How to Start a Spray Tan Business: A Step-by-Step Guide to Success

Are you tired of the same old 9-5 grind? Want to break free from the monotony and start your own business? Have you ever considered starting a spray tan business? Not only is it a growing industry, but it is also one that can be started with little to no overhead costs. With the right mindset and a few simple steps, you can be on your way to running a successful spray tan business.

First and foremost, you need to do your research. Familiarize yourself with the industry, the competition, and the potential market in your area. Determine what sets you apart and how you can make your business stand out. Once you have a clear understanding of the industry, it’s time to create a business plan. This should include your financial goals, marketing strategies, and a timeline for launch. Don’t forget to also research and obtain any necessary licenses and permits.

Next, find a location for your business. This can be a commercial space or even a home salon, depending on your target market and budget. Set up your space with all the necessary equipment and supplies, such as a spray tan machine, solution, towels, and disposable garments. Start to build your brand through social media and networking in your community. Remember, the key to a successful spray tan business is providing exceptional service and creating a positive customer experience. With hard work and determination, you can create a thriving spray tan business that allows you the freedom and flexibility you desire in your career.

Conduct Market Research

Before starting a spray tan business, it is important to conduct thorough market research to ensure a successful venture. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Identify your target market. Determine the demographics of your potential customers, such as age, gender, and income level.
  • Research your competition. Look at other spray tan businesses in your area and analyze their pricing, services, and marketing strategies. Identify gaps in the market that you can fill.
  • Conduct a survey. Ask people in your target market if they would be interested in spray tanning services and what they would be willing to pay for them. This will give you valuable insights into your potential market.

By conducting market research, you can gather important data that will help you make informed decisions about your business, from pricing to marketing. You’ll also be able to identify any potential challenges or opportunities in the market and adjust your business plan accordingly.

Develop a Business Plan

Before starting any business, it is essential to develop a business plan. A business plan is a document that outlines your business goals, strategies, and financial projections. It serves as a blueprint for how your business will operate and achieve success. Here are some essential elements to include in your spray tan business plan:

  • Executive Summary: This section introduces your business and provides a brief summary of your business plan.
  • Market Analysis: In this section, you will conduct research on your target market and competitors. Identify your unique selling points and how you can differentiate yourself from other spray tan businesses in the area.
  • Operations Plan: This section outlines the day-to-day activities of your business. It includes details such as equipment needed, pricing strategy, and staff requirements.
  • Marketing Plan: Describe how you will attract and retain customers through various marketing channels, such as social media, local advertising, and referrals.
  • Financial Plan: This section includes your startup costs, projected revenue, and profit and loss statements. It is essential to have a solid understanding of your financials to ensure the sustainability of your business.

Research Local Regulations

Before launching your spray tan business, it is critical to research local regulations. Laws and regulations related to spray tanning can vary from state to state, so it is essential to understand the rules and regulations in your area.

Some local governments require spray tan technicians to be licensed or certified, while others may require additional permits or inspections. Check with your state’s board of cosmetology to ensure you are complying with all regulations.

Secure Funding

Starting a spray tan business requires a significant upfront investment in equipment, supplies, and marketing. You may need to secure funding to cover your startup costs. Consider applying for a small business loan from your bank or exploring alternative funding options such as crowdfunding or angel investors.

Expenses Estimated Cost
Equipment (Spray tan machine, tent, compressor, etc.) $3,000-$5,000
Supplies (Spray tan solution, disposable thongs, hairnets, etc.) $500-$1,000
Marketing (Website development, business cards, flyers, etc.) $500-$1,500
Rent/Lease for booth $500-$1,500/month
Insurance $500-$1,000/year

Remember to include these costs in your financial plan to ensure you have a clear picture of your expenses and revenue projections.

Choose a Business Name and Register Your Business

Choosing the right business name can make all the difference when starting a spray tan business. Your business name should be memorable, catchy, and easy to spell. It should also reflect the nature of your business and be easy to recognize. You can brainstorm ideas with family and friends, or even consider hiring a professional branding agency to help you come up with a name that truly resonates with your target audience.

Once you have chosen a name, you will need to register your business with your local state government. This process will vary depending on your location, but generally involves filling out some paperwork, paying a fee, and providing some basic information about your business. It is important to research and understand the legal requirements for registering a business in your area.

