cost to start a gym

How much does it cost to open a gym? To answer that, you’ll need to begin by imagining the kind of gym that you are interested in opening. For instance, a small studio fitness center could cost around $65,000, while a moderately sized center could cost around $115,000. You could likewise open a spin cycling studio for as low as $50,000, however depending on several factors the cost could be even higher. It’s conceivable to spend somewhere in the range of $50,000 (for something basic) to upwards of $1,000,000 for a large fitness center with all the amneities.

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Additionally, how much does it cost to start a gym from the ground up? For that, you’ll need to consider a variety of factors. Think about the area that you’d like your location to operate and whether you’ll lease or own the fitness center you’re building. Your expenses can go from a few thousand dollars—to as much as a few million dollars.

Regardless of your specific business decisions, it’s useful to separate the expenses into two classifications: one-time costs and recurring costs.

Pay It & Forget It: One-Time Costs to Start a Gym

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the principal expenses of opening a fitness center aren’t small. In any case, your fitness venture could possibly encompass several of the ideas mentioned here, so don’t hesitate to single out the pertinent information about how to start a gym and add it to your list.

Physical area

When planning to open a fitness center, one of the foremost considerations is the cost associated with acquiring the physical space. This expense can vary greatly, heavily influenced by factors such as the size and location of the property, as well as the decision between leasing versus purchasing the premises. Beyond providing adequate room for a variety of fitness equipment, a comprehensive gym setup may also include specialized spaces for group exercises such as cardio workouts, yoga, or spin classes.

Additional amenities, such as locker rooms, showers, or luxurious touches like a sauna, can enhance the appeal of your fitness center but also increase the initial outlay. The financial investment for setting up a fully equipped fitness center can balloon up to $800,000, particularly for those considering purchasing the property outright. Conducting in-depth research on the commercial real estate market within your target location is a vital step in this process, enabling you to make an informed decision that aligns with your budget and business goals.

Fitness center equipment

The range of equipment you plan to install in your fitness center is another significant expense that can widely vary depending on your specific requirements and the scope of your gym. For a small-scale, private studio, initial equipment costs may start from around $10,000 but could escalate to $50,000 or more for a larger fitness facility that aims to offer an expansive array of amenities and equipment options. When sourcing equipment, it’s beneficial to explore different suppliers and consider purchasing in bulk, as many dealers offer discounts for larger orders. This approach can lead to considerable savings. Investing time into researching and comparing prices and quality across different suppliers can ensure that you equip your fitness center with the best possible array of machines and tools while remaining within your budgetary confines.


Having an expert, ensured staff is essential to success. Certifications for fitness coaches can run from $500 to $800. A few sources to pursue include: American Council on Exercise (ACE), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

Licenses and permits

The licenses and permits you’ll require can vary from state to state. Make sure to look into the proper permits to operate a fitness center in your area – and any necessary health and building permits as well. Costs will also vary, but remember that legitimate licenses and permits are essential for a legitimate business.

Handling business expenses

You may require some assistance coordinating your rent, bringing the property deal to a close, or simply wading through the vital licenses and permits for your center. Expect to pay around $200 an hour for proper legal guidance. Charges will vary depending upon which records you’ll require (Certificate of Incorporation, Business License, Business Plan, Non-divulgence Agreement, Memorandum of Understanding, Employment Agreement, Operating Agreement, and so forth.), yet expect to pay around $9,000 to get everything set up.


Insurance essential for any business, and particularly significant for a fitness center. You’ll require a variety of liability insurance policies, depending on the size of the location and type of fitness you will be focused on.

Building upgrades and redesigning

This expense might possibly be needed, depending on the chosen space and any upgrades you intend to make. You’ll at any rate need to take the necessary steps to get the building up to code in the event that it isn’t currently. Be mindful of the space that you will need – and the traffic and types of exercise machines you will use. Remember that renovating costs can be expensive, so be cautious about the location that you choose.

PC system and POS framework

You’ll be set up with a PC system and a POS framework to accept current types of payment. This will help ensure your fitness center business and administration needs run smoothly. Depending upon which supplier and type of equipment you pick, you’ll be paying $550 to $2,300 every year for the services.


Here’s a chance to get innovative. Authentic fitness center signage can be found as low as $20, however you will probably spend much more on it.

Employee outfits

This is another cost that is completely up to you. For the most part, you need some consistency regarding staff uniforms. But for a fitness center, basic exercise garments are acceptable – and simple tees with logos are generally the standard.

Typical fitness center supplies

Clients will want certain supplies to be made available – so access to essential gym accessories are key. You will need towels, cushions – and basic exercise pieces such as grips, harnesses, and rehab tools. Expect at least a cost of $500 to get set up.


Don’t discount an opportunity to make some extra money with fitness products and gym accessories. Shirts, water bottles, and workout gear with your logo are common merchandise items that can add extra income. Vitamin supplements, protein shakes, and powders are ideal compliments for fitness training and can also boost monthly profits. Consider adding a space in your location for selling merchandise, which can add several hundred a month in sales.


You’ll need to advertise your fitness center to pull in likely clients. You could burn through $5,000 to run a more conventional print campaign targeting local publications – or place billboards in high-traffic areas close to your location.

A Responsive Website

Every vital business needs a web presence. If you are uncomfortable creating a site yourself, expect to pay $300 to $700 for a professional website design.

Petty Cash

You’ll need some money for everyday business tasks. We recommend having at least $1,000 at your disposal for general business expenses and emergencies.

