Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Spa Business in the United Kingdom

Starting a Spa Business in the United Kingdom

Everybody loves a spa day. It’s when one can relax and de-stress after long and busy weeks. And more than a respite from studies or work, it also provides many physical and mental benefits. Spa helps relieve muscle and joint pains, improves sleep, and reduces chronic headaches. If you’re looking for a sound venture that offers relaxation and wellness, starting a spa business in the United Kingdom is a top idea.

If you’re an experienced beauty therapist equipped with entrepreneurial skills, running a spa business would both be fulfilling and lucrative. Moreover, it is such a simple business that you can even start it at home. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about whether people would want to acquire your spa services. The UK spa market activities show that consumers spend over £80 billion annually on these wellness services. Starting a spa business in the United Kingdom will surely be a lucrative and fulfilling venture.

We provide here an overview of the spa business, the industry, and the steps you need to do to legalize your business. Help the world rest and relax with a quick read on how to set up a spa business and a complete guide to company registration in United Kingdom.


Industry Trends: What is a Spa Business?

Spa services cover a wide range of wellness and relaxation services, from facials to massages and other pampering treatments. Spa businesses could take any of the following business models:

  • Day spas
  • Wellness and treatment spas
  • Medical Spas
  • Destination Spas
  • Manicures, pedicures, etc.
  • Home-based or hotel-based spas
  • Tanning services, make-up, etc.

A day spa is one that offers all the basic spa services like facials, massages, waxing, manicures, and pedicures. Wellness spa offers people with similar interests in health a place to come and take various wellness activities like hiking and exercise classes. Meanwhile, medical spas are run by medical practitioners offering services like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser treatments, and the like. The other types of spa business are more or less the same as the mentioned ones, only varying in their target market, supplementary services, and service model.

As a business, a spa falls under the health and wellness industry. The industry has been slowly growing and was forecasted to reach GBP 12.4 billion in 2020. While the pandemic did impact this sector, it is still marked for positive growth within the coming decade. With people turning to better health practices and activities, spa businesses are key entities that will supplement this movement.


Planning a Spa Business in the United Kingdom

As a spa business owner, you don’t have to get fully involved in any spa activity itself. But it would be advantageous to have working experience in the field to have a full grasp of managing the services. To run the operations, you need to hire qualified employees, who can be beauty therapists, masseuses, or nail technicians.

When writing up your business plan, check out the competition and decide on a suitable location. Market research will enable you to identify any niche that you can capitalize on. It will also give you an idea of how much start-up capital you will need. This will make your choice of a business vehicle clearer.

One disadvantage of starting a spa business in the United Kingdom is the large start-up costs. Depending on the type of services you want to offer, the cost of equipment and machines can run up to £18,000 or more per item. Doing a list of your planned treatments will help you identify the equipment you will need, and budget your funds for acquisition. Moreover, you can also start small, and plan for the spa services under your budget.

Your marketing plan is another critical aspect before launching your business. Today you can use many marketing methods to build a solid client base. Networking has always been a proven strategy at getting your business name out in the market. Being active in spa communities, and even going door-to-door are great strategies. You can also go online, by creating a website or a social media account to maximize the results.


How to Register a Spa Business in the United Kingdom

Once you have planned out the details of your business, it will now be much easier to pick a business vehicle that will best serve your goals. You can start your spa business in the UK as a sole trader, partnership, or limited liability company. Each business structure provides a distinct set of advantages and disadvantages. But choosing one will depend on your capacity, outlook, control, and protection needs. For easier registration, take help from a United Kingdom company incorporation services provider.

Operating as a sole trader or partnership is ideal for home-based businesses – clients can come to your premises, or you can go to theirs. Start-up is easy, and costs can be kept low while giving you plenty of control and flexibility over the business. Conversely, if you want added protection, consider a limited liability partnership (LLP) or limited company. As these are incorporated with Companies House, they offer the protection of limited liability to owners and shareholders.

To register your company, you’ll need a registered business address, a unique company name, and other details about the business and the owners. Minimum requirements are also set in place for those setting their businesses up as a limited company. Here are some of the requirements for a spa business.

  • Should appoint at least one director (at least 16 years old)
  • Directors can be natural or juridical entities. But the company should have at least one director who is a natural person.
  • Must issue a minimum of one share at incorporation
  • Appointing or hiring a corporate secretary is optional if you think this will help in the company administration


VAT Registration

Registration for taxes and VAT with HMRC is mandatory. If you expect your profits to reach £85,000, you should voluntarily register for VAT to avoid tax disadvantages later on. You can register online or appoint an accountant or agent to do it for you. Upon registering, you’ll then be responsible to compute and pay the VAT due to HMRC, with the necessary returns and records. This process can be quite complicated, so you may also choose to hire an agent to process these VAT processes once you’ve launched.


Licenses and Permits for a Spa Business in the UK

Spa businesses need the massage and special treatment license given by local authorities. It is governed by the London Local Authorities Act 1991 and requires a premises license and a recognized beautician’s qualification. Additionally, if you use products or equipment in your spa, you may need other specific approvals. This includes the Health and Safety authorities, and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

It’s best to check with the UK Government website and your local area council for necessary permits and licenses to avoid issues in the future. You may also want to conduct an audit of your business and operations to ensure full compliance. Moreover, you may also want to acquire professional services from a top corporate service provider in United Kingdom. This is so you could get complete guidance and advice on starting a spa business in the United Kingdom.


Business Registration Services in the United Kingdom

There are a lot of tasks to complete while starting a spa business in the United Kingdom. That includes preparing your space and facilities, hiring staff, acquiring supplies, and looking for potential clients. All these, in addition to all the legalities of starting a company, can be very stressful and tedious. To prevent all these from overwhelming you, it is best to get the support and counsel of experts on company formation.

That’s where 3E Accounting comes in. We offer comprehensive United Kingdom company incorporation services that would suit your every business need. Simply tell us what you want to do, and we’ll create a bespoke solution that works best for you. All our services are fully digitalized and professionally deployed.

Contact 3E Accounting today for best-in-class and innovative one-stop solutions.

Starting a Spa Business in the United Kingdom