How to start a tattoo business

Ever thought of opening your own tattoo shop? In this article, you can find almost everything you might need to consider before opening your own tattoo store.

Blog author
Ink Public Team
August 9 2021

Starting a tattoo business may seem a bit daunting, but it will surely be successful with excellent preparation and commitment. A tattoo business has similar fundamentals to any other store you would run. You have to maintain excellent customer service, marketing for your business, and relate to the community. However, there are some aspects of running a tattoo business that is unique only to it. Taking all these into consideration can pave the way for success.


Business fundamentals


A great place to start planning for your business is fundamentals: expenses, licenses, legal requirements, and setting up a company. The first one can be tackled by dividing the costs into two parts: fixed and variable. Fixed expenses are the ones that occur every month and have a fixed price. These include rent, council tax, and insurance. Then, for variable costs, you have to consider utilities, the workers’ wages, booking software, and stocking up equipment. If you are unfamiliar with the money and tax side of the business, you might want to consider hiring an accountant to help you out. That way, you won’t have to spend time worrying about calculating taxes and payments and can focus on your customers. 


For any business to be legitimate, it must comply with the local law. A great idea would be to set up an LTD, open a business account, and look up local laws for starting your brick and mortar store. To be a working tattoo business, you will need to get a tattoo license. You can do that by applying for it via the government website. The license conditions may vary depending on your location.

start tattoo business business fundamentals



Another essential aspect of your new store is the location. Is it easily accessible? Are there parking spaces? Is there a lot of foot traffic outside the store? Is there a lot of competition in the area? Is there a demand for your services in that location? These are all relevant questions you might want to ask yourself while looking for a rental place. On top of that, some great points to consider are the council tax, since it will be a fixed, recurring expense. Moreover, you might want to look into the average household income in the area, as it might suggest the level of expendable income people are willing to spend.


When you figure out what kind of area you want to be in, consider the interior and space requirements. As a tattoo store, you will need more sinks and space for tattooing chairs. So thinking about how large you want your store to be at this point is a great idea. You wouldn’t want it to feel crowded in the future due to being unable to expand.

start tattoo business choose location

Artists are the core of the store.


If you are an artist wanting to found your store, you probably know that artists make the store. They bring in customers with their talents and retain them by providing consistent results. 

start tattoo business bring your clients


If you are not an artist, consider collaborating with an already established artist with their clientele. They will help you gather insights within the industry, and while working together, you can create a great business. Moreover, if the artists have an already established client base, you will not have to worry about bringing some customers to your store. 

Additionally, you can arrange guest artist appearances to generate more people coming in and talking about your tattoo store. It is a great way to put your store’s name in the industry.




A tattoo store is not your usual business. It requires a lot of specific equipment to provide the services and be able to upkeep the hygiene requirements. Hence, you will need to invest in sterilisation tools, like an autoclave, or other sterilising equipment used in the store. This is of utmost importance since it translates into the quality of services provided by your tattoo business. 

start tattoo business choose best equipment

On top of that, other equipment includes furniture, inks, lamps, sinks. Although the equipment used by different tattooists may vary, so you might want to figure out which equipment will be provided by the store and which equipment the artists will need to equip themselves.


Marketing, customer service, and management


Finally, consider the soft skills, marketing, and management needed to run a successful business. Marketing is critical to get the word out about your new business and consistently attract customers. There are some great booking tools out there that can help you get two birds with one stone by marketing your store and managing customer appointments as well. Social media marketing is a powerful tool to attract customers and keep them coming back. Consider using social media in a promotional sense, draw attention to ads and contests. It’s a great way to engage with your audience and connect with the community. Combined with excellent customer service and quality tattooing, all of this can create a snowball effect and fill your space with positive reviews and testimonials that will spread the word about your tattoo store even further! 

start tattoo business manage customers online review social media

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