How to Start a DJ Business

If you have a love for music and you have a considerable experience as a DJ, you might want to make more earnings out of your interest by starting a DJ business. Starting a DJ business is easy especially if you have basic entrepreneurial skills. The best thing about starting a DJ business is that you can get more out of your gigs than when you work as a talent for other agencies.

Here are some of the things that you may be interested to know so you can evaluate whether you can start and manage a DJ music business:

Requirements to get started

There are a number of requirements that you will need for you to get started on your DJ music business. The majority of these requirements are tools and equipment that you need to use for your DJ business operation. This includes sound and lighting equipment. You should also ensure that you have a wide array of music collections that includes most in-demand songs for different events. You will also find it very helpful if you have a vehicle to transport you and your DJ business equipment during your events and gigs. While not entirely necessary in your DJ music business operation, marketing materials are important for your DJ business. Marketing materials such as business cards will allow you to advertise your DJ business and help you get clients who will avail of your DJ mixes business services.

Marketing your DJ business

You will find that the most challenging part of starting and managing a DJ music business is getting clients to get your DJ services. It is therefore extremely important that you have basic marketing skills. One of the best ways to market your DJ business is by choosing a target market. Choosing the types of events that you want your DJ business to specialize in will allow you to understand your target market and know the marketing strategies that you need. If you want to specialize in weddings gigs, for example, you might want to establish a business partnership with wedding planners who can refer you to their clients. You must also take advantage of advertising so people will know about the services that your DJ business offers. You can pay for ad spaces in event magazines and distribute calling cards to your DJ business’ prospective clients. Additionally, you can ask friends and colleagues to spread the word about your DJ business.


  • Djdirtyred7@aol said on February 5, 2008
    what start up cost for dj busines
  • Admin said on February 6, 2008

    Startup cost for Karaoke DJ Business will be in a range of $3000 - $13000(USD). There are various factors involved in figuring the exact money needed to start a DJ business. The most essential in this business is the DJ equipments(, your startup cost is going to fluctuate with the quality of equipment you buy. You can browse through the catalog to buy your DJ equipment from this site:

  • logan said on January 12, 2009
    Hello my name is Logan and I'm 17 years old and i have been working for a DJ company since 7th grade and in the next couple years i want to have my own DJ service so what do i need to get me somewhat started. And i do have all the equipment to get my self started.
    thanks Logan
  • Pablo Martinez said on May 17, 2009
    yo man. What you need Logan is a girl. if you can get a biddie up on that stage you will get gigs. Get some friends that are loud and big so all da niggas respect him, and go do a free show at school. once people see how fresh u really are, all u goda do is say "man hire us- we do dumb good job" and when they see its true- u gonna be a millionaire like me.... alright, man if u can do it then be proud of u ---see you my broski
  • Walker said on November 19, 2009
    I'm wondering if there are any legal things I need to do to establish my business. Is there some kind of registration process I need to do?
  • Dana said on December 2, 2009
    i own a dj company. i have the same question as walker. do you need business insurance? how do you become licensed? i am DJing a party on saturday at a firehouse, and they say i need to become insured. How do i go about doing that?
  • DJ Ivan said on December 8, 2009
    For Walker and Dana's insurance question, some venues will require you to have DJ Insurance in order to perform at their site. Mine cost me about $300/year through RV Nuccio and Associates. If you are a member the American DJ Association, i think it would cost about $150 from RV Nuccio. I've done mobile gigs for years without being called on having insurance, but another DJ is interested in subcontracting through me and requires it. Insurance is probably important if a drunk person trips over your wires and claims you injured them for life. Could also be useful in the case of theft or equipment damage.

    For Logan's question, you need a website and to start marketing to your nitch. At first you've gotta spend money to make money. The best advice I've gotton as a mobile DJ is from the book 'How to be a DJ' by Chuck Fresh.

    Pablo's advice can help. Just don't let too many people know that you are working for free because then everyone wants a freebie.

    Unless they already have a large clientele, most clubs are interested in you helping to get people in the door if there is a cover charge and keeping people there so they buy more drinks.

