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How to Start a Bubble Tea Business in 2022


How do you love your tea? How about knowing how to start a bubble tea business? Do you know what they say about the British and tea? You can find out that for yourself, as I am busy sipping my own cup of tea, while at the same time trying to focus on bringing you the detailed information on how to start a bubble tea business in 2022.

According to Wikipedia, Bubble tea (also known as pearl milk tea, bubble milk tea, or boba; is a tea-based drink. Originating in Taichung, Taiwan in the early 1980s, it includes chewy tapioca balls (“boba” or “pearls”) or a wide range of other toppings.

All over the world and across the corners of many major streets are springing up this new model of businesses, called bubble tea business and forward thinking entrepreneurs are taking advantage of this huge opportunities. You may not have taken advantage of this, because you probably did not have the right information. This is the time then for you to take your own share of the slice of the profit pie, as in we will in this practical guide, be outlining all the keys processes on how to start a bubble tea business in the followings steps.

  1. Register your Business
  2. Write a Business Plan
  3. Apply and obtain Permits/Licenses/Insurance
  4. Open a Business Bank Account
  5. Source for Funding
  6. Create your Brand
  7. Design your Menu
  8. Choose a Location
  9. Design your Store
  10. Buy your Equipment
  11. Buy all Supplies
  12. Hire Employees
  13. Market your Business


  1. Register your Business

It does not matter if your interest is bubble tea business or any other business, the first step towards starting any business is to get the business registered. Though the operational requirements for business registration may differ from state to state or country to country, but the basic business structures are always, sole proprietorship, limited liability partnership and Limited Liability Company.

The legal business structure you decide to register will depend on how big or small you want your business to be. Our recommendation will always be to register as a limited liability company, as this business legal structure will protect you from personal loss, when your encounter business failure, as there is always the possibility of business failure if a business is not properly run. So it is important that you contact the company house of your state or country and get your business registered.

Once you have your business registered, the next step to take is to contact the revenue board and register for tax purposes as your business will be expected to pay taxes, as you will not want the authorities to close down your business in the future for failing to pay taxes.

Once you have registered your business and obtain your tax number, the next important step is to apply and obtain your Employer Identification Number (EIN), as there is no doubt that you will be hiring staff and the EIN will also be needed when you want to open your business bank account .

  1. Write a Business Plan

Your business plan is your road map and compass for your business. So starting a business without a business plan is embarking on a journey without knowing the direction you are heading. Your business plan is meant to be for your own consumption, but if you are to source for funding, you have to make the business plan as detailed as possible, so you will be able to convince investors, partners and bankers with your business plan.

The process of writing your business plan will help you think through the process of knowing who your customers will be, how much you will charge your customers, how you will source for funds and how your business will get to break-even point through your financial cash flow, etc.

There are free business plan free templates you can access online that will serve as a guide to help you write your business plan, or you can hire a professional to write one for your business.

  1. Apply and obtain Permits/Licenses/Insurance

Bubble tea business no doubt is classified under the food and beverages industry, which is highly regulated, so the chances are very high that your business depending on the state or country will need certain permits or licenses to operate. It is then very important that you contact your state chamber of commerce or any other relevant associations to find out about the details of the types of the permits and licenses you will need for your bubble tea business. Since this is a practical guide, we have lighten the burden by outlining the possible permits and licenses, which will depend on the peculiarities of the state or country you will be operating from.

Common licenses and permits include:

  • IRS identification number
  • Seller’s Permit
  • Health Operational Permit
  • Food Safety Certification

Once you have obtained your permits and licenses, the next non-negotiable step is to apply for insurance policy, as businesses does not always go as planned, so the insurance cover will serve as a cushion in case of business failure. So you should contact an insurance broker for advice on the best form of insurance cover that will be best suited for your business.

  1. Open a Business Bank Account

There is always a strong temptation for many to have their personal and business account as one, which is a wrong practice. It is therefore important for you to open a business bank account for your business. You will need the Employer Identification Number for the opening of the business bank account. There are different types of business bank account, each with its own terms and conditions, so you should contact your local bank to find out the types of business account that will be suitable for your business.

A key benefit of opening a business bank account is not based on the fact that it will not only help you sort out the process of remitting taxes, the business bank account will also help you obtain a business credit card, which can serve as a source of funding for your business.

  1. Source for Funding

The process of raising funds is the most tedious and enjoyable part of the whole business process, as it will continue to remain a challenge both small businesses and large corporations will always have to deal with. If you have not inherited a large stash of cash or do not have enough personal savings, then there are chances you will be needing external sources of funds for your bubble tea business, and the following options will be available to you to source the funding that you will need.

  • Friends and Family: Depending on the type of friends and family you have, chances are they may be in a position to give you a loan with which to start your bubble tea business. It must be however stated that you should only request for an amount they will be willing to lose, and you should always document every details of the loan, as businesses don’t always go as plan, so you don’t lose trust, if the business goes south.
  • Bank Loan: Depending on the state or country where you live, there may be the possibility of you securing a bank loan for your bubble tea business, which will be dependent on your credit history and the terms and conditions set up by the bank with regards to the loan. It is therefore expected that you contact your local bank to find out about all the available loan offers and apply for the ones you qualify for, and those whose terms are in line with your business goals.
  • Equipment Loan: The key difference between a bank loan and equipment loan is that equipment loan does not require collateral, as the equipment in most cases, serves as collateral, you should therefore contact your bank or other lending organizations to find out about their equipment loans and apply accordingly.
  • Investors/Partners: You may be able to convince investors or partners, whose investment goals are in line with your business needs and pitch them with your business plan, seeking for investment in your bubble tea business. You might just be able to find an investor or partner that is willing to invest in your business.
  • Grants: Not all types of business are eligible for grants, which may include your bubble tea business, you should then contact the Small Business Association to find out about the available grant opportunities and see if your business qualifies for any of them and apply.

