What’s The Cost of Starting a Barber Shop 

by Jay Kang | Updated on April 6th, 2023
opening a barbershop

Are you thinking of opening your own barber shop? Owning a business can be both exciting and intimidating. If you’re not sure where to start or what to expect in terms of costs, this blog post is for you!


We’ve rounded up the major costs associated with opening a barber shop so you can plan ahead and make sure it’s the right move for you.

With a few minor exceptions, the cost analyses for opening barbershops in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia are almost identical.

As an illustration, the price of essential elements in a barbershop, such as clippers, clipper sterilizers, combs, mirrors, flat-screen TVs, sound systems, scissors, shampoos, shaving powders, hair dye/color, hair creams, aftershave, and other barbering accessories and supplies, are similar, especially when compared to US Dollars.

Industry 

Barbershops have been around for centuries and are presently seeing a popularity spike. The grooming of men and boys is their area of expertise. They provide various services, such as hair cutting, shaving, hair care, and more. Many of them also sell specialized hair and shaving supplies.

Many barbershops benefit greatly from the small-town, close-knit feeling they can create with their clients. Traditionally, barbershops are tiny and have a small number of employees. Barbers are renowned for chatting with their clients as they work, which develops a rapport and familiarity with them. 

In many respects, barbers provide their clients with an experience rather than merely a haircut or shave. This experience and a focus on the client’s unique style and preferences enable barbers to cultivate a devoted clientele.

To provide what their clients want, barbers must stay current with the newest trends as the barbershop market is continuously changing. The National Barbers Association claims that the growing popularity of shorter hairstyles among women is a significant trend that barbers should embrace. 

Although barbers typically serve males, inviting more women to the business can attract a new clientele. Numerous people, including parents, businesswomen, and celebrities, want to cut their hair short and alter their hairstyles. Barbershops’ cuts should be displayed to male and female customers.

Elegance points out that the rising importance and value men place on grooming will be advantageous for barbershops. Customers are prepared to spend more on individualized care and higher-quality items they may obtain at their local barber, even when they can get inexpensive razors and supplies online. 

Due to a rise in demand for specialized services like hot towel shaves, barbershops see a return.

Start-Up Costs for a Barber Shop

Chester, Cheshire, England - July 2021: Handwritten sign in the window of a shop in which a new barbers shop is opening

These are the major investments you need to make when opening a medium-sized yet average barbershop in the USA:

  • A sum of $750 is required to register the business in the United States of America.
  • Accounting services (software, P.O.S. machines, and other software) and legal fees for acquiring licenses and permissions total $3,300.
  • A total of $3,580 on flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) and marketing promotion costs for the barbershop’s grand opening, totaling $3,500.
  • A business consultant may be hired for $2,500, which includes business plan drafting.
  • The overall premium for insurance coverage (general liability, workers’ compensation, and property casualty) is $2,400.
  • $50k would be needed to cover the rent for a year at the rate of $1.76 per square foot.
  • $5,000 will be spent on the shop’s renovation.
  • Stationery costs ($500), phone and utility deposits ($2,500), and other startup costs
  • The operational costs for the first three months were $60,000 (staff salary, utility payments, etc.).
  • Start-up inventory costs $20,000 and includes clippers, combs, mirrors, flat-screen TVs, music systems, scissors, shampoos, shaving creams, hair conditioners, and other barbering equipment.
  • Equipment for the store (cash register, security, ventilation, and signage) is priced at $13,750.
  • The price for the furniture and technology (telephone, tables, chairs, etc.) was $4,000
  • A website’s development and hosting will cost you $600.
  • Opening party expense: $2,000
  • Others: $5,000

A medium-sized, typical barbershop may be successfully established in the US with an estimated investment of $150,000. Please be aware that this sum only applies to one barbershop and covers all employee pay for the first three months.

It will cost between fifty thousand and one hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($50,000 to $150,000) to open a small-scale yet typical barbershop.

You should plan on spending well over five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) when opening a normal, large-scale barbershop with numerous locations in important American cities and a business to sell franchises.

How Much Does Buying a Barber Shop Franchise Cost?

The average cost of buying a barbershop franchise in the US is $120,000. Three well-known barbershop franchising businesses in the USA include:

  • Hammer & Nails/Grooming Shop for Guys
  • Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids
  • Image Studios 360

Lowest Cost of Opening a Barbershop

When it comes to the lowest cost of opening a barbershop, it is possible to open one with a minimum capital investment of $5,000. This is only possible if you opt for the most basic equipment and limit your staff to just one or two barbers.

However, for most barbershops, it is recommended that you invest at least $50,000 to $150,000 in order to provide quality service and products. This includes factors such as hiring barbers, cleaning and retrofitting the space, buying essential equipment like salon chairs or barber chairs, and other necessary supplies.

