Crunching the Numbers: Gym Startup Costs

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The gym industry has seen steady growth in recent years, with gym membership reaching over 79 million in 2018. Opening a gym is a lucrative business opportunity, but like any business, it can also be costly to undertake. This blog post will explore the costs involved in opening your own gym, from lease deposits to staffing, so you can make an informed decision and dive into the gym business with confidence.


start-up costs

The estimated startup costs of opening/starting/launching a gym largely depends on the size and scope of the business as well as the type of equipment used, but in most cases, the costs are extended. There are several costs to consider when planning to open a gym, including a rental deposit, fitness equipment, facility construction/renovation, insurance, business licenses and registrations, legal and accounting services. , marketing and advertising, personnel and training, and supplies and accessories .

Rental deposit fitness equipment Construction / remodeling of facilities Insurance Business license and registration Legal and accounting services Advertising Marketing Staffing and training Supplies and accessories
0 – ,000 ,000 – ,000 ,000 – 0,000 ,000 – ,000 0 – ,000 ,000 – ,000 ,000 – ,000 ,000 – ,000 0 – ,000
Total ,100 – 0,000

Rental deposit

When starting a gym business, one of the first steps you need to take is to rent a space. In some areas, land and commercial properties may not be readily available and you may need to consider your rental options more carefully, as the cost of renting varies widely. Depending on your agreement, you may need to pay a rental deposit if you need it.

The amount of deposit required from the tenant depends on the landlord and ranges from the equivalent of two to four months rent. For example, if you rent a 5,000 square foot facility for ,000 per month, you may need to reduce a total of ,000 to ,000 up front. This can be substantial in terms of cost.

When negotiating a lease, you may be able to negotiate a lower deposit or lower other lease costs, such as rental fees or minimum rental requirements. Additionally, landlords may also allow you to apply other costs, such as first and last rent or key charges, towards the deposit. It is important to remember that the deposit will not be refunded until the end of the rental period.

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Therefore, the cost of opening a gym will depend on the rental price of the space, the rental deposit fee, and any other related fees. The right space, conditions, and fees are essential for a successful gym, so it’s important to weigh your options carefully before making a long-term commitment.

fitness equipment

The cost of fitness equipment varies greatly depending on the type of equipment you wish to purchase. In the United States, gym owners will typically spend between ,000 and 0,000 on fitness equipment for their facilities, according to statistics from ACTI Fitness. For example, if you plan to open a gym with a range of free weights, cardio equipment, and gyms, you might have to shell out around ,000 for basic equipment. This figure could increase if you are looking for higher end products or cheaper options.

Also, if you’re looking for machines that feature interactive programs, advanced tracking, and personalized commentary, it could cost you an additional ,000 to ,000. You should also factor in the cost of any necessary training. A fitness expert or trainer could cost you a few hundred dollars. Finally, different accessories, including resistance bands, weight plates, jump ropes, and even workout items like yoga mats, can add to your expense.

In a nutshell, your estimated fitness equipment costs to open and launch a gym would depend on the size of the facility and the type of equipment you choose, ranging from ,000 to over 0,000. Some of the essentials you will need may include:

  • Strength and cardio equipment: Treadmills, ellipticals, and weight trainers can cost anywhere from ,000 to over ,000, depending on type, brand, and features.
  • Free weights and benches: A basic set of free weights and benches can cost around ,000.
  • Other accessories: Resistance bands, foam rollers, medicine balls, and balance cards can cost anywhere from to 0, depending on the type.

It is important to always review your needs and your budget. Plus, consider any additional items such as machines and accessories, to keep your gym up to date with the latest trends and keep your customers happy. A well-equipped gym can make all the difference in creating an enjoyable workout experience for your clientele.

Construction / remodeling of facilities

Opening a gymnasium requires a major financial commitment and significant investment in construction and renovation. Facility construction and renovation costs for an average commercial gymnasium typically range from 0,000-0,000 USD . Depending on the size, complexity, and equipment offered, expenses can climb to 0,000 . This will include the costs of building materials, labor, permits and any machinery required.

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Additionally, gym owners should consider the cost of computer and audio-visual equipment, sound and light systems, furniture, and exercise equipment. Running a mid-size gym with weights and machines can cost ,000 to ,000 . Although designing the perfect exercise room and acquiring the gym equipment may seem expensive, it can increase gym profits and help keep members upbeat and motivated.

