Starting A Night Club

Find some interior design idea’s, and lighting idea’s here.
Just click the picture.

Starting a night club business is a complex undertaking. You see, there are no schools on the career choice or should I say that lifestyle. And just because you have been a bartender or DJ, it doesn’t mean that was the education you needed. It’s just the education you have right now. But you need more. Much more. And because of the excitement of a nightclub, many people would like to get into the business and open their own.

But it’s not all roses either. It suits some, and not others, just like any other profession. Some of this reality is below and is intended to look at some of the negative aspects that maybe you haven’t thought of, that should be considered, before taking this step.

I have always loved this industry and spent my life in it. Some people spend their life at a desk and enjoy it, and that is something I couldn’t do.

I have written a guide on “how to start a nightclub” if you are looking for a more in depth guide on the procedures. But for generalities, read on.
But, do you have any business education? Experience in business, costs,How to Start your Own Bar/Nigthclub human resources, management, purchasing, insurance, inventory control, theft deterrence, security, crowd control, etc, etc, etc. How to start a nightclub is involved.

Unfortunately, we live in a “NOW” society. Everybody wants things now! Sorry. Experience will be the only determining factor in obtaining knowledge. You may even find that during the experience you are going through, that this night club business, really isn’t for you. Surprise, surprise, surprise!

Night Club Pros will show you how to diversify your revenue into multiple streams to increase income, growth, and stability.

Before starting a night club business you need to learn, and grow into more responsible positions. Then manage as an assistant for awhile, and you will learn what you need to learn for starting a night club. The best place to start is at the bottom. From the janitor on up. You can’t possibly understand a problem if you have never done the work. You think you can, but sorry,you can’t

Because many people don’t like this kind of advice, they go ahead and try anyway. Every mistake you make will costs thousands of dollars along the way. That was always my selling line as a consultant. I use to say, if you only make ten mistakes, and that’s pretty good really, and each of those mistakes cost you five thousand dollars, that’s throwing away fifty thousand dollars! I’m cheaper then that at half the price.

This web site will give you insight. It is not, let me repeat, not, the only education you need.

There are so many facets to consider. Contrary to popular belief, it involves many personal attributes a person needs to find within themselves. It requires you to be mature, of average intelligence, motivated, have an entrepreneurial spirit, and a very good multi-tasker.(that means doing a whole bunch of stuff at the same time) In addition, you will need patience, understanding, be out going, and strong willed.

These are only a few of the wealth of attributes that are required when starting a night club. You will also need to function like a normal human being while under stress. You see, while you are juggling a multitude of things to make your dream come through, you can’t be short with family, friends, and business associates. You need to be able to think clear. Always.

Starting a night club business, and being in the night club business will require more from you personally, then any other occupation I know of. The night club business can be brutal to the average person. I’ve seen people just lose it. Remember, the night club business is not for the faint of heart.

Many people believe this is an easy business to manage. Not so! If you become an owner, or a night club manager, you will work harder and longer then anyone else you know. And if you are a manager, make sure you are getting paid well! Believe me!
And we haven’t even touched on what happens to your home life for those who have a spouse or significant other. They used to call this business “the home wrecker”. It can be a true statement. Are you still thinking about starting a night club? OK. Let’s continue.

An undertaking such as this will completely take over your life. Now, is your spouse or significant other going to put up with you working evenings till four or five in the morning??

Are they going to understand you have to work all the holidays?? How about working with the opposite sex a lot?? Are you a strong enough personality to stay away from the booze and cigarettes??

Many jeopardize their family and their health. You have to be strong willed and avoid the trappings of this business. I’m not saying that you are not allowed to have fun in this business, that’s always been part of the allure, but starting a night club is a business, and not a playground. Treat it that way and you will be fine.

These are serious questions you have to ask yourself when starting a night club. I have found many people don’t last five years in the night club industry. If they last the five years, they are burnt out!

You probably have read many articles on starting a night club before coming here. Have you noticed one thing familiar in all the things you have read? Negativity. It’s not that all of us that have experience in this field look at the glass as half empty. But we do know this industry is a difficult one that has sets of problems, and an education required, that is far from the norm.

SIDEBAR…One of the problems faced in starting a night club is with people who have more money then brains! Seriously!

Sometimes, you find this guy who has more then enough money. He’s been successful at whatever. Now, he’s going through male menopause, or he has an ego problem and has to show the world how smart he is.

He goes out, pays a ton for a lease, spends a fortune on tv’s, POS systems, and bar and kitchen equipment, and has absolutely no idea what he’s doing. His theme will be wrong, his design will be wrong, he won’t train properly, and so on.

