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7 Min. Read

What is the Cost of Opening a Gym in 2022?

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Gym?

Americans spend more than $35 billion per year on gym memberships, with more than one-fifth of the population having at least one gym membership. Further, the latest IHRSA Global Report found that health clubs are on pace to reach 230 million members by 2030.

This presents massive potential for aspiring gym owners to enter the business and open health clubs of their own. Owning your own gym opens the door to countless opportunities in terms of working for yourself, leveling up your income, and helping others live healthier lives.

But what is the cost of opening a new gym in 2022? In this guide, we’re counting the costs of being a gym owner, as well as the potential financial benefits of going into business for yourself.

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

Why Open a Gym in 2022?

Gym Startup Costs

Hiring Employees

More Resources for Fitness Business Owners

Why Open a Gym in 2022?

The 2019 IHRSA Global Report found that the global fitness industry revenue totaled over $94 billion. This suggests there is an abundance of opportunities for business owners to enter the fitness industry as gym owners, health club owners, personal trainers, and beyond.

There are a few benefits to opening a gym in 2022. These benefits include:

  • Starting a business you can call your own and be proud of
  • Being able to help people live happier and healthier lives
  • Creating a new source of income of which you are in control
  • Diversity in terms of offering classes, personal training, wellness classes, and more
  • Potentially expanding your business to open new gyms across the country

Gym Startup Costs

So, how much does it cost to open a gym?

The total cost to open your gym business will depend on a number of factors, including your gym location, the size of your gym, your target market, and what equipment you plan to have.

In general, though, you can expect to have these start up costs when opening a gym:

Business License

In order to start a new gym business, you will need to apply for your business license. This application is filed with your state and will require some basic information in order to secure your license.

The average business license cost is between $50 to $200, plus renewal fees.

Business Education Courses

Business courses are not a requirement for opening a gym but they can certainly help you with gym management, managing your finances, designing your business model, drafting a business plan, and more.

You can typically find business education courses online or at your local college. These costs can range from $20 for online courses to over $30,000 for a business degree at a university.

Business Management Costs

There are many management costs to consider when opening a business. These can include hiring an office manager, equipping your office with computers, subscribing to gym management software, and more.

These costs can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars depending on your needs.

Training Studio/Gym Space

One of the most important factors to consider is the location of your gym. This will make up the majority of your operational costs.

The average cost to rent a 2,000 square foot fitness studio is around $6,000 per month. Of course, this can vary widely depending on your gym's location. You will also need to consider how large your fitness studio or gym needs to be to accommodate the number of members you want to serve.

Fitness Equipment

Buying gym equipment is an obvious part of building out your gym. Members will want to see a variety of equipment to suit their cardio, weightlifting, and calisthenic needs.

Some gym equipment options you might want to purchase include:

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

The start up costs for buying gym equipment can range from $10,000 for a small training studio to $50,000 for a large commercial gym. You will want to shop around and do your research to find high-quality equipment at a reasonable price.

Management Software

Business operations software makes it easier for you to manage member subscriptions, organize contact information, manage your business finances, run payroll, or otherwise manage any other area of your gym business. For example, accounting software allows you to send invoices and see your financial statements at a glance.

You’ll also need to set up an internet and a point-of-sale system that can accept payment from your members. The cost of this hardware plus any other management software starts at around $2,500 per year.

Other Licenses and Permits

You will need to acquire other licenses and permits in order to safely and legally operate your gym. Some of these licenses are required, while other certifications are optional but provide a huge benefit in terms of helping you run a successful business.

If you don’t already have one, you should think about applying for a personal trainer certification. Either you’ll need to hire qualified personal trainers or cover the costs of training – up to $800 per qualification.

Organizations offering the best training qualifications include:

  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
  • American Council on Exercise (ACE)
  • International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

Property Casualty Insurance

There are a variety of commercial, legal, and insurance fees that you will need to pay when setting up your gym. These can come at a high cost. It’s also best to hire a  lawyer to draft up a membership contract and create legal documents so your business is protected.

Although the total cost can vary depending on the legal documents you need, expect to pay up to around $15,000 in legal fees and up to $6,000 for property casualty insurance.

Advertising and Marketing

Market research is an essential part of starting any business, as you will want to assess the size of your target market and what potential members are looking for in a business like yours. You may choose to hire a marketing person to run campaigns for you, or you may choose to be responsible for your own marketing efforts.

Costs for paid advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and website management can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars per month to over $4,000 per month.

Hiring Employees

The success of your gym will depend heavily on the skills, experience, and friendliness of your team. Having the right employees can make or break your business, and you will need to consider not only their skills but also the costs of hiring.

Maintenance Workers

Additional workers like cleaners, equipment maintenance workers, electricians, etc. will need to be readily available to keep your gym in tip-top shape. You may choose to hire someone in-house or work with a local company or contractors.

Still, these costs can range from a few hundred dollars per month for cleaning to much more for larger maintenance projects.

Personal Trainers

It’s best to have at least one personal trainer on your team to provide assistance to members and help them reach their fitness goals. Members will get the most out of your gym when they have some direction and personal training on how to use the equipment.

The average salary of a personal trainer in the US is $62,377 per year.

Fitness Professionals

Other fitness professionals like consultants, physical therapists, and nutritionists can provide additional services to your members. Hiring these types of fitness professionals is optional but may be a smart move if you are serving a higher-end clientele that’s looking for highly personalized services.

More Resources for Fitness Business Owners