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What Does It Cost To Open A Gym – A Breakdown of Key Expenses

How much does it cost to open a gym? If you are considering opening your own fitness studio, be prepared for the numbers. Here is an accurate breakdown on what you can expect to pay.

Eric LeClair
October 12, 2021
What Does It Cost To Open A Gym – A Breakdown of Key Expenses
How much does it cost to open a gym? If you are considering opening a gym, be prepared for the numbers. Here is a breakdown on what you can expect to pay.
Cost To Open A Gym
Photographer: Humphrey Muleba | Source: Unsplash

Fitness is your passion, but it should pay your bills too! Opening your gym can be a rewarding venture, but you might wonder – "what does it to open a gym?". The cost to open a gym will vary depending on a number of factors such as the location, average gym square footage, the type of services you offer, and other costs.

There are some major start-up costs for a gym to get it off the ground. If you are not fully prepared to handle the hurdles that come with opening your own gym, it will fail.

How Much Does It Cost To Open A Gym?

So, to answer the question - how much would it cost to open a gym. It is difficult to provide a precise answer to the question as the answer will vary depending on the version of the gym you have in your mind. Opening a small gym in a small town will be far less than building a fitness center or a small fitness studio in a major city. The cost of buying a running gym business will also depend on the profits it is making.

Planning your finance numbers is crucial to the success of your new gym in the long term. Here are some of the average gym costs that you will need to cover –

Cost to Build a Gymnasium Facility

Whether you buy or rent a space, it will be one of the biggest expenses you will have to incur. The cost of building a gym will depend on the location you pick and how large the space is. To save cost, you may decide to start a warehouse gym, but even then, you will need to ensure you are located near your target audience. Once you have narrowed down a few locations, you can negotiate the price with the landlord to get a good deal.

If you choose to rent, you will pay less money upfront, but the cost will add to your monthly operational expense. If you have the money, it is best to buy a gym property instead of renting it out. It will also give you more flexibility on how you wish to use the space.

Consider the Gym Equipment Costs

The second biggest expense of opening a gym will be the exercise equipment cost. The fitness equipment you need to buy will depend on the fitness center or the kind of gym you wish to identify with. Do you want to operate in a certain niche, such as boxing, weightlifting, and others, or do you want to cater to fitness enthusiasts from different disciplines?

If you are from the industry, you might already know the different equipment you need and how many. Leasing gym equipment cost is also low and can relieve you of the burden of purchasing many pieces of equipment simultaneously. It is important not to overstock your gym floor with too much equipment as they can overcrowd the area. You need a good business plan to maximize the use of the space.

Take into Account the Cost of Gym Licenses, Permits, Insurance, and Other Legal Fees

The start up cost for a gym will also include the cost of obtaining the right business licenses, permits, and certifications to run it legally. You need to hire qualified and certified trainers for the gym. You may hire already accredited trainers or may have to cover the costs of training them. You also need to have health and safety permits in place, which will add to the cost of owning a gym.

Do not forget to take into account the many legal and commercial fees you need to pay to open a gym. Apart from registering your new business and getting your trade name registered, you also need to hire lawyers to set up business contracts, membership contracts, and other legal documents that will add to your gym expenses.

Since any gym deals with a lot of foot traffic, you need to have your business covered in case of an injury. You need business insurance to cover many different possibilities. Even if you have a small gym, do not skim on business insurance.

Employee Salaries

Unless you want to run your gym alone, you will need to hire dedicated staff, accountants, and trainers for your gym. While they will not cost you a huge amount of money up-front, they will be a big part of the operating cost. Ensure you have a few months' salaries in your bank as you are most unlikely to make any profit in the initial months. Once you have paid your employees and covered all the gym costs per month, you should pay yourself.

In Summary

There are many different costs to think about when starting a gym. Since the elements differ in range, the cost of opening a gym will also vastly vary. Take into account the different costs discussed above; you can estimate your initial investment for your new gym and figure out your finances. Just like any other business, it will take a lot of hard work and sweat, but in a few months, it will all be worth it.


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Eric LeClair

Eric LeClair works on the Marketing Team at PushPress. Eric has been a CrossFit Affiliate owner for 16 years. He's built three separate gyms and developed over 20 staff members to run operations at those facilities. He's a Veteran of the US Army, married with two little kids, and spends lots of time with his two boxers backpacking and exploring new adventures!

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