Updated on: September 22nd, 2023

How to Open a Tanning Salon? (A Beginner’s Guide)

From an LLC for Your Tanning Salon from $0 + State Fees

Opening a tanning salon can be a rewarding and lucrative business venture, but it requires a substantial amount of planning and research in order to get started. It’s important to understand the industry dynamics, legal requirements, and other factors that contribute to the success of tanning salons. This guide will provide all the necessary information needed to set up your own tanning salon and make it run smoothly. It covers topics such as assistance with selecting the right location, purchasing equipment, marketing strategies, and more. All of this key information will help ensure that you have all the tools necessary to open a successful tanning salon that meets customer needs.

If you want to skip the hassle of starting an LLC for your tanning salon yourself, consider using professional help for the best price in the market:

Cost Of Opening A Tanning Salon

To begin, you’ll need to ponder whether tanning beds or a spray tan option is right for your customers. This will assist you in figuring out the scale and size of space needed. After securing an appropriate area, it’s time to purchase all the necessary supplies!

Purchasing a spray tan machine can range from an economical $500 to upwards of $5,500, while UV tanning beds have been found for as much as ten thousand dollars. However, if you’re looking to save some money it is possible to find both used at moderate prices.

To ensure a safe and enjoyable tanning experience, it is important to have the necessary supplies.

This includes:

  • Lamps, tanning goggles,
  • Tanning Lotions for skin protection,
  • Eye protection gear, as well as safety signs and
  • Brochures about UV ray exposure.

Additionally, you will need an upgraded electrical system for your beds along with a timer system that can be tailored to each bed’s requirements.

Furthermore, cleaning products should always be available in your salon, and don’t forget the cash register or credit card machine!

Finally – marketing products are essential if you want customers to return regularly!

Ongoing Expenses In A Tanning Salon Business

One of your most significant constant expenditures will be energy costs. Estimations from salon owners range between $500 – $1500 each month, depending upon the period of year and number of beds in use, along with the overall activity level. Similarly, payroll costs and associated taxes vary seasonally based on how bustling your business is.

Allocating approximately $200 per month for cleaning and sustaining the beds is advised. Purchasing retail products may require another thousand dollars to be set aside each month. Alternatively, if spray tans are preferred instead of tanning beds, then your inventory expenditure could potentially increase but will be made up through a reduced energy bill down the line.

Target Market

Consistent customers are the lifeblood of tanning salons. Many people strive to look their best, and having a perfect golden glow is an essential part of that goal for many. As a result, these devoted customers stay loyal to your salon and continue coming back over time.

Maximize your profits by offering clients the opportunity to visit a tanning booth! You can charge per client and each session, making it easy for you to generate revenue. Tanning booths typically last up to 15 minutes, depending on individual customer needs. Our selection of beds as well as spray-tan options will be sure to have customers coming back again and again – all at varying prices that are distinctly tailored just for them!

Customer Rates and Charges

We charge our customers on a per-visit basis. The cost of tanning bed sessions can range from $5 to $20, depending upon the duration and type of machine used. Similarly, spray tans come with a price tag of between $25 and $50 for each visit.

Profits and Earnings

As the owner of a business, your success is tied to how many beds you maintain and their occupancy rate. If managed properly, each room can generate around $12k – $15k annually; however, it costs an average of only $6-$9 in supplies/energy per visit. While some salon proprietors have earned up to an impressive sum of close to sixty thousand dollars in profit after expenses are paid off- others struggle with little remaining profits left over at the end . The one thing that is agreed upon by all owners without fail: More beds = more money!

Increasing Your Profits and Earnings

If you’re hoping to elevate your enterprise’s revenue, why not integrate the following into your business plan?

Create a unique and tailored experience for your customers by stocking shelves with skincare and tanning products, becoming certified to offer both airbrush and UV tanning services, providing a mobile service option, establishing membership options with tiered incentives. Make it easy on the customer by offering additional spa services at one convenient location- you’ll be sure to see them along again soon!

2. Choosing a Legal Entity for Your Tanning Business


Limited liability companies (LLCs) are an excellent option for small business owners looking for a way to formalize their Tanning Salon Businesses. Forming an LLC can provide asset protection and limit the personal risks associated with starting a business, as well as help with certain startup costs.

It is an easy process that entails registering the business name, filing articles of organization, having basic paperwork ready, opening up a bank account and possibly obtaining licenses or permits from both the federal and state level depending on the type of venture. The benefits of forming an LLC far outweigh the costs and are well worth taking part in for any small business owners interested in making their Tanning Salon business a legal entity.

Securing your business with a legal entity such as an LLC or corporation shields you from any personal liability if your Tanning Salon business is taken to court.

If you wish to save on costs, you can easily form an LLC yourself and pay only the minimal state-required fees. Alternatively, if you want professional assistance in establishing your business entity, it’s worth hiring one of the best LLC services that charge a nominal service fee.

3. Registering your Tanning Salon for Taxes


In order to open your business, you will need to register for various state and federal taxes. Fortunately, it is a straightforward process: all you have to do is apply for an EIN! It’s free of charge and takes only minutes. With this essential step taken care of, you are ready to launch your venture into the world!

