How to Start a Tattoo Business

tatoo artist business owner

If you’re a highly creative and artistic person, tattooing may be something you’ve taken an interest in. It can be a beautiful art form and wonderful way to express your talents. Honing your skills in this trade can take some time and may require apprenticeship training, but once you’re ready to branch off and open your own tattoo business, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Understanding the Tattoo Industry

Tattooing can be an amazing industry to become involved in. But, it’s important to learn about the industry overall before you undertake your business endeavour. There are certain laws and permits that you may require in order to run your business. Each Province and city has specific regulations and by-laws you’ll want to make yourself aware of, to ensure you’re operating within those regulations.

You can start by contacting Health Canada, who may be able to direct you to the Provincial and municipal bodies for information specific to your area.

Create Your Business Model

If you want to get somewhere, it’s important to know how you’re getting there. Your business model will help you create that plan for the future of your business. You will want to take into account future projections for revenue and concerns you may have with liability. Take the time to think through all of these things to create a solid business model before moving forward.

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Types of Business Registrations

There are two different types of business registrations you can complete to get your business up and running. Depending on how you want your business structured, you can choose to register as a small business with a Master Business Licence, or Incorporate. There are several differences between each type, so depending on what your needs are, you can decide which is best for you and your tattoo business.

  • Fees are lower than incorporating, but the licence needs to be renewed every 5 years to stay active
  • Personal liability for any personal or property loss that happens because of your business
  • No name protection, so another business can use the same name
  • Taxed at a personal level
  • Limited number of changes that can be made to the registration

If you would like to have us complete a Master Business Licence, click on the button below to get started.

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  • Fees are higher to incorporate, but no renewals are required to stay active
  • Limited personal liability protection
  • Name protection within your jurisdiction
  • Taxes are done separately, and there may be possible tax savings and advantages
  • Any changes needed can be made through Notices of Change or Amendments

If you would like to have us Incorporate in Ontario on your behalf, click on the button below to start today!

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Figure Out Your Target Market

Knowing who you’re targeting as potential customers will help you direct your marketing efforts more effectively. You won’t want to waste time, effort and money marketing to the wrong audience, so getting to understand the specific needs of your prospective clients can help streamline those efforts.

Obtaining Capital

Depending on the size of your business, location, equipment you’re going to need and a number of other factors, the amount of money you’ll need to get started will fluctuate. You’ll also want to take into account any permits or licences specific to tattooing you may need to acquire or renew.

Determining your business model and business plan can help give you a better picture of how much money you’ll need to get started, and the amount you’ll need to generate to keep things moving in the direction you want.

Market Your Business

It’s much easier to target your potential clients when you know exactly who you’re aiming to attract. Create a comprehensive marketing strategy that branches out through a broad spectrum of sources to get maximum results. You can start by tapping into your existing network of family and friends to help with marketing your business.

You can also pair with like-minded business and those targeting the same market, whether it’s a clothing business, hair salon or any other type of business where the same audience would be sought after. Joining forces can help you increase your marketing power, especially if you’re pairing with an established brand.

Of course, in the tattoo business, the actual artwork you’re doing is your best form of advertising. The work you do speaks for itself, so be sure to get as much of it out there in front of people’s eyes.

Understanding the different aspects of the tattoo industry can help you create an effective marketing strategy and business plan, to pave the way for the long-term success of your business.

When you’re ready to register your tattoo business, Ontario Business Central can help you in obtaining your Master Business Licence or Articles of Incorporation on the same day. 

Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our staff for additional information and assistance.
Toll-Free: 1-800-280-1913
Local: 1-416-599-9009
Fax: 1-866-294-4363
Office Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Monday – Friday E.S.T.

Ontario Business Central Inc. is not a law firm and cannot provide a legal opinion or advice. This information is to assist you in understanding the requirements of registration within the chosen jurisdiction. It is always recommended, when you have legal or accounting questions that you speak to a qualified professional.