OPEN A NAIL SALON: Step by Step Guide


Most individuals frequent nail salons, which produce more than $5 billion annually, because they want their nails to look more attractive than what is possible with home treatments. With such earning potential, starting a nail shop can be the best choice for nail techs seeking financial security and professional development. Nail salons are one of the industries that are expanding the fastest right now because of the wide variety of services they provide. We’ll walk you through the process of starting a nail salon, its requirements and the cost to open a nail salon.


A location or area of a location where customers can get their nails painted, filed, and manicured, or have fingernails covered in artificial nails. The main goals of running a nail salon are pampering and beauty. Whether you do artistic design or basic manicures and pedicures, this industry has several niches.

Of course, it takes a lot of labor to start any firm. However, you will learn how to open a nail salon. You may start your very own nail salon using the information provided in this step-by-step manual. We can help you with anything from comprehending and researching the sector to registering your nail salon business and turning a profit.

How to Open a Nail Salon 

Nail salons can quickly build a devoted clientele due to the wide range of treatments they offer, from manicures and pedicures to intricate nail art and nail extensions. As a result, they are easier to establish. Due to their simple business approach, you may spend more time making client extensions than chewing your nails. Now that you know how to start a nail salon, let us give you a brief summary of how to succeed.

#1. Make a Business Plan

The majority of people, or at least those who want to achieve something, prepare ahead. Your business plan offers direction. Without it, you run the danger of becoming lost and losing track of your goal. This strategy should be in your three- to five-year plan. Also, choose between starting a new business, buying a franchise, or buying a salon before writing your business plan. For worksheets and ideas for new enterprises, go to

#2. Use Free Resources Available to Small Businesses

By researching, you can find and use many free apps and resources for new small business owners. Be prepared to pay for costs like tuition, though. The majority of local community colleges offer helpful materials and classes to understand the foundations of operating a business. Your neighborhood public library likely has a ton of books on establishing a business, marketing, and other business-related topics. A few libraries also offer free training to new business owners.

Consider finding a business mentor as well. You may ask a successful businessperson you know for guidance on starting one. Visit the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) website for more details and advice. There are several available free online company ownership, marketing, and management courses.

#3. Investigate and Choose a Fantastic Site

Your business will probably be successful if you pick a good location for it. By researching your rivals and learning more about the demands of your area, you can create a terrific website for your new company. Keep in mind that your decision should be influenced by a number of variables, including the neighborhood’s demographics, the number of competitors, and others. Determine the amount of space you’ll require before looking for possible building, rental, or purchase sites. It might be possible to start off modest and grow later.

#4. Purchasing Equipment

The financing alternatives for equipment may be more limited if you have business debt. To find high-end products and accents for your salon from sales, auctions, and thrift stores, you might need to be creative. Government websites like and may have deals. You could be able to rent top-notch equipment as an alternative.

#5. Think About Forming a Partnership to Raise Money for Your Business

Don’t be afraid to consider forming a partnership because it could provide you with access to a great business mentor and help finance your enterprise. Make certain that you thoroughly investigate possible partners and that you and they concur on the duties and objectives of the business. It’s acceptable if you and your partners do things somewhat differently because having a variety of working styles and personalities may help your company expand.

It is a good idea to create a contract even if you do not obtain a loan from a bank because partnerships typically require one. A strong contract safeguards each and every party. You should consult the right experts while writing your contract and have a lawyer review it.

Before you register your business name with your state, you need to choose a business structure, such as a corporation, limited liability company (LLC), partnership, or sole proprietorship. Hence, to get a tax identification number, get in touch with your state’s revenue office and the IRS. To get benefits for unemployment, disability, and worker’s compensation, you must register with your state. Prepare a list of the licenses and permits that the federal, state, and local governments will need from you, and then carefully consider it.

#7. Choose and Employ Specialists

Join trade organizations and neighborhood beauty schools to create a network that will help you locate your first hires and stay in touch with possible applicants. Before hiring workers, always complete your research on the pertinent local, state, and federal legislation. provides comprehensive hiring guidance in addition to practical assistance for personnel management.

#8. Celebrate the Beginning of Your New Business and Promote It

When you hire someone, give their friends and family business cards. More people will discover you and hire you as a result. You can throw a little party to greet your close friends and family or a bigger party to welcome the entire neighborhood to your new salon. In order to attract people to a larger meeting, you might advertise a discount or other benefit.

Also see: SALON BUSINESS CARDS: Catchy Templates and Ideas to Inspire you.

Cost to Open a Nail Salon 

The cost to open a nail salon might range from a few thousand dollars to $50,000 or more. The price will primarily rely on your location, the size, and the rent for your building. Renovations to your building, equipment, products, and any permits you need are all extra costs to think about. Here are some of the factors that determine how much it will cost to open a nail salon:

#1. Location and Facility Costs for Opening a Nail Salon

Finding a place to do business is always the first step to calculate the cost to open your nail salon. However, before you can start your manicure salon’s operations, there are several unique considerations you’ll need to make. One of the main determinants of how much it will cost to open your nail salon is its location. In a strip mall, retail center, or mall, the majority of nail salons are located in leased or rented spaces. Although the salon may occasionally be a standalone structure, most business owners prefer to locate their establishments near areas with some passing foot activity.

#2. Nail Salon Furniture and Equipment

You’ll need to purchase the appropriate furnishings and equipment so that you may provide nail services after you’ve secured your premises and built out the area to match your business needs. Depending on the size, style, and additional elements like material, brand, and quality, a manicure table can range in price from $100 to $1,200. The average nail salon has four manicure stations, thus the cost of the tables alone ranges from $400 to $4,800.

