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How Much Does It Cost to Set Up a BJJ Gym in the United States?

How Much Does It Cost to Set Up a BJJ Gym in the United States?

For those who practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, this martial art can be more than just a sport. BJJ is also a way of life and a form of exercise due to the positive effects it has on physical and mental health.

After dedicating years to practicing the sport, more BJJ athletes have become inclined to open their own BJJ academies as a way to give back to the sport and their communities. The best part about opening a BJJ Academy is that you do not need a black belt to be qualified. As a result, this encourages many individuals who train in BJJ to start planning and establishing their own BJJ gyms at lower belt levels, eventually growing in their skills as an instructor and improving the reputation of their BJJ schools. Unfortunately, a lack of funds could stop this dream from becoming a reality.

This article discusses the minimum potential capital you would have to acquire for it to be possible to set up and run a BJJ gym or academy.

1. Determine the Type of Gym You Want to Start

The cost of starting a BJJ gym will vary greatly depending on the size of the gym you plan to open and the facilities you will provide. It is not always necessary to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy state-of-the-art gym equipment and open a BJJ gym. You can always start small with what you have and then gradually grow your business over time.

Without a six-figure net worth, running a successful BJJ gym or academy can be similar to working towards becoming a successful BJJ black belt. You start at the lowest level, put in the hours and work, and eventually emerge as a big name.

Here are three types of BJJ gyms that you can start depending on your budget:

  • Home-Based BJJ Gym
  • Standard BJJ Gym
  • State-of-the Art BJJ Gym Facility

IMPORTANT NOTE
"All of the set-up costs mentioned in this article are an estimate and kept to a minimum just to give you an idea. Moreover, the recurring costs or the monthly expenses provided in this article, such as electricity, advertising, management solution subscriptions, rent, insurance, business registration, and salaries of hired help, are highly subjective and depend on your budget, location, and how much you are willing to spend."

2. Set-Up Costs for a Home-Based BJJ Gym

Set-Up Costs for a Home-Based BJJ Gym

To teach BJJ, you don’t necessarily have to be a black belt or an IBJJF World Champion. Even as a blue belt, purple, or a brown belt, you are allowed to teach the fundamentals of BJJ to kids and adults who are at a lower belt level than you. However, you may attract more students as a black belt than as a blue belt. This can greatly affect your income, so it is recommended that you convert a small area in your home into a BJJ gym.

To start a home-based BJJ gym, there a few things you need to consider other than potential costs:

Minimum Area Required

To start a home-based BJJ gym, you would have to dedicate at least a 10 ft x 10 ft (100 square feet) space in your house to serve as the training area.

Capacity

In the smallest home-based BJJ gym, you can train two to four adult students and up to six kids at a time.

Target Students

BJJ is a ground-based grappling sport established on the principles of self-defense. Students of all ages and belt levels lower than you should be your target audience.

2.1. BJJ Gym in a Garage - Set-Up Cost Breakdown

BJJ Gym in a Garage - Set-Up Cost Breakdown

Another place to set up your BJJ gym would be in a garage if there is space you are not using to store clutter and unwanted junk. For a home-based gym, all you need is a space large enough for you to place BJJ floor mats and wall padding.

Mats & Wall Padding

Just like with a home-based garage gym, you need to have a minimum of 10 ft x 10 ft of space. For this much space, you would need a 10 ft x 10 ft roll-out jiu-jitsu or wrestling mat. If you purchase a high-quality mat, it will cost you about $500, including shipping. Alternatively, a cheap mat can cost you anywhere between $200-$250.

Next, you would either need to install wall padding or paint the walls. Since BJJ is all about grappling and ground fighting, there is a risk of injury due to colliding with the wall. For this reason, it is recommended you spend an additional $350–$500 on wall padding. On a tight budget, you can buy economical tri-fold BJJ mats from Walmart or Amazon. You can buy two high-quality 4 ft x 10 ft BJJ wall mats for as little as $50-$110.

Two to three tri-fold mats should be enough to form one adequate wall. Depending on the size of the area, you can also buy 6 ft x 2 ft mats for the walls and stairs. If you buy 6 ft x 2 ft mats, you might need three mats per wall which may cost you around $75-$130. It is recommended that you purchase mats after taking measurements of your garage walls and floor.

Lighting

You may want to install a few 60 watt LED bulbs for maximum illumination. This will come in handy at night to help students better see what their opponents are doing.

