How to Start a Massage Company

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Starting a therapeutic massage business is a great approach to someone looking for possibly part-time or full-time work in helping people heal their thoughts and bodies.

Massage therapists do need quite a bit of schooling and education in order to start their own businesses.

They also need to obtain licenses and certificates to be able to run legally in most claims.

Although it requires quite a bit of preparation, this type of business can be quite fulfilling for someone interested in promoting healthy living,    

The Easy Parts of Starting a Massage Business

For someone who has the suitable level of training, the process of giving massages might seem pretty easy. There are some other parts of operating a massage therapy company that are relatively easy as well.

Creating a Niche market

For massage therapy therapists who want to set themselves apart from rivals, one great way to create a niche is through offering specialty massage therapy options. Therapists may need extra certificates plus licenses to promote these specialty massage choices, which can include:  

  • Prenatal or pregnancy therapeutic massage
  • Oncology massage
  • Rehabilitation massage
  • Reflexology
  • Pain management massage
  • Sports recovery therapeutic massage
  • Hot stone massage
  • Child or infant massage

Working With Associated Businesses

As a massage therapist, you might be able to save some money upon rent by cooperating with related health businesses. Perhaps you could create a partnership using a chiropractor or a good acupuncturist to offer massage services in their offices. A spa, athletic studio, or yoga studio may allow you to set up a massage therapy room at an current business for a decreased rent cost.  

These types of areas and businesses usually will have people currently visiting them who may have an interest in massage. This extra foot traffic can introduce your business to a lot more clients quickly.

Perhaps the therapist could operate out of his / her primary location a couple of days a week and set upward shop inside a related business for another day or two every week.

Repeat Clients

When a customer finds a massage therapist he or she actually likes, chances are higher that the client will become a regular customer. Customers like the idea of having the ability to rely on the same therapist every week or month to receive great results.

If the massage therapy business owner treats the clients well while offering a great service, those people customers will be more more likely to return. Customer service is key to maintaining a steady set of return customers.

The Tough Parts of Starting the Massage Business

As with any small business, there are some elements to starting the massage therapy business which will be challenging. Mastering these tough areas can help the business weather difficult times and find a way to grow and thrive.

Passing the Necessary Exams

To get a license to work inside a certain state or city, the therapeutic massage therapist may have to complete certification examinations.

These exams will cover some scientific terminology about the human body, together with questions about massage therapy techniques. Some queries will deal with ethics and communication along with clients as well.  

Passing the particular exams is not a computerized process. According to the businesses that monitor these types of exams, only about two-thirds of people who take them will pass.

Accepting Health Insurance

By accepting health insurance claims, a massage therapy business will open up itself to a higher number of potential clients. For those clients whose health insurance covers massage costs, they may not even consider a massage therapy business that doesn’t accept health insurance.

However , handling health insurance claims can be a time-consuming and difficult process for the business proprietor. Filing claims by having an insurance company in the proper manner is not often easy. Making a error here may result in a significant delay within payment.

Some massage businesses just choose to avoid taking health insurance because of the hassles it causes.  

This is an important decision for massage therapy businesses to make. When the business has an employee who has experience dealing with insurance claims, this is often a significant benefit towards the business.

Selecting Customers

Having the ability to draw in new customers is really a path to success for almost any business, but it is especially important for massage therapy businesses. After all, a typical client is not going to walk into a massage business and request a session. Far more frequently, the customer will call ahead and book an appointment time.

Without walk-in visitors driving business, marketing and branding will be the main ways for a massage therapy therapist to find customers.  

Word of mouth marketing is another great way to find customers. People who were happy with the massage therapy at the business might recommend the company to friends and family. Offer discounts to present clients who suggest the business to other people.

To build a brand and a strong advertising presence, some massage therapy owners will employ a third-party entity that specializes in constructing brands for smaller businesses. Other massage therapy business owners may try to reduce your cost by doing the marketing themselves. This is a large decision for the viability of the business.

Working Long plus Unusual Hours

For someone who wants a business opportunity that will provide the ability to work normal business hrs, starting a massage therapy business probably is not the best choice.

