Do you want to start a business as a professional clown? If YES, here is a guide on how to start a profitable clown business with no money or experience. A clown is basically a costumed entertainer who is hired for parties and other social gatherings to serve as entertainment for the event. Clowns feature mostly in children’s parties and the business is mostly tailored towards kids, though there are some clowns that can feature in adult and even corporate events.

A clown business can provide entertainment for kids and adult parties, assemblies or work meetings. There are many different clown businesses and you ought to be unique so you can differentiate yourself from the competition. This is the only way you can be successful in this crowded industry.

Another way you can make headway in this business is if you are able to offer a variety of affordable and entertaining options for your clients. When you first open, you may start with only one clown, but as your business grows, you may be able to hire additional people so you can book more than one event each day.

11 Steps to Starting a Clown Business Successfully and Make Money

1. Understand the Business

When considering the kind of clown business you want to run, it would be in your best interest to include well-known clown activities such as making balloon animals and performing sleight-of-hand tricks. You may need to create more than one act and several different characters from whom your customers can choose.

To get started, you also need to purchase the materials you need to do your act, such as a costume. You can get more than one of this depending on how many faces you want to be known with. Some children’s clowns do not wear full makeup so they are not so scary to young children.

2. Plan your Business

When thinking of starting your clown business, the very first thing to do will be to sit down and plan the business. A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and even help you discover some things that are hidden within the profession.

Typically, your target audience would be parents looking for entertainment for a child’s birthday, holidays, or other social gatherings, such as Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. More recently, target markets have also extended to businesses or organizations looking for party entertainers and hosts.

Corporate businesses and organizations are considerably more interested in the talents of a clown, minus the face paint, and will often pay considerably more for your time. When planning the business, you need to find out who are your potential customers, and how you need to get their attention in a bid to convert them to potential clients.

You also need to figure out what roles need to be filled so you can decide if you need a hand or not. Most importantly, you need to figure out how many shows you need to feature in week or month so you can break-even fast enough.

3. Name your business

Choosing the right name is very important. Once you have sorted out how you want your business to run, you need to choose an appropriate name for it. For LLCs and corporations, you will need to check that your name is distinguishable from the names of other business entities already on file in your state.

You can check for available names by doing a business name search on the SOS website. You can reserve an available name for 60 days by filing an Application for Reservation of Name. You also can renew the reservation for up to a total of 180 days.

If you plan on doing business online, you may want to register your business name as a domain name. In addition, to avoid trademark infringement issues, you should do a federal and state trademark check to make sure the name you want to use is not the same as or too similar to a name already in use.

4. Form a legal entity

For want of a better word, I would say this is one of the most important aspects of forming a business. You can set up your small business under any formation style you want. Let’s go ahead and discuss them.

This business formation type is for small mom and pop businesses that are usually owner operated. You should note that most clown businesses usually choose this Business model because they are usually owned and run by one person.

To establish a sole proprietorship, you don’t need to file any organizational documents. This is easier than most of the other formation types, but you do not get a lot of business coverage here.

  • Partnership

To create a general partnership, usually you don’t need to file any organizational documents with the state. Although not legally required, all partnerships should have a written partnership agreement. The partnership agreement can be very helpful if there is ever a dispute among the partners. To form a limited liability partnership (often used by professionals), you must file an Application for Registration.

  • LLCs

To create an LLC, you must file articles of organization with your state of residence. You will also need to appoint a registered agent for service of process. In addition, while not required by law, you also should prepare an operating agreement to establish the basic rules about how your LLC will operate. You should also consider using a registered agent service to help protect your privacy and stay compliant.

5. Register for taxes

For you to successfully run your clown business, you need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes. With limited exceptions, most businesses require an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Tax ID Number. An EIN is used to identify a business in its federal tax filings. Without an EIN, you can’t hire employees or open a business bank account. Note that you also won’t be able to pay your taxes.

6. Open a business bank account 

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection in your clown business. When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.

For this reason, it is essential that you open a business bank account for your clown business. It also builds your company’s credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.

7. Set up business accounting

To run your business efficiently, you are going to require a seamless accounting process, but before you come to that, you need to have an avenue from which you can finance your business. An accounting system helps you track the performance of your business and simplifies annual tax filings. Quality accounting software lets you download your bank and credit card transactions, making accounting fast and easy.

Obtaining financing for a small business can be a stressful and time-consuming process.  Similar to getting a home loan, the bank is going to want lots of documentation on your personal finances in addition to a solid idea and the business plan.

The initial cost of starting your clown business can be fairly low, with the bulk of your money and resources being spent to outfit your business with the proper insurance, reliable transportation, and the basic supplies used for entertaining at parties.

And, with less emphasis on the traditional clown makeup and outfits, many performers are able to perform in regular clothes and minimal make-up, relying instead on the acts they perform and talents they put on display.