Steps to Register Your Business:

  • Choose a name for your business that is unique and not already in use by another company
  • Check the availability of your chosen business name with your state government
  • File the necessary paperwork to register your business with your state government

Trademark Your Business Name

Trademarks protect your business name and brand identity from being used by others without your permission. You can file for a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or hire a trademark attorney to guide you through the process. Getting your business name trademarked can provide you with legal protection and help you stand out in a crowded market.

Consider Business Structure Options

Choosing the right business structure for your spray tan business is crucial. Each structure option has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on your needs and goals. Common options include:

Business Structure Description
Sole Proprietorship A business owned and operated by one person. The owner is responsible for all the company’s debts and liabilities.
Partnership A business owned by two or more individuals who share in the profits and losses of the company. Each partner is personally liable for the company’s debts.
LLC (Limited Liability Company) A business structure that provides liability protection for its owners. The company is taxed separately from its owners.
Corporation A separate legal entity from its owners. Corporations provide the greatest liability protection for their owners but are subject to more regulations.

Consulting with a lawyer or accountant can help you determine which business structure is best for your spray tan business.

Obtain necessary licenses and permits

Starting a spray tan business requires the proper licenses and permits from your state or local government. This ensures that your business operates within the legal framework and promotes safety and health standards to your clients.

  • Check requirements: Every state has different requirements for getting licenses and permits for different types of businesses. Research your state’s requirements and regulations for obtaining a spray tan business license and permit. Inquire from your local authorities, state government, or check online for specific licensing forms and fees.
  • Business name registration: When starting a spray tan business, it is important to register your business name as per the regulations. The business name must coincide with the legal name of your business. Acquire a tax ID number to register your business name and entity legally.
  • Safety compliance: Depending on your location, you may need to comply with specific regulations to open your spray tan business. These may include building codes, fire safety clearance, and sanitation compliance. All equipment must be approved and safe for use to avoid liability or injury to clients.

To ensure that you start your spray tan business legally, start by obtaining all necessary licenses and permits. This helps avoid costly fines, lawsuits, and possible closure that can harm your business in the long run.

Choose a location or decide on mobile services

When starting a spray tan business, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether you want to set up a physical location or offer mobile services. Both options have their pros and cons, so it’s important to carefully weigh your options before making a decision.

  • Physical Location: If you decide to go the physical location route, you’ll need to find a suitable space to rent or buy. Consider factors such as foot traffic, accessibility, and visibility when choosing a location. Having a physical location can help establish your business as a trusted, reliable option for those looking for spray tans in the area. It also allows you to create a welcoming atmosphere that can help build your brand and reputation. However, setting up a physical location can also be expensive, and you’ll need to invest in equipment and supplies to furnish your business. You’ll also need to consider factors such as rent, utilities, and insurance.
  • Mobile Services: Mobile services are a great option for those who want to offer spray tans on the go. With mobile services, you have the flexibility to go directly to your clients wherever they are, whether that’s at home, at a party, or at a hotel. This can make it more convenient for clients to receive spray tans, particularly if they have busy schedules. Mobile services can also be less expensive to set up, as you won’t need to invest in a physical location or rent. However, you’ll still need to invest in equipment and supplies, and you may need to factor in the cost of travel and transportation when pricing your services.

Ultimately, the decision between a physical location and mobile services will depend on your business goals, budget, and personal preferences. Consider your target audience and the market demand in your area when making the decision, and be sure to do your research before committing to one option.

Purchase Equipment and Supplies

Starting a spray tan business requires proper equipment and supplies to provide quality service to your clients. Investing in the right tools and products will help you ensure your clients receive professional and satisfactory results. Here are some essential items to consider when starting your spray tan business:

  • Spray Tan Machine – The core equipment of your business is a spray tan machine. You have two options: HVLP or LVLP. HVLP is high volume, low-pressure machine that is good for a salon or commercial business. LVLP is low volume, low-pressure machine that is suitable for home businesses or mobile tanning. Make sure to invest in a high-quality machine that gives you fine control over the spray pattern and intensity.
  • Spray Tan Solutions – Tan solutions come in different shades to suit different skin tones and preferences. You may need to offer several different formulas to please your clients. Always use vegan and cruelty-free options that are safe and do not contain harmful chemicals.
  • Spray Tan Booths – A spray tan booth keeps your work area clean and prevents overspray on walls, clothes, and furniture. It also provides the necessary ventilation to keep vapors and fumes away from your face. You can choose from open-air or pop-up tents that can be disassembled for easy transportation and storage.
  • Bronzers and Moisturizers – Bronzers serve as a temporary tan that develops instantly while the DHA takes proper time to fully develop. Moisturizers help to repair the skin and keep the spray tan intact for a long time.
  • Disposable undergarments – For your clients’ comfort and hygiene, you will need to provide disposable undergarments, including thongs, bras, and hair caps. These items should be discarded after each use.
  • Cleaning Supplies – To keep your equipments and workspace clean and maintained, you will need cleaning supplies like HVLP cleaning pots and cups, spray gun cleaning brushes, face masks, and sanitizers.


