What Are the Requirements to Start a Spa Business?

by Joanne Cichetti; Updated September 26, 2017
Woman laying on table having a massage

The spa business continues to grow, with around 170 million spa visits in the United States each year, according to StyleCareer.com. Day spas are more commonly used than club spas and hotel spas. The best thing about this business is that you can start it wherever you live. If you live in the suburbs, particularly a scenic small town, chances are you will get a number of clients from the city, who are attracted to the peaceful atmosphere of the countryside. Entrepreneurs interested in opening a spa have to complete training sessions.


An aestheticians usually needs a license. If you do not have one yourself, you can hire a licensed aesthetician. Moreover, if your spa offers massage therapy, you'll need a licensed masseuse or a masseur. The licenses vary from state to state, so find out the particular requirements set forth by your state laws.


Ultimately, quality services become the key to a successful salon or spa. In the beginning, however, a great location will attract customers to your spa. If you live in such a place, and are starting a small business with few services such as massages and manicures, you may only need a 300- to 500-square-foot area in your own home, according to Salon Builder. In that case, get information on residential restrictions set forth by the local government.


Salon Builder says if you are considering renting a place in a commercial zone, you will find that in small cities, rent may be around $1 per square foot. In big cities, rent may be as much as $2.50 per square foot. The rate obviously varies from city to city, and depends upon the neighborhood.


The building utilities, renovations and purchases can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the condition of the rented place. You may get lucky and find a place that doesn't need a lot of renovation. Spas require installation of plumbing and access to electrical wiring. Therefore you might need an electrician and permit from the building owner. The interior design and layout also requires a good amount of money. For instance, $500 to $3,000 should be dedicated to painting, flooring, fixtures and decorations essential for an attractive spa.


Equipment varies by the services provided. The more services you offer, the more equipment you will have to purchase. Massages, manicures, pedicures, facials, hair removal, skin treatments and body scrubbing require a great number of appliances, fixtures and body products. Along with the spa equipment, you will also need administrative equipment such as a cash register, telephone, computer, desk, furniture and office supplies.


About the Author

Joanne Cichetti has written articles and Web content professionally since 2009, focusing primarily on health and lifestyle. In order to further pursue her writing career professionally, Cichetti inducted herself in the Long Ridge Writers Group, and she looks forward to having a novel published under their guidance.

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