    Good Luck - DJ Ivan, Takoma Park, MD
  • sterl said on February 26, 2010
    i want to start a DJ business in Point Pleasant, NJ USA
  • dj benji styles said on February 26, 2010
    I started a dj company years ago when i was 18 simply as a way to make more money as i was having to dj in most clubs on the same night so i hired back the old djs and obviously took my share. i'm looking at starting another company in a new area but with the new public performance license i'm not sure where thats gonna take me. any ideas can help. DJ BENJI STYLES. REGENERATION DJS, BASINGSTOKE UNITED KINGDOM
  • Val Marks said on February 26, 2010
    Very nice articles on starting a DJ business. You will need some basic business skills and a passion for music to succeed. Many bedroom dj's have developed well paid DJ careers and mobile disco. You will also need to make sure your have the best but cheap dj equipment and music. Val Marks.
  • DJ Stephen said on March 4, 2010
    Hey, I'm 17 in an Entrepreneurship class, I'm in grade 11 at Ingersoll District Colligiate Insitute highschool in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada. I wish to start a DJ service for my permanent job as well. Or to be a night club DJ at a specific club. But, in order to start, I need to ask a few questions, I'm hoping someone could PLEASE help me. I already master at remixing with the software Abelton Live on my laptop. I want to know EXACTLY all the equipment/licenses & anything else I'll need to start. It's all for my class AND I wish to start this business for real life too. PLEASE, somebody give me pointers. THANK YOU DJ Stephen |
  • Marc said on March 17, 2010
    We started our business from scratch. Everyone talks about the music, equipment, and lighting side of things but NONE of that matters if you don't have a paying gig to play! The business side is a HUGE part of it!

    I've been in sales and marketing for 20 years and here are some things I would suggest you look at doing:

    1. Make sure you register your business with the state (or other appropriate gov't agency if not in the U.S). In my marketplace there are about 20 DJ companies, but only 12 are registered businesses with the State of Minnesota! My one time expense to do this was about $200 total (will vary by state however).

    2. Join your local Chamber of Commerce. It's great to join a national DJ association but I honestly don't think that my clients care about that. They do, however, put a great deal a value on us being members of the Chamber. Why? Because of those 20 DJ companies in my market, only 4 (including myself) are members. In today's world of bridal shop closings, photographers going under, and DJ's bailing on the couple at the last minute, PEACE OF MIND IS IMPORTANT!

    In my sales pitch I mention the registered business part and the Chamber part and tell the prospective client, "We treat our business like a business. We're in it for the long haul." Ask yourself, all things being equal, would you hire a DJ that's a member of the Chamber or one that's not even registered with the State? Exactly. Total cost: $375 per year.

    3. Get a website! In today's world you HAVE to have a website to be taken seriously. It doesn't cost much and if you can use Facebook, you can make a website. A great place to go thru is I use them and it costs me less than $9 per month and I built my own website in about 2 hours and I definitely am not tech savvy. Oh, and DON'T use a "free" email address (@ yahoo, @aol, etc.) We use Again, it's about being professional. Also, get some business cards. They're cheap and a necessity for my fourth point.

    4. Network, network, network!!! Introduce yourself to anyone and everyone in your area who is involved in weddings. The banquet hall managers, photographers, flower shops, jewelry stores, etc. Think about the flow of planning a store (engagement), booking the church/banquet hall, booking photographer, buying dresses, and then they'll get to the flowers/cakes/DJ's. We're the caboose on the wedding planning bookings! Look at all those other opportunities you have for people you network with to mention your business! Many brides will book BECAUSE you were mentioned. They book the photographer, build a good report and trust with them and when they say "Check out this DJ company, they're really good." That carries a TON of weight! Total cost: ZERO! Just some sweat equity.

    5. Be smart. Instead of doing a show for free, do it in trade! In exchange for something they have (I like to trade for advertising whenever possible) you'll play at their event. This not only gives you exposure at the event but you also get advertising out of it as well! Cost: Just your time (and gas to get to the gig).

