Business ideas
8 min read

How to Start a Profitable Cigar Lounge Business [11 Steps]

Learn 11 essential steps to starting a successful cigar lounge business, from setting up shop to marketing your services. Get tips on how to make the most of your investment and turn a profit.

By Nick Cotter
Updated Feb 05, 2024

cigar lounge business image
This page may feature products from our affiliate partners, which could influence the products we discuss due to potential compensation. Despite this, our evaluations are impartial, based solely on our independent analysis. The content here is intended for informational purposes and should not be seen as legal advice. For professional guidance, consulting with a legal expert is recommended.
What are you waiting for?
Quit that job & start your business with ZenBusiness today.

1. Perform market analysis.

Before starting a cigar lounge business, it's essential to perform a comprehensive market analysis. This will help you understand the demand for cigar lounges, identify your target audience, and evaluate the competition. Below are steps to guide you through the market analysis process:

  • Research the existing cigar lounge businesses in your area to understand their offerings, customer base, and pricing strategies.
  • Identify your target market by age, income, smoking habits, and interests to tailor your lounge's environment and product offerings.
  • Analyze market trends, such as the popularity of different cigar types and the potential impact of smoking regulations on your business.
  • Conduct surveys or focus groups to gather feedback from potential customers regarding their preferences and expectations for a cigar lounge.
  • Examine the legal and regulatory environment to ensure compliance with all smoking and tobacco-related laws.
  • Look into the broader economic conditions that may affect disposable income and luxury spending, as these can impact your lounge's success.
cigar lounge business image

Are Cigar Lounge businesses profitable?

The profitability of a cigar lounge business depends on many factors, including the location, target market, cost of goods, and overhead. Generally, cigar lounges can be profitable if they are well-managed and have a loyal customer base.

Business Plan Partners
LivePlan logo
Simplify Business Planning with LivePlan - Plan, Track, and Grow Your Business Effortlessly. Save up to 40% today!
Newfoundrz Rating ★★★★★

2. Draft a cigar lounge business plan.

Creating a comprehensive business plan is a crucial step in establishing a successful cigar lounge. This plan will serve as a roadmap, detailing your vision, strategies for acquiring customers, and financial projections. It's important to be thorough and realistic in your planning to set your business up for success. Here are key elements to include in your cigar lounge business plan:

  • Executive Summary: Briefly outline your business concept, mission statement, and the unique selling proposition of your lounge.
  • Market Analysis: Research and document your target market, industry trends, and competitive landscape.
  • Organization and Management: Describe the business structure, ownership, and the qualifications of your management team.
  • Services Offered: Detail the types of cigars and related products, as well as any additional services or amenities your lounge will provide.
  • Marketing and Sales Strategy: Explain how you will attract and retain customers, including pricing, promotions, and sales channels.
  • Funding Request: If you're seeking financing, specify the amount needed and how it will be used.
  • Financial Projections: Provide projected income statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets for the next 3-5 years.
  • Appendix: Include any additional documents or data that support your business plan, such as resumes, legal documents, or market research studies.

How does a Cigar Lounge business make money?

A Cigar Lounge business typically makes money through the sale of cigars and other related products, as well as services such as cigar rolling and pairing. They may also offer membership packages, or rent out space for special events. An example of a target audience for a Cigar Lounge business could be affluent professionals who appreciate a well-crafted product and an atmosphere of sophistication and luxury. By providing a unique and enjoyable experience, Cigar Lounges can cultivate a devoted and loyal customer base.