Aesthetics

For decoration, you can add jiu-jitsu decals or stickers to your garage for less than $100.

Projector

In the future, you can add a projector to show instructions to your students to help them better understand how to do certain techniques or maintain a specific position. You can buy a wireless projector that would connect to your phone for as little as $100 from Amazon. You do not need to buy screens as a wall can provide enough space for you to project images.

Storage Rack

You may also want to add a wooden shelf or a storage rack so your students can put away their gym bags or other belongings. You can also get a four-shelf metal rack for storage from Walmart or Amazon for less than $100.

Total Expected Cost for a 10 ft x 10 ft Garage-Based BJJ Gym

MINIMUM SET-UP COSTS OF A HOME-BASED BJJ GYM IN A GARAGE
Roll out Floor Mat 10’x 10’ $200-$500
4’x 10’ Wall Mats $50-$110
6’x 2’ Wall Mats $75-$130
Overall Mats and Wall Padding $325-$740
LED Bulbs $5
Projector $100
Decals for Aesthetics $50-$100
Shelf/Storage Rack $60-$100
Total Costs (Minimum Estimation) $550-$1,045

2.2. BJJ Gym in Backyard - Set-Up Cost Breakdown

BJJ Gym in Backyard - Set-Up Cost Breakdown

If you don’t have a garage, then you can apply the same set-up in a spare room or in your backyard. The cost of setting up a BJJ gym in your backyard will depend on how big of a space you’ll be occupying.

You will need a minimum space of 10 ft x 10 ft for your backyard BJJ academy. If you have a lot of students who are mainly adults, then you will need a bigger space.

Mats

Since your backyard is an open space, you won’t have to spend anything on wall padding. Your 10 ft x 10 ft floor mats will cost you around $500. For more space, you can simply add extra 10 ft x 10 ft BJJ mats.

Tent or Canopy

An open backyard BJJ gym is practical in mild climates, but not in extreme weather. Therefore, you may need to set up a tent and place your BJ mats inside it or install a canopy. Whether you have a lawn in your backyard or concrete floor, a canopy or a tent will come in handy whether it rains or shines. You can buy a simple 10 ft x 10 ft push instant canopy from Walmart for $109. On the other hand, if you purchase a 10 ft x 20 ft gazebo tent from Amazon, it will cost you around $200-$250.

Adding Fans

Adding a couple of portable fans to your backyard BJJ gym will help with cooling and ventilation. You can buy portable rechargeable tripod fans from Amazon for $60.

Heating

If you live in colder regions, a 10 ft x 10 ft tent with four side walls will cost you around $160-$265 if you buy it from Walmart. Moreover, you would need a propane heater to provide adequate heating for your students. You can buy a small propane heater with 15,000 BTU power at Walmart for less than $50. Depending on your location and the outside temperature, you might need a heater capable of producing up to 80,000 BTU.

Total Expected Cost for a 10ft x 10ft Backyard-Based BJJ Gym

Open Backyard BJJ Gym

HOME-BASED BJJ GYM IN BACKYARD
Roll out Floor Mat 10’ x 10’ $200-$500
Shelf $60
Total Costs (Minimum Estimation) $560

Open Backyard BJJ Gym with Canopy

HOME-BASED BJJ GYM IN BACKYARD
Roll out Floor Mat 10’ x 10’ $200-$500
10’ x 10’ Canopy $109
Portable Fans $120
Shelf $60
Total Costs (Minimum Estimation) $790

Gazebo Tent

HOME-BASED BJJ GYM IN BACKYARD
Roll out Floor Mat 10’ x 10’ $200-$500
10’ x 20’ Gazebo Tent $250
Portable Fans $120
Shelf $60
Total Costs (Minimum Estimation) $930

Side-Walled Closed Tent

HOME-BASED BJJ GYM IN BACKYARD
Roll out Floor Mat 10’ x 10’ $200-$500
Tent $265
Propane Heater $50-$150
Shelf $60
Total Costs (Minimum Estimation) $975

2.3. Recurring Costs of Home- Based BJJ Gyms

With minimal set-up, you can easily start and maintain a BJJ gym if you charge $50-$100 per student. Opening a BJJ gym in your house is a practical business strategy as it costs less than $1000 to start up.

Till students enroll in your class, you won’t be spending anything on electricity, internet, or other utilities. But once you get a couple of students, there will be some recurring costs that you need to pay attention to.

