How to Start a Pet Grooming Business (Step-by-Step)

How to Start a Pet Grooming Business (Step-by-Step)
Here's a step by step guide on everything you need to know about starting a pet grooming business. To find out more, visit Square.
by Square Mar 16, 2022 — 5 min read
How to Start a Pet Grooming Business (Step-by-Step)

Australians are obsessed with their furry, feathery and scaly friends. There are actually more Australian pets than there are Australian people, with over 60% of Aussie households owning pets. They are an important part of many family units and deserve to be treated as such.

For animal lovers with an entrepreneurial streak, this canadd up to a money-making opportunity. Australians spend around $13 billion on their pets every year, and this number continues to rise. By offering a pet grooming service, you can cut your own slice out of this rather large pie.

Those wondering how to start a pet grooming business will be asking themselves a lot of questions: what licences and requirements apply? How do I create, market and build a business? How do I get paid, and pay myself?

Here we’ll take a deep dive into how to start a dog grooming business (or indeed how to start any pet grooming business): why you should do it, the paperwork and equipment you’ll need, and how to ultimately build a successful company.

3 types of pet grooming business

Almost all pet grooming businesses can be placed in three main categories:

Mobile pet grooming business: As the owner of a mobile pet grooming business, you’ll travel to your clients’ houses, and groom the pets right at their own address. Most mobile groomers bring a purpose-built trailer or converted vehicle to groom the pet in, while others simply groom the pet on the property. Read on to find out how to start a mobile dog grooming business.

Home-based pet grooming business: Why go to your clients if they’re willing to come to you? Basing your pet grooming business at home can lower your costs, though it may not be as convenient for your customers unless you offer a pick-up and drop-off service.

Pet grooming shop: While running a dedicated pet grooming premises is the option with the highest overheads, it feels the most official and established, so it might be the option for you!

8 services that a pet grooming business can offer

The next step in how to start a mobile pet grooming business, a home pet grooming business, or a pet grooming shop, is to understand the different services you can offer your clients. Here are eight of the most common:

Washing: Dog/pet washing is the bread and butter service of any pet grooming business.

Hair brushing: Brushing is a standard service that can be included in packages, or as a standalone option.

Hair trimming: It’s wise to get the appropriate training if you plan to give pets a haircut.

Nail cutting/filing: Trim and dull those claws, and save your clients’ furniture in the process!

Ear cleaning: This can be a quick and easy add-on service (provided you know what you’re doing.)

Teeth brushing: Like ear cleaning, giving teeth a quick brush can be a nice little add-on.

Show trimming: Do you have a talent for trimming? You can charge a pretty penny for giving high-end cuts to show dogs.

Deshedding/dematting treatment: Just as a hairdresser has a range of additional treatments they can offer their clients, so too can a pet groomer.

Requirements to start a pet grooming business

If you decide that a pet grooming business is right for you, what are the skills you’ll need to bring to the table, and the rules, regulations and requirements you’ll need to abide by?

Skills and knowledge

Pet groomers need to pair their deep love for animals with a decent level of knowledge. You should be able to:


While no formal qualifications are required to become a pet groomer in Australia, the above skills and more can be attained through TAFE (Cert III in Pet Grooming, Cert IV in Pet Styling) and other registered training organisations.


In Australia there’s no such thing as a pet grooming licence, though you’ll need a driver’s licence if you are going to offer a mobile service.

Business registration

All Australian businesses need to register for tax. Thankfully the process of applying for an ABN is (surprisingly) simple. While most pet grooming businesses start out as ‘sole trader’ operations, those with visions of building an empire might choose to create a company or trust. If that’s you, you’ll need an ACN instead.

If you earn more than $75,000 in a year you’ll need to register for GST, at which point a professional accountant is advised (if you haven’t found one already.)

Insurance for pet grooming businesses

Insurance is important for all businesses, including pet groomers. If something goes wrong, the legal and financial ramifications can be huge.

The most significant liability you face is injuring a pet or damaging property. Thankfully public liability insurance is built for these exact situations, with reasonably priced policies covering you for millions of dollars in damages.

Other forms of insurance that apply to a pet grooming business include:

Essential equipment needed to start a pet grooming business

What equipment will your pet grooming business need? The following core items will get you on your way.

Market your business

It’s time to get to work, though you can’t expect that work will just come to you – you’ll need to go out and get it. Marketing a small business is a subject that deserves its own guide, but the most effective strategies include:

How much can you charge customers?

$40-$100 is the average rate for dog grooming in Australia, though the price can go as high as $150-$200. Your rate will depend on a number of variables:


The key thing to remember is that your rate should always be based on your costs. You need to cover your costs comfortably in order to ensure there’s enough left over for you.

How Square can help pet businesses

At Square we aim to make starting your own venture as easy as possible, by offering a complete suite of affordable and easy-to-use business tools.

Payment systems


Online booking system


Australians love their pets, and as a pet groomer, you’ll be able to hang around with these furry friends all day, spending your time making them fresh, clean and beautiful while getting paid for the pleasure. You’ll also enjoy regular work in a business that can be relatively easy to establish.

If you’re ready to get grooming, Square is ready to deliver the knowledge, tools and support you need!

The Bottom Line is brought to you by a global team of collaborators who believe that anyone should be able to participate and thrive in the economy.


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