Friday, April 19, 2024

Do I Need A License To Open A Massage Business

Obtaining A Massage Parlor License

How to Start Your Own Massage Business

Not all states require massage therapists to hold a professional license, and most state laws that do credential massage therapists have only been in existence for little more than a decade. In recent years, however, there have been more efforts to professionalize massage therapy and to regulate its practice.

The reason for these changes is largely an effort to establish therapeutic massage as a health care discipline. There is also the ongoing concern about regulating vice. Many communities are concerned about the possibility of brothels operating under the guise of offering massage. While these concerns are sometimes addressed by investigations by local law enforcement, many communities seek to preemptively address potential problems by tightly regulating the licensing process.

How To Start A Massage Business

Published on – Written By: Lars Lofgren

Starting a massage business is a great option for someone looking for either part-time or full-time work in helping people heal their minds and bodies.

Massage therapists do need quite a bit of training and education to be able to start their own businesses.

They also need to obtain licenses and certificates to be able to operate legally in most states.

Although it requires quite a bit of preparation, this type of business can be quite rewarding for someone interested in promoting healthy living,

How Long Does It Take To Become A Licensed Massage Therapist

Like most things massage therapy, this will depend on your state, though all states require a minimum amount of training time before you can take the licensing exam. States like Kentucky require at least 600 hours of training, while some states, like New York, require as many as 1,000 hours of training.

Depending on what kind of massage therapy school you attend and whether you go full-time or part-time, these hours can take anywhere from 5 months to 2 years to complete, with most training programs taking about a year to complete.

You can sign up to take the MBLEx as soon as you finish your hours of training, though it can take up to 5 days for the application to process once youâve paid the fee. You have a maximum of two hours to complete the test once you begin. If you need to retest for any reason, youâll need to wait at least 30 days.

Once youâve finished your hours and passed your exam, youâll also be required to complete a background check to make sure there are no crimes in your past that directly go against the professional ethics of the industry. Depending on the service used, this can take a few days or a few weeks to process.

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Does My Massage Establishment Also Need A Florida Salon License

If you have a licensed cosmetologist, facial specialist , nail specialist , or full specialist working in your massage establishment, then a salon license issued by the Florida Board of Cosmetology is likely required in addition to your massage establishment license.

And vice versa, licensed salons that want to have a massage therapist offering massage within the salon should also obtain a massage establishment license.

For more information on Florida salon licenses, visit

What Is A Massage And Special Treatment Licence

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Under the London Local Authorities Act 1991 all premises offering special treatments must have a massage and special treatment licence.

We make getting your Massage and Special Treatment licence a simple, stress-free process

These services include the following:

Light treatment such as intense pulse light

Electric treatment

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Unlicensed Practice Of A Health Care Profession Intent Cease And Desist Notice

Because all enforcement costs should be covered by professions regulated by the department, the department shall impose, upon initial licensure and each licensure renewal, a special fee of $5 per licensee to fund efforts to combat unlicensed activity. Such fee shall be in addition to all other fees collected from each licensee.

Notes:All licenses under Chapter 456, including massage therapists and massage establishments, pay $5 each renewal to help combat unlicensed activity.

What Is Mobile Massage

Before we dive into the specifics of starting a mobile massage business, it is crucial to understand what is meant by mobile massage. Think of the different places a person gets a massage: spa, massage parlor, hotel or resort, their home, etc.

One does not need to be in a specific location to receive massage therapy. This concept is the underlying theme of mobile massage. Mobile massage refers to the concept where the massage therapist visits the client wherever the client is located to offer massage therapy. Most often, the massage therapist visits the client at their home, hotel, or office.

Typically most mobile massage bookings are to clients homes or hotels . Mobile massage at offices is also known as corporate massage and is often booked by companies for their employees.

If you are working as a mobile massage therapist, you will most likely visit clients in their homes or hotels. If you are familiar with chair massage then you could also be booked for offering mobile massage at offices.

Essentially, any massage session where you travel to the location of the client to offer massage therapy is known as a mobile massage. The characteristic of mobile massage is to provide spa-quality massage at the clients site. To do this, the mobile massage therapist carries everything they need massage table, oils, candles, music, etc. to offer a spa-quality massage.

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Candles Music & Towels

As you know, the quality of the massage improves drastically in a calm and serene environment. Your job as a mobile massage therapist is to create an ambiance conducive to delivering a spa-quality massage.