If you want details about all available grants and how you can raise funds for your business, you can check out this details guide here:

  1. Create your Brand

With your funding needs out of the way, it is now time to create a brand for your bubble tea business. Your brand is how you want your business to be projected or perceived by your prospective customers. What colours will you choose? What will differentiate you from other businesses? What specific services will your business be known for? Will your strength be quality service or customer service? The answers to this questions will help you create an endearing and enduring brand, and how your brand is perceived will lead to the success or otherwise of your business.

Having a clear and well defined identity for your bubble tea business will therefore help you to understand the mission of your business, while also connecting you and your customers, which will then help you build the personality of your brand. Creating a strong brand will entail researching your competitors and the target audience they attract, and using your answers to the above questions to create a brand that will be distinctly different from theirs and at the same time satisfying the needs of the customers.

  1. Design your Menu

The menu you will design for your bubble tea business should be a reflection of your brand identity, which should be memorable and be able to depict the personality of your brand. In creating your menu, you should use the right and easy to read fonts and colours to create your menu, stating all special offers and happy hours, trending flavours, making the menu as descriptive as possible with all applicable disclaimers, avoiding common mistakes.

  1. Choose a Location

Elementary economics taught us about location and localisation of industries, in like manner, your bubble tea business will be needing a location to operate from. It is therefore expected that you find a cosy and aesthetic location for your business.

The location you choose will either make or break your bubble tea business, so choose a location that your customers can spend time in and that will offer ease and convenience. It is therefore good to choose a location with high foot traffic with lots of parking space, as you will have customers who want to easily park to buy their bubble tea.

It is very important to research on the location you want to choose for your bubble tea business, as it is very important to find out if the location is prone to crime for instance or any other social vices that might negatively affect your business or customers.

As an additional service to your business, you might decide to have a bubble tea truck, which can move to different locations to serve the needs of customers.

  1. Design your Store

The space available for your bubble tea business will determine how you will design your store so as to maximise the seating capacity. Your store should therefore be design with practicality and having the needs of your customers in mind. While it is important to decorate your store space in a unique way to set your business apart, you should also strategically set up your kitchen, seating, and counter areas to best fit your customer’s needs.

  1. Buy your Equipment

Your bubble tea business will require some equipment, which include but not limited to stove or electric induction, refrigerator, water filters, ice machine etc.

You will also need smaller items such as tea warmers, fructose dispenser, espresso machine, shaker machine, etc. You are therefore expected to shop for these equipment, getting the best quality at a price that fits your budget.

  1. Buy all Supplies

The quality of supplies you buy will affect your bubble tea business positively or negatively. You are therefore expected to patronise reliable suppliers for your basic supplies such as milk, non –diary creamers, powered mixes, flavoured syrup, tapioca pearls, tea leaves, plastic cups etc. Find a supplier that will always meet your supply needs and that can deliver them to you on time and at the right price.

  1. Hire Employees

At this stage, you are all geared up as your business is getting ready to launch, it is then time for you to hire employees. The size of your business will determine the number of employees you will hire and you should have in place a system that will help you effectively manage method of recruitment, employee’s payment, working hours, method of payment, and replacement of employees.

  1. Market your Business

Marketing is a very important aspect of any business, as nobody will know about your business if you don’t market it. You can start marketing your bubble tea business by creating a website, and use the website to showcase your menu, prices, address and hours of operation. Other forms of marketing channels available to you are printing of flyers, buying of advertising space in local newspapers and radio, if you have the budget. Not forgetting word of mouth, friends and family referrals, Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), review platforms (Yelp, Zomato), restaurant apps (Belly, FiveStars), and even delivery services (Ubereats, Deliverloo, Grubhub, Doordash, Postmates).

Estimated Start- Up Cost For Bubble Tea Business

The followings are estimated costs you will incur if you want to start a bubble tea business, the costs will however depend on your location or country of operation.

  • Equipment: $15,000 or more
  • Rent: $50,000 a year, or more
  • Ingredients : $2,000 or more
  • Marketing: $10,000
  • Permits/licenses: $750 or more
  • Staffing : $25,000 or more


Useful Links

  • Franchise Opportunity With Gong Cha
  • Franchise Opportunity With Kung Fu Tea
  • Franchise Opportunity With Sharetea
  • Franchise Opportunity with Chatime


Final Thoughts

We always promise that all our practical guides provides massive values and we have once again in this guide on how to start a bubble tea business in 2022 and beyond fulfilled that promise. But what you do with the knowledge that were laid out plainly in this guide is totally dependent on you. We will however admonish that you did not just end up reading this guide, but rather you should be bold enough to take the action required to start your own bubble tea business. The ball is in your court.

What are your thoughts with regards to this guide, and do you have any business idea you want us to write about? Let us know in the comment session.



















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