Do I Need a Cosmetology License to Open a Salon?

It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurial minds to have preference over owning their own business, rather than working as an employee. For one thing, there are limitless income generating possibilities with business ownership, and in the case of a salon, the rewards can be phenomenal.

Is a Cosmetology License Necessary to Open a Salon?

You are not required to have a cosmetology license to open and run a salon in most states. Once you open your salon, and may need need to hire extra people to help you out, which would require to be licensed.

Tips on How to Run a Beauty Salon

You will require an investment of thousands of dollars to furnish a salon and stock it with supplies, so be prepared for that. A permit to operate the business will be necessary, as stipulated by state law. In the case of a beauty salon, permits are typically affordable and quickly issued. It is, however, a small business that will require it to be established as such. This requires filing articles of incorporation or organization.

Once established, secure a federal tax identification number, registering the company with the Federal government. This is how your business will be legal and able to pay a fair share of income tax.

What Else is Required to Open a Salon?

A salon, before it is allowed to open its doors to the public, will have to pass an inspections, with regards to safety and sanitation. Some aspects of the inspection include electrical safety and fire codes.

Moreover, proof of licensed hair stylists will need to be provided. While you may be only an investor, you will have to provide certification or licensing of all the employees that will carry out services to the clientele. Such employees include hair stylists, manicurists, estheticians, and masseurs.

Is it Beneficial to Have a Cosmetology License to Open a Salon?

Any investor should be well versed in his/her field in order to succeed. Being a licensed hair stylist or cosmetologist would by far be in your benefit. This way, you could also earn a greater income through providing your own services, or help out during peak seasons.

In short, if you want to open a salon business, you’ll need a cosmetology license. After all, you’ll be required to offer the services at some point, and you can’t do that if you do not have a license.

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5 questions to ask before you open a salon - Put Clover in your corner | Clover Blog
2 years ago

[…] insurance, and an Employer Identification Number. In addition, to run a salon, you’ll need a cosmetology license. Most, though not all, employees you later hire to work in your salon will also need licenses. […]

Barb Dlesk
Barb Dlesk
2 years ago

If I own a beauty salon in the state of Ohio and rent spaces to licensed independent contractors, do I need a cosmetology license?

Nancy
Nancy
2 years ago

You absolutely do not need to have a cosmetologist license to own a salon. The persons doing the service need a cosmetologist license. Make sure you check with the board of cosmetology in your state to get facts.

Vian
Vian
2 years ago

Do I need a license, even if I’m only the owner and operating the salon

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Vian

Typically you need a license to offer these services to the public for commercial purposes.

Kathleen Holifield
Kathleen Holifield
2 years ago

In the state of Indiana, it is no longer a requirement to have a license to braid hair;!is this accurate? But my true question is; can one open up a braiding booth in the rear of a novelty store located in a mall? If so what are the requirements?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago

Kathleen, each state is a little different. There are number of states that passed ‘braiding licenses’ and unfortunately, I am not as a familiar with Indiana. Some states requirements are a lot more strict, while others have greater flexibility.

Justin ledet
Justin ledet
1 year ago

What are some salon codes that are in regulation at the moment in the state of Louisiana justin ledet thank you

age confident
age confident
1 year ago

thank you for this informative blog.. love it..Very informative Steve. It’s usually fear that prevents a lot of people to follow their passion and create something that will improve their lives. Starting a business should be based on your passion, so you can be motivated to stay the course even when things are bleak.

Shilpa
Shilpa
1 year ago

Beauty salon license

Valonne
Valonne
1 year ago

This is inaccurate information. You do not need a cosmetology license to own a salon. You only need a cosmetology license if you plan on personally doing hair in the salon. Please update this information

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Valonne

Valonne, thank you for your feedback. I just reviewed it and updated the content for accuracy.

