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How to Open a Loaded Tea Shop

Written by:

Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

How to Open a Loaded Tea Shop

Fast Facts

Investment range

$9,900 - $25,800

Revenue potential

$127,750 - $383,250 p.a.

Time to build

1 – 3 months

Profit potential

$38,325 - $114,975 p.a.

Industry trend




A loaded tea can be just about anything – energy drink, meal replacement, healthful nutritional beverage or calming herbal drink – which might explain its growing popularity. 

Loaded tea shops, also known as “nutrition clubs”, are popping up everywhere. You could ride this wave and boost your community’s health by opening your own loaded tea shop. 

But first you’ll need to do some business homework. Luckily, this step-by-step guide provides all the insight you need to become a successful loaded tea entrepreneur.

Step 1: Decide if the Business Is Right for You

Pros and cons


  • Growing market
  • Help people meet health and nutrition goals
  • Good profit potential


  • Loaded tea leader Herbalife has been called a pyramid scheme, so there are questions about the health value of loaded teas
  • High startup costs

Loaded tea industry trends

Industry size and growth

Loaded tea is part of the energy drink industry. 

Loaded Tea industry size and growth

Trends and challenges


  • Vividly coloured teas with names like Blue Hawaii and Gummi Bear are generating social media buzz. 
  • Many non-Herbalife loaded teas are emerging, redefining the concept 


  • Many nutritionists question the health benefits of loaded teas
  • As the popularity of loaded tea grows, the market is increasingly competitive
Loaded Tea Shop Trends and Challenges

How much does it cost to start a loaded tea shop business?

Startup costs for a loaded tea shop range from $10,000 to $25,000, though it could be considerably less for an online shop. For a brick-and-mortar store, the costs include space rental and preparation, equipment, and ingredients and supplies.

In addition to your drink ingredients, you’ll need a handful of items to launch your loaded tea shop, including: 

  • Blenders
  • Ice Machine
  • Glassware and plastic ups
  • Table and chairs
  • Kitchen equipment if you offer food
Start-up CostsBallpark RangeAverage
Setting up a business name and corporation$100 - $500$300
Business licenses and permits$200 - $300$250
Website$200 - $1,000$600
Initial Marketing Budget$300 - $500 $400
Space rental and preparation$5,000 - $15,000$10,000
Equipment$2,000 - $4,000$3,000
Ingredients and supplies$2,000 - $4,000$3,000
Total$9,900 - $25,800$17,850

How much can you earn from a loaded tea shop business?

Loaded tea usually goes for about $7 a cup, and your profit margin should be about 30%. In your first year or two, you could sell 50 cups a day, bringing in $127,750 in annual revenue. This would mean close to $40,000 in profit, assuming that 30% margin. 

As you gain traction, sales could climb to 150 cups a day. With annual revenue of more than $380,000, you’d make a tidy profit of nearly $115,000.

Loaded Tea Shop earning forecast

What barriers to entry are there?

There are a few barriers to entry for a loaded tea shop. Your biggest challenges will be:

  • Funding the startup costs
  • Breaking into an increasingly competitive market

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Step 2: Hone Your Idea

develop a business idea

Now that you know what’s involved in starting a loaded tea shop, it’s a good idea to hone your concept in preparation to enter a competitive market. 

Market research could give you the upper hand even if you’ve got the perfect product. Conducting robust market research is crucial, as it will help you better understand your customers, your competitors, and the broader business landscape.

Analyze your competitors 

Research loaded tea shops in your area to examine their products, price points, and customer reviews.

  • Make a list of loaded tea shops that offer similar products. 
  • Review your competitors’ products – their features, pricing, and quality – and marketing strategies
  • Check out their online reviews and ratings on Google, Yelp, and Facebook to get an idea of what their customers like and dislike.
  • Identify your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. 

This should identify areas where you can strengthen your business and gain a competitive edge to make better business decisions.

Why? Identify an opportunity

You’re looking for a market gap to fill. For instance, maybe the local market is missing a shop that offers truly healthy and nutritional loaded teas or sugar-free loaded teas injected with protein. 

You might consider targeting a niche, such as loaded tea smoothies. This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away.

