Find out the cost of running a tattoo parlor

  • How to Open this Business: Guide
  • TOP-7 KPI Metrics
  • Startup Costs List
  • Pitch Deck Example
  • How To Increase Business Profitability?
  • How to Sale More?
  • How To Raise Capital: Guide


Tattoos have become more popular than ever. Statistics show that 36% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 have at least one tattoo. This number is even higher, reaching 47%, for those aged 30 to 39. With the increase in tattoos, there has been an increase in tattoo parlors in the United States. Although industry research shows that tattoo parlors can be quite profitable, it’s important to understand the operating costs associated with running a tattoo parlor .

From rent and equipment to salaries and maintenance, every item in your budget can help make or break your success. It’s important to understand the total cost of running a business before you commit to opening one. By understanding these costs, you can more accurately predict the success of your business model and develop an effective budget that will help you achieve your goals.

Operating Expenses

When setting up and running a tattoo parlor, there are nine major operating expenses that should be considered. These include:

  • Hire
  • Equipment
  • Public services
  • Assurance
  • Stationery
  • Employee salaries
  • Interview
  • Marketing
  • License and permit

Any successful tattoo parlor is aware of the cost associated with these expenses and makes an effort to keep them low. The rent, for example, strongly depends on the area in which the business is located. In larger cities with larger clientele, rental prices are expected to be higher than in smaller cities.

On the other hand, a few expenses such as marketing and employee salaries are highly dependent on the size and scale of the tattoo. A business owner should consider the customer base and available resources before setting up a realistic budget.


If you are thinking of starting a business in the tattoo parlor industry, one of the biggest investments you will need to consider is the facility and the cost of rent. According to recent statistics, the average monthly rent for a small business in the United States is ,216 per month . Here are some other considerations to keep in mind when evaluating commercial rent while starting a tattoo parlour.

  • Location : The average rent paid often varies greatly depending on location, as key parameters such as traffic and competition influence rental prices. Placements that have higher visibility will often cost you, sometimes as much as 30% more than in less visible markets. However, the trade-off for that higher price can be greater visibility and the potential for higher customer conversion rates.

  • Rental Clauses : It is important to note that rental clauses from landlord to landlord vary widely. In some cases, a tenant may negotiate a rent increase in exchange for some type of “performance” referral or guarantee. For example, a restaurant may negotiate a minimum annual revenue threshold in exchange for a slightly higher rent rate.

  • Market Trends : Keeping an eye on market trends is also important, as current market conditions will often influence the rental rate. In some cases, landlords may require higher rents to keep up with market competition.

READ:  Evaluating a Gym Business: Considerations and Methods

As you can see, rent is a major consideration when starting a business in the tattoo industry. It is important to research your options and negotiate with tenants to secure the most favorable rates.


For tattoo parlours, acquiring and maintaining the proper equipment is essential to producing quality services. The average cost for setting up a tattoo parlor is between ,000 and 0,000 US. This range covers anything from basic to an extensively equipped living room. This cost covers sterilization equipment such as an autoclave and other general equipment such as chairs, lamps, mirrors and armrests, shelves and drawers, among others.

A tattoo parlor will also need to stock different colors and types of ink, transfer paper, rubber bands, petroleum jelly, lubricants, disinfectants, razor blades and other related equipment. Additionally, the salon will need a range of small medical items such as needles, gloves and protective clothing. Finally, a tattoo parlor must obtain liability insurance for a minimum of million, which can cost up to several thousand dollars.

In total, it is estimated that the cost of equipment for a tattoo parlor can range from US,000 to over US0,000 per year depending on size, location and services offered. And since the equipment associated with tattoo parlors is often specialized and unique, the necessary parts can be purchased directly from their manufacturer. This cost can increase if new and updated equipment is needed to update the business.

By following the proper steps and implementing the right equipment, a tattoo parlor can ensure that their initial investment goes to long-term success.

READ:  How much does it cost to open/start/launch classic car hotel

Public services

When operating a tattoo parlor or body art shop, there are many operating costs associated with running the business. Utilities are an essential factor that must be considered when budgeting costs for the business. In terms of utility costs, most tattoo parlors have to consider electricity, water, and phone and internet services. Generally, the average tattoo parlor pays between 0 and 0 per month in utility costs.