Staff

It is possible to run your business single-handedly, which means you would not need to spend anything on hiring help.

Administrative Tasks

If you only have a few students at the start, you do not need to invest in expensive and holistic business management softwares. You can easily keep track of the number of students enrolled, the number of sessions you will havee in a week, the money you earn from your business, and your expenses by using a journal, or using apps or softwares like Hubspot CRM, Trello, Expensify, and Wave.

Marketing

When setting up a BJJ gym, try to get in your neighborhood. Use free social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to let people know that you are offering BJJ training at a competitive cost.

If you are a brown or black belt, your credentials will definitely attract more people to learn BJJ from you. This strategy will save you a lot of money on marketing and advertising.

Once you succeed in attracting students from your own community, then you should expand your horizons. At this stage, you can hire someone to manage your social media pages. You can also use your phone to upload live BJJ training videos on YouTube so that more people will find out about and join your academy.

Electricity Costs

At the beginning, you will not be spending extra on electricity costs. But eventually, the costs of heating, lighting and fans may accumulate.

RECURRING COSTS of a HOME-BASED BJJ GYM
Marketing through social media with hired help (Optional) Depends on the hourly fees.
Average of $50-$100 per month
Electricity cost for heater (1500 W)
For 10’ x 15’ area
$25-$30 per month
Electricity cost of four 60W LED Bulbs $7-$9
Electricity cost of two 50W Fans $6-$8
Total Estimated Recurring Costs $88-$147

3. Set-Up Costs of a Standard BJJ Gym

Set-Up Costs of a Standard BJJ Gym

Are you a brown or black belt with a large following and enough capital to open a standard gym facility for 20 or more students? Do you not want to convert your home into a gym and start small? Or have you managed to establish a successful home-based BJJ gym, attract a large number of students, and now want to expand your BJJ gym?

In this situation, the minimum set-up costs, area requirements, and student capacity will certainly change. The minimum requirements to start a standard BJJ gym include the following:

Minimum Area Required

For a standard BJJ training facility, you need at least 400-900 sq ft of space.

Capacity

A 20 ft x 20 ft or a 30 ft x 30 ft BJJ gym can accommodate up to 15 students or more. Only a space this big will allow your students to roll comfortably without colliding with each other.

Target Students

With a standard BJJ gym, you can also offer No-Gi classes. You can assign morning sessions for kids and white belts and evening sessions for training lower belt levels. You can assign alternate days for brown and black belt training.

For example, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday,you will only train brown and black belts. On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, you can train white to purple belts.

It is also important to consider whether you want students of different ages to train together. It is highly possible that a 16-year-old and 30-year-old training together are both at blue belt level. Hence, it is worth deciding whether you want to divide groups based on training level or age, and setting aside space for these classes accordingly.

3.1. BJJ Gym in a Rented School Space - Set-Up Cost Breakdown

You can approach different schools with sports auditoriums and ask them to borrow a space to teach BJJ if your home-based gym can no longer accommodate all of your students.

Rent

You can negotiate with the school management and rent a space at a cheap monthly rental rate. The rental cost can be from $600 to $800 per month.

Mats & Wall Padding

Other than monthly rent, your primary start-up expenses would be on BJJ mats and wall padding, which can cost around $1,799 and $1,500 respectively.

BJJ Gear/ Spare Uniforms

It is common for a typical BJJ gym to provide BJJ gear to students, such as gis, belts, rash guards, spats, mouth guards, shorts, etc. It always comes in handy to purchase at least five spare uniforms for your students, requiring a small fee to borrow a uniform. Leading brands such as Elite Sports offer premium-quality gis at reasonable prices, so you can easily buy BJJ Gi and No-Gi gear for less than $50 per piece.

  • BJJ Gi (adults) - $48
  • BJJ Gi -(kids) - $40
  • BJJ No-Gi Rashguad (adults) - $20
  • BJJ No-Gi Rashguards - (kids) - $18
  • BJJ No-Gi shorts - $7
  • BJJ Belts - $13

 

Related: The Most Affordable BJJ Gis For Men in the Market

Quick Tip to Reduce Costs

In exchange for a favor, you can also offer BJJ lessons to the students at the school on weekends at a discount, or allow the school to use your BJJ mat flooring and other equipment for their classes. This way, you won’t have to pay additional expenses for utilities, electricity, hiring cleaning staff, etc.