Now why would someone get into this business with absolutely no knowledge of this industry, and do this?? Unbelievable!

I have seen wealthy individuals that have been in the car dealership field do this,I have seen people in manufacturing do this, I have seen people in real estate do this, movie stars do this, sports figures do this. It never ceases to amaze me.

I wish I could have met these people before they made this decision. I just wanted to tell them that it would be a lot easier to just cut me a check, as long as you were just going to throw it away.

Night Club Pros eliminates the complexities of this industry for you and explains matters in an easy to understand format. We’re “user friendly”.

Passion and desire are wonderful attributes. Just make sure your overwhelming passion doesn’t cloud your judgment. It’s like that love saying. You know the one. Love is blind!!

When starting a night club, you need to be aware of what is happening. Don’t let your passion blind you to some realities you don’t want to face.

Hold on, coffee break time. Be right back.

Ok. I got my coffee. Anyway, where were we. Oh ya.

You need to understand, you need the experience and education. Please don’t attempt this without each. If you did, and it’s opening night, what do you do now? What do you tell the security to do? How about the bartenders? What about the DJ, his choice of music, lights, and how about that volume?? Ok, I’m done preaching.

Starting a night club is not just about music and lights, believe me. I described elsewhere on this site, it’s not “build it and they will come”.

Also, when you are in the process of starting a night club, remember, it’s not all about what you want, or what you would like. It’s about what concept will sell to your targeted customers. Never let this premise leave you while you are starting a night club.

You know, the public is a very fickle sort. You can open your night club, and do well, but never believe there is loyalty is this arena. Because when a new club down the street opens, believe me, they are going there to at least check it out. So when you are starting a night club, do it right the first time.

In learning how to start a night club, money will be the one thing that will start you or stop you. This doesn’t take to much to understand. Either you have it, or you don’t. That’s really the long and short of it. Money first!

And depending on what State you live in, is there a Liquor License available to you?

Assuming you have to cash to even start thinking about such an undertaking, you need to see if there is a demand for what you want to offer.

To do this takes a little leg work. Starting a night club can be a little tedious as you will find out. You need to get a copy of the demographics. Click Here for more information.

After reviewing this information, it will tell you if you should proceed. If you don’t have the customers, you shouldn’t be starting a night club.

You also need to start your road trip. If you are not real familiar with the restaurant and bar scene, you need to be! Go and see what your potential competition is going to be. How busy are they? How often? How long have they been in business?

You need to talk to people. Are they having fun in these places? What do they like? What do they dislike?

Yes, you have to do this homework. Take your time! Don’t go out on one Friday night and say, OK, I’m ready. Your lack of patience can get you in a lot of trouble.

Let’s say you have completed your task. You’ve done your road trip, read your demographics, and have the money. Now what?

Your location!! Now your happy and excited! Aren’t you! That’s good. I’m sure you heard the old adage, “location,location,location”.

Well it’s true. Your location is real important. If you are in an area that has other bars and such around, has lots of parking, and easy to get to. It sounds pretty good to me.

Ease of directions is important. Then no matter where someone is coming from, it will be easy to find you. You can’t make no money if you have no parking, so you better have it. And to be around the action of other businesses is important.

When starting a night club, the actual location itself is a whole other subject. We talk about this in much more detail in the newsletter, but I will give you an overview. OK
Where is it located? How much parking does it have? Does it set back off the street? How many square feet does it have? Is their room for expansion if needed? How high are the ceilings? How many tons of A/C does it have? What kind of heat? What type of bathroom facilities are there? What type of electrical service is there? Where is it located? And the list goes on and on. starting a night club is all about the details. Take them seriously.

The location you will need to choose depends on many, many things.

Next on the list after you have found the location of your choice is to verify there are no problems putting a Liquor License at this location. And, although you are looking at a commercial building, you need to go and check on the zoning to insure you are allowed to do this.

If everything is OK, you will then need to negotiate a lease, unless you are buying the building. Lease requirements are generally different then most businesses. You will want smaller year terms with many options, along with a three or four month grace period while building. You are also going to have some stipulations regarding air conditioning, bathrooms, and kitchens. These also get into a lot of detail. See the monthly newsletter for topics like this, starting a night club, and more.

Starting a night club business is getting more involved then you thought, isn’t it. It’s really not that bad, but you can’t be an indecisive person. Important decisions will need to be made all the time during this process.

You are going to want to incorporate also. And I’m sure under a sub-chapter s status.But what is real important, especially if you are new to this, make sure you seek the counsel from an insurance agent, accountant and a lawyer. Try to find companies that deal with businesses all the time. They are more familiar with these issues along with the transferring of a Liquor License.

