Gentleman’s clubs are private places that are designed to allow men relax and create friendships with other men. Gentlemen’s clubs are regarded as a central part of elite men’s lives. They provide everything a regular home would have.
Statistics have it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 3,821 licensed and registered strip club (gentlemen’s clubs inclusive) businesses responsible for employing about 33,655 employees, and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $7 billion annually.
Revenue in the Strip Clubs industry that gentlemen’s club is a part of is forecast to have decreased 17.4 percent in 2020 and is anticipated to decrease 1.5 percent in 2023. In a non-COVID-19 (coronavirus) environment, the industry is forecast to grow.
Steps to Opening a Gentlemen’s Club in 2023
Table of Content
1. Conduct Market Research
The first step in the market research process for your gentlemen’s club is to develop a market-based research question in line with your overall business goal and objective. This can be a problem that needs to be solved or some piece of information that is missing about the existing gentlemen’s clubs in your city. Answering this question will be the focus of the research study.
a. Who is the Target Market for Gentlemen’s Club?
The target market for Gentlemen’s club facilities are men that are in and around the city where you have your club. They include:
- Military men
- Tourists (men)
- Corporate executives (men)
- Married men
b. Is Gentlemen’s Club Business a Profitable Business?
Yes, the gentlemen’s club business is a profitable business. A typical smaller gentlemen’s club will make its owner $3,000 to $7,000 per week ($150,000 to $367,000 per year).
Note that the Strip Club industry that gentlemen’s clubs are a part of grew steadily over the majority of the five years to 2022, benefiting from increasing disposable income and stable per capita expenditure on alcohol, one of the main streams of revenue for industrial establishments. Due to the highly discretionary nature of services provided by strip clubs, industry operators garner the most revenue during times of economic upswing.
c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?
It is safe to say that there are no niche ideas when it comes to gentlemen’s clubs because gentlemen’s club is a niche idea in the Strip Clubs industry. Please note that in the United States, the term “gentlemen’s club” is commonly used to refer to strip clubs. Traditional gentlemen’s clubs often are referred to as “men’s clubs” or “city clubs” (as opposed to country clubs) or simply as “private social clubs” or just “private clubs”.
d. Who are the Major Competitors?
- Deja Vu Consulting Inc.
- RCI Hospitality Holdings Inc.
- Spearmint Rhino
- MAL Entertainment
- BayRock Gentleman’s Club
- 4Play – Los Angeles, CA
- 2001 Odyssey – Tampa, FL
- Acropolis Steakhouse – Portland, OR
- The Cheetah Lounge – Atlanta, GA
- Devil’s Point, Portland, OR
- E11even – Miami, FL
- King of Diamonds – Miami, FL
- Great Alaskan Bush Company – Anchorage, AL
- The Lodge – Dallas, TX
- Spearmint Rhino – Las Vegas, NV
- Penthouse Club – New Orleans, LA
- Vivid Cabaret – New York, NY
- Mary’s Club – Portland, OR
- Mons Venus – Tampa, FL
- Scarlett’s Cabaret – Hallandale, FL
- Sapphire – Las Vegas, NV
In every industry, there are always brands who perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than others. Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long while and are known for that, while others are best known for the extra cum premium services that they offer.
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Gentlemen’s Club Business?
Yes. Zoning laws require strip club (gentlemen’s club inclusive) operators to follow specific rules and regulations, including some that apply only to players in the strip clubs industry. Please note that in many communities, zoning laws require strip club providers to apply for a permit from the city.
This application process allows the city’s zoning department to determine whether the gentlemen’s club meets the zoning rules of the community. Permits also ensure that all gentlemen’s clubs are properly licensed with county or state agencies.
f. Is There a Franchise for Gentlemen’s Club Business?
Yes, there are franchise opportunities for gentlemen’s club business, and here are some of them;
- Spearmint Rhino
- Deja Vu Consulting Inc.
- Strip Club Choppers
Even though there are strip clubs that are into franchising, the truth is that, you can hardly find a franchise of a strip club that can best suit your style or business model hence it is advisable to start from the scratch. This is so because the business is indeed a thriving one and aspiring entrepreneurs are coming into the industry with business concepts that will enable them effectively compete with well – established brands.
g. What Do You Need to Start a Gentlemen’s Club Business?
- A Feasibility Report
- Business Plan
- Licenses and Permits
- EIN (Employer Identification Number) / Federal Tax ID Number.
- A Corporate Bank Account
- Equipment and furniture
- A Moderate building facility
- Startup Capital
h. Should I start a big club or a small club?
The answer will depend on your business capital and level of popularity. However, a typical smaller club will make its owner $1,000 to $5,000 per week ($50,000 to $250,000 per year). A large metropolitan club can make $50,000 profit in a single night.