Particularly when starting out, the therapeutic massage business owner likely will need to work odd hours. When the business has a small number of clients, it needs to match the needs of these clients, which could suggest working at night or on weekends.  

Long hours are typical for a new massage therapy business owner, especially person who is doing everything, including giving massages, gathering payments, scheduling sessions, and marketing the business.  

When the business grows as well as the owner decides to hire employees, he or she may be able to work a plan with normal hours. The owner could assign the other employees to operate some of the odd hrs and weekends.

Step 1 : Research the Required Credentials

Intended for someone looking to turn into a massage therapist, it takes training and certification. People will never be able to obtain the permit and necessary credentials for this profession without having passing educational lessons.

Follow Nearby Guidelines

Nearly all states as well as many larger cities need anyone performing deep massages to have licenses. In order to advertise as a massage therapy business, any employees performing massages must have the right licenses and credentials.

A number of states do not require licensing, but having certifications and effortlessly verifiable training will certainly legitimize your business within the eyes of customers.  

Understand Panel Certification Requirements

States that require certification for massage therapists often will have specific levels of training the applicant needs to have. Some of these requirements may include:  

  • Get accreditation from a identified organization, usually via passing a created exam
  • Undergo a certain number of hours of hands-on training, usually a minimum of 200
  • Spend a certain number of hours in formal instruction classes, usually at least 300
  • Agree to a code of ethics
  • Total ongoing education each year or two

It’s probable that the massage therapist will need board certification both at the condition and local ranges.

Obtain Your Credentials

To acquire licenses and qualifications, massage therapists should go through a minimum quantity of education and coaching. Some of the organizations which will help with obtaining the certifination include:

  • American Massage Therapy Association
  • Payment on Massage Therapy Accreditation
  • Massage therapy and Bodywork Licensing Examination
  • National Certification Panel for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork

Through these institutions, massage therapists can find classes and academic materials to help them pass exams and obtain credentials.  

When seeking a certified school for therapeutic massage, check with the Data source of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs from the U. H. Department of Education and learning. The Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation furthermore lists schools for massage therapists.

Join a Professional Organization

Some therapeutic massage therapists will want to join a professional organization right after obtaining their qualifications and receiving board accreditation. This type of membership provides customers confidence about the business and about the particular therapist’s education plus training.

The American Massage Therapy Organization is one of the oldest professional associations available for therapeutic massage therapists. It helps users find ongoing education opportunities, and it also maintains the industry’s code of ethics.

Step 2: Understand the Expenses Involved

Someone aiming to open a therapeutic massage business will have to invest some money upfront to prepare for the opening. Brand new owners can invest tens of thousands of dollars if they want, but you will find far cheaper choices as well.

Hiring Space

Selecting to rent space in a busy retail location can be helpful designed for driving traffic to any kind of business. However , getting plenty of foot traffic isn’t as essential for a massage business as for some other varieties of businesses. Most people will set up an appointment ahead of time to get a massage, rather than strolling into the business on the whim.

Leasing costs can operate from several 100 dollars per month to a couple thousand, depending on the amount of space plus location.  

Some people choose to conserve quite a bit of money upon rent by operating the massage business out of their homes at first. After the business starts to grow, the master then may choose to rent space somewhere else.


Therapeutic massage therapists will need equipment like a massage table, bolsters, wedges, sheets, lotions, and oils. These items can have a preliminary cost of several hundred dollars to a few thousands of dollars. Oils and lotions will need substitute on a regular basis.

For the therapist who wants to execute specialty massages, extra equipment may be required. Pregnancy massages need the use of special wedges and bolsters to back up the body of the expectant woman, for example.  

Depending on the type of atmosphere desired for the room, candles, warmed scent oils, music systems, and specialized lighting may be essential. Massage therapists may spend tens of thousands of dollars on decor to create a special atmosphere which will draw in clients and maintain them coming back. Specific types of decor might help the business appeal to higher end clients who will pay more.

Others therapeutic massage therapists may choose to spend far less, though, plus they may still have success. It really depends on the type of atmosphere the business is attempting to create.