Purchasing quality equipment and supplies is essential to start a successful spray tan business. Be mindful of the proper usage, care, and cleaning of your materials to provide consistent and satisfying results to your clients.

Hire and Train Staff If Necessary

Starting a spray tan business requires a lot of work, and as your business grows, you might need to hire more staff to help you manage your operations. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to hiring and training staff:

  • Define your needs: Before you start recruiting, you need to define what roles you need to fill and what skills are required for those roles. For example, you might need a spray tan technician, a receptionist, or a marketing specialist, each with a different set of skills and qualifications.
  • Write a clear job description: Once you have defined your needs, you need to create a clear job description that outlines the responsibilities, qualifications, and requirements for each role. This will help you attract the right candidates and ensure that everyone understands what is expected of them.
  • Recruit the right people: To find the right people, you can post job ads on job boards or social media, or work with a staffing agency to help you find qualified candidates. When you receive applications, make sure to screen them carefully and conduct interviews to get a better sense of whether the candidate is a good fit for your business.

Once you have hired your staff, it’s important to train them properly to ensure that they can perform their job duties effectively. Here are a few tips:

  • Create a training plan: Before you start training, create a plan that outlines what topics you need to cover, how long each training session will be, and who will be responsible for delivering the training.
  • Use a variety of training methods: People learn in different ways, so use a variety of training methods such as hands-on training, videos, written materials, and quizzes to ensure that your staff fully understands the material.
  • Provide ongoing training: Training shouldn’t be a one-time event. Your staff will need ongoing training to keep their skills up to date and stay on top of industry trends and best practices. Consider setting up regular training sessions or investing in online courses that your staff can take on their own time.

By taking the time to hire and train the right staff, you’ll be able to build a strong team that can help your spray tan business thrive and grow.

Remember, building an exceptional team doesn’t stop at hiring and training. Providing feedback on job performance, fostering a positive work environment, and career growth opportunities are some ways to retain that exceptional team.

Benefits of Hiring Well-Trained Staff Benefits of Poorly Trained Staff
  • Increased productivity
  • Better customer service
  • Fewer mistakes and errors
  • Increased sales and profits
  • Improved employee satisfaction and retention
  • Lower productivity
  • Poor customer service
  • More mistakes and errors
  • Lower sales and profits
  • Decreased employee satisfaction and retention

As you can see, hiring well-trained staff has many benefits, including increased productivity, better customer service, and higher profits. On the other hand, poorly trained staff can lead to lower productivity, poor customer service, and a decrease in profits. By investing in your staff’s training, you’ll be investing in the success of your business.

Develop a pricing strategy

Setting a pricing strategy for your spray tan business is a crucial step towards success. Your pricing structure should be competitive, yet profitable, for both the business and the customers. Here are some tips you can follow as you develop your pricing strategy:

  • Research your market: Start by researching the pricing of other spray tan businesses in your area. Take note of their services and prices and use this information to set a competitive yet profitable pricing structure for your business.
  • Determine your costs: The first step in developing your pricing strategy is to determine your costs. Calculate the costs of your spray tan solution, equipment, rent, and other overhead expenses. This will help you determine the minimum amount you should charge for your services.
  • Consider your target market: Your target market plays a significant role in your pricing strategy. If you’re targeting high-end customers who are willing to pay top dollar for quality service, you can set higher prices for your services. On the other hand, if you’re targeting a budget-conscious market, you need to set prices that are affordable for them.

When setting your prices, make sure it covers your costs and generates profit while being affordable to your target market. Consider any unique features of your services, such as mobile services or add-ons, and how they impact your pricing.

You should also determine how discounts, promotions, and packages fit into your pricing strategy. Perhaps offering discounts to first-time customers or implementing loyalty programs for repeat customers could contribute to your overall business strategy.