Total Expected Cost for a Standard Gym in a Rented School Space

MINIMUM SET-UP COSTS OF A STANDARD GYM IN A SCHOOL
Rent $600-$800
Roll out Floor Mat 20’ x 20’ $1,799
Removable Wall Padding $1,500
BJJ Gi & No-Gi Gear (5 sets) $730
Projector (optional) $100
Marketing $100-$500
Shelf/Storage Rack (optional) $60-$100
Total Costs (Minimum Estimation) $4,889-$5,529

BJJ Gym in a Rented Retail Space - Set-Up Cost Breakdown

If you have a good reputation as a black belt, a lot of capital, and plenty of students, you have the option of renting a retail space.

It is recommended you start small. There is no need to rent a conspicuous studio in the most expensive area of your city. You can rent a 20 ft x 20 ft warehouse, rent a gym space with BJJ mats and wall padding by the hour, or rent a commercial office space.

Renting Gym Space

A fully-equipped gym, or a well-maintained dojo space, is the best options if you want to start your standard BJJ gym on a small budget. You can find martial arts studios and fitness studios near your location using GoFinder.

A dojo space is not only affordable but also saves you the hassle of running a gym and paying for basic facilities such as parking, furniture, bathrooms, changing area, lockers or cubbies, water dispenser, mats, Wi-Fi, and basic gym equipment for warm-up exercise such as such as weights, resistance bands, jumping ropes, etc.

On average, you can expect to pay $40 if you rent the space by the hour or $30 if you rent the space by the class. Here’s how much renting a gym space will cost you on a monthly basis.

Renting Options Pricing Minimum Renting time Per Day Rental Cost Per Month Rental Cost
Renting by an hour $40 per hour Teach 5 hours per day $200 per day $5,200 per month
(with no session on Sunday)
Renting by a class $30 per class Teach 5 classes per day $150 per day $3,900 per month
(with no sessions on Sunday)

Total Expected Cost for a Standard Gym in a Rented Gym Space

MINIMUM SET-UP COSTS OF A STANDARD BJJ GYM IN A GYM SPACE
Rent $3,900-$5,200
Marketing $100-$500
BJJ Gi & No-Gi Gear (5 sets) $730
Total Costs (Minimum Estimation) $5,130-$6,430

Renting a Retail Space

The cost of renting retail space for your BJJ gym will vary depending on the location. Here is how you can calculate your per month rent:

  1. Multiply the per sq ft price of the rental property with the total area. This amount is your annual rent.
  2. For your monthly rent, divide this value by 12.

Here is a rough estimate of how much the rent of a shop, industrial, or office space in different cities will cost you:

AVERAGE MONTHLY RENT IN USA for 400 SQ FT RETAIL SPACE
Retail Space Market Average Lease Rate per Sq Ft Average Monthly Rent
New York $85 $2,833
Houston $31 $1,033
Washington D.C $59.70 $1,990
Dallas $28.90 $963
Los Angeles $3.70 $123
Chicago $33.90 $1,100
Austin $48.40 $1,613
Boston $41.50 $1,383
San Francisco $92.70 $3,090
Atlanta $29.80 $993

Mats, Wall Padding, & Paint

For a 400 sq ft studio, the best investment would be getting a 20 ft x 20 ft roll-up BJJ mat. For long-lasting premium quality mats, you can purchase them from a brand like AK Athletics. A single 20 ft x 20 ft mat will cost you around $1,799.

You can also purchase four 10 ft x 10 ft roll-out mats from Amazon. Based on their quality, they will cost you from $800 to $2,000.

Wall padding for a 20 ft x 20 ft BJJ mat may cost you around $1500. Furthermore, you may need to paint the remaining walls to give your studio a clean and fresh look.

COST OF MATS & WALL PADDING
Mats $1,799
Wall Padding $1,500
Wall Paint $300
Total Costs $3,599

Designing the Interior

Running a successful BJJ gym may require an owner to spend more at times. After all, your students may want to train at a place with a fancy reception area, spacious locker room, state-of-the art mat flooring, and a nice community area for them to mingle and make friends.

If you teach BJJ skills well and connect with your students, they will not leave you for a conspicuous studio.

For your BJJ gym, you can set up a small waiting area or reception for new students aspiring to join your classes. A desk, an office chair, a few potted plants for decor, a motivational BJJ decal, and a sectional sofa should suffice when it comes to interior design.

