Starting a Scuba Diving Business

Are you interested starting your own scuba diving business? This article gives you the basic must knows about the scuba diving business.

One of the first things you must consider before putting up a scuba diving business is your geographical location.

A lot will depend on the place you choose. Opening your scuba diving shop away from home means you will have to contend with issues that you wouldn’t normally deal with if you set up shop on your native land. Launching your business on familiar territory is always the best way to go particularly if you are just starting.

Let’s talk about the moolah

Aside from location, you must also consider your finances. You must have sufficient funds to invest in the business. That’s a given. Your finances must cover not only the start-up capital but also the operational expenditures for the first couple of months until you show some profit.

You will need a relatively hefty sum since the scuba diving business is not a cheap business to operate. There are the equipments consider for starters. Then you need to rent a commercial space. You also have to pay for insurance coverage. The premium for this line of business is quite stiff due to the high risk factor.

If you have a boat, you need to spend for its upkeep. If you don’t have a boat, you need to allocate funds in order to rent one. This is a necessary expense. You need a boat to ferry your clients from the island to the dive spot and vice versa.

Unless you are a rare breed of super human, you cannot run your dive shop all by your lonesome. You need the help of competent instructors, dive guides, shop assistants and so on. Naturally, these guys don’t work for free. You have to pay them to enjoy their services.

Don’t fret, if you do your work right, you’ll have all the money you put in back in due time. The notion of scuba diving is not that hard to sell. This sport enables a person to catch a glimpse of underwater life. The beauty, splendor, and wonder of the milieu down there are more than enough reason to entice a prospective client to suit up. Just a little nudges and a little prod from you and it’s a done deal.

The Rudiments

The term scuba is an acronym that stands for ‘Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus’. To correct the impression of many, diving without the use of scuba gear cannot be called scuba diving. The gear makes all the difference. Diving without it is called free diving.

Scuba diving as we know it today began with just the basic scuba gear, a compressed oxygen tank and the mouthpiece. Nowadays, you can find a multitude of gadgets and suits all designed to give the diver comfort and ensure his safety.

Scuba diving is not without its dangers. Humans after all were not born to breath water. Change in air pressure is among the most common perils of the sport. The deeper the diver goes, the higher the underwater pressure. A diver runs the risk of rupturing his eardrums or causing damage to his sinuses if the pressure becomes too much for his system to handle. This is why proper instruction and knowledge is essential.

Final Note

The number of commercial dive sites is not limitless so brace yourself for some stiff competition. Typically, scuba diving schools and shops are situated close to one another. This considered a fact if the beaches are considered popular destinations.


  • Ken said on July 27, 2008
    wow... if you really know so little about the dive business that this article helps. Don't open a dive shop. While its not the most complicated industry there are major equipment maintenance issues, safety, training etc... You must have some industry experience.
  • sayefuddin rony said on May 3, 2010
    i would like to open a scubs dive business in bangladesh, at st-martin area which is one of the wonderful coral island in the world
  • Benjamin B Pena said on May 31, 2010
    i want to learn more on how much investment i need to start a scuba dive shop in the philippines. what are the necessary equipment i need to get started. Is there a sight that i can go to ask for some information i need to know the equipment use for filtering the air for the bottles where do i get it from. Ben Pena
  • Nairi said on August 13, 2010
    new business start diving in Bali or Manado myself have not much money, wonder how much money you need company
  • Steve Walls beginner adviser said on April 10, 2011
    I have been running a small dive shop for the last 28 years and would like to retire. Would make a good deal on my inventory, gear, parts, compressor, and air storage bank to someone who is wanting to start their own operation. Also I can be available for consultation to help you through the hoops. Located in Missouri.
  • Abby said on June 6, 2011
    Steve Walls....are you on linkedin? If not would you mind sending me your email?
  • Jason said on June 7, 2011
    I am interested in starting up a scuba business. Maybe partnering if someone is interested and has a WIN attitude like myself. email if interested.
  • Crowe said on August 16, 2011
    We want to start scuba diving business in Pensacola, FL. What are the cost estimate to invest the biz? Thanks!
  • Sheryl Alvernaz said on August 20, 2011
    @Steve Walls: Do you still have your inventory for sale....could you send me your email information?
  • Brian O'Hara said on February 19, 2012
    I want to open a Scuba business and I don't understand why I can't start selling gear online 1st to build my sales up to help fund the rest of it? Then buy a existing company or 2?
  • DiveShop Owner beginner adviser said on March 26, 2012
    All reputable equipment manufacturers require a physical commercial building and compressor to fill air with air quality standards monitored quarterly. The person who wants to do an online first is putting the cart before the horse. Starting a dive shop requires vast amount of capital. Expect your operating expenses to be close to $10,000 per month. This requires you to do at least $30,000 per month in sales.

