Business Overview


Go to any wedding or get-together and they’ll all have one thing in common - music. While some party planners hire a band to play, a DJ is the most practical musician, as they require less space and have a wider repertoire of music to choose from. The tunes played set the tone for the entire party.

Who is this business right for?

If you love bringing people together through music, being around crowds, and are ready to be your own boss, owning your own mobile DJ business would be a rewarding career choice.

What happens during a typical day at a Mobile DJ Business?

As a DJ, you’ll spend your days split between music and interacting with people. While the activities of each day vary, most days you will:

  • Conduct interviews with party hosts and/or planners to get a feel for what their vision is for the party and what types of music they love, as well as what music they would like to avoid
  • Schedule and carry out walk-throughs of party venues. This will allow you to make the most of the space made available to you. Your walk-through also offers you a great opportunity to get a feel for the acoustics - not every space you play in will have good acoustics; it’s your job to adjust
  • Increase your music catalog based on newest trends and current customer requests
  • Map out a timeline for each of your upcoming events, based on the party’s schedule/needs
  • Market your business and network
  • Follow up with hosts after the event to get any feedback

Additionally, there will be administrative duties to attend to. As your business grows, it might be cost-effective to delegate these responsibilities to a trusted staff member, offering you more time to focus on the nuts and bolts of the company.

What is the target market?

Your customer base will span a wide variety of individuals who all have one thing in common - they have a need for music at their special event. While each will have a different idea of what music they want to hear, they should each understand that the DJ is integral to the success of the party.

How does a Mobile DJ Business make money?

Your business will generate revenue through each event played. The number and types of gigs you’re booked for depends largely upon your music collection and “party personality.” Most DJs charge an hourly rate or a flat fee for a given event.

What is the growth potential for a Mobile DJ Business?

Your company’s growth potential is directly tied to the needs of the area you serve, saturation of the market, and the amount of talent available for hire. There are currently no franchise opportunities available - once you’ve built a sound reputation, offering this opportunity to others could be a great way to expand your business.

Getting Started


What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful Mobile DJ Business?

A successful mobile DJ needs to be a fairly empathic person, as your job consists of “reading” the crowd to determine what music is best suited at a particular time. This involves paying close attention to the mood of the event-goers and the overall atmosphere of the event. Interaction with the crowd is also critical, so it’s imperative that you have an outgoing personality. As the DJ, much of the focus will be on you throughout the event. It’s your job to ensure the crowd appreciates and reacts to you, without taking the spotlight away from the party hosts.

Since you’ll be playing a variety of tunes, it’s also important that you have an ear for music, so the transitions from one song to another are smooth.

What are the costs involved in opening a Mobile DJ Business?

Since this is a touring business, most DJ entrepreneurs operate from a home office. Foregoing the expense of an office space will help reduce start-up and ongoing expenses, allowing you to budget more for what matters most - your “party supplies.”

Below is a list of basics you’ll need to get started:

  • Laptop with plenty of storage space
  • Music
  • PA Equipment
  • Lights
  • Microphone
  • Uniforms - remember, you’ll be in the spotlight throughout the event, so it’s important to look clean and professional
  • Marketing materials - website, brochures, and business cards
  • Attorney and/or CPA to help ensure you have a solid business plan and that it’s carried out smoothly
  • Vehicle large enough to transport all your equipment
  • Insurance

Sound and light equipment alone can set you back between $20,000 - $40,000, so be sure to conduct thorough research and shop responsibly.

What are the steps to start a Mobile DJ Business?

Once you're ready to start your Mobile DJ Business, follow these steps to ensure that your business is legally compliant and avoid wasting time and money as your business grows:

  1. Plan your business. A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. A few important topics to consider are your initial costs, your target market, and how long it will take you to break even.
  2. Form a legal entity. Establishing a legal business entity prevents you from being personally liable if your Mobile DJ Business is sued.
  3. Register for taxes. You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
  4. Open a business bank account. A dedicated checking account for your Mobile DJ Business keeps your finances organized and makes your business appear more professional to your customers.
  5. Set up business accounting. Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
  6. Obtain necessary permits and licenses. Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
  7. Get business insurance. Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state.
  8. Define your brand. 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.
  9. Establish a web presence. A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.

Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.

Where can I find a business mentor?

One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.

Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.

Recommended: Fizzle.co offers video courses and a supportive online community of like-minded entrepreneurs. Try one month membership for for free.

What are some insider tips for jump starting a Mobile DJ Business?

The following are some insider tips from individuals who have found success in this growing industry:

  • Get involved with organizations such as the American Disc Jockey Association and United States Disc Jockey Association. This instantly provides you with a support group of other DJs, ensuring you’re up on the latest news and trends of the industry. They can also provide a wealth of information and resources to ensure the startup process goes smoothly and that your business continues to grow.
  • Consider signing up for a record pool - this is a great way to acquire new music at a reduced cost.
  • Keep in mind that weddings are seasonal, which makes your business seasonal as well. Expand your talents and target customers to include more than just wedding events to ensure you’re busy year-round.
  • Keep it professional at all times. Your clients are trusting you to provide this valued service, regardless of what is going on in your personal life. Your hours will often be long and there’s no calling in sick.
  • Really think about your vision for the company before getting started. What can you offer that makes you stand out over the competition?
  • Learn the business aspect first, before investing in equipment of your own. Consider seeking a position with a well-respected DJ company in your area to learn the ropes.
  • Lay out your business plan on paper first. Conduct market research to see what areas are saturated and what is lacking.
  • Music genres will vary from party to party, so be sure to have something for everyone in your music catalog.