Additionally, if you are looking to open a larger-scale salon or barbershop with multiple chairs and staff members, it may cost you up to $42,573 in start-up expenses.

The following are some elements that will affect how much it will cost to start a barbershop in the USA

13 Elements That Impact a Barbershop’s Opening Cost

Hair stylist cleaning his work space during pandemic isolation, he wears protective equipment. Hair stylist disinfecting work space. Hair cutting during pandemic

Barbershop type

The kind of barbershop you wish to start will significantly impact the overall cost of doing business. A barbershop offers grooming solutions for men, kids, and even women.

Most children’s barbershops go above and beyond providing basic services by setting up amenities to draw youngsters. 

When kids are waiting for their turn, they typically have toys, video games, and play spaces for them to enjoy. Additionally, some barbershops provide home services. It is a reality that the initial costs for these various barbershop types vary.

Location 

The location is a significant aspect that will affect how much it will cost to start a barbershop. In business, geography is critical in determining a company’s success. Some professionals assist clients in finding the best location for their company, a place that will ensure their success. These experts are known as business consultants.

You must now acknowledge that location affects how much it costs to launch a firm. In contrast to renting or leasing a shop facility in a posh neighborhood or along a main road with heavy traffic, renting or leasing a shop facility outside the city center or off a major road is less expensive.

Cost of Permits and Licenses for barbershops

A barber shop license is required to operate a barber shop in most states. The cost of the license varies by state but typically ranges from $75 to $100.

In addition, other permits and licenses may be required, such as a master barber license, cosmetologist license, manicurist or pedicurist license, and manicurist/esthetician license. For independent contractors working at a barber shop, an area renter license may be necessary.

Payments for these permits and licenses must be made in the form of a cashier’s check or money order. In some states, an additional application fee of between $7.50 and $15 may also apply. It is important to note that all fees associated with a barber shop permit are non-refundable.

To keep the permit valid, renewals must be completed on an annual basis with the appropriate fees due at that time.

Facility Type

The kind of space you choose to run your barbershop from will also have a significant impact on how much it will cost to launch the enterprise. Regarding the location, you may choose between renting a store, leasing a shop in a booth rental salon, or building your barbershop from the ground up.

There is a limit to how far you can go when renting or leasing a facility, and it will depend on what the landlord of the facility wants. You might have to spend more money to modify the facility to fit what you have in mind, the number of seats/barber stands, and the waiting room you want to attach to your barbershop.

Let’s say you wish to build your facility from the ground up. It implies that you’ll purchase a piece of land or a building, build the barbershop, and furnish it. You will acknowledge that, compared to others who rent or lease a barbershop facility in a booth rental salon, you will spend more.

African-American hairdresser doing styling for young man with hair clipper at barber shop

The Barbershop’s Size

The size of the barbershop is another crucial element that affects how much it costs to start a barbershop. Of course, the expenditure to open a larger barbershop will also be larger, especially when it comes to stocking, furnishing, and equipping it.

It will cost you more to position personnel to man the barber stands in addition to the expense of outfitting and equipping the barbershop, which will result in higher opening costs. For instance, a barbershop in a 12×12 store or a booth rental salon can be staffed by fewer than a few people, but a barbershop in a 24×24 facility will require roughly a dozen personnel.

The Price of Hiring and Paying an Attorney and Business Consultant

Starting a barbershop can be an expensive endeavor, and hiring an attorney or business consultant is often a necessary part of the process. Depending on where you live, the cost of an attorney or consultant can range from $100 to $300 per hour.

Additionally, some attorneys may charge different rates depending on their experience or education level. Larger law firms tend to charge more than smaller firms. In addition to the cost of the legal services, barbers will also need to budget for new hire training and supplies, which could cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.

Additionally, an attorney will assist you with business registration, creating contract paperwork (particularly for your creditors and suppliers), and providing you with all the legal knowledge you need to establish your company on solid legal ground.

It’s important to research your options thoroughly when hiring an attorney or business consultant for your barbershop, so you can ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

Costs Associated with the Barbershop’s Branding, Marketing, and Promotion

Another important factor that will impact the entire cost of starting a barbershop is the cost of branding, marketing, and promotion for the business. Believe me when I say that if you want your firm to succeed greatly, you must be prepared to spend money on successful branding, promotion, and marketing.

In reality, hiring a branding, promotion, and marketing specialist to assist you in competing with businesses that are already dictating the market’s course in your location is not inexpensive. Therefore, the price of launching your barbershop will undoubtedly rise if you include the expense of hiring a branding and marketing specialist.