    Yes it is expensive, don't expect to become rich. We do it because we just love the sport so much and love sharing our knowledge with others. Seeing their faces the first time in the ocean is priceless.
  • Avinash M Thomas said on January 16, 2013
    I'm a commercial diver with 10 years of experience. I would like to start a Scuba/padi diving business in my home town which ios blessed with inland lakes and seas. I would like to know how to go about it, like:
    1) will I need to get a Padi certification in the first place, since I'm a commercial diver already will I need to do refresher course.
    2) How much will it cost for the equipments, space and the staff and how much to charge the people who want to to the Scuba diving and be certified divers
    3) is there any kind of approval needed from a Padi organization before starting this.
    Please let me know all that is required. thanking you, Regards, Avinash.
  • Cris A Digamo said on February 24, 2013
    Diveshop ready inventory, just need a reliable partner to start again in the Dauin Apo island philippines, there is a big mansion, 5 apartment and it's beach front with marine sanctuary on the resort. Anyone interested pls. email me, and must be ready to stay away from united states for slow pace island living.
  • Federica Tomaselli said on April 2, 2013
    Hi @Cris A Digamo, not sure whether you will see this message or not since it is not that recent. I am interested in your proposal. I am Italian and at the moment I am located in Kuala Lupur, Malaysia. Before that I lived in China for more than 5 years so I have a deep understanding of Asian culture. I am also an advanced open water diver, I am in love with scuba diving, that's why I am quite interested in the idea of owning a dive shop. Please if you are interested in knowing more about me just drop me an email.
  • k.senthil said on April 29, 2013
    want to idea of investment of scuba diving business in our place tuicorin / tamil nadu / india
  • Jason Hamilton. said on June 7, 2013
    Hi, I've a large quantity of brand-new scuba equipment including masks, fins, BCD's, tanks, suits, etc. If interested, please email me the quantity you need and your (reasonable) budget and I will try to match it. My email is:
  • Christian Hamaoui said on June 10, 2013
    @Cris A Digamo, Hi Cris, my name is Chris Hamaoui, PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, Emergency First Response Instructor and Specialty Instructor. I have been in the Philippines for nearly 3 years now and looking to start my own business. I am currently in Boracay but I am planning to move south and Dauin is one of my potential destinations. I'm also contemplating Malapascua, Bohol, and Mactan, Cebu, all located in the same area. I have lots of experience in teaching Scuba Diving in Boracay's Shangri-La Resort and Spa so I have a 5 Star approach to my work. Going in this with a partner is a smart idea since we get to split the risk and spoils of the venture. I am originally from Montreal, Canada and speak French and English fluently. I am in the process of finalizing my residency allowing me to purchase or lease land and residence, open a business, work without working permits and so forth. Without residency, it's not easy to actually open shop here as the Philippines make it somewhat complicated. Haven been here a while, I know my way around the different bureaus. Anyway, if you are still interested in joining forces, please drop me a line. Christian Hamaoui, Master Scuba Diver Trainer, EFRI and Specialty Instructor. |
  • Cris A Digamo said on June 24, 2013
    @Federica Tomaselli you ask me to drop you an email but You never left and email Ad? Cris A Digamo
  • Pawel said on July 4, 2013
    Hi guys I'm Padi OWSI, I've been diving several times in Cebu and this is my favorite place. I'm ready to join that idea and try to open some dive shop there, originally I'm from Poland but last 8 years living in Ireland. I speak Polish English and know some basic of Russian. Did anyone know what is the total cost to start that kind of business.
  • Federica said on July 4, 2013
    @Cris A Digamo Hi Chris, sorry my email address is the following: or Talk to you soon
  • Cris A Digamo beginner adviser said on July 9, 2013
    @PAWEL.....Do your research first! You will need at least $50 thousand dollars to start,....and it all depend on your location. You have to talk to people that been there and than that.


  • Ernest Urhude said on May 17, 2014
    Our company vine, dive international is into underwater operations like dry docking, inspection, ship cleaning and consultancy in marine / oil and gas. We are based in portharcourt, Rivers state in Nigeria and need foreign partners. Regards, Capt.Ernest.O.U Executive Director
  • JP said on August 14, 2014
    @k.senthil, I am from TN too..And Thinking in same lines..give me ur email id
  • Jerry Irons said on February 3, 2015
    Hi, I am located in Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia. I want to start a dive shop. I am looking for someone with knowledge and experience to partner with or help me start up my diving shop. I have the place located right by the ocean, also have couple boats if this would help. If interested drop me a line.
  • Cris A Digamo said on February 4, 2015
    What kind of partnership you're looking for? To operate a diving business, you need two things, Funding, and Scuba diving oriented Man power.
  • Thomas Corr said on February 12, 2015
    My partner and i are both PADI instructors and would like to open a small shop in preferably Bali. email to discuss
  • Rosie babb said on June 18, 2015
    I am looking at setting up a diving school in Mauritius. I would need a partner if any body is interested? Email me on if anyone is interested
  • Antoine faucher said on December 27, 2015
    Hello,Looking to invest time knowledge and money in à dive shop Email me do discuss it
  • James Wisa said on June 5, 2018
    I have an idea to open a dive operation at a nearby flooded quarry. The site covers an area over 40 acres with the act yak quarry being over 20 acres with depths of up to 120' plus. Is there anyone who I could talk to, who might want to partner up on this project? I am in Florissant No with the quarry also located in Florissant.


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