How To Start a Tattoo Removal Business [Rules & Regulations]

If you are interested in starting a tattoo removal business, now is a great time to enter the field. As the popularity of tattoos has increased, the demand for and awareness of sophisticated laser tattoo removal has as well. 

Before you open a tattoo removal business, it is important to research rules and regulations in your state, brand, and market your establishment, find an office space, purchase the proper equipment, and hire and train qualified staff. Prior to opening, make sure this is something you are dedicated to doing as it is a large financial and time commitment.

Although acquiring all of this may seem like an enormous task at first, opening up your own tattoo removal business is achievable when you take things one step at a time and follow a good business plan. In this article, we will review each of the categories listed in order to help you get started on opening your tattoo removal business.

The Rules and Regulations of Tattoo Removal

Out of all of the different items on your to-do list for setting up your tattoo removal shop, this one should be at the top of the list with the highest priority. Technically, laser tattoo removal is a medical procedure, so it is extremely important to follow the correct regulations.

In the United States, rules and regulations for the tattoo removal business do vary from state to state, so the rules and regulations you will have to follow within your shop will vary depending on your location. 

One of the most important regulations is whether or not the person who is performing the tattoo removal has to be a medical professional. In 45 U.S. states, entrepreneurs with no background in medicine are legally allowed to operate profitable laser tattoo removal businesses. 

Some U.S. states do not have any regulation on this subject, some have minimal regulation, and a few have very strict regulations that require the hiring of medical professionals who hold medical degrees.

Rules and Regulations of Tattoo Removal

The most common regulation rules in varying U.S. states include the following:

  • You must use an FDA-approved device for the removal of tattoos.
  • You must have a physician or medical director who is affiliated with your practice.
  • Any laser operators must be certified and have a minimum of 16 hours of hands-on training.
  • Your laser operators must also have the proper laser safety certifications and training.

While some of these regulations may seem intimidating, they are easier than they may seem to follow if you are willing to dedicate your time and resources.

Laser Equipment Must Be FDA-Approved

Laser equipment companies that are trustworthy will sell you the FDA-approved equipment, there are training organizations that will help train and certify your staff, and it is easier than you may think to hire a medical director as it is typically not a full-time position.

If you have any questions that are specific to your individual state’s regulations, we recommend that you research your individual state’s laws regarding laser tattoo removal. If you like to find out more about purchasing such tattoo removal machines check out this guide. 

Branding is Everything

Branding is an incredibly important part of any business,but especially in a tattoo removal business. Think of your branding as the personality of your establishment. 

The branding affects nearly every aesthetic element of your business, so it is important to not overlook factors like the energy you want the environment to have, the name, how you decorate, and what kind of items you will have in reception.

For some types of businesses, entrepreneurs will pick a fun and catchy name that makes them memorable. Others will pick a professional name that makes them sound the most credible and trustworthy. This is all a part of how you would like your brand to come off to customers and clients, and the type of clientele you are aiming to attract. 

Another big part of branding is how the interior of your building is decorated. For example, a children’s dentist may define their brand as fun by having murals on the walls, games in the reception area, and prizes for well-behaved kids.

 On the other hand, a dentist for adults may have a more professional and clean-cut appearance with plants, muted tones, books and magazines in reception, and an organized color scheme. The difference in appearance reflects the clients the office serves. This is something you will want to do with your interior as well.

Marketing Your Tattoo Removal Business

As with any business, it is important to start marketing for your business as soon as you possibly can, even before you open your doors for clients and customers. 

The reason you want to market as soon as possible is that doing so allows you to spread awareness for your services. The more people that know about your business, the more people are likely to use it and book at your tattoo removal business. 

In an age that relies so heavily on the internet, we suggest you focus the majority of your efforts on online marketing. People are highly likely to research online before choosing a provider for services they need, especially when the service is a medical or cosmetic procedure. 

People will want to watch videos of treatments, be able to read testimonials from other patients, and see before and after photos to help them make their decision.

Tattoo Removal Business

Being that many people will go to the internet to gain this information, it is crucial to do everything you can to get your website to the top of a Google, Yahoo, or web search in your area. As a key part of your marketing strategy, we recommend you build a great website to represent your business online.

In addition to having a great website, it is important to have a strong online social media presence.

 Although older people may have tattoos, young people make up a large majority of people who actively get tattoos. Young people also spend a larger portion of their time on social media than older people do, and tend to use it to research businesses they are interested in using for shopping and services. 

Customers of all ages also tend to expect businesses to have an active social media presence. Having this presence can help a business seem more trustworthy to potential clients.

Finally, we recommend considering using email marketing. Email is a cheap and easy way to keep in touch with your current clients and new potential clients, send out information on deals, specials, and savings, and keep your business fresh in the heads of your customers. The internet is prime for marketing! Take advantage of this.

Finding a Good Office Space for your Tattoo Removal Business

When you are starting out your brand new business, it is important to minimize as many expenses as possible. Office spaces can get quite expensive, so it is important to compare your wants and your needs so that you do not overspend in this category. 

We would recommend getting the most basic office possible and upgrading only once you have a steady income from your tattoo removal business. You do not really need much more than 800-100 square feet for your office. When you are first starting out, you will only really need a small reception area, a small office area, and a small treatment room.

Retail office spaces are more difficult to divide into these types of spaces, so many entrepreneurs opening a laser tattoo removal business will opt to rent space within a medical office building, or to rent space within a spa.

Purchasing The Proper Equipment For Your Tattoo Removal Business

It is important to begin establishing a relationship with a laser tattoo removal supply company as soon as you know that you are serious about starting a laser tattoo removal business. 

There are also many factors that you will need to consider before you choose a laser so that you can ensure the one you buy is the best fit for your business. 

  • Pick a laser that suits your needs and your client’s needs. Some lasers remove both colors and black ink, and some only remove one or the other. 
  • Some lasers warm up slowly and some warm-up quickly. Pick one that will suit your needs time-wise.
  • Make sure to pick a laser that fits in your treatment room, as some are larger than others.
  • Depending on your budget, you will need to decide if you will be starting out with the most advanced equipment, or starting out with basic equipment and planning to upgrade later on.

There are many things to think about before buying a laser. There are also important questions that are about the company you buy the laser from, including:

  • Whether or not you feel comfortable buying from this company and if this a trusted and respected company in this field.
  • The financing options the company offers.
  • The options you have for upgrading in the future. 
  • The options you have for an extended warranty and the cost of one.
  • The amount of time service requests take to be completed.

We encourage anyone interested in starting their own tattoo removal business to do as much research on equipment as possible before purchasing, as this is one of the major cornerstones in your business. Hopefully, the above questions will give you a good place to start.

Hire the right staff for your tattoo business

Hiring Trained Staff

Last, but certainly not least, is who to hire for your staff in your new tattoo removal business. Typically, in this type of business, you will not need many staff members when you are first starting out. 

Once you are established you will typically only need an office manager, a laser technician, and a medical director depending on the rules and regulations in your state.

When you are first starting out, the office manager and laser technicians can typically be filled by the same person so long as the individual has gone through the proper training and meets all qualifications your state requires.

You will also want to ensure that the hiring and start time of your staff aligns with the purchase of your tattoo removal laser so that training is available to them when provided. 


Starting your own tattoo removal business can be an incredibly exciting venture. You can offer people services they may be in need of, and help improves someone’s sense of confidence. 

Now that you are aware of what opening a tattoo removal business generally consists of, we encourage you to reflect on whether this venture is the right move for you. If opening a tattoo removal business is something you are passionate about, the starting costs will be worth it in the long run.

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