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How to Start an Axe Throwing Business

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 Start an Axe Throwing Business

Fast Facts

Investment range

$112,200 - $172,800

Revenue potential

$390,000 - $910,000 p.a.

Time to build

6 – 12 months

Profit potential

$78,000 - $182,000 p.a.

Industry trend




Axe throwing has become a popular activity, with axe throwing venues popping up everywhere in which people have axe throwing parties and corporate events. Some facilities host axe throwing leagues sponsored by the National or World Axe Throwing League. Some mobile axe throwing businesses even travel to people’s homes to set up axe ranges for parties.

Axe throwing venues are also a growing industry worth more the $222 million in the U.S. You could start your own axe throwing business to get a share of that market.

But first, you’ll need to understand the business. Luckily, this step-by-step guide details all you’ll need to know to get your successful axe throwing business started.

Step 1: Decide if the Business Is Right for You

Pros and cons


  • Growing market
  • Good profit potential
  • Enjoy helping people have unique and fun events


  • High startup costs for an axe throwing venue
  • Some injury liability potential

Axe throwing industry trends

Industry size and growth

Axe Throwing industry size and growth

Trends and challenges

Axe Throwing Trends and Challenges


  • Many axe throwing venues are adding bars and food options to increase their revenue.
  • Axe throwing leagues are becoming more popular, with axe throwing competitions even making it to ESPN.


  • Because of the apparent risks of drinking and axe throwing, axe throwing businesses face high insurance premiums.
  • Axe throwing businesses must take extreme safety precautions, and have all customers sign waivers of liability, but liability could still exist in some cases.

How much does it cost to start an axe throwing business?

Startup costs for an axe throwing business range from $110,000 to $170,000 or more. The largest cost is the buildout of the space with axe throwing lanes and a bar. If you start a mobile axe throwing business, your costs will be significantly lower.

You’ll need a handful of items to successfully launch your axe throwing business, including: 

  • Axe throwing lanes
  • Targets
  • Axes
  • Safety equipment
Start-up CostsBallpark RangeAverage
Setting up a business name and corporation$100 - $500$300
Business licenses and permits$100 - $300$200
Insurance$3,000 - $5,000$4,000
Website$500 - $1,000$750
Venue space rental$5,000 - $10,000$7,500
Venue buildout and preparation$100,000 - $150,000$125,000
Axes$3,000 - $5,000$4,000
Sales and marketing budget$500 - $1,000$750
Total$112,200 - $172,800$142,500

How much can you earn from an axe throwing business?

Axe Throwing business earning forecast

You can generally charge about $30 per person per hour. You can make additional revenue from alcohol and food sales. These calculations will assume that the average customer will spend $50 per visit. Your profit margin after all costs should be about 20%.

In your first year or two, you might have 30 customers a day, five days a week, bringing in $390,000 in revenue. This would mean $78,000 in profit, assuming that 20% margin. 

As you gain traction, you might get an average of 70 customers a day, five days a week. With annual revenue of $910,000, you’d make a tidy profit of $182,000.

What barriers to entry are there?

There are a few barriers to entry for an axe throwing business. 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 an axe throwing business, 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 axe throwing businesses to examine their products and services, price points, and customer reviews.

  • Make a list of axe throwing businesses that offer similar products or services. 
  • Review your competitors’ products and services – 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 mobile axe throwing party business or an axe throwing facility that rents out the whole space for corporate events.

You might consider targeting a niche, such as hosting axe throwing leagues.

This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away. 

What? Determine your products or services

In addition to charging for axe throwing by the whole you could do whole facility rentals, and offer food and beverages including alcohol. 

How much should you charge for axe throwing?

Your prices should depend on market prices in your area, but also on your costs. 

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

Millennials are the largest segment of axe throwers, but younger people are getting into the sport as well. You should market on TikTok and Instagram primarily. You could also connect with business owners on LinkedIn to advertise corporate axe throwing events.

