• The cost of starting a tattoo parlor varies, based on many factors. You'll need to consider costs regarding artists, equipment, location, licensing and insurance. On average, the cost to start a tattoo business ranges from $10,000 tp $50,000. Draft up a rough business plan and begin to factor in all the costs before writing out checks or taking out loans.


    Most artists will expect an hourly base wage plus commission. Though you can institute a commission-only policy within your shop, higher-caliber artists are generally attracted to a shop that offers a quality hourly base.


    The basic equipment for tattooing (e.g., liners, shaders, inks) can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000 per artist. To keep costs down, some studios require their artists to provide their own machines. However, don't forget you will be responsible for providing furniture, office equipment, flash art and additional supplies.


    Obviously, renting or buying a space for your parlor is a must. Set aside a large chunk from within your business plan to cover the cost of a work space.


    Factor in a shop sign and additional ways to advertise. Viable options for advertising your business include billboards, newspaper and trade magazines ads, flyers and posters.


    Though not all states require it, liability insurance coverage is usually considered a must for tattoo parlors. Coverage costs vary widely and you will need submit a decent amount of information to get an accurate quote from an insurance agent.

    Additional Considerations

    Many states regulate tattoo studios and you will need to check licensing costs and procedures within your state.



    More Information:

    AAA Tattoo Directory: State tattoo regulations

    SBA: Small business loans and advice

    Professional Program Insurance Brokerage: Tattoo insurance

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