Chiquita
Chiquita
11 months ago
Reply to  Valonne

In District of Columbia you have to have a license or a salon Managers License

tanicka
tanicka
1 year ago

how do i get a permit or license to open a salon without a cosmetology license?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  tanicka

Tanicka, what state are you located in?

trackback
5 questions to ask before you open a salon | Clover
1 year ago

[…] insurance, and an Employer Identification Number. In addition, to run a salon, you’ll need a cosmetology license. Most, though not all, employees you later hire to work in your salon will also need licenses. […]

Shevella
Shevella
1 year ago

There are mixed answers that I am reading. I want to get a nail and hair salon but I don’t want to do nails and hair myself so with that being said do I have to get a license to do nails and hair to own the salon?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Shevella

Generally no, you do not have to be licensed in the trade to ‘own’ the business. However it may depend from state to state. Years ago in Washington State, you were required to be licensed (and practicing) in the industry before you were able to attain your license as salon/spa owner. However in the late 1970’s – early 1980’s, the laws changed which allowed for non-licensed individual opening up their own shops. This allowed for more participation, and also the Franchises that followed.

Tammy
Tammy
11 months ago

Hey, I’m in ny. Where do I get the business permit and is there anything else I need to open the Hair salon business? I lost my license and I believe it’s expired too Any tips on where to begin, and what the next step to take

Nelly
Nelly
11 months ago

So if a shop is listed as a salon and barber shop, does the person doing hair have to licensed as a barber or a cosmologist?

Tyerra Jefferson
Tyerra Jefferson
9 months ago

I’m located in South Carolina and I’m not sure if you need to be licensed, I went to school for it and finished but all I have left is state board with everything going on right now I wanted to go ahead forward with getting a salon and owning it because I’m not really sure when I’ll be able to take state board is this still a good thing to do? And will I still make good money with having people work in the salon renting booths??

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
9 months ago

Tyerra, the best thing to do is to reach out to your State Regulatory Agency. Since you have completed school, I would really encourage you to proceed to complete your licensure! You are almost to the finish line!

Nancy
Nancy
5 months ago

Do I need license for eyebrow and face threading in New Jersey if I want open my own salon

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
5 months ago
Reply to  Nancy

Nancy, that is a great question. What may be best is to reach out the NJ Board of Cosmetology. Here is their website: https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/cos

TKay
TKay
4 months ago

I am in North Carolina and have a commercial building that I would like to set up as a nail salon and rent the spaces. What do I need as far as licensing to do this?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
4 months ago
Reply to  TKay

TKay, the best thing to do is to check with the regulatory body in North Carolina. Here is the link: https://www.nccosmeticarts.com/ Good luck!

TKay
TKay
4 months ago

Thanks!

shyanne
shyanne
3 months ago

Hi quick question, i’m located in Ohio and have my nail technician license so can i open a salon for hair, nails and lashes as long as i’m only doing nails?

Nargis
Nargis
2 months ago

I live in Upstate NY I want to get a beauty and hair salon but I don’t want to do makeup and hair myself so with that being said do I have to get a license to do beauty and hair to own the salon?

Jenny
Jenny
2 months ago

Do we need a license for eyebrows threading..? Please let me know..

lora
lora
1 month ago

what about a office rental and using it as a lash suite, would license still be required?

McKayla Streich
McKayla Streich
1 month ago

I have a cosmetology license but not a managers license. If I own a salon and hire someone with a salon managers license to be the manager would that be legal? I am in minnesota

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 month ago

McKayla, it really depends on the state that you reside in. With you being in Minnesota, you may want to check out the Cosmetology Board Website: https://mn.gov/boards/cosmetology/

Patricia V
Patricia V
16 days ago

I have my own brand of cosmetics (eyelashes, eyeshadow and lip gloss) I am willing to apply the eyelashes free of charge for anyone who purchases the lashes. Am I permitted to apply the lashes as long as I dont take compensation for it? SC State Board will not answer my question. They told me to get a lawyer if i dont understand the law.