Service Price
Full Body Spray Tan $40
Half Body Spray Tan $25
Face Only $15

Make sure your prices are visible across all your marketing channels to avoid confusion. A clear pricing strategy will help you attract customers, set prices that are profitable, and grow your business successfully.

Create a Marketing Plan

A successful spray tan business needs a solid marketing plan to attract and retain customers. You want to make sure you are reaching your target audience and promoting your services effectively. Here are some key aspects to consider when creating a marketing plan:

  • Define your target audience: Before you start any marketing efforts, make sure you know exactly who your ideal customer is. Consider factors such as age, gender, lifestyle, and spending habits. This will help you tailor your messaging and choose the most effective marketing channels.
  • Create a brand identity: Your brand is everything your business stands for and how it is perceived by customers. Establish your brand identity by choosing a name, logo, colors, and tagline that reflect your values and personality. This will make it easier for customers to remember and recognize your business.
  • Choose your marketing channels: There are many different marketing channels to consider, including social media, email marketing, advertising, and events. Choose the channels that are most likely to reach your target audience and fit your budget. Consider partnering with complementary businesses to reach a wider audience.

Once you have a plan in place, you can start promoting your services and attracting new customers. Make sure to track your results and adjust your marketing efforts as needed. With a strong marketing plan, your spray tan business can be a success!

Learn and follow safety and health regulations

When starting a spray tan business, it is crucial to prioritize the safety and well-being of your clients. Here are some safety and health regulations to follow:

  • Always wear protective gear such as gloves, masks, and eyewear to prevent skin and lung irritations.
  • Ensure that your tanning solution is FDA-approved and free of harmful chemicals such as parabens, gluten, and sulfates.
  • Store your tanning solution in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to maintain its quality and avoid spoilage.

To further ensure the safety and satisfaction of your clients, it is important to maintain a clean and hygienic environment in your spray tan business. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Sanitize your tanning equipment regularly, and replace the nozzles and filters as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Provide disposable undergarments and protective hair caps for clients to wear during the spray tan session.
  • Have a well-ventilated area to prevent the buildup of fumes and unpleasant odors.

By following these safety and health regulations, you can rest assured that your clients will have a positive and safe experience in your spray tan business.

Frequently Asked Questions about Starting a Spray Tan Business

1. How much money do I need to start a spray tan business?

To start a spray tan business, you will need to invest in spray tan equipment and products. You may also need to rent a space or set up a mobile operation. On average, starting costs can range from $5,000 to $10,000.

2. Do I need a license or certification to offer spray tans?

Licensing and certification requirements may vary by state or country. Some places may require you to have a cosmetology or esthetician license, while others may require a specific spray tan certification. Be sure to research your local requirements before starting your business.

3. What kind of spray tanning equipment do I need?

You will need spray tan equipment such as a spray gun or machine, air compressor, and spray tan solution. It’s important to invest in quality equipment to ensure your clients receive a flawless tan.

4. How do I market my spray tan business?

Marketing your spray tan business can include social media promotion, offering specials or discounts to first-time clients, and partnering with local businesses to cross-promote services. You may also want to invest in a website and search engine optimization to increase your online presence.

5. How do I ensure customer satisfaction?

Providing excellent customer service and a quality spray tan experience is key to ensuring customer satisfaction. Be sure to communicate with your clients about their desired tan shade, provide clear instructions on pre- and post-tan care, and offer touch-up sessions if needed.

6. Should I have a physical location or offer mobile spray tans?

Deciding whether to have a physical location or offer mobile spray tans depends on your target market and personal preference. Having a physical location provides a professional space for clients to receive their spray tans, while offering mobile services can provide convenience for clients who prefer in-home tanning.

7. What are the risks involved in a spray tan business?

While spray tans are generally safe, there are potential risks such as skin irritation or allergic reactions. It’s important to educate yourself on proper techniques and products, provide a thorough consultation for each client, and have insurance coverage for your business.

Closing Thoughts: Thank You for Reading!

Starting a spray tan business can be a fulfilling and profitable venture with the right preparation and dedication. Remember to research local requirements, invest in quality equipment and products, and market your business effectively to attract clients. Always prioritize customer satisfaction and educate yourself on potential risks involved. Thank you for reading and we hope to see you again soon for more helpful business tips!