Licenses and Permits Required to Open a Nail Salon

Amidst the multitude of steps to starting a nail salon, one step is to comply with the licensing and permits requirement. In this post, I will give an idea about the licenses and permits that you will surely need to establish and run a nail salon. Please bear in mind that the list is not exhaustive in nature. 

  • Cosmetology License

First requirement to open a nail salon is to have a cosmetology license. If you’re already a stylist, who is looking to have an independent business then you’re already likely to have this license. If you’re planning to hire employees, it is imperative that you check their cosmetology license. Copies of such licenses, at all times, and must be displayed in your nail salon. 

  • Business License

The next requirement is to have a business registration. This license shall be given by the commercial authority of your state. It is a document issued in the name of your company. Often it comes with a validity period. Bear in mind that the license is valid only until the date that is mentioned. Thereafter, validity of the license must be renewed by paying a renewal fee. Along with the cosmetology license, a business license must also be prominently displayed in your salon. 

  • Tax Registration

Based on the nature of the company that you have formed, this registration will be required. For instance the tax registration of a LLP will be different from that of a corporation. The local tax office will register your business entity and accord it a unique identification number. 

  • Occupancy Certificate

Whether you own the space, or have leased it you will need an occupancy certificate, which will indicate the nature of use for the space. The document will also ensure that the building is in compliance with the local building rules. This document will be issued by your local body such as the Municipal Corporation or City Council. 

  • Employer Identification Number

If you plan on hiring staff, you definitely need an Employer Identification Number. Issued by the local tax authorities, this number shall be linked with the social security number of your employees. It is used to identify payroll taxes of employees, social security benefits etc. 

  • Retailer / Re-seller Permit

A retailer permit will allow you engage in sale of products and collect the applicable indirect tax. Based on your jurisdiction, you may or may not have a unified tax regime and have to follow separate tax system for services and sales. In some jurisdictions there is a unified indirect tax system commonly known as GST (Goods and Services Tax). 

  • Building Permit

If you propose to make any changes to the interior or exterior of the premises, you need a building permit. It is a document which allows you to make changes to the existing construction. It is issued by the City Council. 

  • No Objection Clearance from Health Department

This clearance is provided from the regional health and sanitation department. They will periodically inspect the premises and conduct checks on the level of hygiene that is being maintained. What is the disposal method for nail clippings? What are the sanitation levels of the store?  A health department clearance is absolutely mandatory to keep the operations running. 

Apart from the above mentioned licenses and permits, you may or may not need additional permissions. These could be related to the bouquet of services that you will be offering and /or the ambience you wish to maintain. In certain places, it is required by law to obtain permits for playing background music. Therefore, it is highly recommended to check the requirements with local statutory authorities. 

It is one thing to obtain the licenses and permits. It won’t be out of place to mention that many such licenses and permits come with an expiry date and have to be periodically renewed. Thus, keeping a track of due dates and renewing the permits and licenses accordingly in absolutely crucial to maintain the continuity of your operations. While it is challenging to remember all such dates, many nail salons are now using technology to do such administrative work. A well designed nail salon management software is equipped to capture all such data and send you reminders well in advance to renew the required licenses and permits.