tattoo services by injecting ink under the skin and permanently altering the coloration of the skin.
This industry also includes businesses that provide tattoo-related maintenance, design, and modification services. Those that offer laser tattoo-removal services may be included in the industry especially when they provide other core services in the industry.
According to a report published by Pew Research Center, 36 percent of Americans aged 18-25 have at least one tattoo. This goes to show that more than one-third of America’s young adults have tattoos. Little wonder the tattoo industry is the sixth fastest-growing retail business in America, as determined by the U.S. News & World Report.
This has translated to online interest as well, as there are more than 147 million tattoo-related searches each month on Google.
The tattoo artist industry is open to any aspiring entrepreneur who has acquired the required training, skills, and professional certifications to start his or her own tattoo business. In this article, we will help you with the estimated cost of opening a tattoo shop in your city.
Estimated Cost of Opening a Tattoo Shop
When it comes to starting a standard tattoo shop, one is expected to spend the bulk of the start-up capital on leasing a facility and purchasing and installing equipment and machines. Please note that the exact cost of opening a tattoo shop depends on the size of the shop and where it will be located.
You will also need tattooing supplies (needles, tubes, tips, and grips, ink, machine, stencil, and products) and of course, pay your employees and utility bills. These are the key areas where you are expected to spend your start-up capital;
- The total fee for registering the business in the United States of America – $750.
- Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines, and other software) – $3,300.
- Marketing promotion expenses for $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) in the total amount of – $3,580.
- The cost for hiring a Business Consultant (it includes writing of business plans) – $4,500.
- Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation, and property-casualty and other related insurance policy) coverage at a total premium – $12,400.
- The cost for payment of rent for a facility for 12 months at $1.76 per square foot in the total amount of – 25,600.
- The cost of remodeling the facility – $20,000.
- Other start-up expenses including stationery ($500) and phone and utility deposits ($2,500) – $3,000
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, and payments of bills et al) – $25,000
- The cost of start-up inventory – $5,000
- The cost of tattoo equipment and tools (tattoo machine, autoclave tattoo sterilizer, autoclave trays and cassettes for the instruments, cover sheets, cover for the machine, waste bin, and trays to hold and store needles.) – $10,000
- The cost for storage hardware (bins, rack, shelves, creates) – $5,720
- The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $750
- The cost of launching a website – $600
- Miscellaneous – $2,000
From the rough estimate above, you would need a minimum of one hundred and twenty-five thousand seven hundred USD ($125,700) to establish a medium–scale but standard tattoo shop in any city in the United States of America. Please note that this amount includes the salaries of all the staff for the first three months of operation.
Please note that this is a rough estimate and we usually advise our readers to go to the market or directly contact wholesalers and suppliers of the type of machines and equipment they want to get the real-time prices of these items.
The truth is that, if you are a good bargainer, you can get a better deal that will help you beat down the estimated price as listed above. Having said that, here are some of the factors that will influence the cost of opening a tattoo shop in the United States of America.
Factors That Will Influence the Cost of Opening a Tattoo Shop
The Type of the Tattoo Shop
A major factor that will determine the overall cost of opening a tattoo shop in the United States of America is the type of tattoo shop the owner of the business wants to open. You have the option of launching a brick-and-mortar tattoo shop (parlor or salon) or a mobile tattoo business. It will cost more to open a brick-and-mortar tattoo shop when compared to the cost of opening a mobile tattoo shop.
The Choice of Location
Another major factor that will determine the cost of opening a tattoo shop in the United States of America is your location.
In business, location is a key part of what determines the success of a business. There are business consultants and realtors who are specialized in helping people choose an ideal location for their business; a location that will guarantee profitability in the shortest time frame.
Renting or leasing a salon facility in a location that is off the city center or major road will be less expensive when compared to renting or leasing a salon facility in a highbrow area.
The Required Licenses and Permits
In the United States of America, you cannot open a tattoo shop without first applying for the mandatory licenses and permits. You would need an operational license, building license, zonal permits, signage permits, and chemical handlers license amongst others.
As expected, these licenses cost money and it will influence the overall cost of opening a tattoo shop in the United States of America.
You will also have to undergo several inspections and this will cost you money too. To get the overall cost of licensing and permits associated with opening a new tattoo shop in the United States, we will advise that you reach out to your city government. You can also consider state and federal requirements.
