How much does it cost to open a gym

If you’ve been thinking about starting a gym, the first question you should ask is “how much does it cost to open a gym?” We’ll break down those costs in this piece to give you a clear understanding of what you’ll be up against. Don’t be intimidated by these figures. Remember that you’ll be establishing a substantial cash stream to offset these costs and bring your gym idea to fruition. But, as with other things, you have to spend money to make money!

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Gym in 2023?

The cost of opening a gym depends on the location, size, and equipment. For example:

  1. If you’re opening in an expensive area with high rents and utility costs, your budget could be significantly higher than if you were opening in a less expensive area.
  2. If you want to invest in state-of-the-art equipment that no one else has (such as an air conditioning system), then this will also affect how much it costs to open a gym in 2023.
  3. Membership fees are another factor that can affect the price tag of your new business venture – especially if they’re going up every year.

The cost of opening a gym can vary by location, size, and equipment. The average cost to open a gym is between $100,000 and $500,000.

Analyzing the Cost of To Open a Gym

Here is an outline of what it could cost to give you a solid understanding of your possible expenses for operating a gym. It is critical to remember that, in addition to your start-up expenditures, you must also account for operating costs. Many successful gym operators open an excellent practice of having their base running costs for the first three months in the bank before opening their doors.

Startup and One-time Cost To Open a Gym

Down Payment or Lease Deposit

  • $45,000 – $90,000 (Lease)
  • $105,000 – $150,000 (Buy)

Your property costs will be your most significant initial and ongoing expense. The cost of your facility will vary substantially depending on its location and size. In the United States, the typical gym is 3,000 square feet. Depending on where you live, you may expect to pay $15-30 per square foot each year in rent. This equates to a $45,000 to $90,000 annual lease.

As a security deposit, commercial landlords frequently want a lease deposit of 3 to 6 months. This money is kept in a separate account and can be accessed by the landlord if the tenant fails to make monthly payments or violates covenants.

If you decide to buy the house, you will need to pay a deposit of 20-30% to your lender. Pay between $35 and $50 per square foot. That equates to a deposit of between $105,000 and $150,000 for a 3000 square foot structure.

Gym Equipment

  • Ranging from $2000-$3000 (Lease)
  • $75,000 (Buy)
  • $10,000-$20,000 (Non-Training Equipment)

When it comes to outfitting your new gym, the first question is whether to buy or lease your equipment. Leasing is a cost-effective alternative that saves large upfront costs and allows you to update the equipment on a regular basis. You also don’t have to bother about maintenance because the lessor is usually in charge of that. There are additional tax benefits to leasing in the United States. Lease payments are completely tax-deductible thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

I’ve managed gyms where I rented and acquired equipment. If I had to do it over, I’d rent. That experience was quicker and more efficient, and the fact that the equipment was updated with newer ones every two years kept my gym looking new.

Lease gym equipment for a 3000 square foot facility will cost between $2000-$3000 per month. A one-month deposit is also required by some lenders.

If you don’t want to frequently update your equipment and don’t want to risk never actually owning it, you may either buy it outright or get an equipment loan. The average cost of gym equipment is $25 per square foot. So, for a 3000 square foot gym, your equipment will cost roughly $75000.

If you choose to purchase your equipment through an equipment loan, you will incur an ongoing monthly expense of $1000-$2000 (plus interest). You should additionally budget several hundred dollars per month for equipment upkeep (remember, this is covered if you lease the equipment).

Non-training equipment will be included in your equipment fees. This will include things like…

Couches, chairs, tables, towels, wall decals, and artwork are all available.
You should budget an additional $10-20,000 for these costs.

Permits and Licensing

As a commercial business owner, you will be required to pay a variety of license and permits costs. To stay on the right side of local and federal authorities, you must follow all legal obligations from the outset. Before you can open your gym doors, you must complete the following papers and pay the following fees:

  • A business permit
  • Registration of a business name
  • Certification in Health & Safety
  • Employer registration is required.

Other licensing and permitting requirements in your area may exist, so check with your local municipality. As a general rule of thumb, you should budget $5000 for licensing and permission expenses.


To process the lease or business sale agreement, as well as any other legal transactions, you will need to hire a lawyer. Expect to be paid up to $200 per hour. I propose setting aside $2000 for startup legal fees.

You should also anticipate that you will need legal services on an ongoing basis, so set aside roughly $5000 each year for legal expenditures.

