How to open a hair salon?

Are you passionate about hairdressing and want to take the plunge and start your own business? Opening your salon is a project accessible to any motivated entrepreneur! But to put the odds on your side, it is essential to prepare your project well: conditions, regulations, and mandatory procedures. Here is everything you need to know to open a hairdressing salon.

Who can open a hair salon? 

Hairdressing is a regulated profession. This means that you must have a state-recognized degree to work in a hair salon. 

Thus, you must hold one of the following diplomas: 

  • Professional Certificate (BP) hairdressing 
  • Certificate of Professional Aptitude (CAP) hairdressing 
  • Higher Technician Certificate (BTS) hairdressing professions 
  • Master’s degree (BM) hairdressing 
  • Professional Qualification Certificate (CQP) hair salon manager 

Completing a training course and obtaining a diploma is, therefore, not an option but a real obligation to become a hairdresser. 

Opening a hairdressing salon: the regulations to follow  

Price list  

The rates for your services must be displayed both inside your hairdressing salon (especially at the checkout) and outside your establishment.  

Note that all your prices must be displayed inclusive of all taxes (TTC) on each of your media. 

In addition, if your hairdressing salon is mixed, you should mention a minimum of 20 services, i.e., ten prices for women and ten costs for men. For a single-sex establishment, only ten services must be indicated, again with the prices including VAT. 


Generate invoices 

After each hairdressing service of an amount greater than or equal to €25, including tax, you are required to generate an invoicing ticket (or “note”) for your customers. They are free to take it or not. 

These invoices must indicate: 

  • The services provided: are cutting, brushing, smoothing, color, sweeping, etc.  
  • The price: both excluding tax (HT) and all taxes included (TTC) 
  • Customer’s name
  • The date of the service 
  • The name and address of your hair salon 

Accessibility and safety standards for your premises 

Hairdressing salons are Establishments Receiving the Public (ERP). As such, they are subject to specific regulations. 

Your living room must therefore be perfectly maintained and fitted out so as not to endanger employees and customers. In addition, all water inlets, electrical outlets, and furniture must be in good condition and comply with building safety standards

In addition, you must comply with the regulations relating to the risk of fire : 

  • Display of a plan of the building with the indication of the emergency exits  
  • Presence of one or more fire extinguishers in your hairdressing salon 

Finally, you must comply with accessibility standards for people with reduced mobility. For example, a person with a disability (in a wheelchair, for example) must be able to access your living room. The installation of an access ramp may therefore be necessary depending on the configuration of your living room. 


Stream music 

Few hair salons do not play music! To comply with the rules and provide your customers with background music, you must contact SACEM at least 15 days before opening your salon. You will then have to complete an application form to obtain authorization to use the SACEM directory (French and international). 

In return, you will have to pay an annual fee. Your contract is tacitly renewed each year. 

Use of thioglycolic acid and its derivatives   

To curl, straighten or wave the hair, the hairdresser may need to use products containing thioglycolic acid as well as salts and esters. The use of these substances is strictly regulated by law. 

Thus, only holders of a professional certificate or a hairdressing master’s certificate (or an approved equivalent title) are authorized to handle this product for their customers. 


Opening a hair salon: the five steps not to be missed

Step 1: Make a business plan.  

It is strongly advised to draw up a business plan before starting the creation of your hairdressing salon and developing your activity. This essential document will allow you to check the profitability of your future business. 

Within this business plan, you will be able to establish a 3-year financing plan. It will allow you to encrypt: 

  • The financial needs necessary to start your hairdressing business 
  • The financial resources at your disposal 
  • Your projections over three years 

More generally, writing a business plan will also be an opportunity to: 

  • Define a commercial and communication strategy for your company 
  • Situate your hair salon about the market and the competition 
  • Create your business model, in particular, to set your selling prices and evaluate your turnover 

Step 2: choose the appropriate legal form. 

SAS, EURL, and a sole proprietorship, are you hesitating? It’s normal! Choosing your legal status is a key step when creating a company. In particular, it will determine your social system (TNS or assimilated employee), your remuneration as a manager, or your method of taxation. This choice is, therefore, crucial for the launch of your hair salon! 

Are you starting on your own as an entrepreneur? In this case, the two main forms of sole-shareholder companies are:  

  • The One-Person Limited Liability Company (EURL): thanks to this legal form, you benefit from a turnkey structure with great legal certainty. Its operating procedures are largely provided for by law. You will have the status of a self-employed worker (TNS), and your profits will, by default, be subject to income tax (IR). 
  • The Simplified Unipersonal Joint Stock Company (SASU): here, you have greater freedom to draft your company statutes. You will have the status of employee-like. The profits of your hairdressing salon will be taxed by default on corporation tax (IS). 

For more details on your choice of company: How to choose between the SASU and EURL?  

If you start with several partners, the two main choices are the SARL (Limited Liability Company) and the SAS (Simplified Joint Stock Company).  

As you can see, the choice of your legal form is anything but trivial! Simplitoo experts can guide you in this strategic decision thanks to a personalized study of your project. Being accompanied is the ideal way to choose well! 

Step 3: find your future premises.  

Several solutions are available to you in choosing the commercial premises of your future hairdressing salon: 

  • Look for assumptions in areas that will encourage traffic within your living room: retail spaces, busy street, etc. 
  • Look for premises in an uncrowded area, in which few hairdressers are installed: small town, countryside, etc. 

Before creating your business, you must also assess the cost of any work on your future salon, especially if you are not buying the company of a former hair salon: 

  • Upgrading water supplies to operate shampoo basins  
  • Addition of electrical outlets to each styling shelf to facilitate the daily life of your hairdressers 
  • Decoration work to personalize the premises and make it a real beauty salon 
  • Redevelopment of spaces, in particular, to comply with development standards for people with reduced mobility 

This work will be added to your initial budget, including the purchase of small equipment: a hair dryer, brushes, clippers, scissors, towels, bathrobes, straighteners, products such as shampoos, treatments, etc. 

Step 4: find financing solutions.  

As we have seen, opening a hairdressing salon requires a substantial financial investment. However, you have several solutions to raise the funds necessary to manage your business: 

  • Make a bank loan: your business plan in support, you can first present your project to bankers.  
  • Appeal to investors: you can solicit your relatives (who love money) or go through crowdfunding platforms. Crowdfunding has been on the rise in recent years. Enjoy! 
  • Apply for micro-credit, especially if banks refuse to lend you money. The amounts of these loans are generally between 300 and 5,000 € over six months to 5 years. 

There are also many aids for starting a business. Find out. You may be eligible to start your business! 


Step 5: Proceed with business creation formalities. 

Once your project is finalized, it will be time to proceed with the formalities of creating your company. To do this, you will need to: 

  • Write the articles of association with your company  
  • Build up and deposit its share capital  
  • Complete the M0 form 
  • Publish a legal announcement 
  • Submit your file to the CFE, accompanied by all the supporting documents 

Craftsman-trader, you, therefore, have two CFEs: 

  • For an activity of purchase and resale of goods: the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) 
  • For a craft activity: the Chamber of Trades and Crafts (CMA)  

Once your file has been examined and validated, you will obtain your Kbis extract. With this document in your pocket, you can finally start your activity! 

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