For approximately $1000.00, most performers are able to get their clown business up and running, although the cost will fluctuate, depending on your expertise and business plan. Most people can afford this cost without looking to borrow money, but in the event you do not have any money of your own, you may look to friends and family members.

8. Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Note that you can’t run your business anywhere in the united states without the right licenses and permits. Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down. Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a clown business.

Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits. In addition, certain local licensing or regulatory requirements may apply. Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.

  • Music Licensing

In order to play music in a business setting, permission must be acquired from the composer or license holder. Typically, it is possible to obtain a “blanket” license that can allow a business to play music owned by a large catalog of artistes and recording studios. Such licenses can be obtained from Performance Rights Organizations, such as ASCAP or BMI.

9. Get Business Insurance

Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, Workers Compensation Insurance may be a legal requirement in your state. The clown business also carries some level of risk, so you should find acquire the appropriate insurance for it.

Clown event insurance is an important component of your business and is designed to protect your financial assets if you were to be sued as a result of your business operations. You could be held liable for claims that include injuries, illnesses, or damages arising from your entertainment services.

10. Define your brand

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors. Using the internet and social media are some of the most effective methods for a new business to create a brand, especially when considering keeping overhead costs low.

E-mail blasts, regular blog and photo content, and interaction among related performer groups and entertainment outlets will help to spread your name and reputation. Also, look into business cards, flyers and magnetic car signs. Create a mobile billboard with your vehicle and ask to leave business cards or flyers around town in crowd trafficked areas.

The strength of customer responses will directly affect your next jobs. Make sure the customer is left happy and content with your performance. You may have a tough time pleasing every single person, but you should strive to give the customer(s) what they want. Build personable relationships, ask for feedback, and give discounts for return customers or referrals.

11. Establish your Web Presence

A website allows potential customers to find your business online and discover the products or services you offer, and it also enhances your business’s credibility. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers. In addition to a website, you should also consider other avenues for promoting your business online which include:

To publicize the business, you need to take professional clown photos that you can post on your social media pages. You can hire a professional to do this for you if you don’t know the first things about marketing your business on social media. You should equally get a professional looking website. A biography and history of the company should also be on the website.

To get good reach, you should also advertise your services in the phone book and through online listing sites. It also helps to make professional contacts with party planning and rental businesses. Ask them to give your information to their clients to generate referrals. In return refer your clients to them.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How Do You Become A Licensed Clown?

There are no formal academic or legal requirements to becoming a clown, although a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts or in Visual and Performing Arts can be useful. Both degrees teach the skills necessary to conduct a public performance. However, in practice, you’ll want to spend some time putting together an act to put on as a clown and you may want to attend clown school to learn how certain things are done.

  1. Do You Need A License To Be A Clown?

You may not need a license to be a clown but if your performance requires music and loud noise publicly, then you may be required to obtain a music license. Such licenses can be obtained from Performance Rights Organizations, such as ASCAP or BMI.

  1. Who Is This Business Right For?

Clown business is right for those who are naturally funny, those who love kids and those who are ready to be considered not too serious.

  1. How To Choose A Clown School?

Here are quick steps to follow before choosing a clown school;

  • Check the school’s profile
  • Read up testimonials from past students
  • Request to speak with the school administration
  • Pay a visit and take a tour on the school
  • Sit back to make a decision
  1. How Do You Start A Clown Business?
  • Create a Clown Persona
  • Attend Clown College and join a Professional Clown Organization
  • Obtain Clown Accessories
  • Choose the kind of work you want to Pursue as a Clown
  • Practice your Performance for a Small Audience and Market Yourself
  1. What Does A Clown Symbolize?

Clown symbolizes an entirely unadulterated symbol of fun, frivolity, and happiness. Basically, clowning acts as a creative conduit for personal expression through jokes, costumes, props, and makeup.

  1. Should Clowns Be Licensed By The State?

It will be nice for clowns to be licensed by each state in the United States of America. This will help regulate this line of business and also give players in the industry the opportunity to charge more and earn more.

  1. Is Clown School Hard To Get Into?

At present, Yes.

  1. Do Clowns Have A Union?

Yes, there is kind of a union or body that professional clowns belong to and it is the World Clown Association (WCA). The World Clown Association (WCA) is a worldwide organization for clowns, jugglers, magicians, and face painters. It holds an annual convention, mainly in the United States.

  1. What Are The Three Types Of Clowns?

Traditionally, there are three basic types of clowns that appear in the circus: the whiteface, the auguste and the character.

  1. How Long Does It Take To Be A Clown?

You are expected to spend 8 weeks learning about the process of being a clown. You will receive training to develop your clowning skills. After the end of the 8 weeks, the college will facilitate your auditions for different circuses, if you would like.

  1. Did Steve O Go To Clown School?

Yes. Stephen Gilchrist Glover (born June 13, 1974), known professionally as Steve-O, is a British-American television personality, stunt performer, comedian, and entertainer. He attended Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College (1997).

