Upmetrics AI Assistant: Simplifying Business Planning through AI-Powered Insights. Learn How

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Massaging Business?

13 Min Read

cost to start a massaging business
Table of Contents
Writing a business plan?

Are you a professional massage practitioner wanting to start your own business? Well, you are in for a rewarding career.

Whether you are venturing with a specialized massage center, a mobile massage clinic, or a luxurious spa center—massage therapy services promise a spectacular business opportunity.

However, before you plan anything you might need an accurate answer as to how much does it cost to start a massage business. Having a thorough understanding of costs can help you plan and budget accurately.

Well, this blog post has some pretty clear answers for you. Give it a read and understand how different factors factor in to determine your initial capital requirement and the approximate costs of each.

Ready to get started? Let’s dive right in.

Average costs for starting a massage business

Before we dive into details, check out this massage business startup cost checklist. It will help you plan your startup budget and know how much financing you need to get started.

Item Average Cost
One-time Expenses
Lease Deposits $3,000-$5,000
Renovations $5,000 – $20,000
Massage Tables/Chairs $1,000 – $6,000
Rolling stools $300-$750
Linens & Washing Supplies $300 – $400
Oils, Lotions, & Creams $50 – $300
Cleaning and Hygiene Products $50 – $100
Certifications and Tuition $100-$5,000
Hiring and Training $4,000-$6,000
Legal Fees $500-$5,000
Signage $500 – $2,000
Licensing & Permits $100 – $1,000
Annual Insurance $1,200-$2,000
Marketing & Website $500 – $3,000
Business Plan $150- $200
Total One-Time Expenses $17,000-$56,750
Recurring Expenses (Per Month)
Lease $1,000 – $6,000
Payroll $2,000 – $8,000
Accounting software $100 – $500
Communication tools $100-$250
Marketing activities $100 – $800
Total Recurring Expenses $3,300 – $15,500
Total $20,000-$72,000

Using this massage startup cost checklist, you can plan your startup budget and get an idea of how much financing you will need.

How to calculate the cost of starting a massage business

You now have a list of potential expenses and a rough estimate of your startup costs. Let’s estimate your actual startup costs using these two proven methods.

The first, traditional method involves using a startup costs calculator to estimate the startup costs. However, the second, the Upmetrics method, is an innovative method that uses the Upmetrics financial forecasting tool.

Let’s understand both methods so that you can choose one that suits your requirements the best.

The traditional method—startup costs calculator

The calculator includes categories such as pre-trading, website setup, marketing, operations, and people. You can enter the estimated costs in each field and let the calculator estimate the costs for you.

Remember that many startup costs fall under recurring expenses, so cover those costs monthly, quarterly, or annually.

Calculate your startup costs using this calculator.

The Upmetrics method—financial forecasting tool

It is an intuitive and efficient method of calculating startup costs. Using Upmetrics will not just help you estimate startup costs but also help with financial forecasting.

All you need to do is enter your sales, costs, and other financial assumptions and let the tool calculate monthly/quarterly/ and yearly projections for you.

Check out the financial forecasting tool for accurate financial forecasting.


Check out the financial forecasting tool for accurate financial forecasting. Once you have an accurate estimate of startup costs, you can easily identify funding requirements for your staffing agency.

Financial Planning to calculate startup costs

Calculate Your Startup Costs

Once you accurately estimate startup costs, you can easily identify funding requirements for your massage business. 

Raising funds for a new startup is nerve-wracking and time-consuming, but having a solid massage business plan can make things a lot easier.

Let’s move ahead and discuss the factors that affect your massage business startup costs.

Factors that affect massage startup costs

The start-up costs for different massage businesses vary considerably depending on the following factors.

1. Professional Space

Getting a space for your massage clinic is a significant addition to your startup cost checklist. Unless you plan to start with a home massage clinic or a mobile clinic, this expense cannot be avoided.

Now, location plays a crucial role in determining how much you would be paying for a lease. Prominent locations in urban metropolitans rent between $7-$90 per sq. ft. annually. However, the same for less prominent locations might be leased at a lower price.

Another aspect influencing the price is the size of a massage parlor. Depending on your concept and how large or small you want the establishment to be, aim at getting a 300-2,000 sq. ft. location.