Although electricity and water are usually the main drivers of utility costs, some companies may also need to consider additional utility costs, such as heating and cooling systems. In general, most businesses should expect to pay between 0 and 0 per month in additional utilities. Additionally, businesses should factor in the cost of gas, which averages between and per month, depending on building type and size.

Telephone and Internet service . The cost of phone and internet service for a typical tattoo parlor should also be included in any budgeting for utilities. For example, most businesses need a landline for their phones, but some businesses may opt for a VoIP system or a mobile phone instead. Additionally, businesses should factor in internet service costs, which typically range from to per month, depending on the type of service and the amount of data required.

Finally, some businesses may also need to consider the cost of garbage disposal services. The average cost for garbage collection and disposal services is usually in the range of to 0 per month.


Having proper insurance is essential for a tattoo parlour. The insurance will provide protection in the event of an accident involving one of your customers or an accident on your premises. It can also provide coverage for lawsuits, medical bills, and property damage. According to the latest data from the Insurance Information Institute, the average premium for liability insurance for tattoos and body piercing services in the United States is ,819 per year.

The most common types of insurance purchased for tattoo parlors include professional liability insurance, liability insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance. Professional liability insurance provides protection if a client claims their tattoo was botched or a body piercing became infected. This insurance would cover the legal expenses associated with defending the company. The average premium for professional liability insurance can range from 0 to 0 in annual premiums.

READ:  Tips for Successful Fundraising and Capital Raising for Your Spa Hospitality Business

General liability insurance covers a variety of minor claims. This type of coverage could include theft, vandalism, property damage, liability for calculations or defamation claims or medical bills slips and falls. On average, annual premiums for general liability insurance for tattoo parlors can range from 0 to 00.

Finally, worker’s compensation insurance is for someone who works for your company to be injured on the job. This type of insurance covers medical and employee replacement costs for all workers injured during their employment. The average premium for this type of insurance varies from state to state, but it can typically range from 0 to 00 per year.

It’s important to shop around to find an insurance company and policy that best suits your needs. Premiums can vary greatly between companies and it pays to get multiple quotes. Doing your research and looking for multiple quotes will help you determine the best policy for your tattoo parlor’s needs at the best value.


When it comes to running a tattoo parlor, supplies are a key indicator of profitability. Essential items for supplies for running a tattoo shop range from ,000 to ,000 , depending on equipment and shop set-up. Generators, autoclaves, digital power supplies, transfer paper and ink are all supplies needed for tattooing and their costs can vary depending on the size and type of shop.

When it comes to setting up a tattoo shop, the cost of supplies can include more than traditional tattoo equipment. For example, a boutique may need to invest in special chairs, exam tables, specialized lighting, desks, partitions, cabinets, and other items that can double the cost of setting up the shop. Additionally, depending on local laws, a store may be required to have respirators, gloves, or other safety equipment which may add additional costs. For many store owners, the total cost of supplies can range from to per square foot , depending on the size of the store.

READ:  Achieve your goals with effective trading quotas

On an ongoing basis, a tattoo shop can be stocked with supplies such as inks, thermal paper, stencils, transfer paper, aftercare products, and other items. While these items may cost an individual cost, the costs add up for the average shop who spends around ,500 every two to three months on refills and restocks. Additionally, some stores may decide to purchase additional services such as graphic design services, which may be an additional cost.

Employee salaries

One of the best overheads for a tattoo parlor is the cost of employee salaries. The most recent data from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that in 2020, the average hourly wage for a tattoo artist was .45 per hour. This was a 3.4% increase from 2019. In 2021, salaries for experienced tattoo artists are expected to rise again as demand for their services grows. It is also important to consider the cost of employee benefits. These costs may include health insurance, retirement funds, vacations, etc.

The cost of an experienced apprentice, who helps the tattoo artist with various tasks such as sterilization equipment, is also important to consider. The average hourly wage for an apprentice is .67 per hour. This is a 3.7% increase from 2019, and wages are expected to rise again in 2021.

