What it costs to open a gym: six-figure killer mistakes to avoid

It’s very reasonable to have sticker shock. Many ambitious gym entrepreneurs believe they need the correct location and equipment to start. However, several other required expenses—some of which you may not be familiar with—raise the cost of starting a gym. All the checks you’ll need to write are detailed below. Don’t worry; we’ll take care of the critical issues first.


Rent will always be one of your most significant expenses, of course. Like anything else, the precise amount you’ll need to pay varies. A modest yoga studio in the Midwest will cost far less to rent than a colossal strength and conditioning facility in the middle of a big city.

According to business instructor and National Strength and Conditioning Association board member Robert Linkul, rent in specific locations ranges from about $1 to $3 per square foot. That makes your monthly rent for a 1,000-square-foot space approximately $1,000 to $3,000. In contrast, you might end up paying $10 per square foot in Montana, making the monthly rent for a 1,000-square-foot space $10,000. Do you want to start a business in Manhattan’s SoHo? The going rate is $150 per square foot.

Linkul offers this advice if the rent prices in your ideal location discourage you: “Take baby steps and burst out of it. Then you have the advantageous issue of growing instead of being overwhelmed in a bigger area.”

Construction costs

You must apply for your business registration before opening a new gym. This application must be submitted to your state to get your license, and you need some basic information.

In addition to renewal costs, the typical cost of a business license is between $50 and $200.

Gym equipment

Everything could seem ready, but if you need to elevate a ceiling to make room for a weight rack, you suddenly find yourself creating something for five figures. For bigger gyms, it is advisable to set aside $25,000 to account for the unexpected cost. (You can refurbish a basic studio for a lot less.)

Strike a deal with your landlord and ask them to make some simple changes before you move in, or include several months of free rent in your contract to save money.

Purchasing gym equipment is a clear step in setting up your gym. Members will look for a selection of machines to meet their demands for cardio and weightlifting.

Some alternatives for gym equipment that you may wish to buy are:

  • Bench press
  • Free weights
  • Treadmill
  • Resistance bands
  • Rowing machine
  • Exercise ball
  • Leg press apparatus

The initial investment in gym equipment might cost anywhere from $10,000 for a modest training facility and $50,000 for a big commercial gym. Do your homework and look around to discover affordable, high-quality gear.

Costs of business management

When starting a gym business, several managerial expenditures must be considered. These might involve getting an office manager, computers for your workplace, a gym management app, and more.

Depending on your specific circumstances, the price tag might be anything from several hundred to several thousand dollars.

Insurance for property and casualty

You will have to pay for some administrative, legal, and insurance expenses while opening a gym. These may be pretty expensive. Contacting a lawyer is essential to establish a subscription contract and other legal paperwork to ensure your company is secured.

In general, you should anticipate spending up to $15,000 in legal expenses and roughly about $6,000 in property damage insurance.

Marketing and advertising

When beginning a business, market research is crucial because you need to determine the volume of your target audience to boost gym sales and what prospective customers are searching for in a company like yours. You can hire a marketer to handle your advertising campaigns or do gym marketing yourself.

Paid advertisements, SEO, SMM, and website maintenance may cost anything from a few hundred to over four thousand dollars monthly.