To do this, you will also need to carry scented candles and relaxing music. Often your clients will rely on you to provide the music for the massage session. Have several playlists loaded that match the pace of your massage.

Finally, the best mobile massage therapists also carry several pairs of towels for the clients. Most of the clients will supply their own towels for draping purposes, but being the professional that you are, you should have few fresh, clean towels handy.

Now that you have met the pre-requisites for starting a mobile massage business, you are ready to begin accepting clients! In the next section, I will discuss the various ways you will get customers to your mobile massage business.

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Professional Licensing For Massage Therapists

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Licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction. Most states regulate massage therapy, and many require licensure. In addition, towns and cities may have their own credentialing requirements. If you plan to earn your own license or hire other massage therapists to work for you, it’s important that you understand the licensing requirements for the area in which you operate.

In most cases, massage therapy licensing requires practitioners to complete a training course, pass a state licensing or national certification exam and undergo a criminal background check. It is possible to obtain massage therapy training through standalone massage schools, some cosmetology schools, vocational schools and community colleges.

Training programs are typically at least 500 hours in length but often exceed 1,000 hours. Training is a combination of classroom courses as well as practical work in a student clinic or through internships at local spas, health care offices or bodywork centers. After initial licensure, massage therapists are often required to complete continuing education courses as a condition of license renewal.


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Massage Oils Creams & Lotions

As a mobile massage therapist, you will need to carry the oils, creams, and lotions that you need for the therapy session. If you perform aromatherapy, then you will need to bring several bottles of aromatherapy oils.

Most mobile massage therapists carry popular oils such as grapeseed oil. Depending on the type of therapies you perform, you might need to bring additional oils and creams.

Aim to carry everything you will need for the session. Your goal is to offer a spa-quality treatment to your client, and using the right oils is part of providing an excellent service.

Is A Massage Therapy License The Same As A Business License

No, although you may be required to have both, depending on the type of massage therapy work you do. Massage therapy licensure is required for any practitioner of massage therapy, even if theyâre an employee of a larger company. The massage therapy license is unique to the industry and shows youâre competent in the field.

On the other hand, a business license certifies that your business is allowed to operate legally in your area and is safe for the public to engage with.

Not every massage therapist will need a business license since not every massage therapist is a business owner. For instance, massage therapists who work full-time at fitness centers wonât need to register for a business license since theyâre employed by a business that will be licensed. But if you decide to pick up your own clients part-time, you most likely will need to register as a business.

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Who Is The Target Market For Your Massage Therapy Business

Most massage therapy business clients are adults. According to the American Massage Therapy Associations most recent consumer survey, 67 percent of survey respondents stated that their last massage had been for medical reasons. Twenty-six percent of respondents sought out massage because of stress, and 23 percent of respondents got a massage to pamper themselves. The largest age demographics for people looking for massages range from the early twenties through the mid-sixties.

Customers may seek out massages for different reasons, and massage therapists can tailor their businesses to market to specific audiences. Some massage therapists may focus on promoting how massage can relieve pain after injuries, while others may focus on the stress-relieving benefits of a massage. The target markets for each type of business will differ, so its important for a business owner to understand their branding and target audience.

How To Acquire A New Massage Therapy Client

Do I Need a License to Open a Salon?

In his amazing book, Guerilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business Jay Conrad Levinson talks about peoples attention spans. He states in the book that the average person usually listens only about 1/7 of the time when they think they are being sold to and that someone needs to hear something 7x to take action. So the average person needs to see or hear a commercial 49x before they really decide whether to take action.

In my situation, my friend told me about 7x about her friend. As well, I drove past the clinic a number of times. Also, I probably saw their Facebook ads a few times. Before I even clicked on their ad, I had heard about them at least 15x over an eleven month period.

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Nerships Corporations And Limited Liability Companies

Licenses issued to partnerships, corporations and limited liability companies are non-transferrable following dissolution and reformation of a partnership, corporation, or limited liability company.

Requirements for Partnerships, Corporations, and Limited Liability Companies:

  • A Designated Establishment Manager ,who is a massage therapist with an active license without restrictions, who is responsible for the operation of the establishment in compliance with Chapters 456 and 480, Florida Statutes and Rule 64B7, Florida Administrative Code.Massage therapists who are establishment owners may also serve as the DEM for that establishment.
  • Background screening of every establishment owner completed through an approved Livescan provider. Establishment owners are:
  • Each partner in a partnership,
  • Each owner/officer of a corporation, and each interested party for corporations with more than $250,000 in business assets in the state of Florida, or
  • Each member of an LLC.

