How to open a tattoo parlor in California
California is known for its cool vibe and laid back attitude, so it’s no surprise that it has a thriving tattoo community. With a multitude of stores and their tattoo style, opening your own can feel overwhelming.
If you are ambitious enough to open your own tattoo studio, you will have control over its tattoo artists and artistic direction, but you will also have to obey certain laws to maintain and improve your business.
Here are some tips that can help you if you are considering opening a tattoo parlor in California.
Name your business, form a legal entity and register for taxes
First of all, when starting to plan a business, it is essential to obtain pre-approval of your store names from the California Secretary of State, as well as federal and state brands, as there could be a another tattoo parlor of the same name.
Next, you will want to form a legal entity. The most common types include sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, and LLC (limited liability company).
You will also need to register for various state and federal taxes before opening your business. But remember that there are different options for how your business will be taxed, depending on the business structure you choose. Remember that you will also need to apply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) to register for taxes.
Apply for a business license, permits and insurance
After all other legal necessities, you will need to register your business license with your city to pay taxes. To get a permit, go to your local city clerk’s office and get a business tax certificate. With this certificate, your store will be registered with the local government and keep your business legitimate in terms of tax and operational information.
Your business will also need insurance to operate safely and legally. TO get coverage for small businesses in California you will need to purchase general liability insurance that protects you and your business against general claims such as personal injury and property damage. Almost all small businesses need this type of insurance because it covers expenses such as medical bills and legal fees.
Corporate bank account
To protect your personal assets, you will need to keep your personal and business finances in separate accounts and credit cards. This will make it easier to keep track of the company’s expenses and income. In addition, it will protect your personal assets in the event of legal action against your business and will greatly facilitate accounting and tax reporting.
Getting a business credit card will help you consolidate your business expenses in one place, keeping them separate from your personal expenses. It will also help build your business’s credit history, which will come in handy when raising funds and making subsequent investments. Note that credit cards may provide an easier way to finance your business.
Respect safety laws
Keep in mind that each state has its tattoo regulations and licensing requirements, as tattoo shops may be subject to regular inspections to ensure they are adhering to sterilization, sanitation and other health and safety measures. You can start operating your tattoo parlor after obtaining all the necessary permits and being authorized to do so.
You can check with the California Conference of Local Health Officers to make sure you are complying with the most recent laws. Note that if you violate health and safety laws, your license may be revoked and your store closed. You can find the rules of safe and sanitary practices for body art stores in California Safe Body Art Law.
Promote your brand
Your brand is what your tattoo parlor stands for, and having a strong brand will help you stand out from your competition. Note that as a tattoo artist, you have to devote some of your time to marketing. Word of mouth and social media are some of the ways promote your business.
Maintain a portfolio that can be viewed regularly online or in person, and also share your work on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest. Join the tattoo community, attend conventions around the world to showcase your work, and network with other tattoo artists.
If you are a talented artist who lives in California and want to open your tattoo parlor, remember to comply with specific laws so that your business can start and operate. Getting permits and insurance, making sure your store is sterile, and paying an administration fee is just the start of a much better business. Follow the regulations and requirements and you can start the job of your dreams.