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beautifule woman applying lotion before indoor tanning in a salon lg

How to Open a Tanning Salon?

Alternative Small Business Funding

One of the best things about the modern technological world in which we live is that the barriers to entry in many industries have almost disappeared. Whether you want to start selling crocheted items or open a tanning salon, most of the hard work is done online, and this is achievable with a laptop and an internet connection.

Today, we have some valuable information for those planning to launch a tanning salon startup. As well as offering an introduction to the tanning industry, we’ll talk about the areas in which you’ll need finance as well as the process of actually financing a tanning salon. At the moment, you’re probably bouncing up and down with ideas, you just want to get your business started. However, it’s important to take a step back and approach the process critically before you make a simple mistake that damages the dream.

The Tanning Salon Industry - An Introduction

If you’re thinking about opening a tanning salon, you’ll be glad to know that the beauty industry is continually growing.  According to the latest estimates, around 670,000 people in the United States are employed in the beauty industry. Even after the pandemic, the market is expected to grow. With the worst of the pandemic seemingly behind us, tanning salons are reopening and customers are happy to be back.

By the end of 2023, the market will reach an estimated $800 billion. This is quite impressive considering that the value of the market was just over $530 billion back in 2017. Of course, tanning salons only account for a small percentage of the beauty industry, but the signs are positive for all niches. In the United States, the tanning salon niche is worth nearly $4 billion. This year alone, the market is expected to grow by 5%. In other words, you’re choosing a fantastic market to explore as a new business owner.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, nearly eight million people use indoor tanning salons regularly. While you might think that only a small number of men use tanning salons, it’s surprisingly high at around 1.8 million. With Floridians wanting to show off their tans in the lovely weather, you perhaps won’t be surprised to hear that around 8% of all American tanning establishments are based in this state. Yet, this doesn’t mean that you won’t find a location for your own salon.

As a tanning salon startup, you’ll need to pay attention to the trends in the industry. Namely, the concerns that many consumers have about the environment and their health. Consequently, more consumers seek spray tan and similar services.


Costs Associated with Opening a Tanning Salon

Before we launch into alternative financing solutions available through the South Florida Funding Group, we should first address the sort of costs you can expect as a tanning salon business. Before making big decisions, you need to know what sort of funding you’ll need both initially and as the business looks to survive and thrive.

Rent and Bills

While some people look to run their services from home, most will choose a location and open a salon. If you choose this route, you’ll need to pay rent as well as the associated bills (electric, heating, and more!). When financing a tanning salon, this probably isn’t somewhere to cut corners because you’ll need a strong location to attract customers.


Equipment is another important expense as a new business in the niche because, as mentioned, customers have options in Florida. When entering the market, you need to realize that every other tanning salon is a competitor. If they have better equipment than you, customers aren’t likely to walk through your door. With this in mind, you need to invest in the very best tanning equipment and offer the best service.

While some equipment is available for $2,000, others reach $30,000 and beyond. As well as sunbeds, you’ll need spray tanning equipment, sofas, chairs, and more.


Earlier, we said that the barriers to entry in many industries had disappeared because of the internet. For example, you can advertise on social media, generate positive word of mouth online, claim your Google My Business profile, and use other simple marketing tips. However, there are two problems:

  • Even free marketing opportunities like social media require you to invest time (and time is costly!)
  • This doesn’t completely eliminate the traditional costs of marketing

For example, tanning salons are local businesses and serve small communities. Traditional marketing techniques like leaflets, radio ads, and direct mail campaigns are still effective.


Finally, another expense that you can’t ignore these days is payroll and the costs that come with this process. During summer, some people continue visiting tanning salons because they want to feel confident when showing off their bodies. On the other hand, others stop visiting tanning salons because they use nature’s tanning service: the sun. How will you manage the quiet periods? How many staff members do you need?

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Opening a Tanning Salon

Step 1 - Research

Here are just some of the questions you’ll need to ask during the research stage:

  • Is there room for a tanning salon in my location, or is the market saturated?
  • What competitors exist in the market?
  • What services do competitors currently offer?
  • Do I need a license?
  • How much will equipment cost?
  • How will I finance the business?

Step 2 - Create a Business Plan

Essentially, you’ll use all the answers to the previous questions to form a business plan. Remember, a business plan acts as a guide during the initial stages of the company, and it also shows lenders that you’re not just waltzing into the market and expecting success. Your plan will describe the competition, the services you plan to offer, your pricing strategy, your marketing strategy, your financing plans, and more.

