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A bowling alley company provides consumers with bowling equipment and facilities. Bowling lanes are excellent sources of fun for people of all ages. Customers may bowl for leisure or compete in league play. Indoor activities are available during bad weather, as well as for work socials and birthday celebrations.

Bowling Center
Follow these ten steps to open a bowling alley:

Plan your Bowling Alley visit.

Create a legal entity for your bowling alley.

Fill out a tax registration form for your bowling alley.

Create a Business Bank Account and a Credit Card

Configure Accounting for Your Bowling Alley

Get the Permits and Licenses You Need for Your Bowling Alley

Purchase Bowling Alley Insurance

Create a Bowling Alley Brand

Make a website for your bowling alley.

Configure your Business Phone System

Starting a company entails more than just registering it with the state. We’ve put up this basic guide to getting your bowling alley up and running. These stages will guarantee that your new company is well-planned, correctly registered, and legally compliant.

STEP 1: Make a business plan.

A well-thought-out strategy is vital for entrepreneur success. It will assist you in mapping out the intricacies of your organisation and uncovering some unknowns. Consider the following crucial topics:

What are the initial and continuing expenses?

Who is your intended audience?

How much money may you charge your customers?

Fortunately, we have done a lot of the legwork for you.

How much does it cost to start a bowling alley?

As with other companies, location is critical to success. A huge amount of room is required for a bowling alley, simply for the lanes and bowling equipment. Adding new services and features will need meticulous planning and facilities management. Building from the ground up can significantly increase total expenditures. Saving money by renovating an existing alley or building. Franchising is also an excellent choice since the design and construction will be a collaborative effort between you and an experienced staff.

Depending on the number of lanes and other entertainment possibilities, the rental on an acceptable site might vary from $4,000 to $10,000. To estimate the number of lanes required, examine the population density of your region. A population of 10,000 in a five-mile radius, for example, would need around 5 lanes.

Once you’ve found a suitable site, the extra expenditures for equipment might run from $18,000 to $45,000. Costs may vary based on whether the equipment is old or new. Additional expenses might include:

If the facility was not originally a bowling alley, it is being redesigned. The lanes and equipment will take up a large portion of the area. In the future, more space should be prepared for various activities as well as extensions or remodels.

If you’re delivering these services, you’ll need a commercial kitchen and bar setup. In an effort to elevate the prestige of the conventional bowling experience, many bowling alleys are providing high-end food and beverages.

Arcade and pinball machines, ping pong tables, pool tables, dart boards, and other forms of amusement are available. As an all-inclusive entertainment concept, some contemporary bowling alleys include batting cages or putt golf.

Shoes, balls, lockers, and bowling equipment are available for rent.

Lighting, music and communication systems, and seats


Marketing strategies

Website or presence in social media

What are the continuing costs of running a bowling alley?

The biggest expenditure will be the regular upkeep of the lanes, balls, shoes, and machines, as well as any additional entertainment devices on site. Consider food and beverage expenditures if they are a component of your business. These expenditures may vary based on the size and scope of the firm, but $3,500 to $5,000 is a reasonable estimate for monthly spending. Payroll expenses vary based on where you live and how many workers you have.

Who is the intended audience?

Customers will be of all ages and levels of experience. Many people will only want to bowl, while others may take advantage of the numerous additional attractions. Bowling alleys are now seeing a rebound in favour among affluent customers who demand a variety of facilities such as food, beverages, arcade-style games, and even karaoke.

How does a bowling alley generate revenue?

Bowling alleys earn money by charging hourly rental fees for shoes, balls, and lanes. Other forms of entertainment and culinary services may also produce cash. This will differ based on what your alley has to offer. Many bowling lanes also provide discounts for parties and other occasions. This sector may potentially create significant money depending on the breadth of your food and beverage department.

How much money may you charge your customers?

In the United States, the average cost per game is about $2.00. With shoe rental and food or drink purchases, a consumer may spend anywhere from $15 to $50 every visit. Including additional forms of entertainment will only boost your earning possibilities.

What kind of profit can a bowling alley make?