Now, the average US office listing rate was recorded as $37.35 per sq. ft. in 2023. Considering that average, be prepared to pay anywhere from $1,000-$6,000 for a lease every month.

Additionally, add security deposits worth 2-6 months of the lease to your calculation of startup costs, i.e. $3,000-$18,000.

You can consider another option of purchasing a space, however, be prepared to pay substantially higher amounts for the downpayment.

2. Remodeling

Getting a massage therapy space is not enough. You need to get it up and ready with an efficient layout and ambiance.

Now, leasehold improvements can cost anywhere from $5,000-$20,000 including costing for flooring, painting, decor, utility connections, and furniture.

If you are aiming for a luxury massage center, you will have to equip the parlor with luxurious decor and furnishings. In such cases, the costs for renovation could span up to $100,000.

The amount you spend on remodeling depends entirely on your massage parlor concept and the amount of work a space requires. However, having a realistic budget here is extremely important so that you don’t end up spending unnecessarily.

3. Massage Equipment

Setting up a massage therapy center with essential massage equipment is another expense to include in your startup cost calculation.

Now, you will require a variety of massage equipment, depending on what sort of massage center you are planning to open.

However, here are a few equipment massage therapists and massage professionals need and the approximate pricing of each:

Massage table

Whether you are offering normal therapeutic massage, sports massage, or prenatal massage- a massage table is essential. The pricing for professional-grade tables varies between $300-$2,500 each depending on its features and brand.

Rolling stools

These are essential for massage therapists to move freely and comfortably enabling them to perform efficiently. These are quite cost-effective priced anywhere from $100-$250 each.

Massage chairs

Practitioners offering seated massages must invest in massage chairs the pricing for which might vary between $300-$1,000.

Heating pads and bolsters

A Professional massage therapist invests in such accessories to enhance the comfort of their clients and the efficiency of their massage techniques. The pricing for heating pads and bolsters varies between $150-$300 and although they aren’t quintessential, investing in them is favorable.

All in all, it takes anywhere from $750 to $4,000 to equip a massage room with essential equipment. Now, budget for your massage therapy center accordingly taking into consideration the total number of massage rooms and your service offerings.

4. Massage Supplies

After setting up your massage room with essential equipment, it is now time to consider costs for supplies and essentials as well.

Here are a few supplies you need for your massage therapy business and the pricing for each.

Massage oils and lotions

Invest in a variety of oils and lotions to cater to the preferences of different clientele. This includes a variety of scented and unscented variants for different skin types. Consider spending anywhere from $50-$300 to stock essential oils and lotions.

Towels and Linens

Fresh linens and towels are essentials to include in your vanity. Consider building ample supply so that you can go for at least a couple of days without having to worry about laundry.

For a massage therapy center, building an extensive supply would cost $300-$400. However, for a mobile massage business, the scale of operations would remain limited. Hence, the supply would cost not more than $50-$200.

Oil diffusers and Aromatherapy

A massage therapy business needs to create a therapeutic environment for its clients that aids in relaxation. This is equally important even if you are offering mobile services. The costs for oil diffusers and aroma smells would cost nothing more than $50-$150.

Cleaning and hygiene products

For a small massage therapy business, investing in basic cleaning supplies like surface disinfectants, hand sanitizers, and gloves would cost between $50-$100.

Even if you are offering mobile massage practice, carry your own cleaning and sanitary supplies so that there is no compromise in your service offerings.

Identify if you require anything else for your massage therapy practice and build the vanity accordingly.

Overall, you can budget $500-$2,000 to get supplies for your massage therapy business business. However, these costs can extend up to $5,000 for a massage center with multiple massage rooms.

Lastly, if you are planning to sell these supplies, be prepared to spare $5,000-$10,000 on building initial inventory for the shelves.

5. Massage Therapy School

Before starting your own massage business consider getting professional certification or get tuitions from massage therapy schools.

Having an accreditation will help you in acquiring clients and establishing credibility.

Now, the tuition fees for massage therapy schools can vary anywhere from $5,000-$20,000 and more depending on the course curriculum and specialization.

And while this may seem expensive, it is an investment for your future as a massage therapist.

However, if attending school and full-time programs isn’t a feasible option, you can attend online classes and get accreditation from the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).

