The Requirements to Start a Nightclub Business


A nightclub is a popular place to listen to music, dance and mingle while having a few drinks. It creates an environment with an uninhibited ambiance. Because of consumption of alcoho,l which lessens inhibitions, a nightclub is also a common place for arguments, fights and trouble. However, with careful implementation of security operations, your nightclub business can be an exciting, entertaining venture. With the right location and licensing, a nightclub can also be a profitable business.


  • When starting your nightclub, you will require a location that is in the midst of nightlife and nightclub traffic with demographics to match your desired profile. A location next to bars and even other competition will allow you to absorb the customers of other nightclubs. If you are investing in the building instead of leasing, you will require capital for renovations and redesign. Other features to consider when scouting for a location are: the square footage of the property, room for expansion, ceiling height, type of heating and air-conditioning systems, and adequate bathroom facilities.


  • In the state of Michigan, nightclubs and the individuals selling spirits with over 21 percent alcoholic content, require licensing with the Liquor Control Commission. In addition, you are required to have an entertainment license with the local city or county clerk's office. If your nightclub will be preparing and serving food, you may require a license with the Department of Agriculture. Check with your government for licensing requirements in your state.


  • Owners require management to control costs and manage the profits of the nightclub. Customers require safety and security. Promotions of two-for-one drinks, over-size drinks or an extended "happy hour," for example, set a tone that may require an increase in the type and level of security that needs to be provided to protect customers. Changing the music, adding a cover charge, adding a dress code, increasing visible security, and even changing the lighting can make an impact on minimizing problems without cutting into your profits.


  • Some cities and counties have security requirements for bars and nightclubs. For others, the national standard for the owners and operators is “reasonable care” with security personnel and sometimes security equipment. Nightclubs may require metal detectors at the doors as a caution against guns and knives. Management has a responsibility to provide a safe environment for its customers and employees for all areas of the nightclub including the parking lot and areas immediately adjacent to the building.


  • Photo Credit In the club image by Stanislav Savelyev from
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