Another expense to consider is the salaries of other tattoo parlor employees, such as receptionists and shop assistants. On average, a tattoo parlor receptionist earns .60 per hour, while a store assistant can earn between .00 and .00 per hour, depending on experience. These costs, while relatively small, when taken together can add up to considerable expense.

Finally, taxes and other contributions must also be taken into account. Depending on the state in which a tattoo parlor is located, employers must pay taxes on employers payroll. These taxes typically range from 6.2% of an employee’s wages for Social Security and 1.45% for Medicare, to state and federal income taxes at varying rates. Employers must also provide workers’ compensation insurance to cover workplace injuries that may occur.


Running a tattoo parlor requires costs for both initial and ongoing expenses. When preparing your business plan, a separate section should focus on maintenance costs. According to Statista, in the United States in 2020, “Tattoo Parlor / Piercing Shop” spends an average of ,700 on annual maintenance fees. This includes general repair and maintenance, electrical and utilities, janitorial services and landscaping.

READ:  Counting the Cost: Startup Expenses for Your Hypnotherapy Center

On a monthly basis, some of the typical tattoo maintenance concerns include pavilion and towel service, equipment maintenance and cleaning, and needles and pigments. For linen and towel service, the cost is estimated around .95 per month. For the maintenance and cleaning of the equipment, it is recommended to plan a monthly cost of .00 per month . Keeping disposable needles sanitized is essential to any tattoo business. The monthly cost to replace used needles and pigments is estimated at .00 per month.

When planning maintenance in the tattoo parlor, it is important that all services are up to date at all times. Quality products like quality disposable needles and machine parts should always be used. Given the close contact between the client’s skin and the equipment, good hygiene is essential for the safety and comfort of all parties.


Marketing is a crucial part of any successful business, and the same goes for tattoo owners. A significant amount of money must be spent to ensure that potential customers know about the services a company has to offer. According to the latest statistics from the National Statistics Authority, the total amount spent on marketing for tattoo businesses in the United States was almost billion in 2020.

Most of this money is spent on advertising, with .5 billion being spent on digital advertising and the remaining .5 billion being allocated to traditional forms of advertising, such as print and television. , as well as other sources. While these numbers may seem staggering, they only represent a small portion of the operating costs associated with running a tattoo parlor.

There are other costs that should be considered when creating a marketing budget. These include fees for setting up and maintaining websites, as well as costs associated with running social media campaigns. Additionally, some companies choose to invest in public relations services, which can help create positive buzz about a particular company or product. All of these costs should be considered when budgeting for marketing.

READ:  Unlocking True Value: Understanding General Market Business Valuation

Marketing can also include other costs such as sponsoring events, sponsoring art exhibits and contests, attending trade shows and networking events, and investing in mailings. All of these add up quickly and should be considered when creating a marketing budget. Finally, by investing in market research and analytics, companies can better understand their target market and create compelling campaigns that are tailored to the right people.

License and permit

Every tattoo parlor in the United States must have the proper licenses and permits to do business. Obtaining these licenses can be complicated and expensive. The exact cost of licenses and permits will vary from state to state, but according to a 2016 report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the average cost of small business licenses and permits ranges from 0 to ,000. .

At a minimum, a salon must obtain a commercial license, which usually costs between and 0. Depending on the state, the salon may also need to apply for a vendor license, occupancy license, health license, safety inspection, contractor license, or any combination thereof. The cost of these permits can be as much, if not more, than the cost of the basic business license. For example, in California, a vendor’s license will cost around , while a contractor’s license can cost anywhere from 0 to 0 . Occupancy and health permits will vary depending on factors such as the size of the salon and the number of employees.

Salon owners should check with their local government for a list of required licenses and permits, and associated costs. Some salons may also find that state and local laws require insurance for protection against damage or claims due to negligence. It could cost an extra ,000 to ,000 depending on the coverage.


Understanding the costs of running your tattoo parlor is critical. There are a number of costs associated with running a tattoo parlor, from rent and equipment to salaries and employee licenses and permits . Every element of your budget should be considered carefully, as costs can make or break your success. With proper planning and a detailed budget, your tattoo parlor can become a profitable business. Good luck!