Memorable Business Name ideas for Gentlemen’s Club
- Golden Castle© Gentlemen’s Club, Inc.
- Men United® Gentlemen’s Club, Inc.
- Cool Spot© Gentlemen’s Club, Inc.
- Royal Courts® Gentlemen’s Club, Inc.
- Green Tower™ Gentlemen’s Club, Inc.
- Noble Men™ Gentlemen’s Club, LLC.
- James Bond© Gentlemen’s Club, LLC
- The Convo® Gentlemen’s Club, Inc.
- Las Vegas© Gentlemen’s Club, Inc.
- Hollywood© Gentlemen’s Club, Inc.
- Tony Morgan® Gentlemen’s Club, Inc.
- Secret Corner® Gentlemen’s Club, Inc.
- Cloud 9® Gentlemen’s Club, Inc.
- Men’s Base® Gentlemen’s Club, Inc.
- Blue Room® Gentlemen’s Club, Inc.
- Los Angeles© Gentlemen’s Club, Inc.
- Free Minds™ Gentlemen’s Club, LLC
- Chicago City® Gentlemen’s Club, Inc.
- Ben® Gentlemen’s Club, Inc.
- Tripple Ts™ Gentlemen’s Club, Inc.
Register your Business
a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Gentlemen’s club Business?
Although there are some options when it comes to the business structure of a Gentlemen’s club business, the one that most players in this line of business consider is an LLC. It is common to consider an LLC because providers want to protect themselves from lawsuits.
Please note that an LLC will need an EIN if it has any employees or if it will be required to file any of the excise tax forms listed below. Most new single-member LLCs classified as disregarded entities will need to obtain an EIN. For example, Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability.
If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholders meeting and other managerial formalities.
b. Steps to Form an LLC
- Choose a name for your LLC.
- File Articles of Organization.
- Choose a registered agent.
- Decide on member vs. manager management.
- Create an LLC operating agreement.
- Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
- File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Gentlemen’s Club?
- General Business License
- Resale Permits
- Health and Safety Permit
- Zonal Permits
- Liquor Handler’s License
- Seller’s Permit or Sales Tax License
- Signage Permit
- Music License
- Live Performance/Entertainment License
- State Facility Inspections
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Gentlemen’s Club?
You don’t need any certification to open and operate a gentlemen’s club in the United States.
e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Gentlemen’s Club
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentation.
If you do, it won’t be too long before the long arm of the law catches up with you. These are some of the basic legal documents you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run a gentlemen’s club in the United States of America;
- Business and liability insurance
- Federal Tax Payer’s ID
- State Permit and Building Approval
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Liquor Handler’s License
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?
If you are considering starting a gentlemen’s club, usually you may not need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark. The nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
Cost Analysis and Budgeting
a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Gentlemen’s Club?
You would need an estimate of $350,000 to successfully set up a gentlemen’s club in the United States of America. Please note that this amount includes the salaries of all the staff for the first month of operation.
b. What are the Cost Involved in Starting a Gentlemen’s Club?
- The total fee for registering the business in the United States of America – $750.
- Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines, and other software) – $3,300.
- Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of the club for $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
- The total cost for hiring a business consultant including writing a business plan – $2,500.
- The total cost for the purchase of insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation, and property-casualty) coverage at a total premium (initial (first) premium) – $2,400.
- The cost for renting or leasing a space or warehouse that will be converted into the gentlemen’s club (Reconstruction of the facility inclusive) will cost – $180,000.
- Other start-up expenses including, commercial satellite TV subscriptions, stationery ($500), and phone and utility deposits ($2,800).
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $40,000
- The cost for start-up inventory – $15,000
- The cost for the purchase of storage hardware (bins, rack, shelves, food case) – $3,720
- The cost for counter area equipment (countertop, sink, ice machine, etc.) – $9,500
- The cost for serving area equipment (plates, ashtrays, glasses, flatware) – $3,000
- The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $4,750
- The cost of purchase and installation of CCTVs: $2,000
- Equipping the strip club (Flat Screen TVs, sound system, DVD players, Pianos, Satellite dish and decoder, furniture (table, stools, and sofas), telephones, filing cabinets) will cost – $40,000
- The cost of launching a website: $600
- The cost for opening party: $3,000
- Miscellaneous: $2,000
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Gentlemen’s Club?
- The Type of Gentlemen’s club Business
- The Choice of Location
- The Required Licenses and Permits
- The Type of Facility
- Menu and Additional Service Offerings
- The Number of Men They Want to Welcome Per Time
- The Cost of Hiring and Paying a Business Consultant and Attorney
- The Cost for Branding, Promotion, and Marketing of the Business
- The Cost for Furnishing and Equipping the Gentlemen’s Club Business
- The Cost for Insurance Policy Covers
- The Cost for Registering the Business
- Sourcing Your Supplies and Ongoing Expenses
- Cost of Recruiting and Training Your Staff
- The Cost for the Purchase and Customizing of Uniforms for Your Employees
- The Cost for Grand Opening of the Business
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?