Where? Choose a location for an axe throwing business

You’ll need to rent out a large space, such as a warehouse, for your axe throwing facility. You can find commercial space to rent in your area on sites such as Craigslist, Crexi, and Instant Offices.

Before you start, it’s imperative to familiarize yourself with local business, safety, and zoning regulations. Some cities might not permit axe throwing, or there might be strict regulations you’ll need to adhere to.

The space should be large enough to accommodate multiple axe throwing lanes, a safety barrier, waiting area, and potentially a reception and refreshment area.

The venue should allow for the easy installation of safety barriers between lanes and viewing areas. Ensure there’s adequate space between lanes, so there’s no danger of axes ricocheting or harming someone in an adjacent lane.

Being close to entertainment zones, bars, restaurants, or other recreational activities can provide complementary traffic.

Axe Throwing business idea rating

Step 3: Brainstorm an Axe Throwing Business Name

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 “axe parties” or “axe throwing”, boosts SEO
  • Name should allow for expansion, for ex: “Axevolve Adventures” or “Thrive Throw Ventures” over “Timber Tech Toss” or “Lumber Luxe Launch”
  • A location-based name can help establish a strong connection with your local community and help with the SEO but might hinder future expansion

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 an Axe Throwing Business Plan

Here are the key components of a business plan:

what to include in a business plan
  • Executive Summary: Summarize the key aspects of your axe throwing business, including its location, target market, and the unique experience it offers.
  • Business Overview: Provide a brief description of your axe throwing business, including its mission, the types of axe throwing activities you’ll offer, and your vision for the business.
  • Product and Services: Detail the range of axe throwing experiences and related services available at your venue, highlighting any special packages, events, or themes.
  • Market Analysis: Analyze the demand for axe throwing in your area, considering factors like customer interest, demographics, and potential competitors in the region.
  • Competitive Analysis: Identify existing axe throwing venues and competitors, outlining their strengths and weaknesses, and explaining how your business will stand out, whether through unique themes, safety measures, or pricing strategies.
  • Sales and Marketing: Describe your strategies for attracting customers to your axe throwing business, including online marketing, promotions, partnerships with local businesses, and customer retention plans.
  • Management Team: Introduce key members of your team responsible for managing the axe throwing venue, emphasizing their qualifications and safety training.
  • Operations Plan: Explain the day-to-day operations of your axe throwing business, covering aspects like safety procedures, equipment maintenance, booking and scheduling, and customer service.
  • Financial Plan: Present financial projections, including startup costs, revenue forecasts, operating expenses, and profit margins for your axe throwing business.
  • Appendix: Include supporting documents such as safety certifications, testimonials from satisfied customers, photos of your axe throwing venue, and any relevant permits or licenses obtained.

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 axe throwing business. 

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 axe throwing business will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely. 

Here are the main options:

types of business structures
  • 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.

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 online 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:

types of business funding
  • 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.
  • Venture capital: Venture capital investors take an ownership stake in exchange for funds, so keep in mind that you’d be sacrificing some control over your business. This is generally only available for businesses with high growth potential.
  • Angel investors: Reach out to your entire network in search of people interested in investing in early-stage startups in exchange for a stake. Established angel investors are always looking for good opportunities. 
  • 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 an axe throwing business. You might also try crowdfunding if you have an innovative concept. Because axe throwing is such a growing market, you might even be able to attract angel investors or venture capital.

Step 8: Apply for Business Licenses and Permits

Business Licenses and Permits

Starting an axe throwing business requires obtaining a number of licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments.

You’ll need a liquor license if you serve alcohol. 

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. 

You may also need 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 axe throwing 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:

types of business insurance
  • 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.

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 Clubspeed, Axe Booker, or BookNow, to manage your bookings, customer information, memberships, and payments.


  • 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 “Book Now”. This can sharply increase purchases. 