3. Develop a cigar lounge brand.

Creating a memorable and distinct brand for your cigar lounge is essential to stand out in the market and attract a loyal customer base. Your brand should encapsulate the unique atmosphere, experience, and values your lounge offers. Here are some crucial steps to help you develop your cigar lounge brand:

  • Define your brand identity: Consider what makes your lounge unique, whether it's a specific theme, exceptional service, or a curated selection of cigars. Your brand identity should reflect these unique selling points.
  • Choose a compelling name and logo: The name and logo of your lounge are often the first things potential customers will encounter. They should be memorable, easy to pronounce, and visually represent the ambiance and style of your lounge.
  • Develop a brand story: Craft a narrative that tells the story of your lounge, its origins, and what it stands for. This story can be a powerful tool in connecting with customers on an emotional level.
  • Establish a brand voice: Consistency is key in branding. Determine the tone and language that will be used across all marketing materials and customer interactions. This voice should align with your brand's personality and values.
  • Design a consistent aesthetic: From the interior decor to your website and marketing materials, ensure that there is a cohesive visual style that speaks to your brand and appeals to your target audience.

How to come up with a name for your Cigar Lounge business?

When coming up with a name for your cigar lounge business, consider the atmosphere you want to create. It should be something that is eye-catching and memorable. Brainstorm ideas with friends and family and think of words that evoke the feeling you want your lounge to have. Once you have some ideas, you can use an online business name generator to help you find the perfect name for your cigar lounge.

Featured Business Formation Partners
image of ZenBusiness logo
Turn your business vision into reality with ZenBusiness's streamlined LLC formation and expert support services.
Newfoundrz Rating ★★★★★
image of Northwest Registered Agent logo
Northwest Registered Agent
Secure your business's future with Northwest Registered Agent's personalized LLC formation and privacy-focused expertise.
Newfoundrz Rating ★★★★★
image of Bizee logo
Kickstart your business effortlessly with Bizee's comprehensive LLC services and free first-year registered agent support.
Newfoundrz Rating ★★★★★

4. Formalize your business registration.

Now that you've laid the groundwork for your cigar lounge business, it's time to make it official by registering your business with the appropriate authorities. Formalizing your business registration is a crucial step that grants your venture legal recognition and allows you to operate within the confines of the law. Here are the key actions you need to take:

  • Choose a Business Structure: Decide whether your cigar lounge will be a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. Each structure has different legal and tax implications.
  • Register Your Business Name: If you've chosen a name for your lounge, register it with your state's business agency. This often involves a DBA (Doing Business As) or assumed name filing.
  • Obtain an EIN: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. It's necessary for tax purposes and to open a business bank account.
  • Apply for Licenses and Permits: Investigate and secure all necessary local, state, and federal licenses and permits, particularly those related to tobacco sales and on-premises consumption of alcohol, if applicable.
  • Understand Zoning Laws: Ensure your chosen location is zoned for a cigar lounge and complies with all local ordinances, including those related to air quality and ventilation.

Resources to help get you started:


5. Acquire necessary licenses and permits for cigar lounge.

Starting a cigar lounge involves navigating various legal requirements to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations. Acquiring the necessary licenses and permits is a crucial step in legitimizing your business and avoiding future legal complications. Follow these guidelines to secure the appropriate documentation:

  • Research Local Regulations: Check with your city or county government to understand specific licensing requirements for a cigar lounge in your area.
  • Obtain a Business License: Apply for a general business license which is a basic requirement for operating any business.
  • Secure a Tobacco License: Since you will be selling tobacco products, you will need a tobacco retailer's license from the appropriate state and/or federal agency.
  • Alcohol Permits: If you plan to serve alcohol, apply for a liquor license, which can vary widely by state and locality in terms of availability and requirements.
  • Health Department Permits: Make sure to comply with public health regulations, which may require permits related to indoor smoking, ventilation, and sanitation.
  • Building and Zoning Permits: Ensure that your location is zoned for a smoking establishment and secure any necessary building permits for renovations or construction.
  • Fire Department Approval: Your lounge will need to meet fire safety standards, which may require an inspection and permit from the fire department.