#3. Nail Salon Supplies

Although the tools you’ll need for your manicure shop are quite basic, you’ll still need to spend money on a few things. Since you need these goods to last, it’s crucial to choose quality. Also, if your equipment breaks down, it could make it harder for you to make money for your business. In addition to those things, you will also require a POS system, a register, and a security system. In the event of a fire or break-in after business hours, it is a good idea to have a security system with alarm monitoring.

How Much Do You Need to Invest in a Nail Salon?

Budget between $40,000 and $250,000 to buy an existing salon (dependent on location, size, and condition of the property and equipment). Increase that to an average cost of $100,000 to $500,000 to construct a salon from the ground up. 

Cost of Products Needed to Open a Nail Salon

Naturally, you can’t launch a nail salon without equipping your company with all the supplies you’ll need to look after your customers for the first few months. The price for this portion of the initial setup will vary depending on the services you choose to provide and the brands you choose to work with.

Regular nail paint, gel polish, dipping powder, acrylic powder, moisturizers, oils, cuticle treatments, waxes, and any other products you decide to offer to your customers will all need to be purchased.

License and Permit Costs to Open a Nail Salon

The same legal requirements as opening any other type of business establishment apply to opening a nail salon, in addition to numerous additional requirements for the state, the cosmetology board, and other regulators.

Additionally, that is not inclusive of all local building and business permits you could require. It’s crucial to confirm that the location is zoned appropriately for your nail salon business once you’ve located it. Also, before your salon even opens its doors, there will be additional charges if you have to go through a rezoning procedure or petition the city or county.

Costs of Insurance for a New Nail Salon

You might also need to have a specific kind or amount of insurance, depending on your state’s laws. Before you open your store, it’s crucial to know and grasp what’s necessary, whether it’s liability insurance or something else.

Even though it’s not required by law, it’s a good idea to protect your financial investment in your business. So, if you simply have one or two employees, it will cost about $3,000 per year to fully insure your nail business. Still, depending on a wide range of variables, the real cost may vary considerably.

The number of staff members at your salon, the services you offer, your location, the building’s features, the staff turnover rate, and your state can all affect how much insurance will cost you. If you have a large crew, it might go up to $1,000 each month.

Do You Need Qualifications to Open a Nail Salon? 

Obtaining a few licenses and permits is frequently necessary to run a profitable nail salon.

Nail Salon Requirements 

Starting a successful nail salon requires careful planning. The proprietor of a nail salon must not only be aware of the permits, fees, and licenses needed to operate the business. However, the owner of a nail salon needs to meet some of these requirements as well as hold a degree from a state-approved college. Texas has its own requirements that must be followed before a nail salon may open there, much like many other states. As a result, we’ve compiled a list of general requirements for aspiring nail salon owners.

#1. State Operating License

This is one of the requirements a nail salon owner should possess. The owner of the nail salon is required to get and maintain an operator’s license from the state. The minimum requirements are a high school diploma or its equivalent, 1,000 hours in a beauty school, 500 hours in a vocational cosmetology program, or at least 1,500 hours of instruction at a facility with state approval. Additionally, the applicant must submit an application, pass the operator license exam, and pay the $50 licensing fee.

#2. Additional Required Licenses

Nail salon owners who want to run mobile salons, rent out booths to nail techs, or offer specialized nails or other salon services, such as barber or spa services, must additionally fulfill additional Texas license requirements. All of these nail salon owners must possess a cosmetology license by the legislation.

Mobile nail salon owners must maintain their corporate offices in a stable location. The applicant must include the correct license fee with their application. The application and renewal fees for Texas range from $25 to $500 as of the publication date, per Section 83.80 of the Cosmetology Administrative Rules.

#3. Municipal Licenses and Permits

The location of the nail salon must be chosen in compliance with the Cosmetology Commission’s and the city’s zoning laws. After the commission completes the final inspection and gives the salon authorization to function, the nail salon owner must apply for a salon license together with the requisite application fee, which at the time of printing is $60 for a mini-salon license.

#4. Other Cosmetics Laws

All owners and operators of nail salons are required to obtain and read the most recent book on cosmetology law and regulations. This book provides in-depth information on the owner’s expectations and compliance procedures. The Texas Cosmetology Commission regularly inspects salons to ensure compliance.

The state warns that some of the most frequent code breaches include the use of unlicensed technicians, the absence of a photo on a license that was issued by the state, and the lack of a license to rent out booths. These code violations may result in the suspension of all salon services until the salon complies with the law.

Is It Profitable to Open a Nail Salon?

It is indeed profitable. The “typical” nail salon is thought to make $287,000 in annual sales, although these businesses can make up to $575,000, and revenues are probably conservative because a sizable portion of receipts come from undocumented cash payments.

How Do I Start a Small Nail Business?

  • Analyze the demands of your company.
  • Choose a name for your company.
  • Establish a legal entity.
  • Finished tax registration.
  • Obtain licenses and permits.
  • Set up accounting and banking.
  • Decide on business insurance.
  • Choose a location and prepare it.

What Tools Do You Need to Start a Nail Business?

Every nail salon should stock the essentials, such as cuticle shears, tweezers, a nail file, nail clippers, nail polish remover, cotton swabs, nail polish, and nail polish remover.

What Are Monthly Expenses for a Salon?

Your salon’s average monthly cost might range from as little as $50 per month to more than $1000 per month, depending on the size of the salon, the volume of customers, the space and equipment you pay for, and your location.

How Do You Become a Successful Nail Salon Owner?

  • Opt for a location.
  • Don’t buy low-quality equipment.
  • Create a soothing environment.
  • Give attention to cleanliness.
  • Be a team player.
  • Be welcoming.
  • Reward your customers.
  • Offer fresh and current styles.


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