COST OF INTERIOR
Desk $77
Chair $65
Sectional Sofa $500
Potted Plants $78
BJJ Decals $100
Total Cost $820

Lockers

Your students may need lockers or cubbies to store their belongings. The average cost of installing lockers or cubbies is around $30 to $80 per sq ft. To calculate the locker space for your BJJ gym, use the thumb rule; at least 12-20% of your total gym area should be converted into a locker room.

For a 400 sq ft gym, this space would be about 48 sq ft to 80 sq ft. Hence, if your locker installation costs you around $30 per sq.ft., then the total cost would amount to $1,440 to $2,400m excluding labor. If you take into consideration minimum labor costs, then your locker space will cost from $2,640 to $3,600.

Shower Installation

After grappling and rolling on the mats for at least an hour, your students would not only want to change out of their sweaty BJJ uniforms, but some will also like to shower. The cost of installing a changing room and shower in your BJJ gym facility can range between $2500 to $3000 including labor.

BJJ Gear

A BJJ gym is incomplete without BJJ gear. Most BJJ gyms in the United States are extremely particular about their students wearing gis when training. When students are just trying out the sport and aren’t sure whether they'll be pursuing it long term, you will find them reluctant to purchase uniforms.

You can offer Gi or No-Gi gear from your own inventory. If you buy five sets of both BJJ Gi and No-Gi gear at wholesale rates, it will cost you around $700-$800.

Total Expected Cost for a Standard Gym in a Rented Retail Space

STANDARD 400 SQ FT BJJ GYM
Rent of the Retail Space $500- $3000 per month
(Depending on the location)
Roll out Floor Mat 20’x 20’ $1,799
Wall Padding & Paint $1800
Interior $820
Hiring Help for Mat Cleaning $100
Hiring Instructors $1,500- $2,000
Management Solution Software Subscription $125
Marketing $500
Electricity Costs $100-$300 (depending on consumption)
BJJ Gear $700-$800
Shower Installation $2,000-$3,000
Cubbies $2,640-$3,600
Total Costs (Minimum Estimation) $12,784-$18,544

3.2. Recurring Costs of Standard BJJ Gyms

Unlike a home-based BJJ gym, a standard BJJ gym will cost you more in terms of recurring costs.

Hiring Instructors and Management Staff

To run a BJJ academy capable of training more than ten students , you may need to hire help. You can ask your fellow BJJ practitioners to join your academy. You can offer them a good compensation in exchange. Otherwise, you may need to look for reliable BJJ instructors. Make sure you hire athletes with the same belt level as you.

On average, you may have to pay $800 to a purple belt and up to $1,200-$1,500 to a brown belt. A black belt instructor may demand even more.

You may need to hire help to welcome visitors, handle the reception area, and manage administrative tasks, such as maintaining student records, maintaining class schedules, keeping record of inventory, and handling online management solutions for invoices, sales, and memberships. For managerial staff, you would need to set aside $1,000 to $1,500 every month.

Management Solution Subscriptions

Teaching a class of 20 students for two sessions is manageable. However, if your free management solution software is having trouble keeping up with you, it may be time to upgrade.

MindBody is the best management tool for your BJJ gym as it offers an affordable $125 monthly package for all your scheduling, student membership tracking, payroll, and staff management needs.

Cleaning Supplies & Toiletries

You would also need to supply soaps and paper towels for your students and also stock up on cleaning supplies to ensure a hygienic atmosphere. The cleaning supplies and toiletries will cost you around $150 per month.

Cleaning the Mats

If you hire help, you may have to pay $100 for every BJJ mat cleaning session. But you can always save money by making it a teamwork activity by cleaning it yourself and asking your students to join you.

Related: Why Is It Essential to Clean BJJ Mats?

BJJ Gear Maintenance & Washing

You not only need to maintain an up-to-date inventory of your merchandise, but also regularly wash it. Washing your BJJ gear can cost you around $400 per month.

Advertising

To increase the amount of business you are getting, invest in marketing to help your BJJ gym. One great method of marketing would be offering a discount for students who offer referrals.

Use social media to add pictures and videos on your academy’s website. Investing in paid advertisements on Instagram can cost between $0.20 to $.6.50 per ad based on the bids.