Cost of Equipping and Furnishing the Barbershop

Arrangement of hairdressing tools

Starting a barbershop can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it is important to understand the cost of equipping and furnishing the shop before you get started. Generally, you can expect to spend at least $27,000 on basic equipment and furniture. This includes store equipment such as cash registers, security systems, ventilation systems, and signage, as well as furniture such as telephones, tables, and chairs.

All of them will be expensive, impacting how much it will ultimately cost to operate a barbershop.

What tools does a barbershop require?

  • Clippers $30.00–$180.00
  • Combs $1.00–$25.00
  • Shears $10.00–$120.00
  • Hair dryers $30.00–$250.00
  • Barber pole $100.00–$1,000.00
  • Barber chairs $350.00–$900.00
  • Mirrors $1.00–$10.00
  • Lighting $30.00–$140.00
  • After-shave lotions $7.00–$22.00
  • Styling gels, wax, and pomades $3.00–$35.00
  • Hair care products $9.00–$18.00
  • Skincare products $5.00–$25.00
  • Straight razors $13.00–$30.00
  • Towels $4.00–$40.00
  • Capes $1.00–$30.00
  • Neck dusters $3.00–$19.00
  • Barber chairs $350.00–$900.00
  • Mirrors $1.00–$10.00
  • Lighting $30.00–$140.00
  • Nose trimmers $11.00–$16.00
  • Disinfectants $12.00–$22.00
  • Sterilizer $120.00–$300.00

Price of Insurance

Another significant element that will impact the entire cost of starting a barbershop is the price of paying for insurance policy coverage. Without possessing some of the basic insurance policy coverages mandated by the industry you intend to work in, you cannot establish a business in the US.

Therefore, it is essential to set aside money for insurance policy coverage. You may want to speak with an insurance broker to help choose the most suitable insurance policies for your barbershop enterprise.

Costs Associated with Business Registration

Another expense that will affect the entire cost of starting a barbershop is the registration fee for the company. Even while the cost of company registration is reasonable, it will undoubtedly increase the cost of starting your barbershop.

Cost of Hiring and Training New Employees

Because you are starting a new business, you must hire and train employees that will fit the mold of the barbershop you intend to run. You may market your company’s corporate culture to new hires with the aid of the training. As you might anticipate, hiring trainers to assist you in onboarding new employees will add to the total expense of starting a barbershop.

The Price of Buying Uniforms for Your Employees

The price of buying clothes, uniforms, shoes, and caps, among other things, will also affect how much it will ultimately cost to start a barbershop in the US. All employees, including security guards, front desk/payment staff, and barbers, must wear their uniforms while on duty. You will have to pay for all these outfits. Therefore they must be included in your budget.

Amount Spent on the Barbershop’s Grand Opening

You will concur that no barbershop now opens its doors for business without first planning an opening party to open the establishment formally. This implies that the cost of operating your barbershop will depend on your grand opening.

You can decide between a soft opening and a major opening celebration if you have a limited budget. The main line is that it is a cost that must be included in your budget and will affect how much it will ultimately cost to start a barbershop.

What are a barbershop’s ongoing costs?

To manage a barbershop effectively, you should budget for a lot of things, including:

  • Utilities, phone, internet, and rent
  • Marketing campaigns and materials
  • Insurance
  • Restocking of both commercial and professional goods
  • Regular shop and barber equipment cleaning and maintenance
  • Taxes and payroll:  Consider using barbers as independent contractors to cut costs. They will pay rent or a portion of their salary as compensation for using your chair. Commissions often represent 30–70% of the barber’s earnings.
barbershop working place interior 3d illustration

How financially challenging is it to open a barbershop?

These are a few points some of our users stated while discussing how tough it was to operate a barbershop:

  • It was difficult because of the logistics.
  • Scarier than difficult.
  • It was challenging. I had to keep an eye on my costs.
  • Quite challenging at first.

Considerations to Make Before Opening a Barbershop

For a barbershop to open effectively, careful preparation is necessary. Many business owners are eager to open their doors, but they sometimes forget certain necessities or strive to expand too quickly. 

Instead, create a strong business plan for your store and a growth strategy for the first 6, 12, and 24 months to position it for success. This strategy has to devote a lot of time to marketing, another aspect that new shop owners may ignore to the detriment of their enterprises. 

Due to the widespread use of social media, creating and maintaining a strong online presence is a low-cost yet highly successful marketing technique that may help attract new clients.

It’s crucial to concentrate on selecting skilled barbers who support your brand. A smart move is to work with established, qualified, licensed barbers. Even though these barbers could demand greater pay, they might also bring in current clients, immediately expanding your company’s clientele.