Insurance coverage

A massage therapist will need to buy liability insurance for the business. Should somebody suffer an injury while visiting the business or file a civil lawsuit after a therapeutic massage, accusing the therapeutic massage therapist of dishonest conduct, liability insurance coverage should protect the business enterprise.  

With out insurance, the business is at risk from a simple mistake. Insurance could cost a few hundred dollars a month, but it is a worthwhile financial outlay for a business such as this.

Step 3: Set Up and Name the company

Starting a massage business will need the owner to make a choice on the type of company structure to use.  

Sole Proprietorship

For some therapeutic massage business owners, running the entity as a exclusive proprietorship is the best option. This is a simple company structure that requires very little preparation and expenditure.  

Functions best for a business proprietor who is operating the company as a part-time undertaking or as a side hustle. Perhaps the proprietor is doing massages for the weekends or at night while working an additional job.  

Sole proprietorships don’t need a name or even a special tax treatment. The owner will pay any kind of taxes through his or her own personal income tax form on Schedule Chemical. Through this schedule, the owner can use company expenses to counter some of the profits.

A significant downside to the sole proprietorship is it doesn’t offer an easy way to separate the business revenue from the owner’s personal income. This simply leaves the owner’s personal assets in danger of loss during a loan arrears or during a lawsuit for the business.


A much better option may be a restricted liability company (LLC). This type of business structure works well for small businesses. It is easy to set up, and yes it provides a clear splitting up between the finances and assets of the company and the owner’s personal assets.

With the LLC, if somebody sues the business or even if the business are not able to pay back a loan, the particular offended party has no ability to come following the owner’s personal property. In the eyes from the law, personal plus business assets are completely separate.

In the majority of declares, a small business owner may set up the LLC through the secretary of state office. This method usually costs a number of hundred dollars, based on the state. Filing the particular LLC forms is an easy process that only requires a few hours.

To register the LLC with a state, the owner will have to select a unique name. Owners thinking of choosing an LLC will be able to search the state’s database for titles already in use, permitting the selection of a unique title. Consider selecting a title that also has availability for a website as well as for social media accounts to ensure consistent branding.

Step 4: Understand Advertising and Marketing

For a massage therapy business, marketing and promotion are really important. The business’ initial client checklist may consist of family and friends, but to grow the company, it will need to pull consist of types of clients.

Digital Branding

As we mentioned earlier, having a website plus social media accounts that every use the same logos and name for that massage business is useful. Potential clients are likely going to research your massage therapy business online before they make an appointment. They will need rates, customer reviews, and some pictures of the space.

The business and the appearance of the website should reflect the feeling the proprietor wants to create to get clients.  


Convincing new clients to try a brand new massage therapy business is challenging. Think about the type of client the business wants to attract, and then market to the people people.

When marketing to active professionals, emphasize the particular weekend or night time appointment options, by way of example. To cater to new customers, consider offering a one-time special price for them. If the company offers specialty massage therapy options, make sure clients know about them.  

Consider asking businesses like chiropractors or athletic instructors to give you referrals in return for you providing recommendations to those businesses. Perhaps those businesses will allow the massage counselor to have flyers obtainable or to hang indicators in their businesses in exchange for the same courtesy at the therapist’s business.

Step 5: Prepare for Opening

When it’s time to open, consider whether hiring an employee or two would be a good idea. With no extra employees, the business owner will need to plan appointments, collect obligations, and order materials. For a busy massage therapy business, it may be hard to perform all of these procedures alone.

If the massage therapist decide to accept health insurance states, this adds one more layer of difficulty for the business owner. Hiring help may be a necessity when offering this service. An employee can help with laundering sheets along with preparing the massage therapy room for the next client as well.

To hire employees, the particular massage business will need to have an Employer Identification Quantity (EIN) from the INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE. This number identifies the business for tax purposes. It works regarding both state and federal fees.

In some claims, a business may need to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage for its employees, regardless of how many employees they have and regardless of whether the particular employees are part-time or full-time.

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