What is the Cost to Start a Massage Business?

by Mary Jane; Updated September 26, 2017
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One of the steps of starting a massage business is creating a start-up and operational budget for the business. The budget should cover the basic start-up fees and the necessary expenses and spending required during the first year of operating a functional massage business. You will be able to see how much money you will need to set aside once you have created a budget and evaluated how much you will need to purchase to get started.

Legal Business Registration Fees

Starting a business in the United States costs money, regardless of the state the business will be operating in. The business will need to register with the state's Secretary of State’s office and/or a local county office. Registration often costs between $60 and $120, depending on the business structure being registered. A massage business will also need to apply for operational permits, as the massage industry may be considered part of the health care industry. Check with your local county office and/or the Secretary of State’s office, as the rules and permits required will differ from state to state.

Massage Business Equipment

You will need a location where you can legally operate the massage business. The monthly rent plus a security deposit may be required in the start-up budget. You will also need to purchase massage tables and some cabinets to store massage oils, tools and supplies. If you plan to have four massage rooms in your location, purchase four massage tables and a set of cabinets for each room. Tools and supplies should be stored away to keep the facilities looking professional at all times. Determine whether you need any additional equipment based on other services the business may offer.

Oil and Office Products

Calculate how much you will need to spend on aromatherapy and professional massage oils to offer specific massage services. Some massage businesses will have different types of massage oils, so the customer can choose the scent of his choice. Towels, printer, computer, telephones and a large calendar for booking appointments are also needed for basic business operations. These items should be added to the start-up costs.

Employee Costs

Employees with the necessary massage experience will need to be hired. Consider both office employees and massage therapists. You could have full-time or part-time massage therapists on an as-needed basis. Factor the employees' hourly wages into your operational budget, as you will need to pay your workers on a bi-monthly or monthly basis.

Advertisement and Marketing

Advertisement and marketing should be considered during your first few months in business, as well as semi-annually once the business is well known. This can be done by giving away coupons, having free contests, and disseminating banners, business cards or posters, for example. Determine how much your chosen marketing strategy will cost as a start-up fee. Factor other advertising into the operational budget as a variable expense.

Operational Budget

Create an operational budget that the massage business can follow each month. The budget should outline how much the business is planning to make from giving massages and how much it needs to spend on purchasing supplies, marketing and labor costs to operate effectively. Once you have added up all of the business expenses, you will have a collective sum of how much you will need to pay to keep the massage company in business each month. This amount may vary greatly for each massage business. The operational budget essentially reveals how much the business must earn each month to avoid going into further debt.

About the Author

Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

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