Well, you have come a long way so far in starting a night club. Now that you have all these things settled, you need to design your night club in accordance with the theme you are going with and the target audience you are trying to attract.

A book can actually be written on this subject itself. But to get on with this overview, it’s time to design the interior.

Depending on your local and State laws, you may have to submit plans to the City of State Department of Labor and Industry. You may only require a building permit to remodel only.

After complete, you will need to find an architect and a contractor. Insure you investigate these people and insure they are above board. Only pay as work is completed.

Once the construction is started, you will be busy with hiring, training, advertising, marketing, menu’s, and the list goes on and on.
Starting a night club requires Management skills. Don’t forget to stop here.

I hoped this has helped you along your way. This gives you a basis from which to start.

For a step by step guide of “How To Start Your Own Bar or Nightclub. Click Here!

Filed Under: Starting a NightclubStarting Your Bar/Nightclub Business

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  1. […] Demographics for night clubs are imperative when starting a night club. […]

  2. […] To answer such a vague question, I will give you a very vague answer. From one hundred thousand dollars to millions. It just depends. Starting a nightclub would be a good read for someone asking about nightclub cost. […]

  3. […] that makes you successful. It is all these separate things that come together. Even if you are just starting a night club, night club security has to be considered. If you are already operating a night club you have to […]

  4. […] So, before you do all these changes, did you change who you are? You didn’t! C’mon! When reinventing your night club, you have to have a customer base you are targeting. Reinventing your night club is just like you would when starting a night club. […]

  5. […] And, although sometimes it works, it generally doesn’t! So let’s go over some of these things. Hold on, I have to get a cup of coffee. A related subject of night club investors is starting a night club. […]

  6. […] Music royalties are a part of starting a night club. […]

  7. […] Norm Design of nightclubs is part of starting a nightclub, so click here for more information. […]

  8. […] Go here to read the rest: Starting A Night Club |… […]

  9. keith says:

    i live in the uae and anm desining and building 3 new nightclubs right now if you need help just email me and i will be in contact keith have A GREAT 2011

  10. Corey M. says:

    Im 17 and Im doing an I-search project for a high school Im a junior. And when i get a little older not to much i would like to start a night club. This little town i live in kinda sucks and needs some excitement thats why i want to start one if anyone wants to help me out with this i would love the help. you can contact me at

  11. Kyle R says:

    LIGHTING IS AN ESSENTIAL PART of any nightclub and it is often one of the last things considered. Lighting is the first thing I judge (although for many it’s something they actually GO to a nightclub for) and I’ve been to far too many nightclubs and bars with poor or inadequate dance floor lighting. Many local cheap college town bars that have dance floors that are lit by a bunch of cheap party fixtures that were just thrown together. Occasionally I will also see the same problem on the other end of the spectrum where a nightclub will spend money on extremely high end fixtures for their dance floors than actually are meant to belong above a stage for a concert. If you’re reading this and really don’t understand what I mean by the term “fixture” Im not talking about a single light that goes on and off, but rather a light (technically called “intelligent lighting”) that performs many different functions. These lights are usually controlled by a computer or a DMX (digital multiplex) control board that sits next to the DJ console however, instead of using a control board, there are computer programs such as Chauvet ShowExpress and Martin Light Jockey in which more complex show scenes can be designed When designing lights for a dance floor you want to make sure you purchase a variety of lights so the lighting design can be completely changed up on different nights or with different songs/beats. A great mix of lights should include but is not limited to, a full set of RGB flood lights that flood the entire dance floor, scanners, strobes, and a few high end lasers (given that you have the money for that). All of these lights should operate on either MIDI or DMX control. After purchasing your lights, hanging them, and wiring them to the control console, you may have to read the control consoles directions to program a variety of scenes and shows.

  12. macato says:

    hi!! we have some booths with plasma tv on it for sale, previously belong to a night club, if you are interested call to 352-307-0770

  13. ash says:

    i am on my way to owning a night club–it is already licensed, in fact it was a very popular night club but the previous owners were not able to reinvent it. It has over 13000 sq ft and 4 floors. i’m a young woman and i’m going out on a limb because the proporty is being sold for much much much less than its worth…what should i look out for and what questions should i ask pertaining to the proporty before i purchase?

  14. Edwin says:

    I`ve been a dj and I want to start my own club, so here I am. I will experiment >:)

  15. wilson lim says:

    i willing to start my own business night club. can i have some explanation on how the way and which need to be ready before starting night club business…for example, how many staff, dj, bartender, cleaner workers,payment system,account,, sound system, and so on. can have the idea on this and please list out for me?

