How Much Does it Cost to Start a Tattoo Parlor?

Consumer demand for tattoos has risen steadily in the past few years. 36% of Americans aged between 18 and 29 years have at least one tattoo. Tattoos are no longer considered taboo by society, and more people are getting them to make a statement about their lifestyle.

The wide acceptance of tattoos today makes the tattoo business a lucrative venture for those who want to celebrate body art. If you’re looking to start a tattoo parlor, it’s important to be aware of all the expenses, from licensing to acquiring supplies. Here’s a breakdown of all the costs you’ll incur when setting up a tattoo business.

1. Rent

Rent varies greatly across geographical locations. If you live in a busy city like LA or New York, you may spend a lot of money on rent–even 20 times more than you would if you lived in a rural area. You’ll also need to include other expenses like electricity, telephone, and Wi-Fi. Some landlords will require that you sign a lease agreement if you’re renting for a long time while others are flexible when it comes to renting, so you can negotiate.

2. Furniture

Tattoo parlors use special furniture that meets municipality and state regulations. Do your research beforehand and identify companies that sell tattoo parlor furniture. Be sure to compare prices to get the best deals. You can get regular chairs for the customer care desk. If you plan to have a large operation with many tattooists, you may need financing to buy furniture and equipment. An instant online title loan can help.

3. Marketing

To market your tattoo business, you’ll have to print business cards, make storefront window graphics, and hire a marketer. You’ll also need to create a business website with portfolios of your tattoo artists, their contact information, and customer testimonials.

The initial marketing costs may be a little high because you’re trying to get your name out there. In the other months, $150 to $200 a month may be enough for advertising. But if your marketing campaigns include professional photography, guest posts, and newspaper ads, you may have to spend more.

4. Tattooing Supplies

You’ll need tattoo guns, needles, rubber gloves, razor blades, and ink sterilization equipment. You’ll also need to replenish equipment every month. However, this will depend on the size of your business and how busy you are. Tattoo businesses tend to be busier in summer and less busy in winter.

5. Employees

Some tattoo shops pay tattooists on a commission basis while others pay them hourly. If you’re a licensed tattooist, you may not need to hire tattooists immediately–you can do everything on your own. But if you decide to hire employees, you can negotiate payment terms because there are no set wages for freelance tattoo artists.

6. Other Costs

When drafting your tattoo business’ plan, including liability insurance, business licenses, and permits. If you have workers, you’ll pay up to 15% on payroll taxes and 10% on employee benefits (like health insurance). You’ll also need an office phone, Wi-Fi, computers, and printers for your setup.

Total Cost

The total cost of starting a tattoo business is dependent on many factors, like location, rent, and business size. According to one estimate, the venture will cost you no less than $27,000, everything included. The amount can be slightly higher or lower, depending on the specific expenses.