Start a tarot reading business by following these 9 steps:
You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your tarot reading business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Check out our How to Start a Business page.
STEP 1: Plan your business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
- What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What are the costs involved in opening a tarot reading business?
Here's the good news! This is a business you can kickstart for very little capital. You will have years of experience under your belt. You will need a computer, phone, internet connection, a good deck of cards that speak to you, and a mobile tent/table set up for parties and fairs. You will also want a good web site. About $5,000 should get you going. If you end up expanding into hiring other readers, the costs related with a phone system will add a few thousand more to the setup.
What are the ongoing expenses for a tarot reading business?
Your largest costs will be marketing, some basic accounting and even travel. Your cards won't put a huge dent in your budget. You will want to update your website on a regular basis to keep it current and relevant.
Who is the target market?
Your best client will be the person who needs guidance on a consistent basis, so that they schedule weekly or monthly readings. Tarot parties can provide excellent income for a few short hours, but are difficult to line up. You will find clients from all walks of life and income levels. You simply need to find those with an open mind, ready to accept the wisdom provided to them.
How does a tarot reading business make money?
Reading at a fair or walk-ins are often offered at a flat rate for a small spread. More in-depth readings requiring multiple spreads will charge by the hour. Your reputation and your clientele will determine just how much or how little you are able to charge. There is very little overhead, so the more readings you do, the more money you will make.
How much can you charge customers?
You can earn a very respectable living if working full-time. A quick 15-minute reading that you do for walk-ins at the fair can earn $20 each. For more in-depth readings ordered by regular clients, you can charge $60 to $80 per hour. If you have broken into the wealthy clientele, some celebrities pay up to $500 per hour for their personal tarot reader.
How much profit can a tarot reading business make?
Your startup tarot business can see an income of about $25,000 the first year. As your client base grows, so will your profits. Some readers report six figure incomes, but those are the exception to the norm.
How can you make your business more profitable?
As time goes by, you will be able to stop doing those $20 quickie readings at the fair, opting for the more profitable in-depth ones paid for by wealthier clients.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Tarot Reading Business Name Generator
When registering a business name, we recommend researching your business name by checking:
- Your state's business records
- Federal and state trademark records
- Social media platforms
- Web domain availability.
It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your tarot reading business is sued.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.
Small Business Taxes
Depending on which business structure you choose, you might have different options for how your business will be taxed. For example, some LLCs could benefit from being taxed as an S corporation (S corp).
You can learn more about small business taxes in these guides:
There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business's name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
Open a business bank account
- This separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank, credit union, business-loan friendly banks, one with many brick-and-mortar locations, and more.
Get a business credit card
- This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- It also builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.
STEP 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.
STEP 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.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a tarot 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, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
For more information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office.
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
STEP 7: Get business insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.
Learn more about General Liability Insurance.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.
STEP 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.
If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
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How to promote & market a tarot reading business
You will need to print flyers and business cards that you can leave with people and businesses. It's your job to plaster your neighborhood with your name. Join Facebook groups and interact with other Tarot readers. Offer free readings on all social media platforms to make your business part of the online conversation. Ask for reviews and for referrals from all your clients.
How to keep customers coming back
Your first customers will come to you out of curiosity. In the early days you will want to welcome all comers who want a reading for emotional support or for sheer entertainment. When you give useful and accurate readings that help them in their daily lives, they will tell their friends, which will result in return business for you.
STEP 9: Create your business website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldn’t take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
Start A Tarot Reading Business In Your State
Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.
Is this Business Right For You?
If you have developed your experience and knowledge through years of reading cards for your friends and acquaintances, and spend lots of time studying tarot, it might be time to start charging for the readings that everybody is begging you to do.
Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!
What happens during a typical day at a tarot reading business?
If you are working at this business full-time, you might be:
- Completing readings for your scheduled clients
- Working your social media contacts to promote your business
- Marketing private tarot reading parties or line-up booths at psychic fairs
- Balancing your books
- Establishing and maintaining a website that accepts payment for remote readings
- Taking phone calls and complete readings for these pop-up clients
- Creating a Standard of Business that gives clients clearly defined expectations with regards to your readings
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful tarot reading business?
Unlike many other product and even service based businesses, a tarot reading business relies heavily upon the charisma of the reader. Putting aside the pleasant demeanor, you will need to:
- Be fully fluent in the interpretation of the Tarot and be able to complete readings without consulting any kind of book
- Have a compassionate and instinctive nature
- Complete readings that allow the customer to walk away with new insight to a situation or confidence in themselves
- Knowledge of organic marketing techniques--word-of-mouth will be a major means of promotion
- Basic accounting skills
- Be able to turn away a customer that only brings negative vibes to the table
What is the growth potential for a tarot reading business?
Many readers run their business as a sideline. If you are able to cultivate a client base of wealthy and avid customers, you might be able to operate your business on a full-time basis. Should you have a knack for befriending other readers, it may be possible to expand into a Dial-a-Tarot business with multiple readers fulfilling requested readings over the phone.
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Take the Next Step
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.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a tarot reading business?
You need customers before you can get choosy about them. Think about investing in a small storefront in a high-traffic area like at the beach, downtown shopping area, or even at the mall where you can service many people over a short period to start building your local reputation. You may have to offer free readings online in order to break into the niche community of readers who charge for readings.
How and when to build a team
Unless you become the Tarot Reader for the Stars, you may never need or want a team. If you create a 1-800 type of business that supports multiple readers, you will want to make sure that you all share similar energy and a common commitment to your customers' satisfaction. Disagreements among readers are toxic to a clear atmosphere that supports good readings.