You might consider targeting a niche, such as loaded tea smoothies. This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away. 

What? Crafting a menu of flavorful and nutritious loaded teas

You’ll want to come up with a menu of loaded tea drinks. You could also offer fruit juice and smoothies and a few food items to boost revenue. 

How much should you charge for loaded tea?

The average price for a loaded tea is about $7, but you should check prices in your area. You’ll also want to consider your ingredient costs and other costs when setting your prices.

Once you know your costs, use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price points. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.

Who? Identify your target market

Trendy beverages like loaded tea tend to attract a younger demographic, so you could focus your marketing on TikTok and Instagram. Or you might want to attract a more mature crowd to your innovative loaded teas and advertise on Facebook and LinkedIn. 

Where? Choose a loaded tea shop location

Assuming you’re not only selling online, you’ll need a space for your shop, preferably in a trendy area. You can find commercial space to rent on sites such as Craigslist, Crexi, and Instant Offices.

When choosing a commercial space, you may want to follow these rules of thumb:

  • Central location accessible via public transport
  • Ventilated and spacious, with good natural light
  • Flexible lease that can be extended as your business grows
  • Ready-to-use space with no major renovations or repairs needed
Loaded Tea Shop idea rating

Step 3: Brainstorm a Loaded Tea Shop Name

Your business name is your business identity, so choose one that encapsulates your objectives, services, and mission in just a few words. You probably want a name that’s short and easy to remember, since much of your business, and your initial business in particular, will come from word-of-mouth referrals.

Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:

  • Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out
  • Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better 
  • Name should be relevant to your product or service offerings
  • Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions
  • Including keywords, such as “loaded tea” or “nutritional beverages”, boosts SEO
  • Name should allow for expansion, for ex: “Global Brews & Infusions” over “Oolong Oasis”
  • Avoid location-based names that might hinder future expansion
  • Use online tools like the Step by Step Business Name Generator. Just type in a few keywords and hit “generate” and you’ll have dozens of suggestions at your fingertips.

Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these. 

Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead and reserve your business name with your state, start the trademark registration process, and complete your domain registration and social media account creation. 

Your business name is one of the key differentiators that sets your business apart. Once you pick a name, reserve it and start with the branding, it’s hard to switch to a new name. So be sure to carefully consider your choice before moving forward. 

Step 4: Create a Loaded Tea Shop Business Plan

Every business needs a plan. This will function as a guidebook to take your startup through the launch process and maintain focus on your key goals. A business plan also enables potential partners and investors to better understand your company and its vision:

  • Executive Summary: Provide a concise summary of your business plan, highlighting your unique selling proposition and the market opportunity it addresses.
  • Business Overview: Describe your loaded tea shop, including its location, ambiance, and the types of loaded teas and other products you will offer.
  • Product and Services: Detail the menu of loaded teas and additional offerings, such as snacks or desserts, and any special services like catering or customization options.
  • Market Analysis: Analyze the market for loaded teas and similar products, including target demographics, trends in healthy beverage consumption, and potential demand for your offerings.
  • Competitive Analysis: Identify competitors in the beverage and tea industry, emphasizing what sets your business apart from them in terms of taste, quality, and customer experience.
  • Sales and Marketing: Explain your strategies for promoting your loaded tea shop, including social media marketing, partnerships with fitness influencers, and any loyalty programs or promotions.
  • Management Team: Introduce key team members responsible for running the loaded tea shop, highlighting their experience in the food and beverage industry.
  • Operations Plan: Describe the day-to-day operations of your shop, including staff roles, inventory management, and quality control procedures to ensure consistency in your products.
  • Financial Plan: Present financial projections, including startup costs, revenue forecasts, and profitability estimates, along with funding requirements and potential sources of investment.
  • Appendix: Include any additional materials, such as sample menus, supplier agreements, or lease agreements, to support your business plan.
what to include in a business plan

If you’ve never created a business plan, it can be an intimidating task. You might consider hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.

Step 5: Register Your Business

Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.

Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business! 

Choose where to register your company

Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you are planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to loaded tea shops. 

If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state. 

Choose your business structure

Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your loaded tea shop will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely. 