Building Renovation and Decoration


You’ll have a blank canvas when you obtain the keys to your building. It’s unlikely to resemble a gym in any way. You’re going to have to invest a lot of money to finish your building.

Showers, locker rooms, gym flooring, function training area turf, a reception area, and snack bar fixtures may be required to make a generic facility gym-ready.

You should budget $35 per square foot to make a boring vanilla box facility into a badass gym setting. Based on the average 3000 square foot gym, that amounts to around $105,000.

That is a significant initial investment. You may, however, be able to negotiate some or all of the cost with the landlord. A landlord may be ready to cover the entire cost of renovations in exchange for a little higher rent. Alternatively, the landlord may be ready to contribute half of the cost of the improvements. Of course, your landlord may refuse to pay to this expense, but you’ll never know unless you try to negotiate.

I told the landlord of one gym where I was negotiating a lease that I’d have to spend roughly $60,000 on modifications to get the property ready to open and would be better off going with another site that already had showers and lockers. Instead of losing a long-term tenant, he gave six months of free rent!

Hardware and POS System


You will need to invest in a quality point of sale system to efficiently process payments and connect the data into your software system for some of the top of the line. A credit card magnetic reader, an electronic cash drawer, a mobile barcode scanner, and a receipt printer should all be included in your gym POS system. Your initial POS hardware investment will be roughly $1400, with a monthly payment of around $100.

Your $1400 hardware investment will provide you with the following:

  • 2 tablet computers
  • Card Readers (two)
  • a single printer
  • 1 x Money drawer

The monthly software cost is determined by the number of licenses required. VendHQ, for example, charges $99 per month for a single iPad license.

However, Gymdesk is a far more cost-effective choice. We provide a completely functional POS system as well as excellent terminals and card readers. Instead of $1,400, you’ll spend $300 or less on upfront fees, with everything else included in your monthly Gymdesk subscription price.



Most people who are thinking about starting a gym are already seasoned fitness trainers with many fitness certifications to their name. If you don’t, I propose you take a course through the International Sports Sciences Association. These courses cost in price from $400 to $1,000 and can be completed entirely online.

Other Expenses


You will need to budget for branded signs. You need your signs to attract attention while also projecting the professionalism and wow factor of your company. Also, set aside $1000 to accomplish this.

Employee uniforms are another potential start-up cost. You must determine whether or not to use branded uniforms. A good outfit, in my opinion, is worth the extra expenditure because it projects a higher level of professionalism. A simple uniform consisting of track pants and a branded t-shirt will cost roughly $300 for a crew of six.

A responsive website is required to support your gym. A quality website will cost you roughly $700 to build.

Ongoing Operating Cost To Open a Gym

Wages and taxation

The salaries you pay are decided by the amount of employees you have. As a general rule, one staff member should be hired for every 50 members. A 1000-member facility, for example, will have 20 employees, including front-of-house personnel, floor trainers, cleaners, and sales and marketing personnel.

Employee compensation will be your most significant continuing expense. The following are the current average salaries for key gym positions:

  • $40,000 for a fitness instructor
  • $58,000 for a personal trainer
  • Gym Manager – $69,000

If you have 20 employees, you need budget between $700,000 and $900,000 per year for employee compensation.

When it comes to personal trainers, you must determine whether to hire them or hire them as independent contractors. The IRS has tight rules for determining whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor. They recommend that you use your trainers if…

  • The gym promotes the personal training service, accepts reservations, and collects fees.
  • The gym develops and analyzes training plans.
  • The service is an essential component of what the gym does.

Compensation packages can be structured in a variety of ways. A direct proportion of revenue, a sliding scale, a tiered plan, and an hourly rate or compensation are the most popular.

Read Also: COMPENSATION PACKAGE: Overview, Examples, and Best 2023 Practice

The standard straight percentage rate for a personal trainer is 50%. The trainer earns more money on a sliding scale by bringing in more clients / sessions per week. So, a person who conducts 15 sessions per week would earn $20 per session, whereas someone who conducts 25 sessions per week might earn $22 per session. With a tiered system, the rate that the member pays, as well as the rate that you and the trainer make, is determined by the trainer’s level of experience. A personal trainer is frequently paid two hourly rates on a salary scheme. When they are training a client, they may earn $17-$20 per hour, and when they are not, they may earn $9-$12 per hour.