6. Open a business bank account and secure funding as needed.

Securing your financial foundation is crucial when starting a cigar lounge. A dedicated business bank account will help you manage your finances effectively, while securing funding ensures that you have the capital necessary to cover startup costs and maintain operations. Follow these steps to set up your financial base:

  • Choose a Bank: Research and select a bank that offers business banking services with favorable terms and low fees.
  • Prepare Documents: Gather necessary documents such as your business license, EIN, ownership agreements, and identification to open your account.
  • Account Features: Consider what features you need, like online banking, merchant services, and the number of transactions per month.
  • Secure Funding: Explore funding options such as small business loans, investors, crowd-funding, or personal savings to finance your startup costs.
  • Financial Planning: Work with a financial advisor to create a business plan that includes detailed financial projections and budgeting.
  • Build Credit: Use your business bank account responsibly to build a credit history for your cigar lounge, which can be beneficial for future financing needs.

7. Set pricing for cigar lounge services.

Setting the right pricing for your cigar lounge services is crucial to attracting your target customers while ensuring profitability. Consider the cost of goods, overhead expenses, and your desired profit margin when determining prices. Here are some guidelines to help you as you establish your pricing strategy:

  • Analyze your costs: Tally up expenses for cigars, accessories, rent, utilities, staff, and any additional amenities you offer to understand your baseline expenses.
  • Know your customers: Understand the spending habits and preferences of your target demographic. Luxury lounges can command higher prices, while more casual spots may need to be more competitive.
  • Check the competition: Research prices at nearby cigar lounges to gauge market rates. Ensure your prices are competitive but also reflect the unique value of your lounge.
  • Offer tiered pricing: Consider providing a range of services at different price points, from a basic lounge access fee to premium memberships with added perks.
  • Create packages: Bundle cigars with food, drinks, or events to offer special package deals that encourage more spending and longer visits.
  • Adjust as needed: Be willing to adjust your prices based on customer feedback and financial performance to find the sweet spot for your business.

What does it cost to start a Cigar Lounge business?

Initiating a cigar lounge business can involve substantial financial commitment, the scale of which is significantly influenced by factors such as geographical location, market dynamics, and operational expenses, among others. Nonetheless, our extensive research and hands-on experience have revealed an estimated starting cost of approximately $30000 for launching such a cigar loungebusiness. Please note, not all of these costs may be necessary to start up your cigar lounge business.

8. Acquire cigar lounge equipment and supplies.

Starting a cigar lounge involves careful selection of the right equipment and supplies to ensure your clientele enjoys the finest smoking experience. From comfortable seating to a well-maintained humidor, each piece plays a crucial role in setting the ambiance and functionality of your lounge. Here are some essential items you'll need to acquire:

  • Humidors: To keep cigars at their optimal freshness, a quality humidor is essential. Consider both commercial-grade and personal-sized options for private use.
  • Comfortable Seating: Provide a variety of seating options such as leather chairs, sofas, and bar stools to cater to different preferences.
  • Proper Ventilation System: A top-notch air purification and ventilation system to maintain air quality and comfort for your guests.
  • Ashtrays: Have an ample supply of large, sturdy ashtrays for patrons to use.
  • Smoking Accessories: Stock up on cigar cutters, lighters, and matches for customer use.
  • Point of Sale System: Invest in a reliable POS system for efficient transactions and inventory management.
  • Decor and Ambiance: Art, lighting, and music systems to create a welcoming and relaxing environment.
  • Beverage Supplies: If offering drinks, include a bar area with glassware, refrigeration and an assortment of beverages.
  • Lockers: For regular customers, provide secure lockers where they can store their personal cigars and accessories.
  • Signage: Quality indoor and outdoor signs to communicate your brand and lounge rules.