  16. wilson lim says:

    besides, can i have the club management documentation for keep track? hope someone can help me on this and also for those who willing to work in my night club business. please reply me here if you had interesting on this.

  17. Davis says:

    Great over the top article. I’ve been considering this with a partner. My background is 25 years of building management experienced covering most of the points you have made in this article. I’m more encouraged.


  18. DAVID RICARDO says:

    Excelente toda la guía, pero me gustaría saber, cual es la diferencia entre un bar, pub y un club…se requiere de algun tipo de autorización y para el caso de Colombia, quien la expide????????’ muchas gracias

  19. nightclubpros says:

    Hi David,
    I don’t know specifically about Columbia, but typically “pubs” and “bars” are interchangeable in English, though a pub has more of the connotation of a neighborhood bar or an Irish pub kind of a feel. Bars are more generally and can include everything from a pub to a martini bar to occassionally even dance clubs. A club, usually has a greater focus on dancing or on a more “exclusive” atmosphere. But, of course, you will find exceptions to all of these.

    Zoning laws vary from place to place and have everything to do with what types of drinks and food are sold and in what porportions.

    Okay, hope that helps.

  20. Trini Gonzalez says:

    hi im trini and im 18. My goal is to start a night club and i need help!

  21. Alma says:

    Hi my husband and I want to start a nightclub we are only researching as of now but we are very interested. Hes 31 & Im 24. We don’t have any related education that we can relate to aside from his MBA and my BA in nursing and A.A. In psychology. Also, my sister has her MBA and has offered to help if we need it. Do you think we could partake in this journey? A nightclub is one of the businesses we have in mind. We are currently in negotiation with a franchise to buy in. Any info would be helpful! Thanks!

  22. admin says:

    I think anyone can partake in such a journey as long as he looks as at it as any other business, like a store and not as cool hangout place for them and their friends, which will probably become an expensive hangout place…
    Use your MBA background to write a detailed business plan (be realistic) which will help you figure out if you are going to come out of this journey on top or at the bottom.
    There is also a lot of reading material on the site regarding many aspect of the business. So do your homework well and good luck!

  23. john says:

    i am thinking of going into the club life i mix my own music and always wanted own and run and entertain in me own club i know i would make an awsome manager and dj as i listen to what other people want not just what i want. could you point me in the right direction to were to start and were to go and ect……

  24. L.J says:

    Me and my buddy are working on starting a nightclub in va we have done all the demographic research and we r pretty sure we will come out on top. We are currently talking with investors and have a location and a pretty solid business plan. If theres any advice you could give us it would be most appreciated

  25. LM Style says:

    The night club business that serves drinks and food has so many facets to the business end of things that create so many liabilities issues, learning how to isolate liabilities so when your security, bar, food, entertainment, and any employees get into any altercations your protected, since each of these entities are independent of the DBA, which is a C-Corp. The ability to have a Bar serving the public in a dance/club environment provides so much liability its just without description, then learning how to handle intoxicated patrons without escalating the situation is a fine art in itself, and finding security that’s professional and effective without being a liability itself is not easy. Add in a little food service so you can provide lunch/dinner to patrons brings in a whole new bunch of liabilities and all of these have employee turnover which takes up so much time its just mind boggling, cause everybody you don’t know claims to be great at what they do, yet you truly need to know EVERY job cause there will come a time when YOU have to do it cause they just Quit, a finely tuned Business with Quality employees and Managers to Operate each side of the Club is a time intensive process and there is NO fast track to success and starting from scratch is way different then moving someone good at the Local Bar/Club and making your place the NEW Rocking place to be at… its not just one aspect that makes your Club the Hot Spot, its making it all look EASY and NOT running out of Stock from the BAR or Kitchen, dealing with fast paced service environments is NOT something Most people will fair well at if they have NEVER worked in a high traffic / High Volume place where you can go from 25 people to hundreds within an hour and they all want service within minutes of arriving and to be entertained too… “All these aspects cost YOU money $$$ and if you think cause you have been a regular at a local bar scene or club, you have NO idea, quit fooling yourself, do you know what it takes to keep a hopping Bar full and ready to serve Ice Cold drinks when 400 people could be flowing through the doors in the 1st 3 hours? Seriously, that’s alot of Booze and Food, at first keep it simple and know what you can do well and what you need to delegate to a truly capable person, but remember, People LIE about what they can do for you cause they want to get paid and probably steal from you too!!! Have a few years experience in bars and clubs that serve Booze / Wine / Food its not nearly as simple as you may think and dealing with people makes it that much more of a headache, cause everyone thinks they are better than they really are when they are put on the hot seat…. Style and personality will make you stand out, but be prepared to back up what you advertise and deliver the atmosphere that brings them back…

    Good Luck

  26. says:

    Thank you for the comment LM.
    I know a lot of people that would read this comment, will ask themselves, why all the negativity?
    I am generally a positive person that think people should follow their dream, but my main goal in this blog is to make them follow it with open eyes and clear vision on the business they are getting into, which always looks from the outside much more fun and glamorous then it is from the inside, even though it can be fun from the inside too, if you do it right.

