Start a Spray Tan Business: Tips and Tricks for Success

If you are interested in starting a spray tan business, there are several things you need to consider before launching your business. First, you need to decide on the legal structure of your business. This will determine how you pay taxes, your personal liability, and how you manage your business. You may want to consult with a lawyer or accountant to help you choose the right structure for your business.

Next, you need to register your business and obtain any necessary licenses and permits to operate legally. You should also research your competition and identify your ideal client to help you create a marketing plan. Developing a one-page business plan can help you organize your thoughts and set goals for your business.

Training and certification are also important aspects of starting a spray tan business. You should research different training programs and choose a reputable one to ensure that you are providing high-quality services to your clients. Additionally, you need to invest in spray tan solutions and equipment and develop a branding strategy to help your business stand out in a competitive market. Getting your business online is also crucial in today’s digital age.

Market Research

Before starting your own spray tan business, it’s important to conduct market research to determine the size and growth of the industry, identify trends and challenges, and understand the competitive market.

Industry Size and Growth

The spray tan industry has been growing steadily over the past few years, with an expected market size of $1.5 billion by 2025. This growth can be attributed to the increasing popularity of spray tans as a safer alternative to traditional tanning methods. The industry is also driven by the rise of mobile spray tanning, which allows for greater convenience and flexibility for customers.

One of the major trends in the spray tan industry is the use of organic and natural products. Many customers are looking for healthier and more sustainable options, and businesses that offer these products have a competitive advantage. However, this trend also presents a challenge for businesses that may need to increase their prices to cover the higher cost of organic and natural products.

Another trend is the use of spray tans for special events, such as weddings and proms. Businesses that offer packages and discounts for these events can attract more customers and increase their revenue.

Competitive Market

The spray tan industry is highly competitive, with many businesses offering similar services. It’s important to research your competitors to determine their pricing, services, and marketing strategies. This information can help you differentiate your business and develop a competitive advantage.

One way to stand out in the competitive market is to offer exceptional customer service. This can include personalized consultations, flexible scheduling, and follow-up communication to ensure customer satisfaction.

Another way to differentiate your business is to offer unique services, such as mobile spray tanning or group packages. These services can attract customers who are looking for convenience and value.

Business Planning

Starting a spray tan business requires careful planning and a solid business plan. A business plan is a roadmap that outlines your business goals, strategies, and the steps you need to take to achieve them. It also helps you identify potential challenges and risks, and how to overcome them. Here are the key elements of a spray tan business plan:

Business Overview

Your business overview should provide a brief summary of your spray tan business, including its name, location, legal structure, and mission statement. You should also include your business goals, target market, and the unique value proposition that sets your business apart from competitors.

Executive Summary

Your executive summary should provide a high-level overview of your business plan, highlighting the key points and objectives. It should be concise, clear, and compelling, and should include a summary of your market analysis, competitive analysis, sales and marketing strategy, management team, and operations plan.

Product and Services

Your product and services section should describe the spray tan services you offer, including the types of spray tan solutions and equipment you use, and the pricing and packaging options. You should also include any additional services you offer, such as mobile spray tanning or retail sales of tanning products.

Market Analysis

Your market analysis should provide a detailed overview of the spray tan industry, including market size, growth trends, and key players. You should also analyze your target market, including demographics, psychographics, and buying behavior. This will help you identify your ideal customer and tailor your marketing strategy to their needs.

Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify your main competitors, their strengths and weaknesses, and how you plan to differentiate your business from theirs. You should also analyze their pricing, marketing, and customer service strategies, and how you can offer better value to your customers.

Sales and Marketing

Your sales and marketing strategy should outline how you plan to attract and retain customers, including your pricing strategy, promotional activities, and customer service policies. You should also include your online and offline marketing channels, such as social media, email marketing, and local advertising.

Management Team

Your management team section should introduce your key team members, including their qualifications, experience, and roles and responsibilities. You should also include any advisors or consultants you plan to work with, such as legal or financial experts.

Operations Plan

Your operations plan should describe how you plan to run your spray tan business, including your staffing, equipment, and supply needs, and your policies and procedures for customer service, safety, and quality control. You should also include your financial projections, such as your startup costs, revenue forecast, and profit margins.

Startup Costs

Starting a spray tan business requires an initial investment. The amount of investment required depends on the type of business you want to start. Here are some of the startup costs you need to consider:


The initial investment for a spray tan business varies depending on the type of business you want to start. For a mobile spray tan business, the startup costs range from $2,500 to $9,000. The largest expense is for a complete mobile tanning kit, which can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. For a tanning salon, the cost of remodeling the facility and constructing a standard spray tanning salon can be around $50,000. Adding other start-up expenses like stationery and phone and utility deposits can increase the cost to $3,000.

