Starting your own beauty salon
- Henk Herkink
- How to
- 9 July 2020
- Edited 13 June 2023
- 8 min
When you open your own beauty salon, providing high-quality skin care to your clients comes first. But if you start your own business, you will also have to take rules on working from home, financial records, and insurance into account. Here is everything you have to look out for when you start your career as a self-employed beautician.
All new entrepreneurs have to come up with a name, start keeping administrative records, take out insurance, and register their business with KVK. This article was made especially for beauticians.
You do not have to write a business plan, but it can help you investigate whether your plans are feasible. In a business plan, you identify your target audience and take a close look at the competition. Use the KVK Business Counter to find out more about the competition near you.
If you do not want to write a business plan, a feasibility check is a good alternative.
Not sure whether you are an entrepreneur?
The law states that you have a business if you independently provide goods or services to others with the intent to make a profit. In practice, it can be difficult to determine exactly what constitutes a business, so check whether your activities meet the business criteria first.
If you want to start your own beauty salon as a minor, you need permission from your parents or guardian.
The marketing plan is the part of your business plan in which you describe how you will spread the word about your company and find customers. Many businesses use social media nowadays, but word of mouth can also be very effective. Besides, it costs you nothing because your customers do all the work.
Anchel Aalders of Beauty en Visagie Anchel researched the competition in her area before deciding which audience to target. “Once I had a clear plan, I decided on ways to promote my business.” Valuable advice from Aalders: “You can choose to specialise in certain treatments, but do not try to offer every service under the sun. Instead, focus on what you do best!”
Setting the right rates can be tricky, especially if you are just starting out and have little experience. You want to turn a profit, of course, and this is a good place to start. List all your expenses: purchasing costs, fixed costs, and variable costs and work your way up, until you know exactly how much revenue you need to make a living. In an ideal situation, you will even have plenty of money left to save up for an emergency (in Dutch). The next step is to actually calculate your prices.
Aalders believes beauty treatments should be available to everyone. “It has to be affordable and you have to provide good value for money. That was my main focus when I started up my business.”
You do not have to leave your job to start a business as a beautician on the side, as Aalders did at first. “I kept my job to mitigate risks like incapacity for work. For me, running a business on the side was a good way to challenge myself.”
Starting a side business while also working a steady job has its pros and cons. Although it helps mitigate risks, for example, it might eat into your spare time. It is also important to have a look at your employment contract to see whether your employer will allow you to run a side (in Dutch).
Many newcomers in the beauty industry start working from home, but you can also choose to offer at-home treatments, rent a chair in a salon, or set up shop in a rental property or your very own building. Whatever you do, there are a number of important considerations to keep in mind.
A beauty salon at home
Why not start a home business in an empty room that can easily be repurposed? Or - if you want to go bigger - convert your garage into a professional beauty salon?
Additional benefits of starting a business from home include no travel time, travel expenses, or rental costs. However, there is also a big downside. If you work from home, it can be difficult to escape your job and truly enjoy your free time. Besides, if you allow customers into your home, it can be difficult to separate your business from your personal life.
It is also important to check municipal rules on home businesses first. Do you have to notify the municipality of your plans to open a business? Does your business mesh with the zoning ? What should you keep in mind if you decide to remodel or convert your home? And are you allowed to put up a sign on your ?
It is also important to check your mortgage agreement or lease to see if you are allowed to start a business from or near your home. If necessary, contact your bank or landlord to discuss your plans. Last but not least, it is important to remember insurance, too. Your home contents and building insurance only cover personal property and the house itself: they do not cover damage to business assets and workspaces. Most people who start a business from home have to take out extra insurance.
You can also choose to offer at-home or on-site beauty treatments. The main advantage of this approach is that it is very easy to get started. Aalders confirms: “Some of my customers cannot come to me, so I go to them. To make things easier, I made sure to buy portable equipment.”
Tip: price your travel expenses into your (hourly) rate.
Renting or buying a property
If you are looking to rent or buy commercial space for your own beauty salon, check whether it meets all your needs and wishes first. How much space do you need, what equipment will you need, what kind of treatment do you want to offer, and where can you put the waiting room?
Aalbers chose not to run her business from home to keep her work life and personal life strictly separate. “This location fits the image I want my business to have and will allow me to expand in the future. My business is on a main road, in a highly visible spot.”
Check whether your business activities mesh with the municipal zoning .