  27. Arez says:

    I live in new Zealand and I’am a bouncer I have bounced at some of Aucklands most exclusive nightclub and I would like to open my own nightclub preffibly a night club that play house, techno and trance. . . . I’m very keep to do this how hard would it be for me as I own ready have a DJ as a mate and have got the location on lockdown with also a couple mates that know a lot about business ?

  28. Roger says:

    heey guys ,
    IM a dutch (the Netherlands)man. Im a student(2nd years Mechanical ingeneering ,like u see i dont speak english very well,but i do understand what yu guys wrote about starting a night club. I have a project with my friends students one studie management business and the other one will graduate this year for a maters architek.We want open a morden night club up here in Amsterdam or Rotterdam. i said modern because we realised all the club up here are really old and “old school”. people go to those clubs cause they have no choice. the lightsystems are old ,the interior is realy funny. I had saw a lot concepts of club from the usa. I think if one of those club was up here, people will be realy happy. We want do something that people are asking for. Ducth people likes parties, but before we need help. cause right now we are doing research about starting a nightclub,” a night club like in the USA”.

  29. Anthony says:

    I am currently in the military, finishing 8 years in the USMC. I am looking forward to enrolling in school at ASU/ buisness/ Management . I thought at first it would be hard after reading this website but, all the NEGITIVITY makes me want it more…….. just need asic tools and guidence. who can help?

  30. jose says:

    HI i’m 15 i have some experience in hosting parties and events and i kind of want to start a night club for teens and i was wondering if you could help point me in the right direction as to where to start. Thank you.

  31. johnathan says:

    hi im getting out of the army and heading back to houston texas. i am starting my plan and will be successful with a partner or so….. if interested email me

  32. Trevaughn says:

    Hello, my name is Trevaughn i have a business plan already proffessionally put together. For the past seven years i have done my research and homework. Just looking for some investors to take a look and take chance im my dream. Email me if intrested at

  33. Simon says:

    I lost interest in what you had to say when I noticed you can’t even tell the difference between ‘then’ and ‘than’…
    How are you supposed to tell me how to run a “business” when you can’t even spell or know the simplest of grammar!!??

  34. says:

    I appreciate your comment. Yes I admit it, my grammar is not perfect, I also admit that my education is far from one that would have taken me up the society scale. But I have learned to work around it and succeed and I want others to be able to do the same. And trust me, good grammar skills will not make you a bit of a better or worse business owner and manager, maybe its sad, but that reality.
    When it come to business, I want to learn from doers, not learners.

  35. Anushka Dowling says:

    I want to start a night club but in Cape Town, South Africa it would be great if you could email me any ideas or give me hints and is it a good idea to get investors? Let me know. Any guidence would be great to.

  36. Dan says:

    Hi there, I’m from New Zealand. There is a lot of potential in this country to run a profitable night club, There are good location opportunities as well as the people love the nightlife here. I have read a lot of articles on the net of whats involved and understand it is not an easy feat, it is my dream to run my own club and i’m very motivated in any work i do. im basicly writing to ask where i could further my education in this sort of business and who i could work with to put together a business plan that i can work through to see if i can make the hole idea possible. I know i still have a long way to go to get there but i know if i could kick it off in the next couple of years the growth in auckland city will definitely fill the club at least 4 nights a week the other clubs already at this stage are hard enough to get in as there is too many people! One of the main things i will need to support my ideas would be investors and a good plan to put forward to them. I have a couple of themes in mind the one i like the most is “underworld” i want to bring the people something different and exciting that doesn’t get boring, when people step into the club i want them to be “interested” as well as comfortable. New zealand and Auckland city is surrounded by the ocean and beaches so i want to take that day time adventure into the night and bring them a new world,There is so much room with this theme to change to keep it interesting and FUN FOR ALL! Please email me with suggestions.

  37. NJqualitypools says:

    Your interested in starting a business? Give me a shout. I’m thinking of starting another business

  38. Tony says:

    I’m actively persuing the bar business, I’m looking for a fantastic site or template for a Bar business Plan. Anyone have a link that they were truly happy with?

  39. shon says:

    tryna start my own bar and grill lounge. if anybody have any info on small business loan give me a shout out thanks

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