How to Start a Mobile Spray Tan Business

spray tanning

If you want to become your own boss and love tanning, but don’t want all the costs associated with renting or owning a space for your business, have you considered starting a mobile spray tan business?

Unlike a traditional spray tan business, a mobile one takes much less investment, because you don’t need a salon, you just need a car, a spray tan machine, and a good advertising strategy.

If this sounds like a dream, then you’re in the right place. But before we get into how to start your mobile spray tan business, let’s look at what a mobile spray tan business is.

What is a Mobile Spray Tan Business?

A mobile spray tanning business offers the same services as a regular spray tanning business, except that the business travels to its clients at home (or in the office, each to their own).

See it as a portable spray tan – you pick up your equipment and take it to your client, rather than stay in one place and have them come to you.

It is popular amongst clients because it is hugely timesaving for them. They also don’t have to worry about wearing old baggy clothes around the city after they have had their spray tan.

It is a great option for you, looking to start a business, as well. The upfront costs are lower than they are for a regular spray tan business, and you will get to travel around and see inside lots of houses! Regular clients will start to feel like friends. People feel more comfortable in their own homes and so will welcome you like a guest.

Does a travelling spray tan business sound like it could be just the kind of thing you’d like to try? Read on for everything you need to do to get started.

What Do I Need to Start a Mobile Spray Tan Business?

As with any business, there will be some cost involved in setting yourself up. This will always be a risk of an investment, because unless you already have loyal clients from a previous salon, you don’t know if it will pay off.

The great news about setting up a mobile spray tan business is that this cost is lower. You won’t have to rent or buy a salon space, or furnish one, which is one of the most substantial costs of starting a regular spray tan business.

Let’s have a look at what you will need to buy.


You will, of course, need a spray tan machine and some spray tan products.

For the spray tan machine, choose something that balances price, quality, and portability. You will be carrying this machine a lot – in and out of the car, up people’s garden paths, upstairs, downstairs – so it needs to be light enough for you to do that.

There is a growing market for lightweight, portable spray tan machines and it is possible to find good quality ones, too. Read some Amazon reviews before you buy and invest what you can in the machine. Price varies enormously but investing a bit more will deliver a better spray tan to your clients, and the machine will last longer.

You will also need to take a pop-up spray tan tent with you, like this one. This will ensure you don’t make a mess at your clients’ homes. You will need to pop this up to clean it at home daily, to keep it in good condition.

We Recommend: Naked Sun Stores Black Spray Tanning Tent

For products, it’s essential to keep a choice of shades and DHA levels for clients with different skin types and colors whether it be pale skin or darker skin. Whilst they are not visiting a salon, they will still expect to be able to pick the perfect option for them. You will need to do a lot of research (and some trials) to find the products you want to use. Just make sure you find a range that will represent you and your brand perfectly.


Because you will be visiting clients at their homes or offices, you will need a vehicle to get to them. Carrying equipment on the bus would become exhausting pretty quickly.

If you already own a car, then you can start right away. Just remember that your vehicle will become part of how your business is presented to the public, so if you are going to use your current car, keep it clean.

Another option is to buy a van. It doesn’t need to be a big one but will give you more space for your machine and your products.

Think about branding your vehicle. If you have a beautiful business logo and some great promotion photos, get them pasted on your car or van for free advertising as you drive around the city visiting clients. Just make sure your contact details are clear so someone passing can make a note and call you or message you on social media.


On the subject of advertising, as a new business, you will need a marketing strategy. Create social media pages for your business and consider paying for advertising or paying an influencer to promote your brand.

If you have a bit more to spend here, you could hire a marketing consultant specialist to help you with this. Whilst it may seem like a big investment, their advice will pay off in the future, especially if this will be your first business.

Related Questions

How Much is The Spray Tan Industry Worth?

The spray tan (or sunless tanning) industry is growing in the USA. People are becoming more and more aware of the dangers of over-exposure to the skin, but still want a golden glow.

According to Grand View Research, the global market value of spray tanning stood at USD 877 million in 2021, and they predict this to grow ever further. As you can see, there is plenty of room on the market for new mobile spray tan businesses!

What is a Mobile Spray Tanning Business Salary?

Your salary will depend on your costs, your pricing, and your number of clients. If you charge $40 per spray tan and see three clients a day (totally achievable) you would take $2,400 a month (based on a five-day work week). From this, subtract fuel and product costs, and there’s your salary.

You can increase your profit margins by charging more per client, or by organising your schedule to minimize travel and therefore fuel costs.

Do I Need a Mobile Spray Tanning Business License?

This depends on which state your business will be based in. Whilst some states require you to have a license for a mobile spray tan business, others do not.

Check with your local cosmetology board to see the licensing requirements for your state. If you’re state doesn’t require a license, it’s a good idea to register as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) so that you will be protected if a client has an allergic reaction, and so your business is fully legal, and you pay business tax.

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