Chair rental is a collaboration between two or more independent entrepreneurs who each provide services at their own expense and risk from the same commercial space. This approach is becoming increasingly popular, as it is a great way to reduce your real estate costs, purchasing costs, and marketing costs. As an added benefit, you can also expand your services by joining forces with hairdressers, make-up artists, and nail stylists.
Aalders thought about that, too. “I could definitely choose to expand my services in the future by renting a chair to a hairdresser, for instance.”
Anyone who runs a business has to keep detailed financial records. You can do this yourself or outsource it to an accountant. They will set up a well-functioning system, help you with advice, and can help you take advantage of various tax benefits. Good accountants often pay for themselves. Aalders also chose to bring in an accountant. “I use digital accounting software to track all my income and expenditures, and my accountant files all my returns. He makes corrections where necessary, so I can rest assured that my records are correct.”
Opening a separate account is not mandatory, but advisable. Find out more about the truth and myths about opening a business account.
If the tax authorities have classified you as a business owner for VAT (in Dutch), you must file a VAT return every . This involves reporting the VAT you have charged to customers or clients and deduct the VAT you have paid to your suppliers/vendors. In addition to your VAT returns, you will also need to file income tax once a year. Everything you need to know about taxes as a starting entrepreneur.
Check whether you can benefit from the Small Business Scheme (KOR) In this case, you are not required to charge VAT on your services. You can take advantage of this scheme if your annual sales revenues (turnover) exclusive of VAT are less than €20,000 on an annual basis and if the Dutch tax authorities have classified you as a business owner for VAT purposes. You can take advantage of the Small Business Scheme for a period of 3 years. This means you must be fairly certain that the scheme will not have any negative implications for you over the next three years. Example: suppose you start making home visits to clients now and apply for the small business scheme, but then, after one year, decide you want to convert your own garage into a salon. In this case, you are not permitted to deduct the VAT from the remodelling costs. Find out more about the pros and cons of the Small Business Scheme.
Rules and regulations
As a beautician, you will need to keep in mind the following main rights and obligations:
The SKIN register was introduced in October 2020, allowing beauticians with the right professional qualifications to become officially registered for certain treatments. To be eligible, they need basic qualifications and have to follow continued training to keep up with the latest developments. Examples of these treatments are: IPL and laser treatments.
Quality, Complaints, and Disputes Act
If you specialise in laser treatment or permanent make-up, you must meet the requirements set out in the Care Quality, Complaints, and Disputes (WKKGZ, in Dutch). This law has been in place since 2016 and requires self-employed people to set up a quality system.
As a business owner, you are required to comply with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which outlines your obligations when processing personal data such as your customers’ names, address details, and phone numbers. A client may ask you to access the data you have stored on them or withhold permission to use their data.
Music in your salon
If you play background music or other music in your salon, you have to take music rights into consideration. Ask Buma/Stemra about the costs involved.
Check with your municipality to find out when your salon is allowed to be open. The Trading Hours states that your salon is allowed to be open Monday through Saturday between 6:00 and 22:00. If you want to stay open beyond these hours, you have to request a permit from your municipality.
ANBOS Trade Organisation
You need a qualification to join the (in Dutch) trade organisation. If you have a registered specialisation in addition to your basic qualification, you must take mandatory continuing education every 3 years in areas such as acne treatment, electric hair removal, permanent make-up, and camouflage.
Health insurers will only cover medical treatments you provide if you have registered your specialisation with ANBOS. By closely monitoring health insurers and their insurance terms, you can provide your customers with relevant information.
If you have a basic beautician qualification and a specialised qualification in permanent make-up, you are allowed to provide these services to customers, provided you have a GGD (in Dutch).
Customers may see ANBOS membership or registration as a quality mark of sorts and appreciate the dispute resolution/complaint handling services provided by ANBOS.
Discover what risks you are exposed to and try to hedge these risks. With general terms and conditions, you can protect yourself against risks when entering into an agreement. ANBOS members can use the general terms and conditions provided by the trade association. Aalbers did the same: “I used the ANBOS T&Cs as a template and made them my own.”
If you are not a member of ANBOS, you can always draw up your own general terms and conditions.
You can also take out insurance for risks you are unwilling or unable to bear yourself. Some types of insurance are mandatory, while others are optional, such as disability insurance. Just imagine if your treatment leaves someone’s entire face covered in blisters. Liability insurance can provide valuable protection!
General information for new entrepreneurs
Apart from all the above, new entrepreneurs will also have to: