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Opening a tattoo studio - The basic requirements for the start of self-employment

05.04.2021 18:00


Many tattoo artists are deterred by the process of starting a business and ultimately do not dare to take the step into self-
employment. But all it takes is the right preparation! Jumping blindly into the adventure of entrepreneurship is not the best
decision you can make. But a structured planning can realize your dream of owning a tattoo studio.

Artistic talent

The profession of a tattoo artist in a creative activity. A sense of artistic talent is therefore an indispensable prerequisite.
To be successful as a tattoo artist, you should distinguish yourself by a unique style. Of course, many customers enter the
tattoo studio who already have a suitable template. As a successful tattoo artist, you should be able to offer your customers
individual and unique motifs. So-called "copycats", copies of other artists, are rather frowned upon in the tattoo scene. How-
ever, drawing talent on its own is not enough.


The activity of tattooing remains handicraft even if the motif is freely designed. The creative section is just a preliminary work
to the second handicraft section, which is the ultimate emphasis of the activity and from which the tattoo artist primarily
earns his income. The customer pays the price for the finished tattoo, but not for its design. For the job profile of the tattoo
artist you need a steady and trained hand that can transfer various motifs into the skin. Because "painting" on the skin is
completely different from painting on paper. Therefore, you should practice as much as possible. The permanent change
of the scene - new trends, new technique, new equipment - ensures that you are in a constant learning process.

Create a business plan

A business plan will show you how many customers you need to cover your operating costs. It also shows you when it's a
profitable time to open your tattoo studio and which location you should choose for the studio. Setting up a tattoo studio
can quickly become expensive, depending on the size and equipment. Because of this, you should plan your start-up capital
in advance. Another thing that is important to remember is to make sure that you are able to pay your running costs, such
as rent and electricity, at all times.

Hygiene management

Proper hygiene is an important issue when tattooing. Before the process of tattooing, as well as during and after, you should
attach great importance to compliance with hygiene standards. Since you directly affect the skin of your customers with
needle and paint, you are also responsible for their health. If germs or contaminants get into the bloodstream, this can have
serious consequences for the person who is affected. This can lead to inflammation, scarring and even blood poisoning.
Although a permission of the health department is not obligatory, you should still consider to take courses or trainings in
the field of hygiene. In addition, the health department can inspect your studio at any time and check whether the hygiene
regulations are being observed or not. In case of insufficient hygiene, the office is authorized to close your studio. For this
reason an organized hygiene management is worthwhile.

Customer orientation

A certain communication talent is not insignificant for a successful tattoo studio. The profession of a tattoo artist is based
on interaction with customers. You should be able to have conversations with customers. Thereby, it is important that you
focus on the wishes of your customers and provide them with professional advice. Informing your customers about the risks
of the treatment and possible complications is part of a good customer conversation. In addition, you should show them a
lot of empathy and understanding, as you act as a kind of "pastor" for one or the other customer.

Select a location

Especially at the beginning, when you have not yet established yourself as a tattoo artist, a good location is extremely impor-
tant. Above all, you are dependent on the perception of your potential customers. Likewise, the studio should be located at
a place that is easily accessible for your customers. A central location, possibly in a trendy neighbourhood, may be a good
idea if you depend on walk-in customers. Also make sure that there is no other tattoo studio in the immediate vicinity.
Competition is good for business, but it can also have a negative impact on your success. Especially if the neighbouring
studio is already known in this scene.

Find a name

When finding a name, it is very important to make sure that you do not infringe any trademark rights or that the name is
misleading. The name of your studio should be as exciting and meaningful as possible. With the right name, you will appeal
to the right customers and it will become engraved in their memory. Once you have thought of a creative name, you should
check whether the name is already taken. You can easily check this by doing an initial search on Google.

Apply for a trade license

To tattoo in Germany in exchange for money, you need a trade license, just like any other tradesman. You can apply for this
at the responsible office in the town hall of your city or municipality. Usually the application takes only a few days. Among
other things, you should bring the address and the name of your tattoo studio with you.

The occupational title of a tattoo artist is not protected. This means that basically anyone can open a tattoo studio. You do
not need an official proof of your skills, nor a health certificate. The registration of a business is enough to start. Nevertheless,
you should be aware that this may not be the right way. For these reasons, we can only warn not to plunge into the adventure
of self-employment unprepared. But if you have ambition, you will find a way. For sure, the path to self-employment requires
a lot of stamina. Those who are aware of this and also have the appropriate skills and knowledge can fulfil their dream of their
own tattoo studio.

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