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How Much Does It Cost To Start a Tanning Salon?


how much does it cost to start a tanning salon

How Much Does It Cost To Start a Tanning Salon?  The short answer is that the costs of getting a tanning salon started can vary greatly but be prepared to spend a lot.  The following tanning startup costs are a general list and some costs may or may not apply to your situation.


Finishing the rooms to include building materials and finishing range from $500 – $3,000 per room depending on the size and cost for labor.

Electrical – The essential ingredient to run your tanning beds.  Hopefully your location will already be set up correctly but if not be sure to negotiate with the landlord as this is expensive.  Prepare to spend between $5,000 to $50,000.  Make sure to pay the little bit extra now to be ready for possible expansion in the future.  It’s much cheaper to do it now, rather than do redo it in the future.

Approximate electrical needs (be sure to  check the manufacturer’s data, this is just an estimate)

  • HP bed  – 100 amps
  • Large VHR – 60 amps
  • Base/small beds – 30 – 50 amps

For an average salon with 10 beds you are looking at a minimum 600 amps which if you had to start from scratch would cost close to $20,000.

HVAC –  Costs are around $1,500 per ton to increase capacity but if you are starting new, plan on $15,000 to $20,000 depending on the salon size.

Plumbing – Try to get landlord to pay for bathroom if they aren’t already there, but factor a minimum of $4,000 for a men’s and women’s bathroom.   If you are doing the plumbing now its best to run lines for the washing machine and potentially a spray booth in the future.  The cost and disruption to your business if you do this after you open is huge.

Painting – Be sure to use higher quality paint to maintain durability and ease of clean.  Figure on $1,000 – $3,000 depending on whether you have to hire out.

Lighting – While florscents are an option, they don’t really lend themselves to a luxury image and feel.  Lighting can range from $500 – $3,000.

Flooring – Depending on the type of flooring you need expect $3 – $18 per sqf.  Choices from wood, tile, carpet, marble, granite and laminate are available from $2-$25/s.f.  While more expensive initially, wood flooring (including laminate) is easier to clean, more durable and present a nicer image.    A good estimate for most average salons is $3,000 – $5,000.

Outdoor Signage – Depending on the size and lighting options figure on $2,000 – $10,000.
Furniture & Fixtures

Counters, shelving, cabinetry, stools, mirrors, plants, etc.  These items can range a lot in price depending on the level of image you want to show.  Estimate between $5,000 – $40,000.



  • Used base beds – $1,000 +
  • Base beds  – $3,000 – $5,000
  • Stand up beds – $18,000 – $20,000
  • High Pressure bed – $28,000 – $35,000

Even if you get the best deals on equipment expect at a minimum to spend $100,000 but more than likely if you are starting a tanning salon to be competitive with good equipment expect to spend at least $250,000.  With this initial investment you are looking at almost $5,000 per month repayment on equipment alone.

You can reduce your loan amount by leasing tanning beds as well.

Washer/Dryer and installation – $2,000

Tech – Computer, timers, stereo, security, etc – $7,500


Lotions – $500 – $2,000

Retail stock – $500 – $2,000

Uniforms – $200 – $500

Extra Bulbs – $200

Working Capital

Cash – $30,000 – $60,000

Especially with the very seasonal nature of the tanning business and there are about four good months of sales sp it is a good idea to have 6-8 months of working capital to cover your expenses. Banks usually aren’t going to loan a lot of money for working capital so be sure to save enough personal funds available.

Initial Advertising – $2,000 – $5,000

Licensing/Permits/Architect – $500 – $3,000

In today’s competitive environment it will likely cost $250,000 and higher to realistically start a new tanning salon and expect to be competitive.  The timing of your startup is important in factoring how much cash you should have on reserve due to the extreme seasonality of the tanning industry.


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