Starting your own fitness biz? The cost estimate is essential!

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As the fitness industry continues to grow, so does the demand for personal trainers. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of personal trainers increased by 22% from 2016 to 2026.

Opening a personal training business can be a rewarding endeavor, whether you’re a seasoned fitness professional or just beginning your entrepreneurial journey. However, with any business venture, you will need to understand the costs associated with bringing your business up and running.

When weighing the pros and cons of starting your own personal training business, it’s essential to consider the factors you’ll need to consider before launching. Here’s a breakdown of the key things you’ll need to plan for:

  • Equipment and tools
  • Taxes and permits
  • Assurance
  • Lease payments, if applicable
  • Software
  • Furniture
  • Marketing costs
  • Labor costs
  • Licenses and certifications

Although starting a business can be daunting and can involve heavy costs initially, understanding the costs associated with starting and running a personal training business will help ensure your success from the start.


start-up costs

Starting a personal training business requires significant investment. Not just for equipment and tools, but for taxes and permits, insurance, lease payments, software, furniture, marketing costs, labor costs and licenses and certificates. The cost of starting up can vary greatly depending on the type of business and location.

Equipment and tools

  • Gym equipment (00 – 00)
  • Computer and digital equipment (,000 to ,000)
  • Studio furniture (0 – 0)

Taxes and permits

  • Taxes and licenses (up to ,000)
  • Liquor license ( – 0)


  • General liability insurance (minimum of 0)
  • Professional liability insurance (0 – 0)
  • Worker’s Compensation Insurance (varies)

Lease payments

  • Rent (0 – ,500)


  • Customer management software ( – 0 per month)
  • Bookkeeping and bookkeeping software (- per month)


  • Partition walls (about per square foot)
  • Flooring (.50 – per square foot)
  • Ceiling tiles ( to per package)
  • Paint (- per gallon)

Marketing costs

  • Website Design (0 – ,000)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) (0 – ,000)
  • Print and online advertising (0 to 0 per month)

Labor costs

  • CERTIFIED DRAWINGS ( – per hour)
  • Accounting staff ( to per hour)
  • General office staff ( to per hour)

Licenses and certifications

  • State Personal Trainer Certification (0-0)
  • CPR certification ( – 0)


The total cost of starting a personal training business varies and can range from ,000 to ,500 or more.

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Equipment and tools

When considering the cost of opening a personal training business, equipment is a major expense. According to Statista, the average cost spent annually on fitness equipment and apparel in the United States since 2016 was US.3 billion. This cost can be difficult to estimate as it will depend on the number of members you intend to serve and the type of programming you offer.

You’ll want to invest in quality commercial fitness equipment, such as free weights, stationary and spin bikes, cardiovascular machines, resistance equipment, and other budget-friendly fitness machines and tools, such as foam rollers. , yoga mats and stretch bands. Although the cost varies depending on the type and brand of equipment, according to FitsmallBusiness, a basic set of commercial gym equipment can range from ,900 for a personal studio to around ,000 for a larger one. facility. Although the cost may seem high, investing in commercial-grade equipment will help ensure that your members have a safe and enjoyable workout experience.

Additionally, while you will likely need the help of an expert technician to install and maintain the equipment, you may also need to consider specialized and/or additional equipment to provide more unique services, such as a swimming pool. , a trifecta bench, heavy ropes, and a Trebelt gymnasium. Additional and/or specialized equipment can range in cost from a few hundred to several thousand, depending on the type and brand of equipment. Additionally, you may need to invest in some additional tools and items, such as resistance bands, foam rollers, massage tools, and cardiovascular machines.

Finally, you may need to consider other overhead costs, such as rent, cleaning supplies, and other utilities. These costs can range from a few hundred dollars per month for small installations to several thousand dollars for larger ones. Additionally, many facilities require membership fees and/or upfront administration fees, which can range from a few dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the services you offer.

Taxes and permits

Starting a personal training business can require a significant investment and the costs associated with taxes and permits are important to consider. Depending on your business structure and the state in which you are incorporated, costs associated with taxes and permits may vary. Consult with a qualified tax attorney or accountant before starting a personal training business to ensure you meet all requirements and better understand the associated costs.

