A Guide to Opening and Operating a Salon

holding an open sign

Dragana Gordic

Before taking the plunge and starting your own business, research and make a plan to figure out if operating a company is something that makes you feel passionate. As a business owner, you will be pouring yourself and your finances into your work throughout the onset and at least the first few years of starting your own business, if not longer. Many sacrifices are involved, but they can eventually be financially and mentally rewarding. 

First, there are licensing requirements. You must earn a cosmetology license from an accredited beauty school before working at a salon. In addition to a cosmetology license, a business and seller’s permit is required. 

Make a Checklist

After you’ve envisioned what you want and feel passionate about opening a salon, it’s time to start weaving in your creative vision with the logistics. 

An accountant and an attorney can provide a lot of helpful advice you should be equipped with when navigating your way through the startup stages. Consulting with an accountant and an attorney can help you take out a lot of the guesswork when registering your business, registering as a sales tax vendor, filing for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), filing business taxes, and managing other financial operations. 

Look into Professional Liability Insurance to protect your company. Once you’ve collected all of the relevant logistical information, start budgeting. What can you afford, and what makes more sense–owning or renting?

You’ll need to budget for fixed and variable expenses, like monthly overhead fees, digital and print marketing material, utilities, water, trash, equipment, repairs, insurance, employee compensation, and products you plan on selling.

Here’s an Eight-Item Checklist: 

  1. Attend beauty school and earn a cosmetology license.
  2. Consult with an accountant and an attorney.
  3. Register your business.
  4. Insure your business.
  5. Create a logistics plan.
  6. Create a budget.
  7. Look for a space.
  8. Build your team.

Finding a Space for Your Salon

Look for appropriate zoning in different neighborhoods you’re considering setting up shop in. Consider parking, demographics, and proximity to other thriving businesses. If you own a building, then it will be up to you to finance any repairs needed, but if you rent, then your landlord may share in the responsibility for some of the repairs. 

Speak to an attorney before signing your lease. An attorney can guide you through the process and ensure that there are no oversights in the terms. 

Work with licensed professionals from concept to completion if your dream is to build your own space. Construction costs can drastically vary depending on the supply and demand of materials, so do your research before you commence to weigh your best, most practical options. 

Build a Trustworthy and Talented Team

If you hire people who understand a business’s basic functions and who you get along with, then operating your salon will be much smoother. A beauty salon is a hospitality business. Your employees should be able to play off each other’s strengths while making guests feel welcomed and cared for, from booking the appointment to cashing out. 

There are a thousand things to do, and hiring someone talented but with a negative attitude can be toxic. You can hone talent with practice, so consider hiring someone green that’s willing to learn and is passionate about the business. It’s essential to create a supportive and happy environment. Everyone wins in a positive environment–you, your employees, and your customers. 

Are you ready to make your dreams come true? Take the next step and request information from Evergreen Beauty College. 


Frank Trieu
Vice President of Business Development & Industry Relations

Frank Trieu is a cosmetology industry leader, and despite his accomplishments and accolades, he still prioritizes students on the Evergreen campus. Through building relationships within the community and local salons, retail stores, and spas, he helps facilitate job placements for aspiring beauty professionals using his expansive network.

Happy Evergreen Beauty College Students


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1 year ago

I will use the checklist that you have mentioned