It’s mandatory in some states to get a massage therapy license to practice as a massage therapist. In such cases, having a massage certification will help acquire a license.

6. Payroll or Freelancing Fees

You need to hire and train massage therapists and other staff before you start a massage therapy business. Training is important so that you can build a reputable brand in the massage therapy industry.

Now, hiring and training is quite expensive. It takes anywhere from $4,000-$6,000 and more to hire a professional massage therapist for your business. This includes the cost of advertisement, recruitment, and training.

These costs can extend up to a couple of thousand dollars depending on the number of people you are planning to hire. However, budgeting $5,000-$20,000 for initial hiring sounds like a feasible plan.

Additionally, consider the payroll expenses of massage therapists for at least a couple of initial months. According to BLS, the average hourly wage of a massage therapist in the US is $23.97 and an annual wage is $49,860.

Keeping that in mind and your hiring plan, the monthly payroll expenses for the initial months could vary between $2,000-$8,000.

7. Legal compliance and Insurance

While calculating the cost of starting a massage therapy business, consider the costs associated with legal compliance and insurance.

To begin with, the cost of registering a massage business would vary between $150-$500 depending on your location(state) and business structure.

Additionally, you will require essential business licenses to run your massage center. This would include acquiring a professional massage therapy license, basic business license, zoning permits, health and safety permits, and special licenses.

The licensing fees would generally cost you between $100-$1,000. However, sometimes it can extend up to a couple of thousand dollars for a special license.

Now, if you are hiring legal help to look after registration and business setup, be prepared to pay up to $5,000 as your legal fees.

Coming to insurance, getting general liability insurance, professional liability, and worker’s compensation would result in annual premium payments ranging between $1,200-$2,500 and more depending on your coverage plans.

Most massage therapists make the mistake of not getting insurance for their business. This will result in unexpected large payments in the future when complicated situations arise.

Although, it may sound like an unnecessary expense initially, invest in insurance.

8. Marketing and Branding

It’s important to get the word of your massage therapy business center out before you open the doors for the customers. Extensive marketing and branding is the only way to do that.

Firstly, you need an informational and functional website offering information about your massage therapy business and its services. While the cost of building a website can be up to $2,000, it is possible to spend as little as $300 to get your massage business website live.

Additionally, you need to create marketing materials in the form of brochures, flyers, leaflets, business cards, and printed ads to make a local solid announcement. The costs for these can vary significantly between $150-$1,000 and more.

Also, consider the digital modes of marketing like paid ads, social media marketing, email marketing, and content marketing to promote your business. Spending $300-$700 on such activities initially can lead to fruitful results.

Lastly, fix your marketing budget for monthly activities and allocate it appropriately between different marketing activities.

Now that you have a thorough understanding of how different factors influence your start-up costs, let’s learn a few practical ways to reduce those costs.

Tips for reducing massage startup costs

Before you start budgeting for your massage therapy business, check these practical tips to start cost-efficiently.

1. Start with mobile service

When you start with a mobile business, you won’t have to incur expenses on a lease, renovations, and extensive massage equipment helping you limit your start-up costs considerably.

2. Rent a small cubicle

Instead of starting with a big massage therapy center, start small. Start by renting a small cubicle and work individually to cater to the clients. When you work individually, you won’t have to budget for hiring, payroll, and training of other massage therapists.

Again smaller the space, the smaller the expenses.

3. Offer limited services

Start with signature limited services instead of offering N number of diverse services. When you offer limited services, you will require limited equipment and supplies. Moreover, you won’t have to hire special massage practitioners, hence saving you costs.

4. Build a small inventory

Don’t build a large stock of inventory and supplies. Start with basic quality supplies and then start adding more variants as you grow. This will help you save a couple of hundred dollars at least, if not more.


And that’s it. By now you must have a rough understanding of how much does it cost to start a massage business. What next?

We will now calculate the actual costs for your massage business using our startup cost calculator and budget accordingly.

Use Upmetrics for Accurate Startup Cost Projections!

Looking to estimate your startup costs? Dive into Upmetrics! Our business plan software makes financial forecasting a breeze

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Author


Upmetrics Team

Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more


Reach Your Goals with Accurate Planning

No Risk – Cancel at Any Time – 15 Day Money Back Guarantee