How to rent a kiosk at a mall

Updated April 17, 2017

Mall kiosks are often the location of choice for small business that are just opening. Renting a kiosk is often cheaper than renting a building. The small business does not have to purchase a large amount of inventory to stock the kiosk. Advertising often is not needed to draw visitors to the kiosk, particularly if the kiosk is in a prime location in the mall. A business owner can rent a kiosk and be open for business in a relatively short amount of time.

Research sales trends at the mall. Renting kiosk space in a mall can be a profitable business venture for the small business owner only if the mall has a steady flow of traffic. Malls that do not have a lot of visitors per day or season would not make a good choice for a mall kiosk. Traffic in the mall increases the chance that customers would stop by to browse your available goods and services.

Visit available kiosk locations. A good location is essential to the success of the kiosk business. A kiosk located in a portion of the mall where there are multiple store closures would not produce good traffic flow.

Prepare a business plan detailing the products or services that will be sold. Also, include the reasons that you feel your business will be a good fit for the mall. Provide financing statements to let the mall management know that you will be able to afford to stay in business throughout the season or your desired operational period.

Prepare a checklist of questions to ask mall management regarding the lease. Some questions would include: "What is the percentage of sales plus base pay rent that my business would pay each month?" "What is the amount of the insurance that would be required to be carried by my business?" "What is provided with the kiosk?" "Are there any available kiosks in the high traffic area?" "Is there an upfront deposit to rent the kiosk?"

Meet with mall management to discuss leasing a space. Present the management with a copy of your kiosk cart business plan. Obtain and read over the lease. Ask the mall management any questions remaining in your checklist that have not been covered in the lease.

Make sure that you have obtained all necessary business permits. In order to operate a business in most mall settings, you'll need a sales tax permit. This permit says that you agree to charge and collect the sales tax on items purchased from your kiosk. In most states, you are required each month to fill out and remit a sales tax return for the amount of sales tax that you collect during that month.

An employee identification number (EIN) is obtained from the IRS. You'll need to get an EIN if you have employees, operate as a corporation or a partnership, withhold taxes on income, or operate as a non-profit organisation. It is always best to check with your local and state agencies to see what permits are required and with the IRS to see if you need the EIN.

Sign the lease and, if necessary, present the mall management with a deposit check. Move in and start operating your business.


Have an attorney read the lease and negotiate better lease terms. Keep insurance payments up to date so that any claims will not bankrupt the business.


Higher percentages plus base pay may take all the profits the kiosk business will make. You may also be expected to contribute to mall upkeep and marketing; make sure you have adequate funding for these expenses.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Business permits
  • Merchandise for kiosk
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About the Author

J. T. Locke has been a freelance writer since 2008, specializing in personal finance and frugality. Many of her articles have been published on eHow. Locke received her associate's degree in business administration in 2007 from Dyersburg State Community College. She currently is office manager of a telecommunications office.