Set Up a Massage Establishment Business in the United Kingdom

How to Set Up a Massage Establishment Business in the UK Unleash your inner therapist with 3E Accounting’s how to set up a massage establishment business in the UK.

If you enjoy working with people, alleviating their stress, aches and pains, then a massage business might be ideal. Pre-pandemic statistics indicate that the global wellness industry was valued at USD4.5 trillion and forecast to reach USD6 trillion by 2025. To get a slice of this pie, here are some basics on how to set up a massage establishment business in the UK.


Kinks and Knots

Massaging therapy has been around for centuries as people manipulated their muscles and tissues to alleviate pain and relax. A professional massage therapist is usually referred to in the masculine as a masseur and in the feminine as a masseuse.

A massage establishment can take many forms; hence, it is important to do your due diligence before investing in equipment, etc. The UK massage industry includes:

  • Swedish or Thai massage
  • Medical or sports injury massage
  • Deep tissue or lymphatic drainage
  • Sauna, sunbed, etc.
  • Aromatherapy, herbal baths, acupuncture

A business plan with reliable research will narrow down your business model and help you figure out the financials. For example, a Thai or Swedish massage will require massage tables, scented oils, tools, etc. You may even need to employ Thai or Swedish nationals for that authentic experience. Medical or sports injury massage will require more sophisticated equipment and set up. You may also need to hire a certified physiotherapist.

Location, size of premises as well as the number of staff you need will impact financials. You will also need to set up a website and domain name, trademark your brand and hire professionals to handle audits. These are just some of the considerations to keep in mind when figuring out how much start-up capital you will need.

If you wish to start small, you may want to operate as a sole trader or partnership. This allows you to be a mobile or home-based business, equipped with a portable massage table. It allows you to either travel to clients’ premises for business or have them come to yours. Otherwise, you can go the commercial route. If you prefer to splurge on a proper brick-and-mortar establishment, then consider incorporating it as a limited liability partnership or company. This affords you the protection of limited liability as your company becomes a separate legal identity upon incorporation. Whichever form of business entity you choose, you will need to register with HMRC for taxes. Depending on your annual turnover, you may also need to register for value-added tax (VAT).

In the UK, massage therapy is regulated by the GCMT, the Council for Soft Tissue Therapy. You will need to apply for a massage and special treatment licence under the London Local Authorities Act 1991. This may require you to get a recognised therapist qualification. It’s best to check with your local area council before starting your business activity. The UK Government website has more detailed information and guidance, and some exemptions may be granted depending on your area council.

These options and requirements may seem bewildering and make it challenging to choose the right business model. 3E Accounting can guide you on how to set up a massage establishment business in the UK. As global company formation experts, we offer comprehensive and innovative solutions. All our services and solutions are fully digitalised to ensure that your company is ready for business in the 21st century. Contact 3E Accounting today for impeccable service and bespoke solutions that are just right for you.

How to Set Up a Massage Establishment Business in the UK