Repeating and Progressing Costs to Start a Gym

Since the continuing expense of owning a fitness center changes so drastically depending on the size and other factors, we have created a list of potential costs you will need to consider. Precise figures will be up to you to research, but these factors are a good starting point and should give you some idea of what to expect.

Home loan or rent installments

Whether or not you lease or buy your location, you’ll have a month to month payment be it through a loan or rental agreement. Costs will vary, but it is important to budget for this monthly expenditure, which should be considered when looking at the overall budget.


If renovating an existing building, you will need to acquire the appropriate permits – which can also get fairly expensive. Check your requirements, which can vary sometimes from city to city.

Equipment rent installments

In the event that you decide to rent your exercise equipment, make sure to add those installments to your monthly cost of running a gym. standard costs range from $3,934 to $8,067 a month, yet that will vary depending upon the number of exercise machines and the type of equipment that you are using.


A fitness center uses a lot of electricity, especially if it’s open 24 hours a day. Larger gyms pay an average gym electrical bill of $63,465 to $68,413 yearly.

Equipment repairs and upkeep

Fitness center equipment gets hammered throughout each and every day. Ensure you factor in repair and upkeep costs. This could cost you around $25,040 every year.

Cleaning supplies

Neatness and cleanliness are essential requirements for a fitness center. You’ll require mops, vacuums, tissue, beach, wipes, uniform cleaning, etc. You might also need a washer and dryer for keeping towels clean every day. Expect a cost of about $150 month to month for basic cleaning and upkeep. Large fitness centers may spend anywhere from $12,609 to $29,980 every year.

HVAC Maintenance

Ensuring that your clientele is comfortable is essential. It is also important that the air be filtered and moving throughout the day. The normal expense for HVAC maintenance is about $500 a year.

Telephone and Internet administration

Your members will appreciate free Wi-Fi, which is something that any thriving business should offer. Expect to burn through $75 every month, or $900 every year.

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Employee wages

Employees will get different rates of pay depending upon their position and experience levels.  Ensure you that you have budgeted properly for employee income, especially during the first few months of business when you might not be making a profit.

Charge card preparing expenses

Standard industry rates for credit card purchases shouldn’t surpass 3.25%. You’ll need to consider required PCI compliance FEES, which commonly start at $5 every month. Numerous fitness centers lessen the degree of value-based expenses they pay by being mindful of the number of charges they make.


It’s up to you on how much you will intend to spend on advertising. If you are part of a popular franchise, monthly advertising costs might not run that high. You’ll need to consider what your individual plan of action will be and the various options that are available.

Bookkeeping/Legal Fees

It’s up to you on how much you will intend to spend on advertising. If you are part of a popular franchise, monthly advertising costs might not run that high. You’ll need to consider what your individual plan of action will be and the various options that are available.

Miscellaneous costs

Even with the most careful planning, no one can really tell what issues may emerge. It’s always a good plan to keep certain funds available for unexpected problems. These costs are separate from petty cash spending. We recommend you will spend about $1,000 every month.

Make a Difference By Starting a Profitable Special Needs Gym

Embark on a meaningful journey by establishing a profitable special needs gym, where purpose meets profit. This unique venture not only addresses a critical gap in accessible fitness but also contributes to the well-being of individuals with diverse abilities. Catering specifically to those with special needs, your gym becomes a haven for inclusivity, fostering physical and emotional growth. Discover the rewarding intersection of entrepreneurship and social impact, where each membership transcends mere business transactions. Create a space where everyone, regardless of abilities, can thrive, promoting health, community, and empowerment. Make a lasting difference in people’s lives while building a sustainable and profitable business centered around compassion and accessibility.

Plan for your financial future with a Special Strong fitness center – one of the fastest-growing franchises in the nation, spreading expert fitness and health goals to special needs people.

Expand Your Impact:

Beyond personal well-being, consider the profound impact of starting a Special Strong franchise on your community. You’re not just investing in a profitable venture; you’re creating an inclusive space where individuals with special needs can thrive physically and emotionally.

Comprehensive Training Programs:

Special Strong offers comprehensive training programs designed to equip franchise owners with the knowledge and skills to serve individuals with diverse abilities. As a franchisee, you’ll have access to specialized training that goes beyond traditional fitness certifications, enabling you to create personalized and adaptive fitness plans.

Tailored Fitness for Diverse Abilities:

With a Special Strong franchise, you’ll be at the forefront of providing tailored fitness solutions for people with special needs. The programs are carefully curated to address individual requirements, ensuring inclusivity and effectiveness in achieving fitness and health goals.

Fulfilling Entrepreneurship:

Embarking on this franchise journey goes beyond financial gains; it’s an opportunity for fulfilling entrepreneurship. By providing a supportive and inclusive environment, you contribute to the well-being of a community often overlooked in the fitness industry.

Community Engagement and Support:

Special Strong emphasizes community engagement and support. As a franchise owner, you become an integral part of a network dedicated to making a positive impact. You’ll have access to ongoing support, resources, and a community of like-minded individuals who share your passion for inclusivity in fitness.

Advocacy and Awareness:

Starting a Special Strong franchise allows you to actively participate in advocacy and awareness initiatives for individuals with special needs. It’s a chance to be a catalyst for change, challenging stereotypes and promoting a more inclusive and accessible approach to fitness and health.

Building a Profitable Future with Purpose:

Investing in a Special Strong franchise means building a profitable future with purpose. Your success isn’t just measured in financial terms; it’s measured by the positive transformations you facilitate in the lives of individuals with special needs.

Special Strong provides adaptive fitness for children, adolescents, and adults with mental, physical and cognitive challenges. Start your own Special Strong gym franchise today and create a lasting impact on your community.