Your massage establishment owners will be verified using your most recent filing with the Division of Corporations. Massage therapists who are owners have already met this requirement in most cases you may be required to complete a new background screening if the screening required to become licensed as a massage therapist was not retained. Visit for additional information about the background screening process.

Background Screening

Can I Have A Massage Establishment In My Home

Yes and no.

The short answer is that if your home is zoned residential, you should be able to obtain an establishment license in your home as long as it meets the requirements for inspection. There are not any state laws or board rules that prohibit a home in a residential area from obtaining a massage establishment license.

However, some cities/counties prohibit massage establishment home businesses. I am looking at you Orlando!

Contact your city or county government if you have questions about having a massage establishment in your home.

If your home is not zoned residential, read below.

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Get Insurance For Your Massage Business

Now that you know how to start a massage business, it is time to protect that business. Having massage therapist insurance will allow you to do what you do best – take care of clients. Now you can practice without the worry of a claim disrupting your business. Professional and general liability insurance is available through BBI without any additional membership fees.

Is It Better To Buy A Franchise

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Buying a ready-made business is a good idea for beginners. You will get a business plan, support from the management company, and a well-known name!

The easiest way to find a franchise is the online one. Start with comparing brands, initial investment, and period of self-efficiency. Promotion strategy, design, and management will be provided by the seller. Also pay attention to the distribution of income between the management company, and the business owner. All the details have to be mentioned in the contract.

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Requirement #: Company Formation & Employment Status To Start A Mobile Massage Business

As a mobile massage therapist running your mobile massage business, you will receive clients from two primary sources:

  • Clients from mobile massage marketplaces
  • Clients from your own marketing efforts

Most mobile massage marketplaces will require you to work as a freelance massage therapist. Additionally, to service your personal clients, you will need to operate under a company structure.

Before you can start working for a mobile massage marketplace or servicing your clients, you will need to choose a business structure.

In the U.S., most massage therapists set-up as a sole proprietorship or a Limited Liability Company . In the U.K., massage therapists typically form an LTD company or set-up a sole proprietorship.

Working With Related Businesses

As a massage therapist, you may be able to save some money on rent by cooperating with related health businesses. Perhaps you could create a partnership with a chiropractor or an acupuncturist to offer massage services in their offices. A spa, athletic studio, or yoga studio may allow you to set up a massage room at an existing business for a reduced rent cost.

These types of locations and businesses often will have people already visiting them who may have an interest in massage. This extra foot traffic can introduce your business to more clients quickly.

Perhaps the therapist could operate out of his or her primary location a few days a week and set up shop inside a related business for another day or two each week.

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Where Can I Get What I Need

Finally, if theres a gap between the resources you have and the resources youll need, you must fill it. The first place you should turn is your personal savings. You ought to have saved a minimum of three months and ideally a minimum of six months, Bowman says. Youve got to have that reserve or youll be dead in the water.

If you dont have the savings now, start accumulating immediately while you work for someone else. If you save 20 percent of your paycheck every month, it will be worth waiting for when you have saved enough so you can start your business without going into debt, says Los Angeles-based massage therapist Ruth Belcher, CMT, owner of Therapeutic Ruth.

If your ambitions exceed the capacity of your savings account, consider a bank loan. Specifically, a loan that is backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration , advises Susan Alexander, senior vice president and western territory sales manager for SBA lending at PNC bank, who says SBA loans are designed for business owners who might not qualify for a traditional bank loan. To qualify, she says, youll typically need a strong credit rating, 20 percent down , roughly the same amount in cash reserves and personal collateral with which to secure the loan.

Youll also need a business plan, which will help the bank determine whether youll be successful enough to repay your loan. Even if you dont need a loan, however, you should consider creating a business plan.

A business plan should include:

Understanding Federal And State Massage Therapy License Laws

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Regulations about massage therapy certification and licensure are often misunderstood.

Massage therapists aren’t subject to any national regulations when it comes to running this type of business. There isn’t a national licensing or certification program that would allow a single massage therapist to practice anywhere within the United States.

Many states have a massage therapy board that sets educational requirements, testing requirements, and issues licenses. So, it’s important to understand and follow the regulations that apply to massage therapists in the state or states where the therapist practices.

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