You’ll also need to budget for payroll and self-employment taxes. In some areas, these taxes must be paid quarterly, so check the status in your area and plan accordingly. Setting aside 10% of what you pay yourself will fulfill your tax department duties in terms of self-employment tax.

Utilities and lease/mortgage payments

Unless you have a large bankroll, you will be required to make monthly lease or mortgage payments. As previously stated, you can expect to pay $15-$30 per square foot to lease a building and $35-$50 to purchase it outright. That means your monthly lease/mortgage payments will range between $3750 and $7000.

The majority of your monthly utility costs will be for electricity. The cost will be determined by the number of plug-in machines on the gym floor. A monthly utility expenditure of roughly $2500 is typical for a 3000 square foot gym that is well stocked with cardio equipment.

Advertising and marketing

Your open day marketing expenditure should be between $300 and $5,000. Following that, you should put aside 7.5 percent of your monthly revenue for marketing expenses. A robust online presence through your website, Instagram, and Facebook should be part of your gym marketing strategies.

Software for Gym Management

Investing in quality gym management software will save your team hours of back-end labor each week, streamline your operations, and allow you to provide a more personalized, responsive service to your members. Look for a system that has lead management, automatic billing, membership management, and staff management capabilities. It should also have a mobile app and be compatible with your website.

A competent gym management software should cost roughly $175 per month.

Gym Insurance ($500-$2,000)

Before you open your doors to the public, you must ensure that your company and you personally are protected in the event that one of your members is injured or killed on the premises. As a result, you must obtain comprehensive insurance.

Here are five forms of insurance to think about:

  • General liability insurance to protect your employees if they are found to be at fault in an accident or injury on your property.
  • Professional liability insurance covers employees’ omissions that result in an accident or harm. This could include failing to place an out-of-service sign on malfunctioning equipment that causes injury.
  • Insurance for business income and extra expenses to cover the costs of relocation and repair in the event of a fire, earthquake, or flood.
  • Worker’s compensation insurance protects you if an employee sues you for a work-related injury.
  • Insurance for equipment breakdown. If you are leasing the equipment, this will not apply.

Repairs and Maintenance

Even if you lease your equipment, you will suffer wear and tear costs for other gym gear such as couches, floors, window treatments, and computers. You should set up $500-$1000 every month to pay these costs.

If you purchase new gym floor equipment, it will come with a warranty. However, you might be able to get some used equipment, in which case you’ll need to be prepared to pay for breakdowns. Set aside $25 each month for each item of used equipment in the facility.

Expenses Not Listed

Paying for the skills of a freelance fitness writer is a worthwhile investment for many gym owners. This will enable you to give cutting-edge content to your members via emails and your website’s blog, cementing your position as the industry authority and the go-to solution for all of your members’ fitness, training, and nutrition queries. You can keep a steady flow of instructive and engaging content flowing to your subscribers for roughly $500 per month.

Factors Influencing the Cost To Open Gym

#1. The Type of Gym

The most essential issue influencing the cost of your new gym is the type of facility you will run. A small, boutique gym, a CrossFit box, a functional training center, a personal training studio, a yoga, boxing, or pilates studio, an underground bodybuilding ‘dungeon,’ and a family friendly bog box fitness gym are all alternatives.

The costs of opening a modest functional fitness center outfitted with turf, sleds, battle ropes, TRX stations, and other functional equipment will be substantially different from those incurred by a large family fitness facility of 50,000 square feet. In fact, you can most likely open the doors to a small functional fitness center for less than $40,000.

#2. Location

The cost of leasing and renting varies greatly depending on where you live in the world. The option of whether to locate your business in the city center or in the suburbs will also have a significant impact.

Consider the following aspects while choosing a site for your gym:

  • Visibility: Gyms located in high-traffic locations will have a natural advantage.
  • Demographics: Because of the Covid epidemic, many more individuals are working from home, therefore situating near developing residential areas can make a lot of sense. Most new residential areas will have a shopping center. Having your gym near a local market might be an excellent location for attracting health-conscious consumers with limited disposable income.
  • Conduct market research in your proposed area to determine the need for a new gym. If gyms already exist, learn what they do well and where they fall short – this will be your focus.
  • Potential for Cross-Promotion: If you can situate yourself near complementary businesses such as massage therapists, chiropractors, or health food stores, you will open your chances of cross-promotion.
  • Parking: For many gym-goers, a lack of parking is a nightmare. When researching locations, keep in mind the need of providing adequate of parking for your members.