A few additional features, such as the pool, changing rooms, and sauna cost approximately ,000 USD to install and require additional time, labor, and materials to maintain. This is why many gym owners opt for biorhythm tanks instead of pools. Although initial installation costs are usually high, maintenance and operating costs are much lower.

Most gyms offer amenities such as cafes and spas, but these require specialized building solutions and additional materials, equipment, and labor. Costs can range from a few thousand dollars to as high as ,000 . You should plan to allocate approximately 10-15% of the total construction cost to these amenities.

Finally, when calculating the total costs of opening a gym, consider current and rising rent costs. Many commercial gymnasiums lease their space long-term. Depending on the neighborhood, rent will cost an average of to per square foot . Over the years, rent costs usually increase and this is an additional expense for gym owners to consider.


Opening a gym can be expensive, with many hidden costs you should consider. One of these costs is insurance. It is very important to purchase a comprehensive insurance plan for your gymnasium to protect your business from liability in the event of an accident or injury on the premises.

According to studies, most gym owners would spend ,400 to ,000 a year on insurance. It may seem like a lot of money, but it is necessary to protect your business from the various risks that come with owning a gym. Insurance plans can provide coverage for things like property damage, workers’ compensation, and liability.

Insurance premiums for gym owners vary depending on the size of your facility, number of activity participants, type of activities offered, and location. It is also important to ensure that your insurance is up to date and that any necessary changes are made. Failure to do so could void your coverage. It is recommended that gym owners speak with a qualified insurance advisor to determine the best insurance options for their business.

In addition to the costs associated with primary insurance coverage, you may also need to purchase additional insurance coverage. This may include coverages such as loyalty bonds, professional liability insurance, product liability insurance, and cyber liability insurance, among others. It is important to understand the risks associated with owning a gym and to identify any additional insurance coverage that may be necessary to adequately protect your business.

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Business license and registration

Starting a gym may require more than equipment and staff – you may also need to register your business and obtain a business license. The amount of licensing and registration will cost depends on the size of your gym and the state in which it is located. Regulations vary from state to state as to what all can be included in the application.

In most states, registering with the state and getting a business license to run a gym costs to 0 per year. However, special requirements may include permits for things like health and safety, zoning, alcohol service, food service, and others that can add significantly to the cost. Depending on state and local municipalities, additional fees can range from 0-1000+.

In some states, there is a one-time fee to register your business, which can cost anywhere from to over 0 . Depending on the type of gym and services offered, you may also need to obtain a professional license, which can range from to 0 depending on the type of license.

Some examples of business license and registration fees for a gymnasium, as of November 2020:

  • Oregon: Business License 0, Oregon Corporation Division 0, Oregon Health Authority 0, Oregon Department of Agriculture 0, Oregon Building Codes
  • California: Business License , California Secretary of State , Department of Liquor Control , Department of Public Health 0, Department of Parks and Recreation 0
  • Massachusetts: Commercial License 0, Massachusetts State License 0, Massachusetts Board of Health 0, Department of Fire Services 0
  • New York: Business License , Department of Agriculture and Markets , Department of Environmental Conservation , Department of Health 0, Department of Labor

In addition to the licensing and registration fees mentioned above, you can also purchase insurance to cover liabilities and protect your business and customers. Gym insurance can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars a year, depending on the type of coverage you opt for and the size of your business. Before setting up your business, be sure to check with your state and local government to learn about the specific laws and regulations you need to follow.

Legal and accounting services

Opening a gym involves more than finding the right space and getting close to the necessary equipment. Ensuring your legal and accounting requirements are taken care of is critical to your success.

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Legal Fees – These costs can vary widely depending on your local laws and regulations, as well as the complexity of the business structure you wish to create for your gym. Generally, you should be able to create the basic documents (operating agreement, corporate minutes) for a few hundred dollars. If you need more complex documents such as a trademark application or supplier agreement, you can expect to pay thousands of dollars.

Accounting costs – It is important to keep business and personal finances separate, so you need a reliable accounting system. You can do this yourself (if you have the time and accounting knowledge), but the most efficient way to manage the books is to hire an accountant to set up the proper accounting system and handle audits and taxes. Depending on the complexity of the business and the desired accounting system, the cost of this can range from 0 to ,000.

Average legal and accounting costs in the United States – According to 2020 data from the Small Business Administration, the average legal and accounting costs for starting a business in the United States are approximately ,800 for a sole proprietor, 2,000 $ for a partnership and 00 for an LLC.

