How to open a Gym Business?



So, you’re thinking of opening a gym? Well, you’ve chosen a great industry to invest in. According to a 2020 report from the Global Health and Fitness Association, the global health club and gym industry was nearly $98.7 billion in revenue in 2019, and the number continues to grow. And, in a recent Corecamp article, “even non-members are trying out fitness clubs.” 

If you are ready to turn your passion into a profession, here’s how to open a gym in 10 steps.


The first thing you need to consider when opening a gym is your vision and the motivation behind your intent. If you are opening a gym because you think it will be an easy way to do what you love, recognize that starting a business takes extreme dedication, hard work, and sacrifice. But, if you have done mental gymnastics and see yourself as a gym owner, ask yourself the following questions as a starting point to create a business plan.

Do I want a boutique-style gym or more of a traditional gym with cardio and strength equipment?

Do I  want to offer personalized services or simply provide equipment and a hands-off approach?

Will I offer additional amenities to  members, such as tanning, supplements, and training?

Once you have an idea of your vision, you are ready to create a business model, the backbone to your gym.


Your business plan serves as the foundation when opening a gym. Probably the most important aspect of opening a gym business, this plan generates a  comprehensive strategy and becomes essential for obtaining financing or investors. A solid business plan should contain:

Brand vision

Products and services offered

A market analysis

Market research


Target audience

Sales and marketing tactics

Cost analysis

Grand opening outline

If this sounds overwhelming, consider investing in a gym franchise. At Workout Anytime, we work with our franchise owners from day one. We have already done the hard part and have over 22 years of experience perfecting the Workout Anytime brand. Investing in a Workout Anytime franchise is a great way of turning your dream of opening a gym into a reality without recreating the wheel.


With a solid business plan, you are now ready to secure the financial means to open a gym. Starting a gym varies in cost based on location, size and amenities offered. That is simply the start-up cost to get a new gym  off the ground and doesn’t consider daily operating costs, employees, and other necessities. There are several different lending options for opening a business, so consult with a  legal advisor or accountant on the best option for you. To learn more about investing in a gym, visit our Workout Anytime website and download a copy of our “Franchise Partner Approval Process.”  This is a great resource for anyone seeking to learn more about the initial investment of opening a gym business.


Once financing is in place, you will file a corporation or LLC for your business. This protects your assets and lets you begin to do business with vendors. Again, there are a few different business structures that could fit when opening a gym business. If you are not sure which is the best for your gym, get the advice of a CPA.


Deciding where to open a gym is another critical aspect of being a successful fitness entrepreneur. Market research, real estate prices, and whether you wish to buy or lease space, all affect where you choose to open a gym business and how much it will cost. We work with our Workout Anytime franchise owners on selecting the best location for their gym. From conducting market research to navigating leases, our experience in finding a location that will contribute to the success of your gym is a top priority.


You will need to register for local, state, and federal taxes to open your gym. But, first, obtain an EIN on the IRS website. Depending on the type of business you choose, S CORP, LLC, CORP, etc., will determine the tax structure your gym will fall under.


Whether working with a CPA or managing your own books, having a solid system for budgeting, taxes, employee wages, cash flow, and expenses is imperative when opening a gym business. The software you purchase for your gym may also have a built in system for finances.


Before you open the doors to your gym, be sure that all the proper licenses and insurance, including workers comp, are obtained, including a certificate of occupancy. Don’t overlook getting appropriate licensees for music. In addition to filing all the necessary paperwork, it is important to have your documents easily accessible in the event that inspectors or city officials visit your gym or if your gym is audited. Some gym owners even print copies and keep them framed in their offices. The best part of investing in a franchise, such as Workout Anytime, is that we provide the playbook which makes navigating the process of gym ownership much less stressful. Our Workout Anytime team provides the guidance that franchise owners need to have all the necessary documentation, licenseings, permits, and insurance to run a gym without any disruptions.


There are companies that specialize strictly in gym ownership software and we have done the research to ensure that the software we  use in the gyms is the very best. The software will help you manage the daily operations of your gym including memberships, appointments, marketing to members and guests and more.


Congratulations! You are now ready to launch your own gym business. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression, so take advantage of branding your business and leveraging a one-of-a-kind grand opening. Continue to market your gym on social media, websites, community events, and contests to maintain the momentum! If, after reading this article, you feel passionate about opening a gym business, our Workout Anytime franchise support team would love to talk to you and answer any questions you may have. Through our decades of experience, we have learned what it takes to open a gym and find success. That’s why we stand by our franchise owners from day one and long after they have opened the doors to their gym. You can request a demo on our Workout Anytime website and download valuable resources from our Workout Anytime library.

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