According to Facebook, in 2020, the average cost per click (CPC) for BJJ ads was $0.11 and the average cost per mile (CPM) or the cost of a thousand impressions was $11.1. Hiring a marketing agency such as Jiu-Jitsu Advertising to promote your BJJ gym online is also an option.

Electricity & Utilities

A standard BJJ gym will utilize lighting, fans, and propane heaters. Usually, the average monthly rent for a commercial space can be around $300 to $1000, depending on energy consumption.

Other utilities like water, Wi-Fi, sewer, and heating can cost you another $300 per month.

RECURRING COSTS of a STANDARD BJJ GYM
Management Solutions $125-$350
Advertising $500-$1000
Electricity & Utilities $300-$500
BJJ Gear Maintenance $400
Toiletries & Cleaning Supplies $150
Salaries $2,000-$3,000
Hiring Help for Mat Cleaning $100
Total Estimated Recurring Costs $3,575-$5,500

4. Set-Up Costs of a State of the Art BJJ Gym Facility

Set-Up Costs of a State of the Art BJJ Gym Facility

A state-of-the art BJJ gym facility is what every BJJ black belt dreams to own. To run a renowned large-scale BJJ academy, you need to meet the following requirements:

Minimum Area Required

A state of the art BJJ facility has a minimum area of 2000 sq ft to fit in all the students and facilities. 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu Academy by Eddie Bravo is a great example of a 2000 sq ft state-of-the-art BJJ gym facility.

Capacity

You can train more than 50 students in a large-scale BJJ gym at one time.

Target Students

Aside from offering BJJ classes, it is possible to utilize all the available space to teach MMA, Muya Thai and No-Gi BJJ classes as well.

4.1. Cost Breakdown of a Large-Scale BJJ Gym

Opening a large-scale BJJ gym is only possible for BJJ fighters that are internationally known or have $100,000+ net worth to invest in a business before even a single student enrolls. On average, a state-of-the-art BJJ academy can cost from $40,000 to $60,000. If you add a workout facility and plan to offer other martial art classes, then the costs will increase to $100,000 to $300,000.

A typical modern state-of-the-art BJJ gym will have a larger mat area, be held at a modern studio located in an expensive commercial area, have better systems for management and instruction, and will boast a team of professional BJJ instructors.

Location

The location of your BJJ gym will play a crucial role in your business’s success. It will affect your marketing strategies, starting and operating costs, and revenue and profits earned. When choosing a location for a BJJ gym, select a popular commercial area with few or no other BJJ gyms nearby.

For example, Marcelo Garcia opened his jiu-jitsu academy in midtown New York, one of the most affluent business districts in the world. Despite how expensive it was to reserve the location, Garcia succeeded in making his jiu-jitsu academy accessible, attracting more BJJ students.

Rent a Retail Space

Renting a 2,000 sq ft commercial space in a noticeable commercial location in the United States can cost from $2,500 to $5,000 depending on the annual rate per square foot.

AVERAGE MONTHLY RENT IN USA for 2000 SQ FT RETAIL SPACE
Retail Space Market Average Lease Rate Per Sq Ft Average Monthly Rent
New York $85 $14,166
Houston $31 $5,166
Washington D.C $59.70 $9,950
Dallas $28.90 $4,820
Los Angeles $3.70 $616
Chicago $33.90 $5,650
Austin $48.40 $8,066
Boston $41.50 $6,916
San Francisco $92.70 $15,450
Atlanta $29.80 $4,966

Mat Area & Wall Padding

The floor mats and wall padding will cost about $3 to $5 per sq ft. Obviously, you will not be utilizing all 2000 sq ft of space for your mat area. For example, if you dedicate 800 sq ft of space to the mat area, then the cost of mats will be $2,400 to $4,000.

For protective wall padding, you will likely pay less than $4 per sq ft, which should cost less than a total of $3,000.

Interior Design & Furniture

Interior Design & Furniture

To better accommodate visitors and new students, you would need to furnish the reception area. For a classy look, you can DIY the walls with beautifully textured paint or plain-colored panels. Adding glass partitions, ceiling lights, and plant decor can give your studio a more modern look.

At least set up a stylish desk and office chair for the receptionist, as well as a large table and two sectional sofas for guests.

The cost of the furniture will increase if you add side benches to your mat area so that students can observe demonstrations. Moreover, you can add a couple of tables and chairs to create a nice community area.