Mobile Spray Tan Business

A mobile spray tan business is a cost-effective way to start a spray tan business. You can start with a minimal investment and gradually expand your business. The startup costs for a mobile spray tan business are relatively low, and you don’t need to pay for rent or utilities. You can provide your services to clients at their homes, offices, or other locations.

Tanning Salon

A tanning salon requires more investment than a mobile spray tan business. You need to rent or buy a commercial space, remodel it, and buy equipment. You also need to pay for rent, utilities, and other expenses. However, a tanning salon provides a more professional and consistent experience to clients. You can also offer other services like facials, waxing, and massage to increase your revenue.

Business License

You need to obtain a business license to legally operate a spray tan business. The cost of a business license varies depending on your location. You need to check with your local government to find out the requirements and fees for obtaining a business license.


You need to have liability insurance to protect yourself and your business from any accidents or lawsuits. The cost of insurance depends on the type of coverage you need and the size of your business. You need to shop around and compare quotes from different insurance providers to find the best coverage at the lowest cost.


If you’re starting a mobile spray tan business, you need a reliable vehicle to transport your equipment and supplies. You can use your personal vehicle or buy a separate vehicle for your business. The cost of a vehicle depends on the type and condition of the vehicle you choose.

Equipment and Supplies

Starting a spray tan business requires a few essential pieces of equipment and supplies. Here are some of the most important items you will need:

Spray Tan Machine

The spray tan machine is the most important piece of equipment you will need to start your spray tan business. There are different types of machines available, including airbrush and HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) machines. Consider the size of your business and the volume of clients you expect to have when choosing a machine.

Spray Tan Solution

The spray tan solution is what gives your clients their tan. There are different types of solutions available, including organic and non-organic options. Consider the skin types of your clients and their preferences when choosing a solution. It is also important to choose a solution that is easy to apply and dries quickly.


Additives can be added to the spray tan solution to enhance the tan or provide additional benefits. Some common additives include bronzers, accelerators, and anti-aging ingredients. Consider the needs and preferences of your clients when choosing additives.


Lotion is used to moisturize the skin before and after the spray tan. Choose a lotion that is non-greasy and absorbs quickly into the skin. It is also important to choose a lotion that does not contain any ingredients that could affect the spray tan.

PH Balancer

A PH balancer is used to balance the PH levels of the skin before the spray tan. This helps to ensure that the spray tan is even and long-lasting. Choose a PH balancer that is gentle and does not contain any harsh chemicals.

Barrier Cream

Barrier cream is used to protect certain areas of the skin from the spray tan, such as the palms and nails. Choose a barrier cream that is easy to apply and does not leave any residue on the skin.

Sticky Feet

Sticky feet are used to protect the soles of the feet from the spray tan. Choose sticky feet that are comfortable and easy to apply.

Spray Tan Tent

A spray tan tent is used to contain the spray tan and prevent it from getting on other surfaces. Choose a spray tan tent that is easy to set up and take down, and that is large enough to accommodate your clients.

Marketing and Advertising

Marketing and advertising are essential to the success of your spray tan business. Here are some effective strategies to consider:


Your website is your digital storefront and should be designed to attract and convert potential customers. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and provides all the necessary information about your services, pricing, and location. Consider adding a booking system to allow customers to schedule appointments online.

Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for promoting your spray tan business. Create profiles on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and post regularly to engage with your followers. Share photos and videos of your work, offer exclusive promotions, and respond promptly to customer inquiries.

Google AdWords

Google AdWords is a pay-per-click advertising service that allows you to target potential customers who are searching for spray tan services in your area. Create ads that are relevant, compelling, and include a clear call-to-action. Set a budget and monitor your campaign’s performance regularly to ensure you’re getting a good return on investment.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing involves partnering with social media influencers who have a large following to promote your spray tan business. Identify influencers in your niche and reach out to them with a proposal. Offer them a free spray tan in exchange for a post or review on their social media channels.


Offering spray tan packages can be an effective way to attract new customers and increase revenue. Create packages that offer a discount for multiple sessions or bundle spray tans with other services like facials or massages. Make sure your packages are clearly advertised on your website and social media channels.

Clientele and Services

When starting a spray tan business, it’s important to consider the type of clientele you want to attract and the services you will offer. Here are some popular options:

Mobile Spray Tanning

Mobile spray tanning is a great option for those who want to offer convenience to their clients. With this service, you can bring the spray tanning equipment directly to your client’s home or office. This is especially popular for clients who want to avoid the hassle of going to a salon or tanning bed.

Tanning Bed

Offering a tanning bed service is a classic option that many clients still prefer. It’s important to have a variety of bed options, including stand-up and lay-down beds, to cater to all clients. It’s also important to ensure that your tanning beds are clean and well-maintained.

