Salon Setup | The Complete Guide for 2023

Salon setup takes a lot of work and planning, but starting a business can be fun and a great opportunity to learn something new. Setting up a hair salon requires research and a solid business plan.

What You Will Learn

We will go over the process and requirements for a hair salon business set up, provide tips and a checklist and equipment list that a new salon owner should use.

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  1. Requirements For Hair Salon Ownership
  2. What Is Salon Setup Cost?
  3. How To Setup Your Own Hair Salon Checklist
  4. Conclusion

Requirements For Hair Salon Ownership


When you open a salon, there are many things you need to prepare for as a business owner.

Licenses and permits vary by state, province and sometimes even municipality.

Make sure you find out everything you need in your area. You may want to include them in your checklist when setting up a salon or estimating start-up costs.

Here are the basic steps and licensing requirements to get you started.

Requirements for hair salon ownership
Requirements For Hair Salon Ownership

Choose a Salon Name

The business plan requires a salon name (see below for more information), but some states may also have specific requirements for business names. Be sure to check these requirements when naming your new salon.

Register Your Salon

Get a TIN number. This is a nine-digit number, also known as a tax identification number, that can be obtained by applying directly to the IRS. This number is also required for small business owners who do not plan to hire other stylists or staff. Like any small business, you will need this number to file taxes and get a bank account at a local bank.

Obtain Necessary Licenses

Cosmetology License

To work in salon industry you shold be at least 18 years old, have completed an approved cosmetology course or apprenticeship, passed a series of practical exams and have practical experience providing services to clients to obtain a cosmetology licence.

Salon Licence

This is the standard licence required to open a beauty salon. You can apply at your state agency or the US Small Business Administration and provide your name, business name and social security number.

Certificate of Occupancy

Your local building inspection office or state agency can help. Make sure the salon space is safe and has the water and electricity for the operation.

Specific licenses There are many different types of licenses in the beauty industry, some of which are required depending on the specialty of the salon staff. If you plan to hire a barber or hairdresser, some states may require a separate license.

Obtain Necessary Permits

Salon Retail License

Salon owners can provide services and sell retail products. A retailer's license will likely be required in states that impose sales tax. For more information, contact the US Small Business Administration or visit individual state websites.

Building Permits

These permits are processed at the state level and require inspection and approval of the work you plan to do to prepare for your salon business. Fees vary, but don't skip this step, as it's required by law and important for your safety.


A federal employer identification number is required for federal and state tax returns, payroll and other paperwork.

You can get it from the IRS or your state's online website, and it requires you to fill out a business license, personal information and a general description of your products and services.

Salon Insurance

Insurance usually costs about $50 to $250 per month and protects you, your employees and your customers. The most common is what's called general liability insurance, which protects small businesses against property damage, claims against you and sometimes damage to your business's reputation.

Salon Lease

You can ask a lawyer to draw up this agreement, but a model is available online. You'll want to have it signed and ready before you invest money in an existing salon or change location. If you are buying a space, always contact a lawyer to finalize the transaction.

We recommend to check our post on salon layout.

What is salon setup cost?
What Is Salon Setup Cost?

What Is Salon Setup Cost?


Salon License Costs

Licenses in the United States for a small business like a salon can cost between US$100 and US$400. This includes a processing fee and the license itself.

Certificate of Occupancy. The inspection required to obtain a certificate of occupancy varies from state to state, but you should expect to pay at least US$250. The cost to renew these certificates varies from state to state, but is usually at least $50.

Licensing Retail requirements vary from state to state, but are usually a requirement if you plan to sell products to customers. For example, in California, it costs nothing to obtain a retailer's license, but a bond may be required.

Salon Startup Costs

Rent Deposit

This covers the first month's rent, but in some cases includes an additional fee (in some states, landlords may charge more for furnished apartments).

Salon Furniture

The cost of furnishing your hair salon will vary greatly depending on your preferences, budget and the size of the place. Of course, salon setup at home will cost you far less than a modern salon setup in some prime location.

For instance, chairs can cost from $200 to over $1,000, while sinks are luxury items costing hundreds of dollars. Don't forget the furniture in the guest reception and lounge area.

