If you’re looking to start your own mobile massage business in sunny Florida, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, I will cover ten frequently asked questions that will detail everything you need to follow in order to get your mobile massage business on the road. I’ll cover everything from setting up your business structure, licensing requirements, marketing your services and more.
Question 1: Do I need a massage license?
In the state of Florida, you are required to have a license in order to offer massage therapy. The process of obtaining a license includes completing an educational program of at least 500 hours at an accredited massage school, submitting an FDLE criminal background check, and passing the MBLEx (Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination), and a laws and rules of the board course.
If you are moving to Florida and licensed in another state, here is my guide to getting licensed as a masssage therapist in Florida.
Question 2: Do I need a massage establishment license?
In general, if you go to your client’s location, you will need your massage therapy license, but you do not need a massage establishment license. I highly recommend reading through the Florida laws and rules and asking the Massage Board office or a lawyer if you have any doubts about needing an establishment license.
You are required to have a Massage Establishment License if massage clients travel to see you at your place of business. The process of obtaining an establishment license includes completing an application, providing proof of liability insurance, and passing an inspection from the Department of Health.
Here is an article from FloridaMassage.com on massage establishments in case you decide not to go the mobile route, Massage Establishment FAQ.
Question 3: What type of business structure should I choose?
There are a few different business structures you can choose from when starting your mobile massage business, but the most common are sole proprietorships and LLCs.
Sole proprietorships are the simplest business structure and don’t require any special paperwork to set up. However, they offer the least amount of protection for your personal assets.
LLCs, or limited liability companies, provide more protection for your personal assets since the business and its owner are considered separate entities. LLCs are a bit more complicated to set up than sole proprietorships, but they may be worth the extra effort if you’re looking to protect your personal assets.
There are a few other business structures to choose from, so be sure to do your research and consult with a lawyer or accountant before making your final decision if you are unsure what business structure is right for you.
Question 4: What are the insurance requirements for my business?
All businesses in Florida are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance if they have any employees, but massage therapists can choose to opt-out of this if they are independent contractors.
You should also carry personal liability insurance in order to protect your business from any claims of professional negligence. Common massage insurance carriers include AMTA and ABMP.
Question 5: Do I need a local permit to operate my mobile business?
Most likely. You will need to contact your County Tax Collector’s Office to obtain a Business Tax Receipt (also known as an occupational license)
For example: If you are going to be operating your mobile massage business in the city of Tampa, you will need to obtain a Business Tax Receipt from the Hillsborough County Tax Collector’s Office.
Question 6: What are the marketing requirements for my business?
When marketing your mobile massage business, you will still need to make sure that all advertising complies with the rules set forth by the Florida Board of Massage Therapy.
This includes ensuring that all ads clearly state that you are a licensed massage therapist and including your license number in any print, radio, or TV ads.
For example, I would make sure Ivy Hultquist, Licensed Massage Therapist MA66325 would be on all of my mobile massage advertisements.
Question 7: What kind of massage table or chair do you recommend for mobile massage?
When choosing a massage table for your mobile business, you’ll want to make sure that it’s lightweight and easy to transport. You’ll also want to make sure that it’s comfortable for your clients and has all the features that you need, such as adjustable height and a good face cradle.
Question 8: What are some of the pros of mobile massage?
There are many advantages to starting a mobile massage business, including the ability to set your own hours, work from home, and be your own boss. You’ll also have the flexibility to choose the types of clients you work with and the locations you work in.
The start-up costs for a mobile massage business are also relatively low, since you won’t need to rent office space or buy expensive equipment.
Mobile massage can be an incredibly busy and successful. Here is an article from AMTA about a few sucessful mobile massage businesses.
Question 9: What are some of the cons of mobile massage?
The main downside of starting a mobile massage business is that you’ll have to do a lot of driving to meet with clients. This can be time-consuming and expensive, especially if you have to travel long distances.
You’ll also need to be very organized and efficient in order to keep track of your appointments, client information, and supplies.
And we have to mention safety when talking about mobile massage. In general, being a mobile massage therapist is very safe, but you do need to take precautions and screen clients the best you can. You’ll need to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions when meeting clients in unfamiliar locations.
Question 10: How much should I charge for a mobile massage?
This is probably the most common question I see about mobile massage on the Florida massage therapy Facebook group!
The answer really depends on a number of factors, including your experience level, the length and type of massage you’re offering, and the location you’ll be traveling to. Gas is not cheap these days and your time is very valuable -not to mention your skills as a professional massage therapist. Charge accordingly.
In general, I know therapists charging anywhere for $60-$150 for a 60-minute mobile massage. And many charge $200 and more for 90 or 120-minute sessions.
If you are at an “event” offering shorter massages or massages by the minute you can charge at least a dollar a minute. But, this is a personal decision.