#3. Franchise vs. Independent Gym

One of the first decisions a new gym owner must make is whether to go it alone or join a franchise. While franchises appear to be taking over the gym scene, there are still a few independent gyms in every area that have created a loyal following based on personalized care and comfortable homeliness.

The most significant benefit of acquiring a franchise is that you will have quick name recognition. Even if you are fresh new, the company you work for will have a reputation in the fitness sector. A franchise that also connects you to a marketing and business system that has been proved to work time and time again.

As a franchisee, your cost will include all equipment, fitting out the location, and staff training. The location will also be chosen by the franchisor.

There are some disadvantages to franchising. For starters, you won’t have the independence of a solo proprietor. If you are a creative entrepreneur, you may find it difficult to have company regulations inhibit your business innovation. Franchise fees can also be substantial, and you will be obliged to pay the franchisor a percentage of each membership price.

Another potential issue that some gym franchisees have found is that the bad behavior of another franchise on the other side of the country can reflect poorly on the entire gym chain, negatively impacting their bottom line.

When calculating the cost of a franchise, you must consider both the original franchise purchase and the recurring royalty costs. In 2901, the average gym franchise cost in the United States was $80,000-120,000, plus a 6% royalty charge. The majority of franchise agreements are signed for a duration of ten years.

Is Opening a Gym Profitable?

You can open a gym and make money. It’s one of the best investments you can make. Gyms are profitable businesses that will continue to make money for years. They’re also good investments in the long term because they offer steady returns on your money—something that few other types of businesses can claim (unless you’re talking about stocks).

In addition to being profitable and offering stable returns, gyms have another benefit: they’re great places to work! As someone who works at a gym, I know what it’s like when people start getting involved in our space; they become part of something bigger than themselves and start developing skills that help them grow personally and professionally. It sounds like an exaggeration, but it isn’t: if you want good employees who stay with your company long enough to become part owners, opening a gym might be right up your alley.

Do Gym Owners Make Money?

Gym owners can make a lot of money, but they need to be passionate about fitness and have a good business plan. Successful gym owners have a good location and know how to market themselves.

Is Opening a Gym Difficult?

Yes, it can be. Gym owners work long and hard hours, especially when their businesses are just starting. However, opening a gym could be perfect if you have a passion for fitness and are willing to put in the hard work required to get your business off the ground.

What Type of Gym Is the Most Profitable?

  1. The most profitable gyms are those that charge the most for their memberships.
  2. The most profitable gyms are those that have the most memberships.
  3. The most profitable gyms have high-quality equipment, such as spin bikes and treadmills.

What Percentage of Gym Businesses Fail?

Most gym businesses fail due to a lack of marketing. The problem with this statement is that it’s often used as an excuse for why a company can’t get off the ground. If you’re new to the fitness industry, it may feel like there are hundreds of options for you to choose from. Still, most new gyms fail within their first year of operation because they cannot market themselves properly or attract customers who want what your gym offers.

Many assume that if they run an effective marketing campaign and sell enough memberships, they’ll be profitable immediately—but this isn’t always the case! It takes time before any new business model becomes profitable (and even then, its success depends on so many factors).

What Month Do Gyms Make the Most Money?

January is the busiest month for gyms. This makes sense, as people are starting to get back into shape and gym memberships are on the rise again. Gym owners will also consider opening their doors in January because they can make the most money from their membership fees.

February is second in line for being the busiest month for gyms; however, this may not be surprising if you consider that many new fitness enthusiasts have just discovered how beneficial working out can be! Plus, there’s always an increased demand during Valentine’s Day season, so it might be a good idea to plan if you want your business up and running again after taking some time off due to illness or injury.

March comes third because everyone wants a change from winter weather patterns, so why not go swimming instead? Plus, March tends to be warm and sunny, so fewer showers are required at home before heading out onto roads where cars could get wet too quickly (or worse yet – make mistakes). Remember how much fun we had last summer when getting together with friends over cocktails after work? Imagine doing those things while still working out regularly instead of waiting until later this year when summer arrives again – I assure you all will enjoy yourself immensely.


Gyms are a great way to earn an income, but it can be hard to know how much it will cost to open your gym. Many factors go into this decision, including where you want the gym located and what equipment you want to use.

I hope this article has given insight into how much it cost to open a gym business in 2023.


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