If at least 12% to 20% of the available space is used for lockers and washrooms, then you will have 1,600 sq ft to 1,760 sq ft of space left. You should be able to decorate at least a minimum of 100 sq ft or 200 sq ft of space.

INTERIOR COSTS
Glass Work $12 per sq ft $2,400 per 200 sq ft
Panels $7 per sq ft $1,400 per 200 sq ft
Textured Paint 0.50 per sq ft $100 per 200 sq ft
Ceiling Lighting $30 per sq ft $600 per 200 sq ft
Total Interior Cost $4,500

FURNITURE COSTS
Sectional Sofa $1,000
Modern Furniture for Reception $500
Large Jiu-Jitsu Decals $300
Total Furniture Costs $1,800
Total Interior + Furniture Cost $6,300

Lockers

The average cost of installing lockers or cubbies is between $30 to $ 80 per sq ft. To calculate how much locker space you need for a 2,000 sq ft BJJ gym, subtract at least 12-20% of space from the total area.

For a 2,000 sq ft gym, the average locker space would be about 240 sq ft to 400 sq ft. Hence, if your locker installation costs you around $30 per sq ft, then the total cost would amount to $7,200, including labor costs.

Shower Installation

A changing room and shower facility will cost around $3,000 to $3,500.

Computer System

A computer system will help you save time and manage administrative and accounting tasks more efficiently. A computer system can cost $1,000 to $4,000.

BJJ Gear

Your BJJ equipment will cost $1,000 to $2,000 depending on the number of gis, No-Gi rash guards, belts, and mouth guards you have in your inventory.

Total Expected Cost for a Large-Scale BJJ Gym

STATE-OF-THE-ART 2000 SQ.FT. BJJ GYM
Rent of the Retail Space $2,500-$5,000
Mat Area $2,400-4,000
Wall Padding $3,000
Interior + Furniture $6,300
Lockers $7,200
Shower Installation $3,000-$3,500
BJJ Gear $1,000-$2,000
Total Costs (Minimum Estimation) $25,400-$31,000

4.2. Recurring Costs of Large Scale BJJ Gyms

Hiring Professional BJJ Instructors

You will need a competitive team of brown and black belts as instructors, and a management team to ensure your BJJ gym operates smoothly. According to Ziprecruiter’s October 2022 survey, a BJJ black belt and instructor’s annual salary amounts to $50,332. You would have to pay a minimum of $4,000 to a single black belt instructor.

Advertising

A large-scale BJJ gym needs a proper business model with a competitive marketing team that can promote your BJJ gym with expensive organized advertising campaigns.

To create a strong online presence, your BJJ gym needs to have a professional website. To set up a professional business website, you would need to invest at least $300 initially.

You can also print cards and set up flyers if you prefer a traditional marketing strategy. To design and print at least 2500 flyers, you need to pay $80 to $100.

You would also need to create budgets to run GoogleAd, Facebook, and Instagram advertising campaigns.

Management Solutions

Having automated systems to keep track of bills, memberships, inventory, membership renewal dates, invoices, scheduled sessions, increase in revenue, and day-to-day administration. Software designed for gym management like Glofox offers services for all your management needs for only a monthly, quarterly, or annual subscription. Gym management software can cost $250 monthly and $2,500 annually.

Electricity & Utilities

Your electricity and utilities, including internet, water, and sewer costs, will cost around $600 for a 2,000 sq ft commercial studio.

Miscellaneous Costs

Other miscellaneous costs may include cleaning supplies ($50), toiletries ($20), hiring mat cleaning services ($25 per hour), and cleaning gym equipment and merchandise ($200).

RECURRING COSTS of a LARGE-SCALE BJJ FACILITY
Management Solutions $250
Salaries $10,000-$15,000
Advertising $1,000
Electricity & Utilities $1,000
Miscellaneous Costs $300
Total Costs $12,550-$17,550

5. Business-Related Expenses That You Need to Consider

5.1. Complete the Legal Paperwork

You need to determine which business structure best suits you, whether you are running a standard or a large-scale BJJ gym facility. After you have settled on the type of BJJ gym you wish to open, file all the legal paperwork required by your state.

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is the simplest business model as you only need to choose your business’s name, get a license, and open bank accounts for your business. You can then rent a location, hire employees, and start marketing your BJJ gym shortly afterwards.