Airbrush Tanning

Airbrush tanning is a popular option for those who want a more customized and natural-looking tan. This service involves using an airbrush gun to apply the spray tan solution, allowing for more precision and control. It’s important to have a skilled technician who can provide a flawless application.

Sunless Tanning Products

Offering sunless tanning products is a great way to provide your clients with an at-home option. This can include spray tan solutions, lotions, and other products that can be used to maintain a tan in between appointments. It’s important to offer high-quality products that are safe and effective.

When deciding on the services to offer, it’s important to keep your target clientele in mind. For example, if you’re targeting busy professionals, mobile spray tanning may be the best option. If you’re targeting college students, a tanning bed service may be more popular. By offering a variety of services, you can cater to a wider range of clients and increase your business’s revenue.

Starting a spray tan business requires some legal and administrative work. Here are some things you need to consider:

LLC Formation Service

Forming a limited liability company (LLC) can protect your personal assets from business liabilities. You can form an LLC yourself, but it can be time-consuming and confusing. Consider using an LLC formation service like ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent to help you with the paperwork and filing.

Business Licenses and Permits

You may need to obtain business licenses and permits to operate your spray tan business legally. The requirements vary depending on your location, so check with your local government to see what licenses and permits you need. A business coach can also help you navigate this process.

Business Insurance

Business insurance can protect your business from unexpected events like accidents or lawsuits. At a minimum, you should consider getting general liability insurance and professional liability insurance. Talk to an insurance agent to find out what insurance policies are right for your business.

Business Name

Choose a memorable and unique name for your spray tan business. Make sure the name is not already taken and that it is available as a domain name. You can check the availability of domain names using a domain registrar like GoDaddy or Namecheap.

Business Premises

You can operate your spray tan business from a physical location or as a mobile service. If you choose to have a physical location, consider renting a commercial space or sharing a space with another business. If you choose to offer a mobile service, make sure you have a reliable vehicle and all the necessary equipment.

Own Website

Having your own website can help you reach more customers and establish your brand. You can use website builders like Wix or Squarespace to create a professional-looking website quickly and easily. Make sure your website includes information about your services, pricing, and contact information.

Pros and Cons of Starting a Spray Tan Business

If you’re thinking of starting your own spray tan business, there are many pros and cons to consider before taking the plunge. Here are some of the most important factors to keep in mind:


  • You can be your own boss and have complete control over your business. This means you can make all the decisions, set your own hours, and work on your own terms.
  • Starting your own business can be very rewarding and fulfilling, both personally and financially. You have the opportunity to build something from scratch and see it grow and succeed.
  • Spray tanning is a growing industry, with more and more people looking for safe and effective ways to get a sun-kissed glow without damaging their skin. This means there is a lot of potential for growth and profitability.
  • With the right marketing and branding, you can differentiate yourself from competitors and build a loyal customer base. You can offer unique services or products that set you apart.


  • Starting a business requires a lot of time, effort, and money. You will need to invest in equipment, supplies, and marketing, and you may not see a return on your investment for some time.
  • As a business owner, you are responsible for everything from accounting to customer service to marketing. This can be overwhelming and stressful, especially if you don’t have experience in these areas.
  • The spray tanning industry can be highly competitive, with many established businesses already in the market. It can be difficult to stand out and attract customers, especially if you don’t have a strong brand or marketing strategy.
  • Running a business can be unpredictable and challenging, with no guarantees of success. You will need to be adaptable and willing to take risks in order to succeed.

Overall, starting a spray tan business can be a great opportunity for those who are passionate about the industry and willing to put in the time and effort to make it succeed. However, it’s important to carefully weigh the pros and cons before making a decision, and to be realistic about the challenges and risks involved.


Congratulations on taking the first step towards starting your own spray tan business. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you now have a solid foundation for creating a successful business that can generate income and build your client base.

Remember, starting a business is not easy, but with hard work and dedication, you can achieve your goals. Be prepared for the financial risks and possible failures that come with starting a small business. However, with careful planning and execution, you can minimize these risks and increase your chances of success.

Make sure to define your target market and services you will offer, and create a business plan that includes your mission statement, long-term vision, and the steps you will take to achieve your goals. Consider the costs and benefits, legal requirements, equipment and supplies needed, the spray tanning process, types of customers, and tips on how to market your business.

Don’t forget to invest in high-quality equipment and supplies, and stay up-to-date on the latest trends and techniques in the industry. Keep your clients happy by providing excellent customer service and offering a range of services that meet their needs.

Starting a spray tan business can be a challenging but rewarding experience. With the right mindset, knowledge, and resources, you can create a successful business that you can be proud of. Good luck!