How to Open a Swimwear Boutique


So you want to open your swimwear boutique but are unsure of what to do or where to start? Setting a business up is no mean feat. There are a lot of things to be taken into consideration for any new retailer, but there can be even more when your store is focused on a smaller pocket of the clothing market. 

Here we’ll give you a quick rundown of some key need-to-knows on your way to starting up and opening your own swimwear boutique.

Can't be Tamed Bikini Top

Can't be Tamed Bikini Top

Preparing for Business

Before getting into a retail business of any sort, there is a lot of groundwork that needs to be covered before you can begin. For the sake of this article, we’ll assume you will be going into business by yourself, not with one - or many - other individuals. This is an important detail from the offset as it is a determining factor regarding the options of your business structure. 

Sarong Brown Flowers

Sarong Brown Flowers

Business Form

So, you are doing it alone and embarking on your own retail swimwear business. You could go into business as a sole proprietorship or you could elect to form your company as an LLC. An LLC is a limited liability company that can be run by just one owner (known as a member) - or by several members, all of whom have invested in the enterprise. LLCs are incredibly common and popular, especially for first-time business owners such as yourself. They come with various components of other business models and offer the most flexibility as to how a business can be managed and operated. 

The foundation of this business setup is the limited liability in the title. This means that you and your business are considered to be separate entities. So, should your business ever have legal action such as a lawsuit taken out against it, you yourself will not be in the firing line. In the event of action being taken against you due to falling into debt or even going bankrupt, debt collectors will only be able to seize business assets. Your personal assets - meaning your car, property, personal bank accounts - are safe, protected by the limited liability barrier. You may lose the business, but your home and private finances are safe. This can be very reassuring for any anxious first-time entrepreneur. 

You’ll also have the benefit of being what the IRS calls a pass-through entity. This is a term used for LLCs due to the fact that any revenue generated by your business is passed down - goes directly - to you (and other owners, in the case of a multi-owned firm). Your profits are then automatically taxed as inclusive of your personal tax return. This alone is incentive enough for some to choose to open their company as an LLC. 

Research Your Niche

As reported by, before any company begins its business activities, it is crucial to do some market research. This can be time-consuming, but it is vital if you want your business to be a success - which, of course, you do. Swimwear is a specialized corner of the clothing retail market. You can’t just study general retail store statistics and demographics; you must be certain to harvest as much information as you can about swimwear sales. 

Here are some things you need to look into:

• Location: Where do you intend to open the store? 

• Proximity: How close to the nearest beach will you be? Or the closest public swimming amenities? Are you in an area where people commonly vacation at beach areas?

•Competitors: How close is the nearest swimwear store - or store that sells swimwear - to where you wish to set up a shop? What are their swimwear sales figures?

• Target audience: Will you be targeting a particular demographic? For instance, will you be aiming for customers from 18 to 30 years old? Or customers of all ages? Will you only be targeting female customers or males as well? 

These are all important details that can have a huge impact on the success of your boutique. A swimwear store can be expected to have higher sales figures when it is a mile from the beach compared to a store that is five miles away and on the same street as another swimwear store, and so on. So look into your market and pay attention to where you will locate your business. 

Your Brand ID

Blue light bikini

Blue light bikini

If you set on opening your own swimwear boutique, the chances are that you already have a name for the store in mind. For the sake of this article, we’ll go with this: “Sunshine Sally’s Swimwear, LLC”. Your store will end up simply being referred to as Sunshine Sally’s, but the former is its full trade name. So, you have the name you want for your business. But… You need to make sure it’s not already in use by another company. You can easily check this out with a business name search. These can be done via the Department of State, usually via the Secretary of State’s website. Once you have checked the name is available, if you are not quite ready to form your business, it is usually possible to reserve your business name - again, via the state department. If you are ready to create your business, then your name will become official when you register with the state and are given the legal go-ahead to begin business activities. 

You’ll also need a design for your business name. Whether you want a simple font with a small illustration or something more akin to a legit-looking company logo, you may want to look into hiring a graphic designer to come up with some ideas. You can come up with your own too, of course, or work in collaboration with a designer; just remember that it is another detail to factor into your budget. A designer can also create unique looking business cards for you, as well as other promotional materials, store signage, and anything else you might want - and need - to have Sunshine Sally’s name put to. 

Remember that the look and feel of any design you settle on for your boutique will likely be the first impression your potential customers have of your business. Choose a design that is fitting for your brand personality. 


Hailey Bikini One Piece In Honey

Loretta Stripped Flowers Bikini Bottom

You may spend a long time searching for the right property to rent for your boutique, especially if looking by yourself. Work with a real estate agent and tell them precisely what you are looking for, where - if possible, and what your rental budget is. You may be setting up your boutique some way from where you actually live, in which case a real estate agent could well be more knowledgeable on ideal locations for your enterprise. 

Once you have found a property that is ideal for your needs, and you sign the papers, buy insurance. Along with the standard insurance that goes with rentals, it is a wise practice to also obtain liability insurance. This will give you and your business an extra layer of liability protection. 

Stock Up

Morgan lilac roses bikini

Morgan lilac roses bikini

Don’t forget that you will need supplies. Not just swimwear stock but office supplies and retail equipment. You’ll need clothing racks, shelves, curtains for fitting rooms, carousels for sunglasses, even mannequins to show off swimsuits. Make a list of all you will need, and if you are unsure, just go to a store and write down every piece of apparatus you see on the shop floor. And don’t forget the cash register and credit card reading machines!

Hire Help

It may be your boutique, but it is not likely that you will be able to run the store alone, all day, every day that you are open for business. You will need help. If you don’t have anyone lined up as a store assistant, then advertise - be it in papers or online via job recruitment websites. You don’t want to open up an amazing-looking boutique just for it to suffer through being short-staffed.


Hugely important - before you open the doors, you will need to have had a supplier deliver your goods to sell. Furthermore, you’ll need suppliers to continue re-stocking your inventory as business blossoms. Ensure you have a supply chain and infrastructure in place long before opening the doors on day one. Having a great opening week just to be out of stock by week or two could end Sunshine Sally before she’s even really got going. It may sound obvious but lack of supply infrastructure has - and will - see many new businesses become unstuck fast. 

Opening for Business

One piece swimsuit in blue color

One piece swimsuit in blue color

A great way to get your boutique seen and into the local community consciousness is to hold a grand opening. You could invite local papers and media, fashion bloggers, even models to show off your range, and have some sort of in-store beach party. You can offer future customers discount vouchers that are only available on opening weekend or other such enticements. Opening day - or weekend - can be turned into a valuable platform to launch your swimwear boutique. 

Opening for Business

Opening a business is daunting for anyone in any field, but especially when specializing in catering to a specific niche. Research - and a lot of it - before opening the doors is key to making a success of your dream company. If you are unsure about state requirements, the licensing needed for retail operations, and the creation of a business entity, you’ll be glad to know that help is readily available. A quick search online for limited liability company formation service providers will give you a list of companies to look into. These businesses are affordable and assist new entrepreneurs with every step of the business creation process. With their help, you and your swimwear boutique can be up and operational in next to no time. 

Jean Wilson Murray

Jean Wilson Murray is a legal expert who is a co-founder of Best LLC Services and has been helping aspiring entrepreneurs start their own companies for seven years already. During this time, he has investigated all the pitfalls in choosing the financial and management structure of a business, the establishment of companies, as well as the legal structures of enterprises and has become a highly skilled professional in this field.

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With love, the Ishine team.