However, the biggest downside of a sole proprietorship is that your personal assets may be at risk if your business goes into debt. With a small investment of $5,000 to $15,000, there should be little financial risk since you should not be borrowing money from big banks or money lenders. But if you are borrowing and inveting a six-figure amount in your BJJ gym, then it is safer to consider the other options.

Single-Member LLC

A single-member LLC is a limited liability company, meaning that if your business were to be in debt or become bankrupt, your personal assets would not be seized to pay off the liabilities.

Most business owners avoid opening a single-member LLC due to its complicated procedure. You would have to file and clear all the documents with the Secretary of State, including your BJJ gym’s name, address, LLC business articles, and the required fee.

You would also have to choose a registered agent to serve as your legal correspondence. Once your LLC is approved, you are free to start up your business, but you would have to submit an annual report to the state or risk your business being closed.

Business Licenses & Permits

You will need to pay for a license and permit fees to be legally allowed to run a BJJ gym. The licensing costs vary depending on which city and state you plan to set up your BJJ gym. The average cost for a license and business permits is about $3,000.

Legal Fees

To manage legal fees, including income taxes, application for a business license, processing and submitting legal documents to the State Secretary, and writing an employment contract, you would need to hire a business lawyer, which can cost you around $200 per hour. While setting up your business, expect to pay $10,000 to $15,000 for a business lawyer.

5.2. Insurance

Bodily injuries during training are common at BJJ gyms. You will need to have sufficient liability coverage to financially protect your business in case one of your students or employees are injured. Other factors to consider when getting insurance to protect your BJJ gym include theft, general liability, third-party liability, and employee compensation. For a large-scale BJJ gym with minimal workout equipment, you may have to pay $4,000 for insurance.

BUSINESS RELATED EXPENSES
Business License $1,500-$3,000
Legal Fee $5,000-$8,000
Insurance $2,000-$4,000
Total Cost $8,500-$15,000

6. Total Costs of Different Types of BJJ Gyms

Home-Based BJJ Gym

BJJ GYM IN A GARAGE
Set-Up Cost $550-$1,045
Recurring Cost $88-$147
Business Costs $0
Total Costs $638-$1,192

BJJ GYM IN BACKYARD w/o TENT or CANOPY
Set-Up Cost $560
Recurring Cost $88-$147
Business Costs $0
Total Cost $648 to $707

BJJ GYM IN BACKYARD w/ CANOPY
Set-up Cost $790
Recurring Cost $88-$147
Business Costs $0
Total Cost $878-$937

BJJ GYM IN BACKYARD w/ GAZEBO TENT
Set-up Cost $930
Recurring Cost $88-$147
Business Costs $0
Total Cost $1,018-$1,077

BJJ GYM IN BACKYARD w/ SIDE-WALLED CLOSED TENT
Set-up Costs $975
Recurring Cost $88-$147
Business Costs $0
Total Cost $1,063-$1,122

Standard BJJ Gym

BJJ GYM IN A RENTED SCHOOL SPACE
Set-up Costs $4,889-$5,529
Recurring Cost $300
Business Costs $500
Total Cost $5,689-6,329

BJJ GYM IN A RENTED GYM SPACE
Set-up Costs $5,130-$6,430
Recurring Cost $500
Business Costs $500
Total Cost $6,130-$7,430

BJJ GYM IN A RENTED RETAIL SPACE
Set-up Costs $12,784-$18,544
Recurring Cost $3,575-$5,500
Business Costs $8,500
Total Cost $24,859-$32,544

State-of-the-Art BJJ Gym Facility

STATE OF THE ART BJJ GYM FACILITY
Set-Up Cost $25,400-$31,000
Recurring Cost $12,550-$17,550
Business Cost $15,000
Total Cost $52,950-$63,550

7. Comparing the Set-Up, Recurring & Business Costs of All Three Types of BJJ Gyms

Set Small Scale BJJ Gym Standard BJJ Gym Large-Scale BJJ Gym
Set-Up Costs $550-$1,045 $4,489-$18,544 $25,400-$31,000
Recurring Costs $88-$147 $3,575-$5,500 $12,550-$17,550
Business Registration Costs Negligible $8,500 $15,000
Total Cost $638-$1,192 $16,564-$32,544 $52,950-$63,550

8. Takeaway

The cost to set-up a BJJ gym in the United States depends greatly on several factors, including a budget, location, license fee, inventory, electricity and utilities, and the services you want your business to offer. This article will hopefully provide you a financial road map on how to open a BJJ gym.

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