Did you know that as many as 145 million Americans have at least one tattoo? Approximately 19% go on to regret their decision. Some fear their tattoos will hinder them from getting the job they want, while others have outgrown the symbolism behind their tattoo. A tattoo removal business helps clients get rid of their tattoo mistakes through dermabrasion, surgery, or laser surgery.
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Learn how to start your own Tattoo Removal Business and whether it is the right fit for you.
Start a Tattoo Removal Business by following these 10 steps:
- Plan your Tattoo Removal Business
- Form your Tattoo Removal Business into a Legal Entity
- Register your Tattoo Removal Business for Taxes
- Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
- Set up Accounting for your Tattoo Removal Business
- Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Tattoo Removal Business
- Get Tattoo Removal Business Insurance
- Define your Tattoo Removal Business Brand
- Create your Tattoo Removal Business Website
- Set up your Business Phone System
There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your Tattoo Removal Business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas.
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 Tattoo Removal Business?
Once you’ve determined your state’s laws regarding tattoo removal practices, you can begin writing your business plan and budget. You’ll need enough startup capital to cover the following expenses:
- Office space - Look for a space with approximately 800 square feet. The location should have enough room for a reception and waiting room area, treatment room, and office. To save money, many new tattoo removal businesses rent space in an established spa or medical facility. This delivers the added bonus of providing access to an established customer base.
- Laser equipment - Tattoo removal laser machines cost $150,000 to over $300,000. When deciding what equipment you should invest in, consider factors like what ink colors you want to remove, how much space it requires, and how long it takes to warm up. Consider your long-term goals for the business before investing in any equipment.
- Marketing strategy - As with any business, you will need to start with a plan for advertising. Some equipment manufacturers provide training, technical support, and marketing consulting.
- Medical supplies - This will be a minimal investment, but you will need to keep medical supplies such as antibiotic ointment and bandages on hand to ensure proper aftercare.
- Insurance - Work with a trusted insurance professional to determine your business insurance needs.
What are the ongoing expenses for a Tattoo Removal Business?
Once you have the clinic up and running, your overhead expenses will be fairly minimal. Your monthly budget should include utilities, rent, restocking of medical supplies, equipment maintenance, and insurance. Payroll-related expenses typically represent the largest part of a tattoo removal business’s budget.
Who is the target market?
The tattoo business encompasses everyone aged 18 and up. They span every background, gender, and race. Studies indicate between 17% and 50% experience tattoo regret, and the average age of someone seeking tattoo removal is 29.
How does a Tattoo Removal Business make money?
Your tattoo removal business will make money by charging a fee for each laser appointment. Most tattoo removals require at least three appointments.
How much can you charge customers?
You will charge patients a flat rate for each treatment appointment. Most appointments last about 15 minutes, and the average appointment rate is $200.
How much profit can a Tattoo Removal Business make?
Unlike most startup businesses, tattoo removal clinics typically see a profit within the first six months. If you average 40 clients a week, at $200 per appointment, that comes out to $8,000 per week. This equals out to $416,000 per year. To determine your company’s profits, you would subtract your annual ongoing expenses from $416,000.
How can you make your business more profitable?
As we mentioned earlier, many technicians getting into this industry have a medical or spa background. To drive up profits, consider offering additional services, such as laser hair removal, microneedling, cellulite reduction, and skin rejuvenation.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is very important. Read our detailed guide on how to name your business. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.
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 Tattoo Removal 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:
- LLC Taxes
- Sole Proprietorship vs LLC
- LLC vs Corporation
- LLC vs S Corp
- How to Start an S Corp
- S Corp vs C Corp
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
Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:
- Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.
Open net 30 accounts
Net 30 accounts are used to establish and build business credit as well as increase business cash flow. With a net 30 account, businesses buy goods and repay the full balance within a 30-day term.
NetMany net 30 credit vendors report to the major business credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how businesses build business credit so they can qualify for credit cards and other lines of credit.
Recommended: Read our best net 30 vendors, guide and start building business credit.
Get a business credit card
Getting a business credit card helps you:
- Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money later on.
Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from Divvy and build your business credit quickly.
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.
Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.
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.
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.
If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator. Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.
How to promote & market a Tattoo Removal Business
As you move towards your clinic’s opening day, you’ll want to start advertising your services. Most patients researching tattoo removal clinics complete a web search and select a business based on their online ranking. Therefore, it’s critical that you have an online presence. This should include an established website, social media presence, and listings in all local online directories.
How to keep customers coming back
Referrals and repeat customers will be a large part of how you gain clients. Networking within the community and providing exceptional customer service will help ensure a steady stream of referrals.
Still unsure about what kind of business you want to start? Check out the latest Small Business Trends to help inspire 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.
STEP 10: Set up your business phone system
Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.
There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2022 to find the best phone service for your small business.
Recommended Business Phone Service: Phone.com
Phone.com is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.
Start a Tattoo Removal Business in your State
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
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Is this Business Right For You?
Are you interested in being part of the medical or beauty industry, searching for a way to set your own hours and become your own boss? Do you lack the experience but possess the capital and drive to launch your own business? Do you enjoy interacting with people from different backgrounds? If you answered yes to any of these questions, a tattoo removal business might be the ideal career path for you.
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 Tattoo Removal Business?
Your primary role as a tattoo removal specialist is to administer laser treatments at the tattoo site. Before getting started, you’ll meet with a new client. This is the time to get to know them and inspect the area in question. Based on your findings, you’ll develop a treatment plan.
Factors that impact how many treatments a patient needs include skin type, tattoo location, age of the tattoo, and tattoo colors. The average laser appointment time is 15 minutes, and most patients require between 5 and 10 treatments.
In addition to meeting with patients, you and your support staff will spend time each day cleaning and maintaining the office space and equipment, meeting with supply vendors, maintaining office and treatment supplies, performing administrative duties, and marketing.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful Tattoo Removal Business?
The qualifications required to provide tattoo removal services vary from one jurisdiction to another. Some regions consider the process a medical procedure, thus requiring technicians to hold a medical degree of some kind. This could be a registered nurse, physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner. Others simply require the proper certification. This map provides detailed information regarding each state’s regulations, contact information, and additional new business resources.
To launch a laser tattoo removal business, most state’s will require you to meet the following criteria:
- Utilize FDA-approved laser equipment designed for tattoo removal
- The operator must be certified and have at least 16 hours of training
- The practice must have a Physician Medical Director that oversees the facility
To manage a successful tattoo removal business, you should have good hand-eye coordination, be detail-oriented, have strong people skills, and be able to make quick judgment calls regarding the safe removal of a tattoo.
As with any new business, it would prove beneficial to have a background in business. If this isn’t your strong suit, look into beginner business classes at your local college, Chamber of Commerce, or your local Small Business Administration.
What is the growth potential for a Tattoo Removal Business?
The tattoo removal industry grew by 440% in its first 10 years. The market is expected to reach over $795 million by the year 2027, leaving significant room for growth for entrepreneurs looking to jump into the industry.
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.
Learn from other business owners
Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.
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 Tattoo Removal Business?
Consider partnering with an equipment manufacturer that provides ongoing support. These organizations have extensive industry knowledge that could prove invaluable in leading your business to long-term success.
How and when to build a team
You’ll need to fill at least two positions before you open your doors to the public. An office manager will handle the day-to-day operations, while the tattoo removal technician will handle client appointments. In some states, you’ll also need a medical director to oversee the clinic’s operations.
Your laser technician should have the proper credentials and be fully trained in how to operate all the office equipment. Most manufacturers provide training specific to their tools.