Don’t undervalue the significance of making each customer’s visit into an experience if you want your barbershop to stand out. Small details, such as free water, snacks, and good reading material, can greatly improve customer experience. Focus on selecting engaging, amiable barbers and can quickly forge ties with their clients to deliver excellent customer service.

Raising capital

The success of the firm depends on being able to raise the necessary funds before commencing operations. If you cannot raise this cash via personal resources, you might want to consider getting loans from lenders. 

These might be private people or investors interested in supporting enterprises, or they could be financial organizations like banks. All lenders have the trait of tying their products’ interest rates to their services.

You might wish to exercise caution while picking a lender. It is important to obtain comprehensive information on the terms of the various lenders’ agreements. This helps you see which options are best for your business.

Profit Per Cut

Profit Per Cut is one of the most important barbershop metrics. Profit per cut essentially indicates how much the store makes from each cut after expenditures. To calculate this amount, multiply the entire sales by the proportion you pay your barbers and other monthly expenditures, then divide the result by the total number of cuts performed during that month.

Assume you charge $25 for each cut and do 2,400 cuts per month as a team. Additionally, you pay barbers 70% of earnings under a 70/30 split between the shop and barbers. Let’s estimate your monthly costs at $4,000 (rent, supplies, utilities, etc.). Now that we have the data, we can determine our profit per cut.

  • Step 1: Determine the total sales. Multiply the total number of cuts by the cost per cut.
    • 2,400 x $25 = $60,000.
  • Step 2: Determine the total salary for barbers.
    • $60,000 x 0.7 = $42,000.
  • Step 3: Reducing total sales by the amount paid to barbers
    • $60,000 – $42,000 = $18,000.
  • Step 4: Take away monthly costs.
    • $18,000 – $4,000 = $14,000.
  • Step 5: Multiply the overall earnings by the number of cuts made in that particular month.
    • $14,000 / 2,400 = $5.83.

As you can see, your profit on a $25 cut is $5.83.

FAQs 

What kinds of barbershop businesses exist?

  • Adultbarbershop
  • General barbershop
  • Children’s barbershop
  • Mobile barbershop

How much cash can a barber make?

Barbers make an average of $30,480 per year. Barbers in the 75th to 90th percentile can expect to earn a yearly income of $37,490-$48,480. However, barbering salaries might vary greatly, hourly and annually, depending on where you work and your role.

What permits and licenses are required to open a barbershop?

Suppose you play recorded music, music videos, or the radio in your salon or barbershop. You’ll need a PPL and PRS license and your standard business license and permits.

What types of business insurance are required for barbershops?

  • Liability insurance
  • Property insurance
  • Personal accident insurance
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Legal expense protection
  • Professional liability insurance

Would investing in a barbershop be a good idea?

A barbershop makes a lot of money. You don’t have to be a barber to make decent money.

What is a barber’s daily wage?

A barber may make at least $130 per day by multiplying their hourly wage of $13 by around 10 hours of labor.

How many parking spots are required for a barbershop?

The amount of parking a barbershop requires is determined by its size. For instance, a medium-sized barbershop in a busy neighborhood will require roughly 10 parking spaces.

How many haircuts does a barber perform each day?

A barber may do 26 to 31 cuts in a single day. Please be aware that several things will affect this.

How much money do barbers make?

Barber salaries can vary significantly depending on various variables, such as the number of hours worked, the number of cuts made, the cost per haircut, the location of the barbershop, and the number of years of expertise. The top barbers can make six figures.

How much does rent for barbers’ booths cost?

Depending on the store and location, the monthly leasing fee for a booth ranges from $250 to $1,200.

How do barbers file their taxes?

Your company’s organizational structure will determine this. The majority of barbershop owners choose an LLC corporate form. This option offers greater tax flexibility while shielding business owners from personal liabilities.

How can I start a barbershop without any cash?

  • Take out a business loan.
  • Borrow money for your small business.
  • Bring in investors.
  • Consider invoice financing.
  • Consider equipment funding.
  • Take out loans for hard cash.
  • Utilize your credit card revenue to get a cash advance.

How long do new barbershops typically last?

There are no failure rates for barbershops, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that around 20% of small enterprises fail in the first year, and 50% fail within five years.

Conclusion

These are a few elements that will ultimately affect how much it will cost to start a barbershop in the US. Please be aware that additional aspects that will affect the cost of launching your barbershop company are not mentioned here. For this reason, we recommend working with a results-driven business consultant in your location to provide you with the necessary direction. Best of luck!

Last update on 2024-04-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links.

Jay Kang

Just because i'm asian does not mean I don't need shaving. I always wanted to grow a beard when I was young, now I need to shave because hair growth for me is a problem. I'm going through what every man will and has gone through before.

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