The Small Business Times

How To Open A Strip Club

There are many parallels between opening a strip club and opening any other brick-and-mortar business. But there are some critical differences too, which must be highlighted.

For starters, you’ll be doing the bulk of your business after hours. This is not to say that a strip club can’t be open during the day. But most of your clientele will likely frequent your establishment at night, which comes with its own set of challenges.

Opening a strip club will certainly not be a walk in the park. And it’s advisable that you at least have some previous experience in the market before diving in. 

But, under the right circumstances, it could be a profitable business investment. In fact, statistics show that there has been steady growth in the adult entertainment industry over the past decade.

However, there are a few key elements you should pay close attention to when opening a strip club. Understanding these should set you on the track to a successful business venture.

What do you need to open a strip club?

Business Strategy

Having a solid business strategy is paramount to the success of any business. It forces you to analyze, plan, and set short- and long-term objectives for your enterprise. 

One of the things you should consider is your brand image and identity. Think about the clients you want to attract and how you’d like the club to be seen.

Then decide on the products and services you’d like to offer your customers. There’ll obviously be the entertainment aspect using professional dancers. But are you serving alcohol or food, or will you include some gambling machines?

Another factor to consider is your competition. You should have a good idea of similar clubs in the area. And a strategy for how you plan to set yourself apart from them.

Drawing up a business plan and acquiring the proper business registration documentation is essential. This will ensure your business is legitimate and will help you start off on the right foot.

You could always opt to open a strip club franchise. In which case, much of the business strategy will already be in place. A franchise may also give you a leg-up when getting started, as the franchise would be a recognized brand.


When searching for a suitable location for your club, you must ensure that the area is zoned for business. There are strict laws when it comes to operating a business in or close to a residential area. 

And, because the nature of your business might be considered taboo by many, you’ll need to exercise caution. For instance, opening your strip club in a suburban area would not be advisable.

You must consider that your club will have music playing until very late, which will be noisy. Also, strip clubs sometimes attract criminal activity and unsavory characters to the area. None of which are ideal in a residential area.

A location in a bustling part of the city may be best. But you might still face some scrutiny from the local council or improvement district. And the friction may not end there.

You may face some disapproval from local business owners and citizens. You should, therefore, be prepared to go to battle for your business rights when needed.


Any establishment that sells alcohol or plays music must obtain a license to do so. And when it comes to opening a strip club, there are a few licenses you’ll need to apply for.

Apart from your license to operate a business, you’ll need an Adult Entertainment License for a strip club. You must also apply for a permit to play copyright-protected music for the dancers to dance to.

If you’re selling alcohol, you must obtain a liquor license. And if you’re serving food, you’ll need the relevant health and safety certification for your region.

You may also be required to apply for a license to operate during certain hours, depending on the club’s location. And if you’d like to include some gambling machines, you’ll need a permit for those too.

Bear in mind that it can take time to go through the process of acquiring these licenses. Therefore, it’s advisable to apply for your licenses as early as possible to avoid delays. 

Safety and Security

One of the most crucial aspects of a successful strip club is the safety of its staff and customers. Part of this relates to fire safety, so exits and fire extinguishers will need to be inspected.

Another consideration is that many transactions at a strip club will likely be in cash for the sake of anonymity. Your security must, therefore, be airtight as the potential for theft would pose a severe risk.

One way to reduce the risk is through insurance. With comprehensive insurance in place, you’ll be covered for any potential loss or damages that may occur.

You should also make discretion a priority. Not only for the safety and privacy of your customers but also for your staff. For that reason, be sure the prohibit anyone from taking photos inside your establishment.


A dedicated, cohesive team is the backbone of any business. And when opening a strip club, you should ensure that you have the right team in place.

Remember that your club will likely operate day and night. So, you’ll need enough staff to work on a rotational shift basis, with some time off each week.

You’ll also need at least one day and one night manager, each with an assistant manager. And you’ll benefit from employing a hostess and house DJ to take care of the music.

Finding experienced dancers may, however, be a challenge. This is not a job that many women or men would be willing to do. And the really talented dancers are usually already employed elsewhere.

You must ensure that your security personnel is highly trained individuals. Employing the services of a security company may be worth your while.

Most importantly, the security team and your staff must work together to enforce license terms and club rules. This way, you’ll avoid unwanted incidents and unlawful behavior at your establishment.


Opening a strip club can be challenging. There are several factors to consider, such as licensing and security. And you might face resistance from the community due to the nature of the business.

However, choosing an ideal location and exercising discretion with staff and patrons will set you on the right course. And if you can assemble a diligent team, skilled dancers, and trained security, you’ll be starting on the right foot.