Starting your own nail studio

Are you planning to open your own nail studio? There are a few important things you need to arrange. For example, complying with health and safety regulations. Or finding out whether you can start a studio at home. Check all the issues you need to consider and be well-prepared to start as an independent nail stylist.

KVK Krachtmeting

The KVK Krachtmeting will help you gain insight into your entrepreneurial skills. The test consists of questions about entrepreneurship, marketing, networking, and finances. KVK Krachtmeting is only available in Dutch.

When starting your own business, all entrepreneurs need to arrange things such as registration with KVK, insurance, taxes, and bookkeeping. This article explains what other issues are relevant to you when starting as a nail stylist.

Market research 

The Business Register shows that there was a rapid growth in the number of nail salons between 2018 and 2023.

Number of nail stylists in the Netherlands on 1 January (2018-2023)

YearNumber of nail stylists on 1 January
20187.837
20198.298
20208.924
20219.770
202210.520
202311.298

Source: KVK Handelsregister

In some places in the Netherlands, it is difficult to gain a foothold as a starting nail stylist. So, investigate whether your idea has a chance of succeeding A business plan will help you do this. Among other things, a business plan will give you insight into who your customers and competitors are.

Once you have this clear, the next step is to think about why customers would choose you. What makes your salon special? For instance, the atmosphere, personal attention, price, or accessibility. Then you are ready to take the next steps such as choosing and furnishing premises and coming up with your business name and logo.

Location

Many people starting out in the business start by working out of their home.  The benefits of running your nail studio at home are that you cut travel time, travel expenses, and extra rent. One of the cons is that it can blur the lines between your business and your personal life. 

Before you start working from home, you should do these 3 things:

  1. Check the rules with your municipality: Do you have to report that you are starting a business from home? What do you need to look out for if you are going to remodel your home? And can you hang up a sign outside your home? Check the environment plan for your area for all the different rules. 
  2. Check whether your mortgage agreement or lease allows you to start a business in or near your home.
  3. Extend your insurance coverage. Your home contents insurance and buildings insurance are for private property and the house itself. They do not cover damage to business assets and workspace

Visiting clients in their homes

You can also choose to provide your services in clients’ homes. When buying the equipment you need for your work, remember you will need to carry it with you. Also remember that you must follow health and safety requirements. These also apply when you go to clients’ homes. 

Record your travel time and expenses. This information is useful for your tax return and timekeeping. You may be able to pay less tax if you can deduct expenses and are entitled to self-employment deductions

Renting business premises

Are you going to rent a business unit? Make sure the space meets your clients’ needs. What is the atmosphere like? Is the property easily accessible by car, bike, and public transport? Make sure you know what the rental conditions are. Sometimes, for example, there are extra charges for electricity and waste. Often, you must also pay one- or two-months’ deposit. You will get this amount back at the end of the rental period if you leave the space in good condition. Before you sign the lease, check with your municipality whether you can start a nail salon on the premises. 

Renting a chair

Chair rental involves a collaboration between two or more independent entrepreneurs. A beauty therapist or hairdresser together with a nail stylist, for instance. You work independently in the same business location. The advantage of this is that your clients have access to more than one service in the same place. You also share expenses such as rent and, for instance, purchase costs and marketing. 

Glossary for business terms

If there are words on this page that you did not quite understand, check out this glossary for a simple explanation of business words and the English translations of Dutch terms.

Training

You do not require any specific training to work as a nail stylist. But clients want to know if you will deliver professional services. The professional association Het Nagelgilde (in Dutch) organises training courses and examinations and issues quality hallmarks. A hallmark shows that you have received professional training, regularly attend refresher courses, and work with good equipment. Let clients know that you have a quality hallmark by placing a sign on your door, for instance, or having the logo on your website and social media channels. 

Rules and regulations

As a nail stylist, you will also have to follow other rules and regulations. 

Health and safety regulations

As a nail technician, you may work with harmful substances. If you inhale them or they come into contact with your skin, you may suffer health problems. Protect yourself and your clients against these health risks. For instance, wear gloves and a facemask. Ask the supplier of your products what to look out for. Solvents may be released when using a product. So, you should ensure adequate ventilation and an extraction system in your workplace. Also because of the dust released when filing nails.

You can download the Dutch-language brochure  Veiligheidsinformatie nagelproducten (Safety information for nail products, from the website of the Nederlandse Cosmetica Vereniging (Dutch Cosmetics Association). This has information and advice on workplace health and safety. Do you have staff or zzp’ers working in your company? Then you must provide safe working conditions

Playing music in your salon

If you routinely play music in your nail studio (including background music), you will need to deal with music rights. Check with Buma/Stemra what the costs are.

Mistakes and accidents

Does something go wrong during a treatment and you harm your client? Then you will be liable for the costs. You can protect yourself against this risk by taking out professional liability insurance

Hours of operation

The Winkeltijdenwet (Trading Hours Act) states that your nail studio can be open Mondays to Fridays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Do you want to have other opening hours? Contact your local council to apply for permission.

General information for starting entrepreneurs

Apart from all the above, starting entrepreneurs  also have to deal with the following:
•    Business administration and bookkeeping 
•    Choosing a name for your business
•    Deciding your hourly rate 
•    Privacy regulations