Cost to Start a Paintball Business

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The cost to start a paintball business can be kept low.
The cost to start a paintball business can be kept low. (Image: paintball image by Alexander Zhiltsov from Fotolia.com)

Paintball has become a popular activity and business idea. Many entrepreneurs are attracted to high profit margins that are possible due to comparatively low operating costs and multiple revenue streams available. There is a wide range of startup costs depending on how you design your paintball business, but it can be done cheaply.

Building Costs

Building costs can be your highest or lowest cost. At a minimum, you need a medium-sized field. This would require leasing land and having a small structure or trailer where you could operate out of and store gear. Creating an indoor arena will mean higher rent and building costs. After leasing, your primary building costs will be obstacles. The type and amount of obstacles are up to you. Pre-made packages exist starting at around $14,000. Building obstacles yourself would be significantly cheaper.

Equipment Costs

Most people do not own their own paintball equipment, so you will need gear you can rent to customers. This should include guns, CO2 cartridges, protective gear and paintballs. The exact cost will depend on the quality of the equipment you buy, but the average cost is approximately $100 to outfit one person. Buying in bulk will save you money. Consider buying more expensive gear that will last longer and save you money in the long run. Be sure to buy enough equipment to outfit two full paintball teams. In addition to paintball gear, you will also need to buy a first aid kit and basic office supplies.

Employee Costs and Insurance

Depending on your business model, you may need to hire employees. To avoid paying unemployment tax and worrying about payroll withholdings, it is advisable to hire your employees as independent contractors. At a minimum, you will need to pay each employee $8 per hour.

Paintball can be dangerous, so liability insurance is a must for your business. This insurance will protect you in the event that someone gets injured and sues you. The exact cost of your insurance will depend on many factors.

Overhead and Filing Costs

You will need to incorporate your company and acquire the necessary business permits. The exact cost will vary depending on the state in which you operate, but typically will cost no more than $300. You will also need to budget for your first few months of overhead expenses. Things such as utility costs, business supplies, rent and equipment maintenance will need to be included in your operating budget.

Total Costs

When you figure all of the costs, you can open a paintball business for as low as $15,000. This will be possible if you plan on doing most of the building work yourself or already own a suitable piece of land. If you plan on purchasing obstacles, the cost could increase to $30,000 to $50,000. An indoor arena could cost as much as $100,000 to start, due to higher construction and leasing expenses.

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