Step 3 - Consider Licenses and Insurance

Obtaining the correct licenses and insurance not only protects the business but also eases any fears that prospective customers may have about your service. If you only plan to provide spray tan services, you won’t need a license in Florida; this changes if you want to offer any sort of UV tanning.

Just because you don’t need a license for spray tanning doesn’t mean that you can’t impress customers with training certifications - you’ll find courses with the National Tanning Training Institute and various other professional bodies.

In terms of insurance, you’ll need to protect employees and hold policies to protect the salon in case anybody is injured on the premises.

Step 4 - Secure Financing

With this step, we reach the hardest stage of them all: getting the right financing for your business venture. Fortunately, we’ve dedicated a whole section of this guide to traditional and alternative financing.

Traditional Financing and Alternative Funding

So, how do you finance a tanning salon? The good news is that you have options. Even if you have bad credit, don’t assume that the dream is over because you could get the finance you need with some of the options below. The South Florida Funding Group can help you to get the financing you need whether you want to open a tanning salon or another service in the beauty niche; just browse our website and then get in touch for further information.

Without further ado, let’s launch into the best financing solutions whether you’re opening a new tanning salon or want to expand an existing salon!

Bank Loan

To start, this is the most traditional source of finance since the bank has been lending to aspiring business owners for many generations. When borrowing from the bank, you’ll have a long repayment period and enjoy strong interest rates on the borrowed amount. However, there are a few reasons why you might choose against a traditional bank loan:

  • You don’t have a strong credit history
  • You might not want to wait through the long application and approval process
  • You don’t have the required experience in business

SBA Loans

Often, SBA loans are advertised as the magical solution for all those who fail to qualify for traditional bank loans. In reality, they also have problems. For example, you’ll need to provide documentation for the business and need a relatively strong credit history. Like a bank loan, another issue is the time that passes between application and approval. If you aim to get started quickly, this isn’t your best option.

Despite the negatives, the interest rates are good, and the Small Business Administration secures up to 80% of the amount if you struggle with repayments. Also, these loans reach $10 million, and many businesses repay the amount over up to 25 years.

Unsecured and Secured Business Loans

Depending on your financial situation, the South Florida Funding group could help you to get an unsecured or secured business loan for your tanning salon adventure. If you were to choose an unsecured loan, you would need a strong credit history because this is the only security that a lender has on your profile and trustworthiness. On the other hand, a secured loan allows you to use an asset as collateral. If you were to miss payments, the lender would claim this asset in response.

The reason that more businesses are choosing secured and unsecured business loans over bank and SBA loans is that the former options have a faster application and approval process. With the South Florida Funding Group, you could get approval within just 24 hours. Once approved, you could receive funds within just three business days (this is sometimes even faster!).

Depending on the circumstances, you can borrow up to $500,000 (repayment is based on your future revenue).

Business Line of Credit

When talking about a tanning salon startup, we appreciate that not everybody needs to find funding for everything. Instead, it might be that you need some funds to meet running costs or other small expenses. If this is the case, a business line of credit is a solid option. Generally speaking, this working capital solution provides approval and funding within as little as three days, and you can borrow up to $500,000.

As a line of credit, the logistics are like a personal credit card. Therefore, you won’t need to pay any interest so long as you aren’t using the account (this is where it differs from a loan). Just dip into the pool of funds when you need to and repay at your convenience. Normally, lenders don’t need collateral and waiting periods are minimal.

Merchant Cash Advance

Although this perhaps doesn’t suit new businesses, it is an alternative funding method that has helped many existing companies. Essentially, you ask a lender to give you an advance on all future revenue. Once again, application and approval are simple with the South Florida Funding Group. The lender provides funding, and you then repay as a percentage of all future revenue; an ideal solution if you know that good times are around the corner.

Equipment Financing and Leasing

Finally, the fact that tanning salons require so much equipment also makes equipment financing and leasing an appropriate option. With our service, you can get approval within 24 hours and the agreement will last for between six months and 24 months. If you choose to lease equipment, you will pay a monthly fee but will never own the assets. With financing, you pay a monthly fee and become the owner both during and after the agreement.

Choosing The South Florida Funding Group

As you can see, your tanning business probably has access to more options than you first realized. The South Florida Funding Group has a track record helping businesses access alternative funding to launch and grow in the market. With us, you don’t need to worry about extensive application forms (ones that make you fall asleep as you reach page 132!); funding and approval are fast, and we can help with solutions that match your needs. Why not get in touch with our experts today?


The business funding you need when others say No!.

2569 Bay Pointe Dr.
Weston FL 33327




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