Growing Your Business


How to promote & market a Mobile DJ Business

While you’ll have some events during the week, the bulk of your business is made on the weekends. This offers you ample downtime to focus on marketing the company. Like many small businesses, word of mouth will be one of your greatest marketing tools.

As word spreads regarding your talents, DJs have found success implementing these marketing strategies:

  • Purchase ad space in online and printed business directories, community news mailers, and in the society and/or wedding sections of your local paper. If your community has a special wedding magazine, ask to be featured in a guest slot, either as a guest writer or as a spotlighted DJ.
  • Maintain a wedding or event blog on your website and participate in online blog forums, such as The Knot and Style Me Pretty.
  • Network and build relationship with event and wedding planners in the area. Don’t limit yourself to just planners - target hotels, country clubs, and other party venues, bridal shops, photographers, videographers, and caterers.
  • Remind past customers you’re available and offer incentives.
  • Make your website informative. Provide answers to prospective customers’ most burning questions, even offering tips on things they might not have thought of.
  • Join online and local organizations that offer networking opportunities - you never know where you might find a marketing partner.
  • Utilize social media regularly.

Recommended: Get started with local advertising for your business with a $300 credit from Yelp.

How to keep customers coming back

Due to the services you’ll be providing, word of mouth is critical to attracting and retaining clients. Maintain a professional air at all times and really go above and beyond when it comes to assisting your customer in planning their event. You’ll be remembered by the host, guests, venue employees, and everyone else that’s a part of making the event a success. That’s a lot of potential customers, so make every moment count.

How and when to build a team

Each event only needs one DJ, leading many to believe that it has to be a one-man operation. Think about how far your company could go, however, if you had multiple DJs available. Once you’ve built a name for your business, you’ll want to consider adding employees to your team. During the hiring process, pay close attention to each prospect’s personality and outward appearance. Remember, they’ll be the face of the company; your reputation depends upon it.

Legal Considerations


State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a mobile DJ business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.

Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, check out our informative guide, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.

In addition, certain local licensing or regulatory requirements may apply. For more information about local licenses and permits:

Service Contract

Since mobile DJ businesses provide services for events, it would be beneficial to write up a contract outlining exactly what services are expected, what form of compensation shall be received, and any other relevant information. An example of such a contract can be seen here.

Recommended: Rocket Lawyer makes it easy to create a professional service agreement for your DJ business when you sign up for their premium membership. For $39.95 per month, members receive access to hundreds of legal agreements and on call attorneys to get complimentary legal advice.

Music Licensing

In order to play music in a business setting, permission must be acquired from the composer or license holder. Typically, it is possible to obtain a “blanket” license allowing a businesses to play music owned by a large catalog of artists and recording studios. Such licenses can be obtained from Performance Rights Organizations, such as ASCAP or BMI.

Service Contract

Since mobile DJ businesses provide services for events, it would be beneficial to write up a contract outlining exactly what services are expected, what form of compensation shall be received, and any other relevant information. An example of such a contract can be seen here.

Reduce Personal Liability

Structuring your business as a limited liability company (LLC) ensures your personal assets are protected in the event your business is sued.

What is an LLC?

Form an LLC in 5 easy steps

Earning Potential


How much can you charge customers?

Your fees depend upon your professional experience, services offered, and length of time for each event. Since you’ll be charging per event, spend some time researching what other DJs in your general area are charging. Experienced DJs have reported charging anywhere from $950 to $2,000 for a five-hour package.

What are the ongoing expenses for a Mobile DJ Business?

As a DJ business owner, your overhead expenses will be minimal. Below are a few items you’ll want to budget for in your monthly expenses:

  • Purchasing new music regularly
  • Insurance
  • Advertising and website maintenance
  • Travel time and fuel costs
  • Payroll expenses - you could combat this expense by hiring employees on a 1099 basis
  • Maintenance of sound/lighting equipment and purchase of new equipment as needed

How much profit can a Mobile DJ Business make?

If you participate in three events a week and charge $2,000 per event, your company will earn approximately $288,000 annually before expenses. Hiring additional DJs will not only assist in covering overhead costs, it can more than double your business’ profit, depending upon the pay scale you and the employee agree upon.

How can you make your business more profitable?

The following are a few strategies other mobile DJ businesses have implemented to ensure a more profitable business:

  • Consider partnering with musicians/live bands to offer a unique sound.
  • Approach local nightclubs, bars, and restaurants. Many are now regularly providing live music for their patrons as they eat or socialize. Think outside the box. Obviously weddings will be high on your list as a profit generator, but what about birthday parties, grand openings, music festivals, and bat mitzvahs?
  • Offer audio production for jingles, ads, and videos for radio, internet, and tv spots.

Next Steps

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