Here are some powerful marketing strategies for your future business:

  • Social Media Blitz: Leverage platforms like Instagram and TikTok to showcase thrilling axe-throwing moments, customer testimonials, and exclusive behind-the-scenes content to generate excitement and engage your audience.
  • Local SEO — Regularly update your Google My Business and Yelp profiles to strengthen your local search presence.
  • Partnerships with Local Businesses: Collaborate with nearby pubs, breweries, or restaurants to cross-promote each other, offering joint discounts or packages for a fun night out that includes axe throwing and dining.
  • Themed Events and Tournaments: Host themed events or axe-throwing tournaments to create a sense of community and competition, encouraging repeat visits and fostering a loyal customer base.
  • Corporate Team-Building Packages: Develop specialized packages for corporate team-building events, emphasizing the stress-relief and camaraderie benefits of axe throwing to attract business clients.
  • Student and Military Discounts: Appeal to the student and military demographics with discounted rates, encouraging these groups to choose your venue for memorable experiences and social gatherings.
  • Mobile Axe Throwing Unit: Consider investing in a mobile axe throwing unit to take the excitement to local festivals, events, or corporate gatherings, increasing brand visibility and attracting new customers.
  • Referral Programs: Implement a referral program that rewards existing customers who bring in new clients, creating a word-of-mouth marketing engine and fostering a sense of community among your customer base.
  • Loyalty Programs: Introduce a loyalty program that offers discounts, free sessions, or exclusive merchandise to frequent visitors, encouraging repeat business and customer retention.
  • Online Reviews and Testimonials: Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, or TripAdvisor, boosting your online reputation and influencing potential customers.
  • Themed Merchandise: Sell branded merchandise such as t-shirts, hats, or even miniature axes to create an additional revenue stream and turn customers into walking advertisements for your business.

Focus on USPs

unique selling proposition

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 axe throwing business 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 axe throwing business could be: 

  • Offering customers an exhilarating and unconventional recreational activity that stands out from traditional entertainment options
  • Creating an engaging and interactive environment perfect for friends, family, corporate team building, or special event
  • Organizing axe throwing leagues or tournaments that cater to individuals or teams seeking friendly competition and a chance to showcase their skills.


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 an axe throwing business, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in axe throwing 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 axe throwing businesses. 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

You will need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for an axe throwing business include:

  • Facility attendants – customer service, safety monitoring, take tickets
  • Marketing lead – create and implement marketing strategies
  • General manager – scheduling, accounting

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: Run an Axe Throwing Business – Start Making Money!

Running a Business

Axe throwing as a recreational or competitive activity is taking off, with new facilities popping up in cities all over the country. By starting an axe throwing business you’d be getting in on the booming market and making good money. Because its such a growing industry, you’d have expansion opportunities and could even start an axe throwing franchise.

Now that you understand the business, you’re ready to find the perfect space and get your successful axe throwing business going!

Axe Throwing Business FAQs

Is an axe throwing business profitable?

Yes, an axe throwing business can be profitable. It has gained popularity as a unique and thrilling recreational activity, attracting individuals, groups, and corporate events. By offering axe throwing sessions, hosting events, and providing additional services such as coaching and merchandise sales, an axe throwing business can generate revenue.

What happens during a typical day at an axe throwing business?

During a typical day at an axe throwing business, various activities take place to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for customers. This includes welcoming and checking-in participants, explaining safety guidelines, providing necessary equipment, offering coaching and guidance to beginners, organizing individual or group sessions, ensuring safety measures are followed, assisting customers with technique improvement, managing reservations and payments, and maintaining cleanliness and tidiness of the facility.

What is the growth potential of an axe throwing business?

The growth potential of an axe throwing business can be significant. As the popularity of axe throwing continues to rise, more individuals and groups seek unique and memorable experiences. By catering to diverse customer segments, such as recreational participants, corporate team-building events, special occasions, and leagues, an axe throwing business can expand its customer base.

What type of business is an axe throwing business?

An axe throwing business typically falls under the category of recreational entertainment or experiential leisure. It offers customers the opportunity to engage in axe throwing activities in a controlled and supervised environment.


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How to Start an Axe Throwing Business