Here are the main options:

  • Sole Proprietorship – The most common structure for small businesses makes no legal distinction between company and owner. All income goes to the owner, who’s also liable for any debts, losses, or liabilities incurred by the business. The owner pays taxes on business income on his or her personal tax return.
  • General Partnership – Similar to a sole proprietorship, but for two or more people. Again, owners keep the profits and are liable for losses. The partners pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) – Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. Again, the owners are not personally liable for debts. Here’s how to form an LLC.
  • C Corp – Under this structure, the business is a distinct legal entity and the owner or owners are not personally liable for its debts. Owners take profits through shareholder dividends, rather than directly. The corporation pays taxes, and owners pay taxes on their dividends, which is sometimes referred to as double taxation. Read how to start a corporation here.
  • S Corp – An S-Corporation refers to the tax classification of the business but is not a business entity. An S-Corp can be either a corporation or an LLC, which just need to elect to be an S-Corp for tax status. In an S-Corp, income is passed through directly to shareholders, who pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
types of business structures

We recommend that new business owners choose LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an LLC formation service. They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization, and answer any questions you might have. 

Form Your LLC

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Step 6: Register for Taxes

The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number, or EIN. You can file for your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship you can simply use your social security number as your EIN. 

Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.

The IRS website also offers a tax-payers checklist, and taxes can be filed online.

It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure you are completing them correctly.

Step 7: Fund your Business

Securing financing is your next step and there are plenty of ways to raise capital:

  • Bank loans: This is the most common method but getting approved requires a rock-solid business plan and strong credit history.
  • SBA-guaranteed loans: The Small Business Administration can act as guarantor, helping gain that elusive bank approval via an SBA-guaranteed loan.
  • Government grants: A handful of financial assistance programs help fund entrepreneurs. Visit Grants.gov to learn which might work for you.
  • Friends and Family: Reach out to friends and family to provide a business loan or investment in your concept. It’s a good idea to have legal advice when doing so because SEC regulations apply.
  • Crowdfunding: Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer an increasingly popular low-risk option, in which donors fund your vision. Entrepreneurial crowdfunding sites like Fundable and WeFunder enable multiple investors to fund your business.
  • Personal: Self-fund your business via your savings or the sale of property or other assets.

Bank and SBA loans are probably the best option, other than friends and family, for funding a loaded tea shop business. You might also try crowdfunding if you have an innovative concept.  

types of business financing

Step 8: Apply for Loaded Tea Shop Business Licenses and Permits

Business Licenses and Permits

Starting a loaded tea business requires obtaining a number of licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments.

Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as (DBA), health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific licenses and permits. 

Check with your state and local governments to find out any health or food service permits you need. You may also need other state-level and local county or city based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more. 

You could also check this SBA guide for your state’s requirements, but we recommend using MyCorporation’s Business License Compliance Package. They will research the exact forms you need for your business and state and provide them to ensure you’re fully compliant.

This is not a step to be taken lightly, as failing to comply with legal requirements can result in hefty penalties.

If you feel overwhelmed by this step or don’t know how to begin, it might be a good idea to hire a professional to help you check all the legal boxes.

Step 9: Open a Business Bank Account

Before you start making money, you’ll need a place to keep it, and that requires opening a bank account.

Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your loaded tea shop business as a sole proprietorship. Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.

Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account. 

Step 10: Get Business Insurance

Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.

Here are some types of insurance to consider:

  • General liability: The most comprehensive type of insurance, acting as a catch-all for many business elements that require coverage. If you get just one kind of insurance, this is it. It even protects against bodily injury and property damage.
  • Business Property: Provides coverage for your equipment and supplies.
  • Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken due to mechanical issues.
  • Worker’s compensation: Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
  • Property: Covers your physical space, whether it is a cart, storefront, or office.
  • Commercial auto: Protection for your company-owned vehicle.
  • Professional liability: Protects against claims from a client who says they suffered a loss due to an error or omission in your work.
  • Business owner’s policy (BOP): This is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one insurance policy, a combination of the above insurance types.
types of business insurance

Step 11: Prepare to Launch

Launching a Business

As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business. 

Essential software and tools

Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks.  