Various Business Taxes

Depending on your chosen business structure, there might be different routes you can take to reduce the amount of tax payments. If a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is what you decide upon, then being taxed as an S Corporation (S corp) could prove beneficial for your enterprise.

4. Opening a Business Bank Account & Credit Card


Owning and operating your own local tanning salon business can be a rewarding venture, requiring careful planning and execution of business banking services. By setting up a business bank account or dedicated credit card, you’ll have the resources to secure startup costs while beginning to build your own professional track record in the tanning industry. Investigate which banks provide beneficial features such as checking and savings accounts, merchant services, and updated technology solutions. Compare offers from different financial institutions to ensure you’re able to capitalize on profitable opportunities that may arise as you grow your own business.

Opening a Business Bank Account

  • Having a business bank account isn’t just essential when applying for loans, but is also an advantageous move from other perspectives.
  • Separating your personal assets from those of the company protects you in case of any legal issues or liabilities that may arise. In addition, it simplifies accounting and tax filing processes to ensure everything is done correctly and on time.

Get a Business Credit Card

  • A business credit card is the perfect tool to distinguish personal and professional expenses, enabling you to maintain a streamlined record of your company’s financials.
  • Additionally, it assists in building up your commercial credit history – something that can be invaluable if you desire to access additional capital further down the road.Line 1

5. Getting the Necessary Permits & Licenses for Your Tanning Salon


Tanning salon businesses face a wide range of regulations and requirements to obtain the necessary permits and licenses to begin operations. Before starting, tanning salon owners must research state laws, consult with local officials and review workplace safety guidelines to make sure the business meets all its legal obligations.

Following the relevant regulations is essential for tanning salon business seeking to ensure compliance — required documentation can include tax filings, equipment certifications and sanitation procedures — but it ultimately helps provide a safe environment for tanning salon customers. By fulfilling these responsibilities ahead of time, tanning salon owners can take an important step toward preparing for success.

The consequences of not obtaining the required licenses and permits could be severe – hefty fines or even an enforced closure of your business.

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

Before you open a Tanning Salon, make sure it is compliant with your state’s laws. Depending on your location, tanning salons are obligated to offer customers cautionary declarations regarding the health hazards of UV exposure. Clients must read and sign off on these cautions before they can use tanning beds.

For more information about licenses and permits:

  • Be sure to consult with the town, city or county clerk’s office for valuable insights.
  • If you require assistance for your business, take advantage of the great resources in US Small Business Associations directory and connect with one of their local associations.

Release of Liability

To ensure the safety of both tanning salon businesses and their clients, it is important for customers to sign a release of liability form prior to using tanning services. This will help protect against potential lawsuits and other liabilities that could arise from providing these services.

6. Getting Insurance for Your Tanning Salon Business


Just like permits and licenses, insurance is a critical part of any business’ success. Business Insurance safeguards your company’s financial health in the event of an occurrence that is under its coverage. Without it, you may find yourself exposed to unexpected losses which can be devastating for your operations – so make sure to keep it up-to-date!

Having indoor tanning services as part of your business is a great way to provide your customers with the ultimate level of convenience. However, ensuring your business is properly protected with insurance is an absolute must.

After all, even the most responsible salons can encounter a number of issues due to indoor tanning protocols and equipment. Fortunately, there are multiple types of insurance coverage that business owners like yourself can take advantage of when they go online to get the coverage they need to control their costs and secure their operations.

With proper coverage in place, you can operate your indoor tanning business with an extra degree of confidence knowing that whatever happens, both you and your customers will be properly insured for all indoor tanning related risks.

7. Defining Your Tanning Salon Brand And Creating Your Tanning Salon Website


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.

Marketing and Advertisement

As a salon owner, it’s essential to be familiar with your clientele. Concentrate on those who are diligent about their health and beauty. Gym members, nail and hair salons customers, as well as people preparing for special occasions could all benefit from visiting your establishment – so why not offer them an opportunity to try you out? A complimentary initial/consultation visit would allow you to demonstrate the superiority of your services compared to others in the industry. Many have already experienced success through utilizing this strategy!

Making Loyal Customers

To ensure the success of your small business, word of mouth is critical. Your customers are paying for a luxurious service so make sure to always treat them with respect and provide an enjoyable experience that will leave a lasting impression. Ensure pricing transparency and have enthusiastic, helpful staff members on hand at all times. Above all else, maintain cleanliness in the workspace – this should never be overlooked!

Create a Tanning Salon Website

Once your brand is defined and logo created, the natural progression is to create a website for your business. Though this may seem intimidating if you lack web-building skills, advances in technology have drastically simplified the process in recent years so that it’s now achievable by anyone. With just some basic knowledge, small business owners can quickly bring their ideas online without all of the hassle associated with previous website development techniques.

Pros & Cons of Opening a Tanning Salon Business


  • Profitable: maintaining it is not that expensive and it has multiple sources of income (tanning+product sales).
  • Scalable: it’s rather easy to scale by buying new sunbeds, and renting new locations, possibly franchising.
  • Trending business: tanning is becoming a trending thing because of its health benefits, especially in less-sunny areas.


  • High competition: since it’s not that hard to start a tanning business — there will most likely be a lot of competitors.
  • Relatively expensive: tanning equipment is pretty expensive.

Get Professional Help in Opening an LLC for Your Tanning Salon

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