Salon Signage

To attract customers, it's important to have the right signage in your salon. However, professional signs made by graphic design companies start at a few hundred dollars, so it is advisable to visit different shops before deciding.

Salon Equipment

How much does salon equipment cost?

Salon owners can rent or buy equipment. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

A full set of hair salon equipment and tools costs around $27,000, while leasing is a monthly fee. For a small salon setup, you can also consider renting some equipment to reduce your startup costs.

Many businesses will allow you to rent larger and more expensive items such as styling chairs, vacuum cleaners and chairs for backwash stations, but be prepared to shop around for smaller items such as hair dryers, trolleys, carts and hair care supplies.

Do not miss our post on hair salon equipment list.

Salon Marketing

A salon website is one of the most important marketing tools, especially for hair salons aimed at young people and professionals. They tend to use social media to find the service they want, and the ease of booking online is a key factor.

Salon websites can be created using free online templates or hiring a professional. They usually charge between US$300 and US$700.

To cut your costs, look for a salon management software with website builder functionality.

Don't forget business cards and flyers. Actively engage with the community, including printed materials distributed at the hair salon and local businesses.

Salon Supplies

Total salon stock varies according to the size of the salon and staffing needs. When calculating your product needs, be sure to take into account the disposable, retail and professional products used in each service.

Professional Products

These are the "back-of-house" products that stylists use for their clients and should be inventoried separately from the stock for sale. Salon software can help manage these products.

Retail Products

Keep a record of what you sell to clients separate from your supplies budget. How much you spend on these products will depend on your marketing and product range, as well as the special products your salon offers (e.g. shampoos and conditioners for curly hair, conditioners for grey hair).

Do not miss our post on salon station ideas.

How to setup your own hair salon checklist
How To Setup Your Own Hair Salon Checklist

How To Setup Your Own Hair Salon Checklist


Choose Salon Business Model

Do you want to join a franchise (which offers more support but less independence), run your own business, or go for a chair rental model? You also need to decide whether to pay commissions to your team or hire out your booth or space to independent stylists.

Prepare Salon Business Plan

This will help new salons stay on budget and provide a roadmap for setting up a business. Include an executive summary, marketing plan, target audience, budget and salon price list you will offer clients. Also provide a breakdown of recurring basic costs such as staff salaries, insurance premiums, labour costs and marketing costs.

Find Location

This depends largely on your brand and your target market. Is your clientele young and professional? Then find a location close to the local city centre or business centre. A cosy town or small city can also work well if the salon suits your clientele and brand.

Secure Salon Financing

The biggest reason salons fail is that people don't have enough money to start a business. Try to have at least six months of funds on hand. Possible sources of funding include your own savings, help from friends and family, loans and grants from local credit unions and industry. Also make sure you have a budget and a repayment plan.

Create Salon Brand

A brand helps define your business and your clientele. This includes everything from your logo, name, website and décor. pinterest is a great source of ideas to get you started. Pick a few images or words that represent your brand and use them as inspiration.

Prepare Salon Marketing Plan

Create a website and social media pages, decide on a logo and promote it to the community. Friends and family are crucial to building these new client relationships.

Also, set up a Google My Business account with photos so customers can find you on opening day and leave comments afterwards. Salon software can also make it easier to track and manage review content.

Use Salon Management Software

This can save you hours of stress and money each week by optimizing your salon calendar, easily making online appointments, managing staff schedules, approving payments, tracking inventory and orders, and more.

Choose Credit Card Processor

Different companies offer different devices and payment solutions, from simple app-based systems to sophisticated machines that can print receipts. Shop without fear. For more information, we recommend you start with our article on credit card processing in hair salons.

Recruit Salon Staff

Advertise vacancies, choose your dream team and plan your training. For more information on recruitment, read our guide to recruiting hairdressers.

Choose Suppliers

Depending on your brand and clientele, choose a product range that matches your services and vision.

Make Salon Equipment Checklist

Salon equipmwetn includes everything from furniture to the tools and technology your team needs. If you want to stay within your budget, first separate your needs from your wants and determine the size of the items you want to fit in your space.



Hair salon setup is a big step, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. The key is to invest time and effort in getting organized from the start.

Good, such as salon software, are available marketing strategy can make all the difference in setting up a salon.


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