You may want to use industry-specific software, such as Squareclover, and toast, to keep track of orders and inventory, engage customers, manage payments, and more.


  • Popular web-based accounting programs for smaller businesses include Quickbooks, Freshbooks, and Xero
  • If you’re unfamiliar with basic accounting, you may want to hire a professional, especially as you begin. The consequences for filing incorrect tax documents can be harsh, so accuracy is crucial.

Create a website

Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism. You can create your own website using services like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace. This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech-savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.

Your customers are unlikely to find your website, however, unless you follow Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices. SEO will help your website appear closer to the top in relevant search results, a crucial element for increasing sales. 

Make sure that you optimize calls to action on your website. Experiment with text, color, size, and position of calls to action such as “Order To Go Now”. This can sharply increase purchases. 


Here are some powerful marketing strategies for your future business:

  • Social Media Challenges: Create fun challenges on Instagram and TikTok. Ask customers to share their favorite tea mixes or make new ones. This will get people talking about your brand.
  • Loyalty Programs: Start a program that rewards people for buying from you again. Give discounts, free items, or special deals to make customers come back often.
  • Work with Local Influencers: Team up with local influencers or health enthusiasts to promote your teas. They can help you reach more people, especially those interested in health.
  • Themed Nights and Events: Organize special events like “Wellness Wednesdays” with discounts on healthy teas or “Flavor Fusion Fridays” for unique tea tastes.
  • Student Discounts: Offer discounts to attract younger people like college and high school students. You could also partner with schools to promote your shop.
  • Create Signature Drinks: Make and market unique tea combinations that you can only find at your shop. These special drinks can attract customers looking for something new.
  • Community Engagement: Get involved in local events, support local sports teams, or work with nearby businesses. This helps you connect with the community and reach more people.
  • Happy Hour Specials: Offer deals during slower times to bring in more customers. Have discounted teas or combo deals during these hours.
  • Educational Workshops: Host events to teach about the health benefits of your tea ingredients. This can make customers more interested and loyal to your products.
  • Interactive Menu Displays: Set up digital menus in your shop that let customers pick and mix their own tea ingredients. This makes the experience more fun and encourages them to try different combinations.

Focus on USPs

Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that sets it apart from the competition. Customers today are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they are able to quickly grasp how your loaded tea shop meets their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire. 

Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its USP: “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your loaded tea shop business could be:

  • Our loaded teas will keep you going all day!
  • The tastiest and healthiest loaded teas in town 
  • Grab a bite while enjoying your loaded tea
unique selling proposition


You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain. But your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running a loaded tea business, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in loaded tea shops for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections. 

The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in loaded tea. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership. 

Step 12: Build Your Team

Building a Team for a New Business

If you’re starting out small from a home office, you may not need any employees. But as your business grows, you will likely need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for a loaded tea business include:

  • Counter Clerks – make tea drinks, customer service
  • Marketing Lead – craft and execute a smart marketing campaign; social media 
  • General Manager – accounting, scheduling, inventory management

At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need. 

Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Jobs.com. You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed, Glassdoor, or ZipRecruiter. Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent. 

Step 13: Start Making Money!

Running a Business

Are you ready to ride the loaded tea wave? You could have fun, boost local health, and make a good living all at the same time. And once you’ve established your reputation, you could expand to new locations and even go regional, or national. 

You’ve got the business information you need, so it’s time to start mixing up some fantastic loaded teas!   

Loaded Tea Shop Business FAQs

Is a loaded tea shop profitable?

A loaded tea shop can be profitable. The key is to have a good location, preferably in a trendy area where there is little or no competition.

What is the growth potential of a loaded tea shop?

A loaded tea shop can grow its revenue by adding food items to the menu. It can also grow by adding new locations or franchising the business.

Can you start a loaded tea shop on the side?

It would be very difficult to run a local tea shop on the side. You need to be open as often as possible to be competitive. It’s best to run it as a full-time business.

What are the ingredients in loaded teas?

Many of them contain a caffeine source like guarana, an herbal tea like ginseng, taurine, inositol, and niacin. They may also contain juices for flavor. Some even contain actual tea.


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How to Open a Loaded Tea Shop