The Type of Facility
The type of facility you want to operate your tattoo shop in is also a major factor that will determine the overall cost of opening a tattoo shop in the United States of America. As regards the facility, you have the option of renting, leasing or constructing your own.
With renting and leasing a salon facility, you may just have to spend extra to modify the facility to fit into what you have in mind, but there is a limit to how far you can go and it will be dependent on what the landlord of the facility wants.
If you want to construct your salon facility from the scratch, then you have to buy the land or property, construct and equip the tattoo shop. With that, you will agree that you are going to spend way more when compared to renting or leasing a facility. This indeed will greatly influence the overall cost of opening your tattoo shop.
Your Products and Service Offerings
Another key factor that will determine the cost of opening a tattoo shop in the United States of America is the service offerings of the tattoo shop. It is a fact that some tattoo shops also engage in tattoo removal and skin treatment.
The cost for opening a brick-and-mortar tattoo shop will be far less when compared to the cost of opening a tattoo shop that also offers tattoo removal services with laser machines. This is because the price of specialist laser machines could range from $150,000 to $300,000, hence making the start-up costs to be quite substantial.
The Size of the Tattoo Shop
Another very important factor that determines the cost of opening a tattoo shop in the United States of America is the size of the tattoo studio. Of course, the larger the studio, the larger the budget to get it up and running. Aside from the cost of furnishing and equipping the salon, it will also cost you more to hire employees.
For example, less than a handful of employees can man a tattoo shop that is in a 12 by 12 facility while it will take about a dozen employees to man a tattoo shop that is in a 24 by 24 facility.
7. The Cost for Branding, Promotion, and Marketing the Tattoo Shop
The cost for branding, promoting, and marketing is yet another key factor that will determine the overall cost of opening a tattoo shop in the United States of America.
Trust me, if you need massive results as it relates to competing and winning a fair share of the available market in your city, then you must be willing to pay for effective branding and promotion of your new tattoo shop. It is not cheap to come by an expert in branding, promotion, and marketing that will help you compete with brands that are already determining the market direction of the industry in your city.
So, if you add the cost of paying a branding and marketing expert, it will surely increase the cost of opening your tattoo shop.
The Cost for Furnishing and Equipping the Tattoo Shop
Another factor that will determine the cost of opening a tattoo shop is the cost of furnishing and equipping the tattoo salon.
Before you can open a tattoo shop, you should budget for a tattooing machine, autoclave tattoo sterilizer, autoclave trays and cassettes for the instruments, cover sheets, a cover for the machine, a special container for waste disposal, and trays to hold and store needles, Flat Screen TVs, sound system, Satellite dish and decoder, furniture (table, and stools), telephones, filing cabinets, store equipment (cash register, POS machines, security, CCTV, ventilation, signage), and security and fire alarms and prevention gadgets amongst others.
All these will cost money and it will influence the overall cost of opening a tattoo shop in the United States of America.
The Cost for Insurance
The cost of insurance policy cover is yet another important factor that will determine the overall cost of opening a tattoo shop in the United States of America. In the United States, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from.
Thus, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate policies for your tattoo shop.
The Cost for Registering the Business
The cost of registering the tattoo shop is yet another cost that will influence the overall cost of opening the business. Although the cost of registering a business is affordable, it will no doubt add to the overall cost of opening the tattoo shop.
Source of Your Supplies
Another major factor that will determine the cost of opening a tattoo shop in the United States of America is your supplies.
If you can build a robust business relationship with leading suppliers of needles, tubes, tips, and grips, ink, disinfecting liquid, stencil products, et al, then you would have succeeded in cutting down the cost of your supplies. You can even get your supplies on credit.
Cost of Recruiting and Training Your Staff
The fact that you are opening your tattoo shop as a new business means that you are expected to recruit and train your staff.
The training will help you sell the corporate culture of your organization to the new employees. As expected, it will cost you money to hire trainers that will help you bring your new hires up to speed, and that will add to the overall cost of opening a tattoo shop.
The Cost for the Purchase and Customizing of Uniforms
Another factor that will determine the overall cost of opening a tattoo shop in the United States is the purchase and customizing of uniforms. As expected, your tattoo technicians, front desk/payment attendants, and security personnel should have uniforms. All these uniforms will cost you money which is why they must be part of your budget.
Please note that there are other factors not listed above that will surely influence the overall cost of opening your tattoo shop which is why we advise that you work with a result-driven business consultant in your city who can give you the needed guide and info as it relates to the unique factors in your location.