A Bookkeeper’s Guide to Opening a Gym

You have an insatiable appetite for hitting new personal records and getting others to buy into your vision of a fitter, healthier future. But when it comes to turning your vision into a business, do you have what it takes to open your own gym, or do you need a financial expert to spot you?

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Use this bookkeeper’s guide to make sure your gym is built on a strong foundation and maintains financial health.

  1. Create a Business Plan
    Every business needs a well thought-out plan. Mapping out what the next three to five years could look like will prepare you for any pitfall or challenge along the way. What does your gym’s operational profile look like? What about your company description? Who will your gym serve? What are your goals? It’s critical to assess your industry, market, and competition, and working with a bookkeeper who really understands your industry sheds a ton of light on your overall business plan.

  2. Figure out the Legal Structure of Your Business
    It’s necessary to decide what form of business entity to establish. Will your gym be operating under sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC? Discuss what the differences are with your bookkeeper and learn which option would make most sense for your business. This will determine which income tax forms you have to file.

  3. Register Your Business Name
    Here’s where you can flex some of your creativity and work on your brand. But registering your business name isn’t just a creative exercise. If you’re going to be naming your business anything other than your own name, you must register it correctly as your “Doing Business As” (DBA) name on all government forms and applications. Your bookkeeper can confirm whether the legal name of your business has been registered properly.

  4. Register for State and Local Taxes
    On top of federal business taxes, you’ll also have to pay for state and local taxes. The most common types of small business state and local taxes are income taxes and employment taxes. Each state and region will have unique requirements, so it’s important to work with a bookkeeper to understand your specific obligations.

  5. Set Up a Business Bank Account
    It’s a good idea to keep your personal and business checking accounts separate. This will make it much easier to track expenses and cashflow come tax time. Opening a business bank account also makes it easier to process debit and credit card sales for your gym. Speaking of credit cards, it may also be worthwhile to get one for your business.

  6. Know Your Responsibilities as an Employer
    If you’re a first-time business owner, be sure you’re staying compliant with state and federal regulations. This includes obtaining employee identification numbers (EIN) for each of your employees, keeping records for withholding taxes, verifying that each employee is eligible to work, and getting worker’s compensation insurance. Work with a bookkeeper who knows the ins and outs of gym businesses to know what other responsibilities you’ll have to assume as an employer.

There are several other factors to consider when opening up your gym. You’ve got to think about location, marketing strategies, and hiring the right staff, among other things. But, making sure your business is financially sound is of utmost priority.

Opening up your own gym can be such a fulfilling venture. It takes hard work, determination, and a resilient attitude to be successful. But, it can also be incredibly intimidating and stressful if you’re not prepared mentally or emotionally, and most of all, financially.

Working with a bookkeeper can provide the assistance and training you need to turn your passion for health and fitness into a lucrative business. Lastly, don’t forget to have fun! You’re going after your dreams, and that’s reason enough to celebrate. Toast every single win along the way, and don’t be too hard on yourself when things don’t go according to plan. It’s always good to keep challenging yourself, and as you would do for your clients, continue setting new goals. Let a bookkeeper who’s well-versed in the health and wellness industry do the heavy lifting, so you can focus on building a top-performing gym.