In this article, we’re going to answer the question “How much does it cost to start a dog grooming business?” We’ll look at how you can work with your current job or find other jobs that allow you time for grooming to get started. You will also learn about the necessary equipment and supplies needed as well as the costs associated with building a clientele.
Table of Contents
- Dog Grooming Business Cost Summary
- Business Registration Costs
- Licensing And Training Costs
- Website Setup And Design Costs
- Cost Of Supplies Needed To Start A Dog Grooming Business
- Mobile Costs Vs Brick And Mortar Costs
- Brick And Mortar Leasing Costs
- Cost Of Mobile Dog Grooming Equipment
- Employee Costs And Employee Training Costs
- Marketing Costs
- Potential Revenue
Dog Grooming Business Cost Summary
Note: If you click some of the links in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.
To start and maintain a dog grooming business expect to pay the following:
- One-Time Setup Costs = $18,000
- Recurring Annualized Costs =$7,350
See the table below for a complete breakdown of possible costs. Note that this will change for your state, city, or county based on what you are selling and what they require. Verify this information with a local certified public accountant. This is provided for informational purposes only based on our experience in Colorado.
|Expense||Cost||Recurring or One Time?|
|State Business Registration||$50, varies||Annual|
|Licensing and Training||$0 (or make money through apprenticeships)||Not Applicable|
|Website Setup and Hosting||$100||Annual|
|Mobile Dog Grooming Van with Branding||$17,000||One-Time|
|Dog Grooming Shavers, Shears, and Supply Kit||$1,000||One-Time|
|Commercial Auto Insurance||$1,000||Annually|
|General Liability Insurance||$500||Annually|
|Health Insurance (one person, owner)||$4,800||Annually|
|Employees||$14 per hour||Ongoing|
Business Registration Costs
Business registration varies from state to state. In my state of Colorado, it costs $50 to register a new business with the state.
Even though dog grooming is mainly unregulated, you still need to register your business with most states for tax purposes. If you plan on selling retail items at your store you may need to register for a sales tax license with your state, city, or county.
See a certified public accountant for help on this topic. We are not CPAs nor do we pretend to be. We’re just offering our experience for informational purposes only.
Keep your butt covered and find a local CPA!
Licensing And Training Costs
As discussed above expect to pay $50 a year, more or less, for registration costs to get a business license in your state.
Dog grooming is unregulated and typically licensing to be a dog groomer or formal training is not required.
This article assumes you are going into business on your own to be a dog groomer.
Costs for training vary greatly depending on if you do it for free, get an apprenticeship, or pay for formal training.
Free is free.
Apprenticeships through Petsmart, Petco, or your local salon or retail store usually pay $10 per hour during training.
Formal training at a college or online costs anywhere from $500 up to several thousand dollars.
See our complete article on training costs here.
Website Setup And Design Costs
A basic website using bluehost.com will cost about $100 – $300 to set up and host annually.
Bluehost has a great beginner plan for $3.95 a month (click here to check the current price). It’s where we start all our new websites. That’s our affiliate link and we may make a small commission at no cost to you if you sign up.
In addition, you’ll need to pay $60 or so for a logo.
You can hire out the writing of your main pages or ideally do it yourself. At a minimum you’ll need the following on your website:
- The home page that tells your story, describes your services and lists costs, and includes a Gmail address, phone number, and possibly a form so people can contact you.
- Contact us page
There are a ton of good YouTube videos on how to set up WordPress on your website and the pages you’ll need.
In addition, since your dog grooming business is local you’ll want to register it with GoogleMyBusiness, which is free.
Cost Of Supplies Needed To Start A Dog Grooming Business
Supply costs vary greatly. If you start small and work through word of mouth you can get away with just basic grooming gear which will run you between $300 – $900. Some of the courses you can take for pet grooming included a full supply kit.
We also included costs to fully set up a mobile dog grooming business for about $18,000. You can read that article here. Most of that expense comes from buying the van and setting it up with artwork and branding.
Mobile Costs Vs Brick And Mortar Costs
When building your own pet grooming business you need to decide where you’ll do the grooming. In general, you’ll be looking at two main options:
- Renting or Leasing a Brick and Mortar dog grooming location
- Setting up a mobile dog grooming van
- Working from home
To start we recommend working from home and using word of mouth to grow your business. Once that gets to a comfortable level you can expand to one of the other options.
Please check with your CPA and your local zoning regulations to see if you can run this type of business out of your home. I’ve had a duck raising operation shut down due to not being zoned for it.
Working from home is great but zoning won’t always allow it.
Brick And Mortar Leasing Costs
Leasing commercial retail space for pet grooming will vary widely. Expect to pay anywhere from $10 per square foot in a bad location to $25 per square foot in a better location.
Assuming you rent a space that’s about 500 square feet that’s $5,000 to $12,500 per month. Most commercial locations require multi-year leases.
To use that’s a huge risk when you can also potentially work from a home location for free if the zoning works out.
Also, you can buy a used mobile dog grooming van and fully outfit it for $18,000.
Cost Of Mobile Dog Grooming Equipment
As discussed above we do a deep dive into setting up a mobile dog grooming van for about $18,000. See our article for the details here.
If zoning won’t let you work from home we recommend looking at the mobile setup versus leasing a commercial space.
Employee Costs And Employee Training Costs
To start we recommend working solo. Once you have some momentum with either your home-based dog grooming business or your mobile van dog grooming business you can consider adding employees.
Expect to pay about $14 – $25 per hour for the average dog groomer rate. Most dog grooming salons pay 50% commission plus let you keep tips.
If they are using your van then you’ll need to work the IRS mileage rate and recouping that from what you pay.
Using word-of-mouth marketing will more or less just cost your time. At first, you can focus on cutting friend’s and family’s dogs’ hair for free and asking for referrals. Then branch out and ask your paid referrals for referrals.
If you followed the steps above you also signed up for GoogleMyBusiness. That will bring you local leads nearby through Google Maps. That is also free to an extent.
If you want you can start adding articles to your website to bring even more leads in. Facebook ads and Instagram ads are also a possibility. Use these options late in the game long after building a referral client base.
Ads to get leads will cost you 3-6 months of learning and $3,000 – $5,000 in practice ads to learn. Blogging (content marketing) will cost you your time to write the articles than 6-12 months for them to rank and start bringing in leads.
Now that you know all the costs how much are you likely to make? We’ll show you exactly how much in this article how much you can make as a dog groomer.