It will cost you over $250,000 to construct a Gentlemen’s club business facility. As regards the facility, you have the options of renting, leasing, or designing and constructing your own gentlemen’s club facility from the scratch.
With renting and leasing a facility, you might just have to spend extra to modify the facility to fit into what you have in mind, but there is a limit to how far you can go and it will be dependent on what the landlord of the facility wants. If you want to construct your gentlemen’s club facility from the scratch, you have to buy the land or property, bring up your design, then construct and equip the facility.
e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Gentlemen’s Club?
- Cost of stocking up supplies such as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, beverages, tobaccos, cigars, et al
- Cost of toiletries
- Cost of food supplies and ingredients
- Utility bills (gas, internet, phone bills, signage and sewage et al)
- Salaries of employees
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
- Chief Executive Officer (Owner) – $65,000 per year
- Club (Bar Manager) – $50,500 per year
- Bartender (Baristas) – $25,580 per year
- Accountants (Cashiers) – $35,000 per year
- Disc Jockey (DJ) – $31,990 per year
- Greeters/Customer Service Agent/Table Attendant – $23,396 per year
- Cleaners – $18,000 per year
- Security Officers – $21,150 per year.
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Gentlemen’s Club?
- Raise money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raise money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Apply for a loan from your bank/banks
- Pitch your business idea and apply for business grants and seed funding from government, donor organizations, and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
Starting a strip club business can be capital intensive especially if you choose to start a standard strip club in a highbrow area with rich night life/social life. Securing a standard and well secured facility is part of what will consume a large chunk of your start–up capital, so, if you choose to start the business on a large scale, you would need to go source for fund to finance the business because it is expensive to start a standard strip club business.
No doubt when it comes to financing a business, one of the first things and perhaps the major factors that you should consider is to write a good strip club business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Write a Business Plan
a. Executive Summary
The gentlemen’s club is a standard and licensed facility that will be located in the heart of the city in a neatly renovated and secure facility; a facility that is specifically designed and equipped with the needed ambiance that helps men relax and bond. The facility is designed and constructed to meet health and safety standards as recommended by the local authority.
We are set to contribute our quota to the already healthy nightlife that our city is known for. Aside from running a gentlemen’s club, we will also run a standard bar that will make available assorted beers, wines, liquors, distilled spirits, martinis and other beverages.
b. Products and Service
- Music and Dance (live band, karaoke, R & B, countryside music and jazz et al)
- Standup Comedy
- Hall Rental Services for Parties
- Sale of alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks.
c. Mission Statement
Our mission is to establish a gentlemen’s club that will create a standard of excellence in the industry. We want to grow our gentlemen’s club and bar business to be listed amongst the top 10 gentlemen’s clubs and bars in the United State within the first 5 years of opening our doors to the public.
Our vision is to establish a standard and secured gentlemen’s club in Las Vegas – Nevada that will be the melting pot of all lovers of nightlife.
d. Goals and Objectives
The goals and objectives of the gentlemen’s club are to help the men relax and bond with one another. We aim to provide everything a regular relaxing lounge would have. A place to relieve stress and worries and provide emotional and practical needs.
e. Organizational Structure
- Chief Executive Officer (Owner)
- Club (Bar Manager)
- Bartender (Baristas)
- Accountants (Cashiers)
- Disc Jockey (DJ)
- Greeters/Customer Service Agent/Table Attendant
- Security Officers
Generally, running a business requires that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a strip club business, then you must go all out to employ strategies that will help you attract customers/patrons or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well known brands determining the market direction for strip clubs or the adult entertainment industry.
a. SWOT Analysis
The strength of the gentlemen’s club facility is the fact that the club is located in an area with the right demographic composition.
The Gentlemen’s club is a new business that is owned by an individual, and they may not have the financial muscle to sustain the kind of publicity that will give the business robust visibility and also attract some of the highly experienced hands in the city.
The opportunities that are available to gentlemen’s clubs are unlimited because men all over the world are craving spots where they can relax, unwind, and bond with other men.
Just like any other business, some of the major threats you are likely going to face are economic downturn and unfavorable government policies. It is a fact that economic downturn affects purchasing/spending power. Another threat that may likely confront a gentlemen’s club business is the arrival of a newer and well-established gentlemen’s club, strip club, nightclub or bar in the same location where your facility is located.
b. How Do Strip Clubs Make Money?