    6. Be smart, part 2. Use contracts and have insurance. Insurance won't cost you much and it's DEFINITELY cheaper than paying someone's medical bills or replacing some of your equipment. Those are things that can put you out of business. Contracts spell out everything to my clients. When and where we are playing, what they are getting (# of hours, mics, etc) and most importantly - an agreement on the payment amount and dates! I require a $100 non-refundable deposit with balance paid in full one week prior to the event. I let my clients know (in a nice way) that I don't play if they don't pay. I don't leave the house unless they've got a zero balance. Why? Well, it's not like I can reposes their reception! And who wants to be a collection agent...ugh!

    7. Paid advertising. I'm not a huge fan of paid advertising. The amount of money it costs to effectively advertise doesn't merit the investment. Example: if I spend $2400 on an ad campaign and charge $600 per gig, I need to get 4 gigs JUST TO BREAK EVEN! There are better ways. You need to be in the yellow pages. I hate doing it because I think it's over priced but it's a necessary evil. Depending upon the size of your ad you'll spend anywhere from a few hundred to over $1000 per book (we're in two different books in our area).

    8. Bang for your buck advertising. The first one is to go to the local wedding expos. This is HUGE!!! I went to my first expo and spent about $500 total ($400 for the booth, $100 on printing for the marketing piece). I booked TEN gigs off of that one 4 hour event! The math looks like this; total expense $500, total revenue $6,000! That's a good return on investment! On top of that, I also got a list of the brides who attended the expo, complete with name, address, phone, email addresses, and wedding date. I can target market every bride and there were over 400 names on the list! How many more gigs do you think I can get from that list? Any gigs I land get added to that $6k I booked at the event.

    9. BNI. This is the second "bang for your buck" advertising. It is a networking group that is available worldwide. I'm not going into the details here, but do a Google search for it and check it out. I think you'll find it can be very helpful. Need an example? In my group we have a florist and a hair salon, neither of which attended the wedding expo. I told them I'd put their info out on my table and give them the list of brides if they put a strong offer I can use to attract customers. Here is what we came up with: If the prospect booked their event within one week of the expo they would receive $100 off of their DJ package, FREE 1/2 dozen roses and FREE floral consult, a FREE haircut and FREE bridal hair consult. A total value of $250! My cost: nothing (other than the discount on the DJ package). But it was such a huge impact on the client they went crazy for it! The florist and hair salon owners were thrilled to have the chance to book those 10 clients I booked and they were doing free consults for and also had 400 brides names to target as well! Plus, the florist put out a REALLY nice floral display for my no charge!

    Ultimately, the success of your DJ business will come down to how you handle BOTH sides of your company...the "DJ" side and the "business" side. I cannot stress enough the importance of having good relationships with people. They can be your best friends (or worst enemies) and can get you all types of gigs if you treat them right.

    Have other questions? Drop me a line at Thanks for reading and I hope you found at least one helpful nugget in there! Marc
  • Erma said on April 29, 2010
    Hi! I have a mobile DJ service in Rocky Mount, NC. I have been asked to implement Karaoke into my show, but I am lost as to how to bring it in using the lap-top. How do I start and what do I actually need in order to do this? I DJ only part-time and I can't spend unnecessary money I don't have. Can you help?
  • Joey said on July 31, 2010
    Yo, sup? I am 14, and live in Frankfurt, Germany. how can I start a DJ business and actually get customers at my age? I know no one is gonna hire me for weddings, but I wanna do mainly disco parties for teens. I have a pair of nice 500 watt JBLs and some nice lights and a fogger. I'm gonna make a website... Anyway how can I get some customers, even at my age?
  • jtthedj said on September 3, 2010
    Other than insurance what other licensing agreement do I need to play music on our dj equipment. If I play in event for free do I need the license?
  • Jordan said on September 26, 2010
    Yo, i'm 13 ( will be 14 this February) I recently had a party and realized that i would make a good DJ... I have 4 speakers, a laptop (with Frostwire & Virtual Dj software), and a RCA stereo controller... I want to become a DJ for some money & to have fun... Can you help?
  • PeakEntetainment said on December 1, 2010
    Hey guys. Thanks for all the info on here, it really helps. I'm 14 and I've been DJing for 3 years now in New York. I see there's some other young people on here and I would like to help them out. Somethings I've learned for my age:
    1. GET A WEBSITE. I did for free on Totally free forever. Great way to reach customers
    2. GET GOOGLE ADS. Just look up $75 credit :google ad and there you go! great way to reach customers. Got a few that way.
    3. Yes this one is kind of well not the polite thing to do really but hide your age AT FIRST. Make sure you start out very professional and polite. Later on they will realize your age and say WOW! This kid is really professional!
    4. Get business cards and the like.
    5. KNOW WHAT YOUR doing. Get good equipment and software.
    6. Facebook page
    7. Insurance and the other stuff. Well I dont have it and i'm not a registered business i probably should be but I have no idea how or when i'ld be able to do that.

    People say it takes a lot of money to do that. I spent under $600 to get me going and now i have gigs going on. Look for free stuff everywhere.
    If you have questions: or GOOD LUCK
  • Holli said on February 9, 2011
    I am in NH and wanting to start up a part time dj business as a side job. nothing really big but want to do it right. I have the equipment, music, lights. Do I have to set my business out of my home if it's just me? If I do, what deductions do i get to take advantage of? if i do this thru my home, and i want to sell my home, how does my business effect the selling of my home? I hope I'm asking this correctly. What do i have to save and bring to my tax guy for deductions, receipts, all that.
  • lloyd said on April 10, 2011
    hey am in south africa, live in cape town, i want 2 start a dj business to reduce the rate of crime around the streets of cape town and help young growing DJ's. But i dont even have my own equipment. How do i get moving forward from this point
  • Olly lees said on May 18, 2011
    I am a 15 year old boy who is thinking of starting my dj business , I have the equipment and the transport. But I just need to know do I need any kind of insurance first before I can do my first gig ?
  • dj hurricane said on September 14, 2011
    hi all, i have a mobile disco in pretoria, how do i go about obtaining a license for my mobile business? and do i have to pay royalty fees?
  • DJ Milly said on October 4, 2011
  • S.T.PATRICK said on November 27, 2011
  • saurabh nainwal said on January 22, 2012
    hi I want to buy a new DJ system .so i would like to know the price of system with all equipment ...
  • Chandler Collins said on February 4, 2012
    Hey everyone, Awesome topics. I am 16 and own my own company called DJ Sensations DJ Company. I think its an awesome idea to be insured, and you def. want to have good people skills. You have to be easy going with people, and be willing to work with others who may be a pain to work with. Be professional too! For all your young DJ's out there, I know how it can be to get gigs and such, but remember, buy good equipment. Don't start off with cheap equipment, cause you'll only regret it later. Get a pair of nice speakers. I use QSC K12's and they'll rock any party. Serato is a must as well. If you don't want to spend the money of CDJ's, get a Numark NS7 that has Serato built in. Best bang for your buck!

    Whats the most important? Your laptop. Get a Mac. Some disagree that you need a mac, and think a windows is fine. It's NOT. Windows are such trouble computers, and plus if you're Djing and your windows crashes, how embarrassing would that be? Plus you're not a professional DJ unless you have a good laptop (Mac). Macs don't get viruses. Another thing... Make sure to get your name out there by going to DJ shows/Bridal Shows. Hope this is of help to everyone!
  • DJ OnzII said on March 13, 2012
    hello everyone, I am DJ OnzII(Certified DJ form Spin Gurus,New Delhi,India) from india and I am coming to USA next month on immigration bases. I want to start up my new DJ business there. So i want help regarding all the equipment dealer in New york and market about dj business in USA. So it will be my pleasure if anyone can help me. Thank you, DJ OnzII
  • Aphiwe "PhiweDphil" Dlamini said on March 25, 2012
    Hi. I'm based in South Africa, KZN, Pietermaritzburg. An aspiring DJ who's had love for music since from the age of seven, when well recognized twin producers/DJ'z in S.A, Revolution first shined. I actually wish to be a Professional Producer and DJ. And I'm sure some of the advice I've read will be helpful. My questions (to experienced DJ's who are also based in S.A, or any who is familiar with S.A's Deejaying industry, as our currency is in Rands not in $) ;
    1. Specifically, how much money do I need to buy my equipment?
    2. What is the quality brand name of all the equipment I have to buy?
    3. And after I've gotten all the equipment, how do I go about obtaining access into Deejaying in night clubs?
    I will be happy to get all the information I need. Thanks.
  • Siphiwe said on May 5, 2012
    Help plz any dj help me i to be the that proud with my country i'm 15 years old
  • DJ T-WRECKS said on June 2, 2012
    My name's Aubrey, I'm 16 years old and I want to be a DJ(well I already know how to DJ) but I don't know if they are any certain subjects that I need to take in high school, I'm currently doing grade 10. From cape town,south africa. Anyone who can help???
  • Dj (I'm not telling you my awesome dj name!) said on July 13, 2012
    I'm 13 from melbourne, australia and i'm about to buy equipment but i dont know how to land a gig (i.e. teem party/ disco). Please help!
  • DJ TeezyBeatz(RoxyBeatz) said on August 10, 2012
    I'm 15 from Toronto,Canada and i'm about to take on djing. i'm about to learn and try to start a career on djing. If there is anyone that can provide info about what age you have to be and how the business is then that would be appreciated. Thank You.
  • Sechaba said on August 16, 2012
    I am DJ stapora and I live in Limpopo (lebowakgomo) a town in polokwane
  • Sechaba said on August 16, 2012
    I am DJ stapora of moshikoane clothing and manufacturing, I Play deep house, Soulful house, classical house and afro space house music. I live in Limpopo at Lebowakgomo (a town in polokwane) in the lepelle nkumpi municipal chambers and I'm available for booking
  • mahlatse sekobela said on September 2, 2012
    i am mahlatse sekobela from polokwane, seshego zone8 my dream is to become a dj but my family is unable to buy me equipments. i am a good dj who play house & deep house music anyone who want to help me can contact me on 0728965545 or someone in my family on 0763748619 on facebook mahlatse'skobinki' sekobela on email
  • Nelson said on September 3, 2012
    hey! I'm Nelson 18 years of age, doing matric this year. I want to start a DJ business but don't have the equipment,scared of asking my parents to buy me equipments for my DJ business, because it cost so much. so I wanted to take a gap year to go for work so that I can buy my own equipment for DJ. So I'm in need of ur advice. south Africa, limpopo
  • sibusiso said on September 11, 2012
    I am sbu from mpumalanga I have been a dj at the local community for 4 years now but the only thing I wanna know how can I be able to be included in big giggs? I have my 3 other dj's mms, vurah and fisto's any 1 out there help please this are my digit's 0739042534
  • James da jigga said on October 3, 2012
    Hi, i am james i'm 16 years old. i live in s.a gauteng johannesburg i really love djing and i would love to be a deep,soulful house dj but my parents wont afford to buy me equipment any dj wanna help 0789164699 .
  • DK said on October 19, 2012
    I've started running a dj business in Southern California this past year, and have landed a gig on a yacht that takes people around the harbor for 4hrs for dinner, drinks, and dancing. They have been calling me to work at least two days out of the month on Fridays for $200. They want to book me for a Saturday night, which is usually my busiest night, and I want to ask for at least another $100 for a Saturday night. However, I do not know how to voice this without scarring the customer away and with a valid reason for this request. I was wondering if some with more business skills could fill me in on how to do this in an appropriate fashion. If some one could give some advice I would be very appreciative. Thank you :]
  • DavidSoRandom said on November 15, 2012
    i am david from Philadelphia, PA i WANT TO BE A DJ! but i need some sponsor really bad. i use a virtual DJ obn my computer and i want to go big so i need some help with learning keys on a real equipment I DJ AFRICANS MUSIC
  • HouseArrest beginner adviser said on January 20, 2013
    Hey everybody my name is John. I have been a successful DJ for about 8 years now. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have, and give you the best business advice that I can. Send your questions to || DJ Expert

