Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Dogs > How to Start a Dog Grooming Business (2024 Guide)

How to Start a Dog Grooming Business (2024 Guide)

professional male groomer making haircut of poodle teacup dog at grooming salon

Dog grooming is a growing industry in the United States and many other countries worldwide. As dog ownership rises, so does the need for all the services associated with dogs, including grooming.

However, starting your own dog grooming business isn’t easy by any means. You must take many steps to start your business on the right foot.

divider-dog

Get Any Necessary Training

If you already know how to groom dogs, this step may not be necessary. However, many people could benefit from extra training before diving into dog grooming. Even if you worked as a dog groomer before, that doesn’t mean you know how to groom every dog out there.

Training can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands. Alternatively, you can apprentice with a larger chain. However, you often have to stay with that chain for several years before you’re allowed to leave. The National Dog Groomers Association of America offers some workshops and classes. However, these often aren’t comprehensive.

Once you get the training, you can showcase it at your business, which can help attract customers.

Grooming a Labradoodle
Image Credit: Shutterstock, Dikushin Dmitry

Decide on a Business Plan

There are many ways to go about opening a dog grooming facility. You can go the traditional route by renting a facility and outfitting it with the necessary equipment. However, this can be extremely expensive.

You can groom dogs out of your home. My grandmother had a separate “outbuilding” behind her home, outfitted as a dog grooming salon. It had a simple, two-room design. The checkout area was in the first room, and then there was a kennel room with grooming tables in the backroom.

Mobile groomers are becoming more and more common. It’s cheaper to start this way, as well.

Create a Business Plan

A business plan just describes how you expect your business to operate. How many dogs can you groom a day? How much will you charge per dog? Are you planning on hiring any employees? What are your operating costs compared with your profit?

Now is the time to iron out all the details of your business. Write them down formally in case you need to show them to someone for funding.

You should decide on a name here, as well. The name can be whatever you’d like. Despite having almost no restrictions, naming can take a while.

Man writing and doing research
Image Credit: Burst, Pexels

Form a Business Entity

You’ll probably want to form an LLC when you start a grooming business. This protects your assets when you’re a sole proprietor. Forming an LLC is necessary if you bring another person into the business. It outlines the partnership and prevents you from being liable for the other person’s actions.

There are many ways you can start a business entity. However, an LLC is the most popular.

Licenses and Permits

Once you’ve figured out the details of your business plan, it’s time to purchase the necessary permits and licenses. Not all areas require dog groomers to be licensed, but some do. You should know your business plan by this step to figure out exactly what licenses you need.

Check your local Chamber of Commerce for the most accurate information on the licenses you need in your area.

Open a Business Bank Account

You’ll want to keep your business expenses and personal expenses separate. The easiest way to do this is using a business bank account. You can open one at practically any bank.

Get Insurance

You’ll want to purchase business insurance before opening your doors or purchasing equipment. This insurance protects you in case of an accident and protects your stuff from natural disasters. There are many types of insurance you can purchase.

You’ll need liability insurance, at the very least. However, you should also consider getting insurance for all your belongings, as grooming equipment isn’t cheap.

men sitting at the table discussing insurance
Image Credit: RODNAE Productions, Pexels

Set Up the Business

Now, it’s time to set up the business and groom dogs. You’ll need to purchase all the necessary equipment, spruce up the building (or car), and maybe hire some employees.

Once you have everything set up, your next step is to advertise. Marketing isn’t always cheap, but many options are nearly free. You can use Facebook to advertise in your local area, for instance. You can also purchase advertisements, but this can be expensive. Setting up an effective marketing strategy is crucial for growing your pet business.

You can volunteer your services at local dog shelters and rescues. This allows you to get stellar before and after pictures while showing that you’re a dog lover, plus helping some dogs in need.

PK paw divider

Final Thoughts

Opening a grooming business can be complicated. However, if you follow the simple steps outlined above, you’ll have everything covered (and then some) by the day you open. Today, opening a business has never been easier. With so much information online and the option for free advertising, it’s very easy to open whatever business you’re dreaming of.

Of course, just because starting a business is easy doesn’t mean continuing a business is. Like most things in life, having a successful grooming business requires significant amounts of dedication and patience.


Featured Image Credit: BONDART PHOTOGRAPHY, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets