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How to Start a Dog Grooming Business (2024 Guide)

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on July 8, 2024 by Dogster Team

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

How to Start a Dog Grooming Business (2024 Guide)

Dog grooming is a growing industry in the United States and many other countries. 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 several steps to start your business off on the right foot.

Get Any Necessary Training

If you already know how to groom dogs, this step may not be necessary. However, many owners can 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.

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 the company for several years before you’re allowed to leave. The National Dog Groomers Association of America offers some workshops and classes. However, they often aren’t comprehensive.

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

Grooming a Labradoodle
Image Credit: Shutterstock, Dikushin Dmitry

Decide on a Business Plan

There are many ways to open a dog grooming facility. The traditional route involves renting a facility and outfitting it with the necessary equipment. However, it can be extremely expensive, and some groomers work out of their homes.

Mobile groomers are also becoming increasingly common. Opening a mobile business is cheaper, and you can charge customers more for the convenience of the service.

Create a Business Plan

A business plan details 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 to your profit?

Now is the time to iron out all the details of your business. You should decide on a name 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 determine which 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 and personal expenses separate. The easiest way to do this is to use a business bank account, which you can open at practically any bank.

Get Insurance

You’ll want to purchase business insurance before opening your doors or purchasing equipment. It protects you in case of an accident and protects your property 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 they 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.

Summing Up

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

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