The profitability of a bowling alley is determined by its demographics and the other services it provides. After you’ve paid your startup costs, the majority of your money will be spent on preventive maintenance, consumables, and wages. Non-league income has lately increased among national bowling alleys, with non-bowling activities accounting for about one-third of total revenue. A successful bowling alley/entertainment complex may produce upwards of $300,000 per year.

How can you increase the profitability of your company?

As previously said, a good bowling alley company will provide a variety of entertainment alternatives in addition to bowling.

Food and beverages might account for a significant portion of your earnings. Provide alternatives that appeal to people of all ages and preferences.

Make your atmosphere appealing to people other than bowlers. Many contemporary bowling alleys take a diverse approach to entertainment, which keeps consumers returning.

Karaoke evenings might be excellent marketing tools for the non-bowling demographic.

Have unique theme evenings and provide price discounts during slower hours of operation. Weekend midnight bowl promotions, for example, have been quite popular.

Advertise birthday parties and other social or professional meetings.

Sell balls, shoes, and bags, as well as provide embroidery services for league jerseys and bags. Profit from the additional income when the consumer is at your business.

Offering instructional lessons in bowling, as well as league play evenings, may be a terrific way to build a company. This kind of consistent population will assist to attract new clients.

If you have the room in your facility, you may rent out evenings for activities other than bowling.

STEP 2: Establish a legal entity

Sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation are the most frequent business structure forms.

If your bowling alley is sued, becoming a formal business organisation, such as an LLC or corporation, prevents you from being held personally accountable.

STEP 3: File your taxes

Before you can begin for business, you must register for a number of state and federal taxes.

To register for taxes, you will need to get an EIN. It’s really simple and completely free!

Taxes on Small Businesses

Depending on the business form you choose, you may have multiple choices for how your company is taxed. Some LLCs, for example, may benefit from being taxed as a S company (S corp).

These guides will teach you more about small company taxes:

Taxes on LLCs

LLC vs. sole proprietorship

Corporation vs. LLC

S Corp vs. LLC

How to Form a S Corporation

S Corporation vs. C Corporation

There may be state taxes that apply to your company. In our state sales tax guides, you may learn more about state sales taxes and franchise taxes.

STEP 4: Establish a company bank account and credit card

Personal asset protection requires the use of distinct business banking and credit accounts.

When you combine your personal and business accounts, your personal assets (your house, vehicle, and other possessions) are at danger if your company is sued. This is known as penetrating your company veil in business law.

Furthermore, understanding how to develop corporate credit may help you get credit cards and other financing in your company’s name (rather than your own), lower interest rates, larger lines of credit, and other benefits.

Establish a business bank account.

Opening a business bank account is not only required when asking for business financing, but it also:

Separates your personal assets from the assets of your firm, which is required for personal asset protection.

It simplifies bookkeeping and tax reporting.

Create a net 30 account.

Net 30 accounts are used to develop and grow company credit while also increasing cash flow. Businesses use a net 30 account to purchase items and refund the whole debt within a 30-day period.

Many net 30 credit suppliers submit information to the main business credit agencies (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how firms establish business credit in order to get approved for credit cards and other lines of credit.

Apply for a business credit card.

Obtaining a business credit card benefits you in the following ways:

Put all of your company’s costs in one location to separate personal and business spending.

Build your company’s credit history, which will be important for raising funds in the future.

STEP 5: Establish business accounting

Recording your numerous costs and sources of revenue is crucial to assessing your company’s financial status. Keeping precise and thorough accounting also makes yearly tax filing much easier.

STEP 6: Obtain all required permissions and licences

Failure to get appropriate permissions and licences may result in significant penalties or possibly the closure of your firm.

Requirements for State and Local Business Licensing

Certain state permissions and licences may be required to run a Bowling Alley. Visit the SBA’s reference to state licences and permits to learn more about licencing requirements in your state.

Furthermore, local licencing or regulatory restrictions may apply. For additional information on local licences and permissions, please visit:

Check with the clerk’s office in your town, city, or county.

Contact one of the local organisations mentioned in the US Small Business Associations database of local business resources for help.

For information on local licences and permissions, visit:

Check with the clerk’s office in your town, city, or county.

Contact one of the local organisations mentioned in the US Small Business Associations database of local business resources for help.