List of Software, Tools and Supplies Needed to Start a Cigar Lounge Business:

  • Business License
  • POS System
  • Accounting Software
  • Cigar Humidor
  • Cigar Cutters
  • Cigar Ashtrays
  • Cigar Lighters
  • Cigar Accessories
  • Storage Racks
  • Cigar Samplers
  • Cigar Lounge Furniture
  • Cigar Bar
  • Cigar Bar Stools
  • Cigar Bar Menu
  • Cigar Bar Drinks
  • Cigar Bar Glasses
  • Cigar Bar Towels

9. Obtain business insurance for cigar lounge, if required.

Securing the right business insurance is an essential step in safeguarding your cigar lounge against unforeseen liabilities and risks. It protects not only your investment but also your customers and employees. Here are some key insurance policies you should consider:

  • General Liability Insurance: Covers claims of bodily injury, property damage, and advertising injury that could occur at your lounge.
  • Product Liability Insurance: Protects against claims related to the cigars and other products you sell, in case they cause harm or are defective.
  • Liquor Liability Insurance: Essential if you plan to serve alcohol, as it covers risks associated with serving alcoholic beverages.
  • Property Insurance: Provides coverage for damage to your business property, including the building and contents, due to events like fire or theft.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Mandatory in most states if you have employees; it covers medical costs and lost wages for work-related injuries or illnesses.
  • Business Interruption Insurance: Compensates for lost income and pays for operating expenses if your business must close temporarily due to a covered loss.

10. Begin marketing your cigar lounge services.

Marketing your cigar lounge is an essential step to attract patrons and build a loyal customer base. A well-crafted marketing strategy can help differentiate your lounge from competitors and create an inviting atmosphere for aficionados and newcomers alike. Consider these tactics to effectively market your cigar lounge services:

  • Develop a strong brand identity that resonates with your target audience, including a memorable logo, color scheme, and messaging that reflects the ambiance of your lounge.
  • Create a professional website with high-quality photos of your lounge, detailed information about your offerings, and an event calendar for upcoming gatherings or promotions.
  • Utilize social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to engage with your community, share updates, and showcase your unique selection of cigars and events.
  • Offer introductory promotions or discounts to first-time visitors to encourage them to experience your lounge.
  • Partner with local businesses, such as restaurants or event planners, to cross-promote services and tap into new customer bases.
  • Host special events like tasting nights, educational workshops, or pairing experiences with food and drinks to draw in crowds and create buzz around your lounge.
  • Engage in local advertising through newspapers, magazines, or radio to reach potential customers within your geographic area.
  • Encourage word-of-mouth marketing by providing exceptional customer service and creating an inviting space that customers want to share with their friends and family.

  • Business License
  • POS System
  • Accounting Software
  • Cigar Humidor
  • Cigar Cutters
  • Cigar Ashtrays
  • Cigar Lighters
  • Cigar Accessories
  • Storage Racks
  • Cigar Samplers
  • Cigar Lounge Furniture
  • Cigar Bar
  • Cigar Bar Stools
  • Cigar Bar Menu
  • Cigar Bar Drinks
  • Cigar Bar Glasses
  • Cigar Bar Towels

11. Expand your cigar lounge business.

Once your cigar lounge has established a loyal customer base and a strong brand, consider expanding to scale up your success. Growth can take various forms, from enhancing services to increasing your physical footprint. Here are some strategies to consider for expanding your cigar lounge business:

  • Franchise your lounge: Create a franchise model to allow entrepreneurs to open new locations under your established brand.
  • Open additional locations: Scout for new markets with demand for a cigar lounge and open new branches to cater to these areas.
  • Enhance the experience: Offer exclusive memberships, private events, or curated experiences to elevate your brand and attract a premium clientele.
  • Partner with local businesses: Collaborate with restaurants, hotels, or clubs to create joint ventures or pop-up lounges.
  • Diversify product offerings: Introduce a range of new products, such as limited-edition cigars, accessories, or a selection of fine spirits and wines.
  • Invest in e-commerce: Develop an online shop to sell cigars and accessories, reaching customers beyond your geographic location.
  • Host events and workshops: Organize cigar tasting events, pairing workshops, or educational sessions to engage your community and draw in new customers.