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People have been playing board games for a long time, and they remain popular. Board game sales surpassed $9.6 billion in 2016, with millennials driving most of the demand.

 Board Game Cafe

Cafes have also grown in popularity in recent years. Cafes were few and far between only a few decades ago, and they conducted the majority of their business before 10:00 a.m. They may now be found on numerous street corners, and some are just across the street from one other. Furthermore, the industry is growing at a rate of 7% every year.

Board game cafes leverage on both of these trends by offering a café setting where people may play board games. They provide a social setting for individuals to congregate around a pleasant game. Some gaming cafés also provide food and drinks in addition to games.

Follow these ten steps to open a board game cafe:

Make a plan for your Board Game Cafe.

Create a legal entity for your Board Game Cafe.

Register your Board Game Cafe with the IRS.

Create a Business Bank Account and a Credit Card

Create an accounting system for your Board Game Cafe.

Get the Permits and Licenses You Need for Your Board Game Cafe

Purchase Board Game Cafe Insurance

Create a brand for your Board Game Cafe.

Make a website for your Board Game Cafe.

Configure your Business Phone System

Starting a company entails more than just registering it with the state. We’ve put up a quick start guide for your board game café. 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.

What are the expenses of starting a board game cafe?

The startup expenses for a board game café are reasonable. The following are the major costs:

Leasing a café location

Costs of construction and furnishings

Buying games for the café

Food preparation and serving utensils (if serving food)

To keep the starting costs as low as possible, entrepreneurs might start with a simple café that does not provide food. This eliminates the need to acquire food-related equipment, allowing the remaining costs to be maintained to a minimum. Entrepreneurs can:

Rent a low-cost space that does not need any modifications.

Buy furniture from garage sales or thrift shops.

Begin with a tiny game collection.

Business owners may invest in finer furnishings, additional games, and food-related equipment as their company expands.

What are the continuing costs of running a board game cafe?

The continuing costs of running a board game café are minimal. They consist of rent, utilities, and staff compensation. It may be required to replace a game on occasion.

Who is the intended audience?

Board game cafes cater to both youngsters and adults. During the day, a café may see a lot of youngsters and families, as 3 & Up describes. In the evening, the majority of the customers are adults.

How can a board game café generate revenue?

A board game café generates revenue by charging clients to play games. Fee arrangements are comparable to those of bowling alleys, as Mike Lee explains. Customers may pay by the visit, the hour, or the game. Many cafés also offer private rooms available for rent.

Board game cafés, like bowling lanes, may organise leagues or competitions based on certain games. Customers who take part in these events pay a set admission fee. The winner may get a gift voucher or another reward sponsored in part by entry fees.

How much money may you charge your customers?

People usually pay a few bucks every visit to board game cafes. 3 & Up, for example, costs $5 for 90 minutes of play. For unlimited play, Board Game Republic costs $5.

What kind of profit can a board game café make?

The amount of money a board game café generates is directly proportional to the number of clients it attracts. A busy café may earn tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars every year. After all, if a café costs $5 per participant, an 8-player game will generate $40. It just takes seven 8-player games per day to generate $100,000 in yearly revenue.

How can you increase the profitability of your company?

Many board game cafes boost their earnings by providing a selection of high-quality food and beverages. This improves your overall income and keeps people coming back for more food, drink, and gaming.

STEP 2: Establish a legal entity

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

Creating a legitimate company organisation, such as an LLC or corporation, shields you from personal liability if your board game café is sued.

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.

Create a credit history for your firm, 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

A board game café may need state permissions and licences to operate. Visit the SBA’s reference to state licences and permits to learn more about licencing requirements in your state.

If you wish to sell alcohol at your establishment, you’ll need a liquor licence, the specifics of which vary by location.

If you want to offer food at your board game café, you will need to get a permit from your local health authority. All food-serving enterprises must pass a health inspection. Here are some pointers for passing a health inspection.

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 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 acquire a valid CO for a board game café 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 restrictions for your business’s location to verify that your board game cafe is in compliance and may receive a CO.

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 Board Game Cafe

Advertising efforts to promote a board game café should concentrate on reaching out to local folks who are interested in playing games together. Advertising in local newspapers and magazines is an excellent method to reach out to families and adults who like board games. Another effective strategy to interact with gaming fans is to sponsor geeky gatherings.

How to Keep Customers Returning

A board game café should have a variety of games to keep people coming back. 3 & Up has over 1,100 games, while Board Game Republic offers over 700. While firms may begin with fewer games to save upfront costs, earnings should be spent in additional games as soon as possible.

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.