  1. How Much Does A Professional Clown Make?

On the average, in the United States of America, a professional clown make between $47,297 and $87,382 per year.

  1. Why Do Clowns Wear Makeup?

Clowns wear makeup because clowns prefer to have unique looks to distinguish themselves, and even if one did try to copy another’s makeup, the differences in facial structure would likely still render the two clowns reasonably distinct.

  1. What Are The Costs Involved In Opening A Clown Business?
  • The cost of registering a business name (DBA preferable)
  • The cost of securing any required license and permits
  • The cost of renting an office facility (you can actually start from your home or shared office space)
  • The cost for equipping the office
  • The cost of acquiring various clown costumes, makeups and related accessories
  • The cost of printing business cards, fliers and other PR and marketing materials
  1. Why Do Clowns Wear White Makeup?

The use of white-face dates back to comic actors featured in ancient Greek plays. In these seminal theatrical extravaganzas, white-face enabled performers to project facial expressions to the back rows of cavernous amphitheaters.

  1. Is There A Real Clown College?

Sure, there are real clown colleges in Europe and in the United States of America.

  1. Can You Make A Living As A Clown?

According to SimplyHired.com, the average salary for a clown ranges from around $38,000 per year to $44,000 per year. Of course, those just starting out will earn less while those who are extremely talented can earn much more.

  1. What Do You Learn In Clown School?

Students study such clowning disciplines as acrobatics, juggling, stilt walking, improvisation, makeup and arena choreography.

  1. What Skills Do You Need To Be A Clown?

Clowns need to be comfortable with the idea of both choreographed acts and solo ones. The extempore acts entirely depend on the clown’s comic timing, sense of humor, and wit. Creativity and improvisation ability are also crucial since a clown needs to provide constant entertainment to the audience.

  1. What Are The Ongoing Expenses For A Clown Business?

The ongoing expenses for a clown business include the labor cost for the workers, lease payments for the equipment, costumes and accessories, insurance, purchase of supplies such as makeups et al, telephone and internet subscription, fueling and the amount allocated to monthly marketing efforts.

  1. How Does A Clown Business Make Money?

Clowns make money by keeping people (mostly children) entertained and they do this by basically displaying clowning acts through jokes, costumes, props, and makeup

  1. What Type Of Clown Is Pennywise?

It is a shapeshifting monster who usually takes the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown, originating in a void containing and surrounding the Universe—a place referred to in the novel as the “Macroverse”.

  1. How Much Do Clowns Earn in UK?

A clown starting out with a limited circuit of bookings may expect to earn in the region of £5,000 per annum, and will normally run the business as an ancillary to an unrelated full-time job. Some become very popular after an extended time on the entertainment circuit, and can receive up to £25,000 in show revenue.

  1. Where Do Professional Clowns Work?

In the circus, a clown might perform other circus roles or skills. Clowns may perform such skills as tightrope, juggling, unicycling, Master of Ceremonies, or ride an animal. Clowns may also “sit in” with the orchestra.

  1. What Is The Growth Potential For A Clown Business?

The growth potential for a clown business is positive, but you must be willing to work hard to promote your clown business. The truth is that, as long as there are children’s parties, the services of clowns will always be needed.

  1. How Much Profit Can A Clown Business Make?

The average clown in the United States can make a profit of around $35,000 per year

  1. What Are Some Insider Tips For Jump Starting A Clown Business?
  • Be Uniquely funny and different (create your own unique costumes)
  • Be deliberate with your marketing approach
  • Join the right network and associations
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth to promote your trade
  • Leverage on all available online and offline platforms
  1. What Is A Female Clown Called?

A female Clown is called a Clunt.

  1. How Much Does Clown College Cost?

On the average, you should expect to pay about $32,000 to attend a clown college.

  1. Do Clowns Have To Go To School?

Specific educational qualifications are not required in order to pursue the career of a clown. A high school degree, however, may be preferred by some employers. More than academic qualifications, clowns need specific industry skills in order to excel. There are a number of schools that offer training to clowns.

  1. How Much Do Birthday Clowns Make?

Birthday clowns make annual salaries as high as $56,000 and as low as $34,000, the majority of Clown salaries currently range between $41,000 (25th percentile) to $48,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $55,000 annually across the United States.

  1. Who Is This Business Right For?

Clown business is right for those who are naturally funny, those who love kids and those who are ready to be considered not too serious.

  1. How Much Can You Charge Customers?

The amount you should charge your customers should not be cast in stone; you should be flexible with your charges. Just make sure it falls within what players in your industry charges.

  1. Who Is Your Target Market As A Clown?

Your target market as a clown are;

  • Event planners
  • Party planners (most especially birthdays and children’s parties)
  • Circus operators
  • Schools
  • Sports competitions organizers
  • Marketing and promotion companies (for road shows)
Ejike Cynthia