When starting a personal training business, you may need to consider the following tax and licensing costs:

  • Federal Taxes: The federal tax rate for personal services businesses, including personal training businesses, is 15.3% and is applied to any net income over ,000.
  • State Taxes: The average state tax rate is 5.29%. However, some states may require you to pay additional taxes such as unemployment and workers’ compensation taxes.
  • Business Licenses and Permits: The fees associated with obtaining business licenses and permits vary widely from state to state. Depending on the services you offer, you may need to apply for various types of licenses, such as a health permit to use special equipment or a massage license. Typical fees range from to 0.
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Additionally, you may have to pay public liability insurance and state tax returns. The average cost of liability insurance for a personal training business is between 0 and ,500 per year, depending on coverage and limits. State filing fees vary widely and can range from to 0.

The exact costs associated with taxes and permits for a personal training business will depend on the state you are in, the services you offer, and the business structure you choose. Be sure to do your research and consult qualified professionals to ensure you are aware of the costs associated with taxes and permits.


There is an important but often overlooked cost of an insurance policy for your personal training business. This type of business generally requires a specialized policy to ensure that your business, your employees, your customers and your premises are adequately covered.

It is important to know what type of insurance you need before getting a quote. For example, do you need public liability coverage? This may include claims of a client sustaining an injury during a session or of a client’s property being mistakenly damaged. Are you likely to work in multiple locations? If so, it’s important to include insurance coverage to cover you in the event of an accident or loss while on the move.

Commercial insurance can vary widely in cost and coverage, often depending on the type of policy. The average cost of insurance for personal trainers in the United States is estimated to be around ,000 per year. Coverage will vary depending on the individual policy, but policies can include coverage for loss of business income, professional indemnity, office contents, public and product liabilities and more.

To protect your business’ financial security, it’s important to determine the level of coverage required and shop around for the best rates.

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Lease payments

If you are looking to open or start a personal training business, you need to consider the costs associated with securing your fitness space. One such cost is the Lease Payments , which will vary depending on the size, location, and type of facility you plan to operate in. According to a recent survey, the average rental payment for fitness centers in major cities in the United States was .85 per square foot in 2019. This means that for a facility of approximately 5,000 square feet, the annual rental fee was approximately ,250 .

When renting gym space, keep in mind that you will likely need to use the space as is. This means you may need to be prepared to potentially pay for renovations and decorating upgrades. If you need specialized equipment and fitness machines, you may need to include this in the rental fee or negotiate with the owner separately.

You should also factor additional costs such as insurance, property tax payments, and repair costs into your overall budget for renting the space.

There are different types of rental agreements you can enter into.

  • A gross lease is one of the simplest options, where an all-inclusive rate is paid to a landlord over a predetermined time interval.
  • A net lease is where the tenant pays base rent plus additional charges for a range of services, such as maintenance and repairs.
  • A percentage lease is a type of flexible agreement, where the tenant pays an agreed percentage of their net income to the landlord.

The type of arrangement you accept is determined by the specific rental agreement and the landlord.


When starting a personal training business, one of the biggest costs is software. Depending on your needs, the cost of the software can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Some of the most popular software solutions for personal trainers include scheduling solutions, billing and payments, customer relationship management (CRM) software, workout programs and tracking, nutrition tracking and website development.

Software solution planning is an essential part of keeping your business running smoothly. They are used to schedule appointments, manage availability, verify clients and prepare invoices. Depending on the platform you choose, the cost of a scheduling solution can range from 0 to over ,000.

Billing and payments can be managed easily using specialized software. Systems that track payments and invoices help streamline the process and ensure accuracy. Most payment processing solutions come with plans ranging from to per month.

CRM software is also important for personal trainers. These solutions can help organize customer data, track referrals, manage leads, track customer progress, and more. Prices can range from to over 0 per month depending on the features you need.

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Workout programs and tracking software solutions help personal trainers track client progress and plan workouts more effectively. Prices for these solutions usually range from to 0.

Nutrition tracking software solutions provide support to personal trainers in the nutrition aspect of their business. It can be used to track calorie intake, monitor food intake, and provide nutritional support. Prices generally range from 0 to 0.

Finally, website development software can help personal trainers build an online presence and attract more clients. This includes creating a website, designing its layout, and creating content. The cost of website development software can range from several thousand dollars.


When opening your personal training business, it is important to keep the cost of furniture in mind. Depending on your vision for the business, you’ll want to make sure you have the necessary items to make your space as inviting and professional as possible.

When it comes to furniture, the cost will depend on whether you are buying new or used items. New items can range from 0 to ,000 for items such as desks and chairs, while the cost of used items will depend on quality and quantity. It may also be worth considering the possibility of renting items if the cost of buying them is too great.

