Starting a Laundromat Business: Should You Rent, Buy, or Build a Laundromat Location - Jordan Berry's 2 Cents

When you're starting a laundromat business, one of the first decisions you'll have to make is whether to buy, build, or rent a laundromat location. Each option has its own set of pros and cons that you'll need to weigh before making that decision. So, how do you decide which option is best for you? Let's take a closer look at each one.


Option 1: Renting a laundromat location

If you're looking for a flexible option, renting a laundromat location may be your best choice. When you rent a space, you'll have the ability to choose your lease term and make changes to the property as needed. You won't be responsible for any significant repairs or renovations, and you may have the option to sublet if you need to relocate. However, you will be subject to the rules and regulations set forth by your landlord. This is often the easiest way for a laundromat owner to open their first laundromat.


Pros of renting a laundromat

Cons of renting a laundromat

  • Renting a location gives you more flexibility than buying/building a laundromat.

  • You won't be responsible for any significant repairs or renovations of the property.

  • You may have the option to sublet or assign the lease if you need to relocate or sell the business.

  • Regulations are set forth by the landlord.

  • As a short-term option, it is more cost-effective than buying or building a laundromat.

  • You may be subject to unexpected rent increases.

  • The landlord may decide to sell the property or change the use of the property.

  • The lease could restrict subletting or require a long-term signing/restrict early ends.

  • You will likely have limited control over the changes you can make.

  • You may not have as much privacy as you'd like.


Option 2: Buying an existing laundromat location

If you're looking to have complete control over your laundromat business, buying a location may be the best option for you. While it's more expensive than renting, buying a laundromat gives you more freedom in regard to what you can control. Compared to renting or building, buying is a good balance between choice and budget.


Pros of buying a laundromat

Cons of buying a laundromat

  • You'll have complete control over the business.

  • There is the flexibility to make changes and renovations.

  • You are able to choose your hours of operation.

  • In the long run, it's more cost-effective

  • It allows for more opportunities to expand.

  • It can be a costly investment upfront.

  • Any maintenance and/or repairs are your responsibility.

  • With more control over the business, it also means more responsibility over how it runs.

  • The hours of operation can also be restricted.

  • If it's too costly, there may be fewer opportunities for expansion.


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Option 2: Building a laundromat location

The front desk of a tidy laundromat.Building a laundromat from the ground up gives you the opportunity to create a space that is specifically designed for your business. Building means getting to pick everything from the size of your laundromat to what machines go in it and everything in between. The tradeoff is the price — if it was easy, most people would probably choose to build a laundromat. And, "price" doesn't stop at paying contractors; building takes time, and during that time your laundromat won't be getting any business. But, when it's finished, you'll have exactly the business that you want. Because of this, building is simultaneously the most difficult yet the most rewarding way to get started in the industry.


Pros of building a laundromat

Cons of building a laundromat

  • You'll have complete control over the layout, design, and amenities of your business.

  • You get to choose the perfect location for your business.

  • The laundromat will be built to your specific needs.

  • You can create a unique space.

  • There are more opportunities for expansion.

  • Initially, it can be a lengthy and expensive process.

  • You may have to hire a professional designer or architect.

  • You are responsible for all maintenance and repairs once your business is up and running.

  • You could be required to purchase additional insurance.

  • You'll need more specialized and knowledgeable builders to design your laundromat correctly.


Which option is the best for a newcomer to the laundry business?

All three of these choices are great for starting a laundromat business. You can run a successful laundromat business whether you buy, build, or rent your laundromat location. In the end, it comes down to what best suits your business model and personal needs.

Do you have any questions about opening a new location for your laundromat business? When opening your laundromat, it's important to prepare your business for launch. Talk with Cents today about a laundry business management software to help you transform operations.



Jordan Berry is the mind behind, which aims to help clients learn about and break into the laundry industry. Jordan Berry’s 2 Cents is a spin cycle on our proverbial customer education machine that we like to run whenever we can. Keep an eye out for more of his featured input in the future!