- Music and Dance (live band, karaoke, R & B, countryside music and jazz et al)
- Standup Comedy
- Hall Rental Services for Parties
- Sale of alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks
- Membership fee.
c. Payment Options
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment with cash
- Payment via credit cards/Point of Sale Machines (POS Machines)
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via mobile money transfer
- Payment via bank draft
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
- Introduce your gentlemen’s club and the services your offer by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to corporate organizations, campuses/colleges, sports clubs, and other key stakeholders throughout the city where your club is located.
- Advertise on the internet on entertainment blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
- Open your gentlemen’s club with a party to capture the attention of residents who should be your first and potential patrons
- Create a basic website for your business to give your business an online presence
- Directly market your services
- Join local gentlemen’s clubs and adult entertainment associations for industry trends and tips
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of word-of-mouth marketing (referrals)
a. How Much Should You Charge for your Service?
You can charge based on industry standards in the United States. There is often a flat fee of $20 to $150 for a regular day, or say $400 for an event night.
b. How Much Profit Do Gentlemen’s Club Business Owners Make a Year?
A typical gentlemen’s club owner will make between $3,000 to $7,000 per week ($150,000 to $367,000 per year).
c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
- The capacity of the Gentlemen’s club
- The types and brands of alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks and other stuff retailed in the club
- The location of the club facility
- The management style of the Gentlemen’s club business
- The business approach of the business
- The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the business
- The number of years the Gentlemen’s club has been in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Gentlemen’s Club Business?
The profit margin of a gentlemen’s club business is not fixed. To a large extent it will depend on some factors that are unique to your location. It can range from 35 percent to 65 percent depending on the type and brand of products retailed in the club.
e. What is the Sales Forecast?
Below is a sales forecast of a gentlemen’s club business. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in the United States;
- First Fiscal Year (FY1): $150,000
- Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $250,000
- Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $450,000
Set Up your Shop/Office
a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for a Gentlemen’s club Business
- The demography of the location especially as it relates to men who like socializing
- The demand for the services of gentlemen’s clubs in the location
- The purchasing power of the residents of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of gentlemen’s club facilities, strip clubs, nightclubs, bars or related businesses in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community/state
- Traffic, parking and security et al
When it comes to choosing a location for your strip club business, the rule of thumb is that you should be guided by the social life in the area, the demand for such services and easy access to labor in the location you so desire to start the business. Of course, if you are able to secure a central location for your strip club business, it will enable your clients to easily locate your facility.
b. What State and City are Best to Open a Gentlemen’s Club?
- Los Angeles, California
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Maimi, Florida
- New York City, New York
- Portland Oregon
- Atlanta Georgia
- Dallas, Texas
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Columbus, Ohio
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Gentlemen’s club?
You should be prepared to purchase equipment and furniture such as chairs, tables, platforms/stages with poles (for pole dancing), filing cabinets, sound system, public address system, computers, bars serving utensils, entertainment lighting system et al.
If you don’t have enough cash, you can start with fairly used equipment/furniture but if you are financially buoyant, then you should go for brand new ones since they usually have long life span.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard gentlemen’s club, you should make plans to hire a competent Manager (you can occupy this role), Admin and Human Resources Manager, Sales and Marketing Manager, Accountant, Client Services Executive, Disc Jockey (DJ), Security Officers and most importantly, professional strippers. These are some of the key employees you can work with.
Launch the Business Proper
No gentlemen’s club opens its door for business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening if you are operating on a low budget, or you can host a grand opening party.
By properly launching the gentlemen’s club business, you will be able to officially inform people that the facility is open for business.
a. What Makes a Gentlemen’s Club Business Successful?
- You have the required number of regular and paying members that you projected for or that your facility can accommodate
- You are generating profits from the business
- Your members or patrons are happy and satisfied with your services and they are freely giving out their testimonies
- Your employees are happy and satisfied with the organization.
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Gentlemen’s club Business?
When a gentlemen’s club is opened and everything is in place, they will either choose to welcome patrons based on membership or open their doors to the adult population in the city where the club is domiciled. It is the norm to hear good music in the background, serve alcoholic drinks, beverages, tobacco, and even snacks, while strippers do their thing on the stage with the stage light-concentrating only on them while every other place remains dark or poorly illuminated.
Other processes involved are customized services that require strippers to give patrons lap dance/premium services based on demand and at a fee, and in some cases having special time alone with strippers in a chalet within or outside the facility. The facility is closed for the day in the early hours of the morning.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Gentlemen’s Club Business?
- Good managerial and human development skills
- Good Accounting and Bookkeeping Skills
- Team-building & Interpersonal Skills
- Excellent communication and negotiation skills
- Organizational skills.
- Problem-solving ability
- Good Supervisory skills
- Experience in managing nightclubs and bars
- Experience in managing people
- Experience in business administration.
9. Get Insurance Cover
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your strip club business.
Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own strip club business in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Hazard insurance
- Fire Insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance