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Fitness Franchise: Initial Costs and Fees to Consider

By: Bill Bradley


Fitness Franchise Initial Costs and Fees

Love working out? Love helping others achieve their fitness goals? A fitness franchise might be a good option for you. But before you head to the bank to get your small business loan or home equity loan, you’ll need to establish a detailed business plan to fully understand the initial cost and fees even before your grand opening.

Here is a breakdown of the costs and fees you can expect to pay when starting a fitness franchise.

Franchise Fees, Royalty Fees and Total Investment

The first cost you’ll be met with is the franchise fee. Franchise fees, depending on the concept, will vary from $20,000 to $40,000.

After the initial franchise fee, you’ll likely be required to pay monthly royalty fees to the corporate office. Typically, the royalty is around 6% of the gross revenue monthly. Obviously, royalty fees vary depending on the franchise concept but are standard to the franchising industry.

Fitness franchises range in price from $5,000 for a Kinderdance franchise to $200,001 for a Koko FitClub franchise and, depending on the concept, can go as high as $1,000,000.

Facility Costs or Not

They’re a variety of fitness concepts featured at America’s Best Franchises. Traditional fitness studios or health clubs or even boxing gyms will require a brick and mortar facility. The costs associated with franchise concepts like this are much greater than home personal training concepts like GYMGUYZ. GYMGUYZ is essentially a mobile franchise requiring a van to carry your personal training equipment. As a result, initial costs are far less than a retail fitness studio or gym.

The Fitness Equipment

Fitness related franchises come in all shapes and sizes. Smaller fitness studios will require less equipment and less sophisticated equipment than a 20,000 square foot health club. Some franchise concepts like Anytime Fitness offer franchise candidates a choice as to owning a Standard Anytime Fitness or an Anytime Fitness Express.

Franchise fees and Total Investment will vary accordingly. Traditional gyms will require weight training stations, stretching rooms, cardio equipment and maybe even yoga rooms. Concepts likePro Martial Arts, which teaches karate to children, will require you to have mats so your students can have soft landings as they practice with your instructors. Others, such as 9round Fitness & Kickboxing will require you to have bags, gloves and other equipment for your students to get the full workout.

Talk to other franchise owners to get a better idea of what you can expect from an equipment standpoint.


You will most likely need to hire employees to staff your new franchise. If you need specialized employees, such as personal trainers or certified trainers, you might need to budget more for payroll expenses. However, if you’re simply staffing a front desk, you will have lower payroll costs. Research these in advance so you aren’t met with any surprises after you buy your franchise.

Marketing Costs

The fitness industry is competitive. You will need to market your new business and attract your customers to your new facility. These costs can include advertising expenses, discounts to get people in the door, guest pass giveaways, or direct mailers. Talking to other franchise owners can help you get a good idea of what has worked and what hasn’t so you’re not spending more than you need to on marketing.

Insurance Policies

If someone gets injured in your facility or during one of your classes, you could be held liable. One lawsuit could put your franchise’s future at risk. Get a strong insurance policy before you open your doors to protect yourself and your business. Talk to the franchise corporation for details about which insurance policies you’ll need so you can start price shopping.

Miscellaneous Costs

All franchise systems will require initial start-up equipment and some intangibles most people don’t consider. In the fitness industry, you may need permits and licenses and even professional certifications. Don’t forget Computer and Software systems to manage your members. There’s much to consider. Get up close and personal with the Director of Franchise Development to make sure you have complete clarity on your start-up costs.

3, 2, 1, Go!

A fitness franchise is a fun business to own. It’s lively and full of energy. It’s also full of a few costs and fees that are often times overlooked in the beginning. By planning on each of these expenses up front, you can get a realistic idea of what it’ll cost you to start your fitness franchise.

Published: July 22, 2016

Source: America's Best Franchises

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Bill Bradley

Bill Bradley is founding member and CEO of America’s Best Franchises, LLC.  Bill founded three financial services firms, Ocean Shores Ventures, Denali International and William Bradley Enterprises. In addition, to launching America’s Best Franchises in 2005, Bill orchestrated approximately 20 private equity transactions in excess of $31 million, and launched five specific purpose private equity partnerships.

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