Advertising Marketing

When opening a gym, it’s also important to consider your marketing and advertising costs. This will help you reach your target customers more effectively and help them understand what makes your gym different from other options. The cost of marketing and advertising can vary from country to country, but on average it costs ,000 to ,000 per month to develop a comprehensive digital and traditional marketing strategy. Here are some of the most common marketing and advertising costs associated with starting a gym.

  • Digital Advertisements: Digital advertising and marketing is essential for any business, and gyms are no exception. Advertising on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram can cost anywhere from to a day , depending on how many people you want to reach and how much you spend targeting.
  • Print materials: Printed materials such as flyers, brochures, and banners can be an effective way to spread the word about your gym. The cost of this type of advertising varies depending on the quantity, size and quality of materials. For example, a pack of 500 standard flyers can cost anywhere from 0 to 0 .
  • Online presence: Your website, blog and other communication channels are invaluable resources for potential customers. Creating and maintaining an effective online presence involves expenses such as website design, development and hosting; using SEO tactics; and create content. It can cost anywhere from 0 to ,500 a month, depending on the amount of work required.
  • Direct Mail: Sending direct mail can be an effective way to reach specific target demographics. This involves printing letters, envelopes and postage, which can cost between .25 to .50 per piece of mail.
  • Public Relations: This involves building relationships with journalists and other media to help put your gym in a positive light. This type of marketing can cost anywhere from ,000 to ,000 per month.
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Marketing and advertising expenses can add up quickly, so be sure to create a budget and stick to it. You may also consider outsourcing some of these tasks to help control your costs.

Staffing and training

Staff and training are both essential parts of starting a successful gym. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to educate and hire reliable staff who can be trusted with customers and the general operations of your business. Even though hiring and training staff may seem like a big expense initially, it can actually be quite profitable in the long run.

The average cost of hiring a full-time gym employee can vary depending on the location of the business, but a reliable rule of thumb is to consider a minimum wage of per hour. . That means you’re looking at a minimum cost of about ,000 per year for full-time staff. If you’re looking to hire full-time and part-time staff, the average salary ranges up to -20 per hour depending on the state and municipality.

In addition, you also need to factor in proper training and onboarding costs. You should set aside a budget to provide the necessary training materials to staff and potential customers. Additionally, if your budget allows, you may want to provide resources for job-related development, such as continuing education courses or industry-specific certifications. The overall cost for onboarding training and staff should be around ,000 to ,000 for a small business.

In conclusion, staffing and training costs for a gym can vary, but as an estimate, a small business can expect to spend around ,000 to ,000 for these activities. It is important to note that these numbers may vary depending on the size, location and needs of your individual business. You may also factor in additional costs for specialized training, hiring consultants, or recruiting services. In any case, it is important to take the time to plan, to carefully budget the costs related to staffing and training.

Supplies and accessories

When opening a gym, it is important to consider the supplies and accessories that you will need to purchase. Depending on the type of gym you are starting, the cost of supplies and accessories can vary greatly. Some gyms have minimal supplies and accessories while others may have several larger items such as treadmills or weights. It’s wise to research and consider the supplies and accessories you need for your gym before shopping, as the cost can quickly add up.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average amount spent by gym owners on supplies and accessories in the United States in 2018 was ,370 . This includes gym mats, weight machines, free weights, cardiovascular machines, and any other additional supplies and accessories that may be needed. It’s important to remember that the cost of supplies and accessories will likely vary depending on the type and size of your gym.

It’s important to note that while some of the items needed to start a gym may be one-time investments, some supplies and accessories may need to be replaced over time. Examples of items that may need to be replaced periodically include gym mats, gym towels, nets, and cleaning products. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to budget around 10% of the total start-up cost for any necessary items that might need to be purchased for your gym down the road.

With the wide variety of items that may need to be purchased to start a gym, it’s important to consider the cost of these supplies and accessories up front and have a budget in mind. By doing the necessary research and planning ahead of time, you can accurately estimate the cost of the supplies and accessories you need to get your gym started.


Opening or starting a gym business can be an expensive undertaking. Depending on the size and scope of the gym, the costs involved can range from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Factors such as rental depot, fitness equipment, facility construction and renovation, insurance, business licensing and registration, legal and accounting services, marketing and advertising, personnel and training, as well as supplies and accessories should all be considered when selecting the best startup strategy.

However, with careful planning and consideration of all relevant factors, a gym business can be a profitable long-term investment. The key is to make sure the upfront costs match the gym’s vision, budget, and goals. With the right steps, gym owners can maximize their profits and make the process of setting up a gym a positive and rewarding experience.