If you want to integrate technology into your business, some of the costs you will need to consider include:

  • Computer – 0 to ,000
  • Printer – 0 to 0
  • Tablets – 0 to ,000
  • Cables and accessories – to 0

You may also need to consider purchasing additional items such as pencils, paper, posters, and stationery. Prices for these items can range from to 0 .

Finally, it’s worth considering updating your space with modern decor that’s welcoming to customers and aesthetically pleasing. Depending on the items you choose, decorations can range from 0 to ,000 , making it important to set a budget to ensure you don’t go overboard.

Marketing costs

Marketing is one of the major costs associated with starting a personal training business, and it can take up a significant portion of your budget. Although costs vary greatly depending on your target audience and your marketing methods, the following are some of the most common marketing costs for personal trainers:

  • Social Media Advertising: Placing ads on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your target audience. According to data from the US Small Business Administration, the average cost per click on social media ads is .53. Depending on the size of your advertising budget, you can expect to pay between and a day to promote your personal training business on social media.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ADS: Showing PPC ads on search engines like Google and Bing can help bring targeted traffic to your website. The average cost per click for PPC ads is usually around -, but this can vary depending on the keywords or phrases you are targeting.
  • Print advertising: Although less popular than in the past, print advertising can help you reach a niche audience. The average cost of a full-page ad in a local newspaper or magazine is around ,000, depending on the publication.
  • Direct Mail: Sending postcards, flyers, and brochures to potential customers is an effective way to promote your business. The cost of a direct mail campaign depends on the size and complexity of the materials you want to send, as well as the number of people you plan to reach. For example, the cost of a color postcard sent to 100 people is around 0.
  • Sponsorships: Depending on your target audience, you may be able to get sponsorships from local businesses or organizations. Depending on the type of sponsorship, costs can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.
  • Public Relations: Developing relationships with local media, bloggers, and influencers can help raise awareness of your business. The cost of working with a PR firm can range from 0 to ,000 per month.
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Labor costs

When opening a personal training business, one of the most important factors to consider is labor costs. Because labor costs are often the largest expense for businesses, it is essential to carefully consider this expense before going into business. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for all personal trainers in 2018 was ,390 (.42 per hour). However, depending on the city, state, and experience of the personal trainer, the cost of labor can vary widely.

In 2018, the median annual salary for personal trainers in the top five states for salaries was:

  • New York: ,770 (.95 per hour)
  • Connecticut: ,230 (.23 per hour)
  • Massachusetts: ,270 (.33 per hour)
  • Arizona: ,860 (.12 per hour)
  • New Jersey: ,650 (.99 per hour)

The lowest paid personal trainers can expect to earn ,200 (.12 per hour) , while the highest paid personal trainers will earn over ,160 (.03 per hour). ). These variable salaries reflect different skill levels, geographic differences and years of experience.

Business owners should consider these labor costs when deciding to open a personal training business. Additionally, owners must consider the cost of securing and maintaining adequate liability insurance, paying for background checks, certifications and licenses, salaries, benefits, and future salary adjustments. Consideration of these factors allows business owners to be better prepared and able to develop a realistic budget.

Licenses and certifications

Setting up a personal training business requires several certifications and licenses. If you’re building a physical service instead of an online trainer, you might need more than the standard professional certifications.

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professional certificate

This is the basic certification—or state-issued license—needed for a personal trainer. In most states, this involves taking a personal training and renewal exam every two years. The cost of the exam and application fee is usually between 0 and 0 USD.

Insurance Liability

Insurance is an important part of any business and personal training is no exception. According to the Simple Dollar, “general liability insurance generally covers a trainer in the event that their clients sustain an injury or have their property damaged as a result of their training sessions.” Professionals recommend keeping million in liability coverage. The average cost is ,200 per year.

Business license

In order to open a personal training business, you will need to apply for a business license. The typical cost for a business license is between and 0 USD, depending on city and state requirements.

Equipment Certifications

Your equipment will also require certifications or regulations. Regulations for some equipment may include proper installation and maintenance. The cost of equipment certifications and regulations can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the type and number of equipment needs.


Before starting your personal training business, you will need to invest in equipment and supplies, pay taxes, purchase insurance, invest in marketing and software, and purchase necessary licenses and certifications. Dropping on the size and scope of your business, start-up costs can range from ,000 to ,000. However, when done right, starting a personal training business can be a fulfilling and lucrative opportunity.

With thoughtful and strategic planning, you will be able to cover all associated costs and launch your business ready for success. By doing so, you’ll not only keep people fit and healthy, but you’ll also set yourself up for personal and financial success.