How to Start a Nail Salon in 2024

How to Start a Nail Salon in 2024

Since nail salons generate thousands or even millions of dollars each year, starting a nail salon business might just be the best idea. It offers financial independence and steady growth. If you are a nail technician, it is a decision that you will be glad to have made. Besides, you can expect to establish a recurring client base easily. With the opportunity to earn a great deal of money by offering a variety of services, it is important that you learn how to start a nail salon in 2024.

To help you get started, we have created the ultimate post just for you. It covers what’s needed and the steps that you will need to take to ensure success. So, if you are looking for some guidance, here’s everything you need to know about opening a nail salon.

Find Your Niche

The first thing that you need to do is find your niche. You need to make sure that the nail salon stands out. It is just not enough to be an expert nail technician. The fact is that opening a business is an entirely different ballgame. This is why you need to know what you are getting yourself into. The following tips will ensure that you are able to cater to the right niche.

  • Size up the Competition: Find out more about your competitors, such as where they are located and the services they provide. You should know how many clients they cater to on a daily basis.
  • View Competitor Ratings: In order to determine how good each competitor is, you have to go through reviews and ratings. It would allow you to get an idea about the different thresholds and how you can better satisfy customers.
  • Consider the Pricing: Next, you should also find out how much competitors charge customers for different services to create your own pricing strategy.

Create an Effective Business Plan

After you have found your niche, you will need to create a solid business plan. It would help provide you with a vision and will make it easier for you to seek financial help and ensure that everything remains organized. For those of you who do not know much about a business plan, it is a written document that describes the business's objectives and how it aims to achieve them. Therefore, you can rely on it to determine the actionable steps you will need.

It is crucial that you create a marketable strategy and come up with a realistic budget for developing the nail salon business. Make sure to write down practical goals that you will need to accomplish. Moreover, you would have to change the goals if the timeline changes. Some of the topics that you should consider when working on the business plan are mentioned below.

  • What to name your business?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • How to market your nail salon business?
  • What would be the cost of opening the nail salon?
  • What business strategies do you plan on adopting?
  • Do you have enough capital or need to obtain funding?
  • Are there any recurring costs that you need to account for?
  • How much will you need to charge your customers in order to make a profit?

Legal Formalities

The next step that you will need to consider is meeting all the legal formalities. The license and permit you have to obtain depend on the state you operate in. Make sure to complete all your homework and know the requirements for running a nail salon in your area.

Here are some of the licenses that you will need to get.

  • Cosmetology License: To run a nail salon, you will need a cosmetology license. You will have to complete a certified cosmetology program, pass a practical exam, and have relevant work experience to obtain the license.
  • Nail Salon Business Operation License: It is the license that you will need in order to open a business. You should be able to apply for it by providing your social security number and business name to the US Small Business Administration or your state department.
  • Certificate of Occupancy: A local government agency or building inspection service provider should be able to provide you with a certificate of occupancy after inspecting your nail salon premises and determining whether it is safe or not.
  • Specific Licenses: If you plan on providing any specialized service, such as a medical treatment or spa, you will also have to get a license for it.

To register the nail salon business, you will have to do the following.

  • Get Your Tax Identification Number: It is a 9-digit number that you should be able to get from the IRS. You will still have to obtain it if you do not plan on hiring any staff.
  • Learn more about the Name Requirements: Since your nail salon needs to have a name, you must know about your state's specific requirements.

Other permits that you will need are mentioned below.

  • Building Permit: It can be obtained from the state government and is needed if you plan on getting any construction work done. Since it is a legal requirement, you have to consider getting it.
  • Nail Salon Retail Seller Permit: If you plan on selling retail products along with the services, you will require this permit. It is especially important for businesses that operate in a state that collects sales tax.
  • EIN: The Employer Identification Number is needed for filing state and federal taxes. You can obtain it from the IRS by providing your personal information, business license, and a description of your services.

Sign the Lease Agreement

A lease agreement is needed for using the business premises to provide a service. Make sure to get a legal professional onboard to draw this up, even though templates are available online. You have to get it signed before you spend any money on making changes. On the other hand, you must speak with a real estate attorney if you plan on buying the place.

Seek Nail Salon Insurance

In addition to the above, you will also have to get nail salon insurance. It should be able for around $50 to $300 a month. It is necessary that you seek insurance as it would protect you and your customers. You can start out with general liability insurance coverage as it would protect against claims made by customers and damages to the commercial premises.

Nail Salon Equipment and Stock

To provide nail services, you are going to need nail salon equipment. Be prepared to spend thousands of dollars on the equipment. Some of the things that you must get include nail dryers, UV light, electric nail files, chairs, and sofas. You are also going to need initial stock. Your nail technicians are going to require professional products. Besides this, you have to get retail products as well if you want to sell products.

Nail Salon Marketing

Once you are done with the above, you need to focus on nail salon marketing. It is the only way that you can convince potential customers to visit your nail salon. Start by creating the perfect website for your business, as it would prove to be the most vital marketing tool. It would also prove to your target audience that you are professional and care about your customers.

It is a good idea to allow customers to make a booking online. On top of this, you should also take advantage of social media to promote your nail salon. However, you will still have to spend money on flyers and business cards as traditional marketing is just as important. It might even be worth it to advertise your business in a local newspaper or the radio.

Hire Nail Technicians

In order to start a nail salon, you also have to recruit nail technicians who can help you provide customers with the best service. Promote the openings on a recruitment website like LinkedIn and to create your dream team. Once you have hired your new staff, you will also have to train them and ensure they have an idea about the standards they need to maintain.

Use Nail Salon Management Software

Lastly, you should use nail salon management software to handle bookings, staff schedules, take payments, track stock, and more. With timedule, you get to save valuable time and get things done with less hassle. In fact, you should be able to get your money back within just a few weeks. It is just the appointment scheduling software you need to use to ease workflow and succeed.


Now that you know how to start a nail salon, you can expect to lead a fulfilling life. There's no better decision than becoming an entrepreneur. You will be able to increase your earnings and have more freedom. With proper planning and the right nail salon management software, you can take your business to new heights.

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