  • Dale Sylvester said on February 1, 2013
    I've been dj'ing since the age of 16 already, I want to start to get my own equipment, because I've been using a friend of mines equipment, I'm 18 at the moment and I'm still trying to get my own equipment.
  • dj tumi said on February 4, 2013
    Hi guy am dj tumi from pretoria I have 7 years experience of being a dj now I want a manager am good I play house music and my numbers are 0723223370 so I want a manager who needs a dj to manage
  • thapelo AKA DJ BLACKCHERRY said on February 15, 2013
    Hy I'm thapelo and I'm 16. I want to start my dj business so I need a sponsor so that everything can be easy for me. My favorite dj is MR black coffee and I really love his music and I wish to meet him one day any one who can help me please call me on:0766841708, please I really need sponsor and I play commercial house and deep that's what I can. from limpopo
  • Pako said on April 7, 2013
    My name is pako kegakilwe i am from jo'burg i want to start a company of house music djs and sings please help me i really need this i am a dj so please if u guys can help to open a company call me on 0839268127 please
  • shaktikumar bankat dargude said on September 7, 2013
    hi i am graduate. i leave in solapur. i was thinking to start dj for any function. so help me.
  • diggynental soul said on November 23, 2013
    hey i have understood and took most your advice and do make sense. but now i am in south africa and i want to make it as an international dj. so how do i go about making that happen
  • olanrewaju olabode said on December 24, 2013
    plz i want to start a dj business in lagos state i base in alimosho local govt please i just want know what and what i will need to start the business from A EQUIPMENT 2the Z EQUIPMENT PLZ I WILL NEED UR REPLY SOONEST.
  • phoenix said on February 12, 2014
    Hi i'm dj Phoenix from limpopo in SA & i'm into dj'ing now for 5 years i got my own equipment but not including the sound i'm really not bad my type of dj'ing is mostly clubbing or house parties my music choice is Trance, Electro House, House, Dubstep & Hard style, but how to get my self noticed & on the grid isn't easy & I don't know how to get this started, can any one give me advice please, Thnx
  • MERYL said on February 28, 2014
    Hi I'm Meryl Newton and am currently promoting Dj Grant Devereux! He has been in this industry for years and he has been on Highveld 94.7 numerous of times! We are currently working on our own events but i would love to advertise him more? He is fresh and wanted and he is the real deal! I want him to do gigs such as weddings, anniversaries, parties etc! Is there any way that you guys can assist me?
  • Destiny said on March 13, 2014
    Hey I'm 13 years old from washington state. I want to be a dj but i dont have gear. Can someone help me out on some direct drive turntables.
  • killex said on July 11, 2014
    i would like to learn how to be a dub step dj
  • Matt said on July 18, 2014
    I'm located in central New Jersey. I've been DJing a lot with my dad and have earned a fair amount of cash. I'm slowly starting my own business at the age of 15. I have gear, including lighting, audio and software. I DJ for the middle school I use to go to. I am now the house DJ for them and I get paid 200 a dance. I want to expand either in the district itself or expand into a different school district. Got any tips? Gear includes 10 lights. 2 Speakers (Planning on getting subs) 2 Laptops (1 For music running Tractor Pro 2, the other for my light shows using MY DMX 2.0) I have a really old mixer and a Peavey 1500 watt amp.
  • coco said on December 16, 2014
    I'm 11 years old and i'v been DJing for 6 years i mostly do partying music and i have a sound system its just i'm in florida any one need a DJ i'm your girl
  • Djkamal said on January 10, 2015
    Hey i am a professional dj n i have an experience of 5 yr in djing an i played in private party , official party, corporate party ,clubs an etc if any 1 want 2 book me fr a show then he/she can contact me in my email id. Thanks
  • DjTimza said on May 21, 2015
    Hi, I'm a dj and I have an experience of 2 years and 5 month in dee jay..i have played in tarven, pub and mini club...if anyone in need of a dj to be a resident or just for a show contact me in my tell 082 595 4366/email
  • Tumelo said on November 3, 2016
    Hi am Stumza I collect soul music and am highly interested in playing for such people who enjoy such music. Please do book me to come give a taste of what soul RNB is really like. Cell: 076 1191 693. Email;


    (All the above fields are required.)