How Much Does It Cost to Start a Massage Business?

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Massage therapy is a form of physical treatment used to help manage a health condition or enhance wellness.

Popular in modern medicine, many individuals seek out massage therapy not only to heal injuries but to promote relaxation and relieve stress.

It’s popularity means that starting a massage business could be a lucrative endeavor.

However, before jumping into the massage business, you need to consider how much it will cost to start a business in massage therapy.

Here are some required costs for starting a massage business and some additional costs you may not have considered:

Massage Business Requirements

Massage Therapy Education and Licensing

Before you begin a massage business, you need to learn how to properly use massage therapy to treat clients and patients.

Most areas will require that massage therapists be licensed in order to practice. This is usually not a one-time fee and is charged annually.

Business Licenses

Depending on the area in which you plan to conduct your massage business, you may require a business license.

To determine if this is necessary in your area, check with local law.

Massage Equipment

To successfully conduct your therapy, you need the proper equipment.
A good table and stool is all that is required to treat clients but you may want to consider providing them optimal comfort by purchasing heating pads, table warmers or a hot towel cabinet.

Massage Supplies

You’ll need to have the proper supplies on hand when starting your massage therapy business.

Before you open your doors to clients, you’ll need an ample supply of lubricants, such as oils and lotions, and towels (of which need to be cleaned regularly).

Office Space

Unless you plan on working from home or performing in-home massage for clients, you will need a space to house your business.

Whether you purchase, lease or rent office space, you are looking at the upfront cost of securing the space. Those renting the space may also require a damage deposit or first and last month’s rent.

Additional Costs of Starting a Massage Business

Sales Tax Permit. If you plan on selling products to your clients, you may require a sales tax permit.

Signage. In order to direct clients and potential clients to your business, you may want to consider having a sign designed and produced.

Office Equipment and Supplies. If you plan on running your own business, and not working for someone else, you are going to need supplies and equipment for your office such as a computer, printer and copier, pens and paper and related supplies. Also, given the nature of massage therapy, a clean, sanitary place of business is paramount – you may want to consider frequent professional cleaning as part of your fixed ongoing business expenses.

Office Furniture. Your office may also need furniture, such as chairs for your waiting area, and appealing lighting and décor.

Small Business Software. In order to keep track of your income and expenses, you should invest in small business software to stay organized.

Accounting Services. Many massage therapists when they are starting out can fall into negative habits such as under-reporting revenue and not filing a tax return at all. This can result in penalties, fees, and all sorts of additional stress that comes with filing taxes late or incomplete. If you are uninterested in managing your own finances, you can hire a professional to do the work for you.

Utilities. Depending on where you are renting, you may be responsible to pay for lights, heat and internet.

Advertising and Marketing. In order to grow a clientele beyond word-of-mouth, you can look into hiring a third party individual to advertise and market your business online or you can pay to have ads placed in your community.

Start Big or Start Small

There’s no hard number when it comes to the cost of starting your own massage therapy business. You can start your business small by only buying the essentials or you can go all in by investing a large amount of money into your business.

How much you spend is up to you. A massage therapy business can be successfully initiated on a tight budget and experience financial growth as you work hard and gain clientele.


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