Occupancy Certificate

A bowling alley is usually housed in a huge structure. A Certificate of Occupancy is often required for businesses that operate from a physical site (CO). A certificate of occupancy certifies that all building rules, zoning laws, and government requirements have been satisfied.

If you intend to rent a space:

In most cases, it is the landlord’s obligation to get a CO.

Before leasing, ensure that your landlord has or can get a valid CO for a bowling alley company.

A new CO is often required after a big remodelling. If your location will be refurbished before opening, incorporate wording in your leasing agreement saying that lease payments would not begin until a valid CO is given.

If you intend to buy or create a location:

It is your responsibility to secure a valid CO from a local government entity.

Examine all building regulations and zoning standards for your business’s location to guarantee that your bowling alley is in compliance and may receive a CO.

Licensing of Music

Permission from the composer or licence holder is required to play music in a commercial environment. Typically, a “blanket” licence permitting a company to play music held by a vast library of artists and recording studios is available. Performance Rights Organizations, such as ASCAP or BMI, may provide such rights. Learn more about the regulations for music licencing.

STEP 7: Obtain commercial insurance.

Insurance, like licences and permits, is required for your company to operate safely and legally. In the case of a covered loss, business insurance protects your company’s financial well-being.

There are several sorts of insurance plans designed for various types of companies with varying risks. If you are unaware about the hazards that your company may encounter, start with General Liability Insurance. This is the most popular coverage required by small companies, so it’s a good place to start for yours.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance is another important insurance product that many companies need. If your company will have workers, your state may require you to purchase Workers’ Compensation insurance.

STEP 8: Establish your brand

Your company’s brand is what it stands for, as well as how the public perceives it. A strong brand will help your company stand out from the crowd.

How to Market and Promote a Bowling Alley

Initially, you should target families and people seeking for a variety of leisure alternatives, with bowling being the major appeal. You could contact any local bowling leagues to publicise your company as a fresh and contemporary choice. Some league teams may be relieved to have more alternatives in the region, since some like to use local lanes as their “home turf” while competing against other league teams.

Market to everyone interested in healthy, family enjoyment as your company’s reputation improves. As alternative forms of entertainment become more easily accessible, more league bowlers are bringing their families to the lanes. In turn, the families will begin to visit your institution for all of the services you provide. This is also the time to contact social, school, or religious organisations that are searching for new places to gather. Provide group discounts and become a destination for all types of parties and gatherings.

A new generation of casual bowlers is also on the rise. These 30-somethings want food, beverages, and entertainment in a clean and contemporary atmosphere that isn’t too premium to feel uncomfortable or stuffy. These entertainment and efficiency aficionados view the bowling alley complex as a chance to consolidate all of their evening activities under one roof.

Finally, connect with other alley owners around the nation and across the globe. Other entrepreneurs can help you figure out what’s working and what needs to be tweaked. For additional information on these industry associations, go to The National Bowling Association or The Bowling Proprietor’s Association of America.

How to Keep Customers Returning

Because bowling is a well-known and popular sport, a large portion of your marketing and retention efforts will be focused on delivering a good experience for those other than bowling fanatics. Bowling deals and a range of additional entertainment for the more casual bowling population are available. Consider what regional foods are most popular if you’re selling food. Finally, make it clear to the consumer that you care. Inquire with your consumers about what they appreciate or would like to see changed. Involving the customer is a great way to get the public involved in their hobbies and your business.

STEP 9: Create your company’s website.

After you’ve defined your brand and designed your logo, the next step is to build a website for your company.

While developing a website is an important step, some may be concerned that it is out of their grasp due to a lack of website-building skills. While this was a fair concern in 2015, online technology has made significant advances in recent years, making the lives of small company owners considerably easier.

The following are the primary reasons why you should not put off developing your website:

Every genuine company has a website, period. When it comes to bringing your company online, it doesn’t matter what size or sector it is.

Social media accounts, such as Facebook pages or LinkedIn company profiles, are not a substitute for your own business website.

STEP 10: Install your company phone system.

Getting a phone for your company is one of the finest methods to keep your personal and professional lives distinct and private. That isn’t the only advantage; it also helps you automate your company, provides it legitimacy, and makes it simpler for prospective clients to identify and contact you.