Opening a Salon, Costs & Considerations



In 2017, the global beauty salon market was valued at $128.59 billion. By 2024, the industry is expected to reach a value of $190.81 billion, growing at a rate of just over 5.8%. This impressive growth rate is one of the main reasons that beauty salons are continuing to attract ambitious entrepreneurs around the world, with hundreds of new salons opening up every week.

Opening your own salon could give you the chance to turn your passion into a profitable and satisfying career. Read our in-depth look at how to get a salon business up and running.

Salon startup costs - illustration of customer in salon chair with hairdresser and second customer paying for service at counter

Write a business plan

You might be confident in your business idea, but it is still important to write everything down in a properly researched business plan. Even for a small business, a plan is a chance to take an in-depth look at your funding requirements and think about how much it will cost you to run your business on a monthly basis.

You should also take this opportunity to try and predict how your business will grow. Financial forecasting is a crucial part of your initial plan and should be based on tangible research and market trends. Completing this initial planning phase will provide you with a much clearer picture of what to expect from your first few years of trading.

Get a more accurate idea of the costs involved in starting a salon business by using our custom startup cost calculator (please note these costs are indicative, and you can alter the figures for your own requirements).

Resources and equipment

Assuming that you’ve already completed the necessary training, and received the qualifications that allow you to offer a variety of beauty services, there a number of factors that will influence the startup costs of your salon:

Your stylists will also need a range of salon equipment, including:

  • Scissors
  • Clippers
  • Blow dryer
  • Diffuser
  • Curling and flat irons
  • Brushes and combs
  • Hair dyes, bleaches, toners
  • Styling products
  • Branded client caps and gowns

Hiring your team and finding vendors

Having a team of skilled stylists will be one of the most important aspects of your beauty salon, so it is crucial that you hire qualified professionals to position your startup in the best place for success. The average wages for salon workers in the U.S. include:

  • Hair stylist - $29,000
  • Cosmetologist - $24,400
  • Salon manager - $35,800
  • Beauty therapist - $27,000

Licenses and permits

Getting your paperwork in order is one of the most important parts of the set up of any business. The permits and licenses you’ll need to apply for include:

  • Business License
  • Employer Identification Number
  • Cosmetology License
  • Barber License
  • Aesthetician License
  • Electrologist License
  • Manicurist License

On top of this, you’ll need to ensure you have adequate insurance for your business. You will need to make sure that your policies cover you, your stylists, your premises and your customers. This insurance will typically cost you between $350 and $750 a year. The cost of licenses and permits will vary depending on your location, so you will need to check in with your local authorities to find out more.

Payment systems

If your business is going to be a success, you need a modern, easy-to-use and comprehensive payment solution. You’ll need a payment system that allows you to accept all common credit cards and ideally one that also accepts alternative forms of payment.

Some forward thinking point-of-sale systems also offer online support, specifically designed apps and a variety of other extras. The cost of a payment system will vary depending on your exact needs, the risk associated with your business type, and the level of business you intend to do.

For more information on how payment processing works, read our Credit Card Payment Processing 101 Guide.


On average, salons spend between 2% and 5% of their revenue on marketing. As you will be in the early stages of your business, you may find that you spend a little more in an effort to get your brand out there. There are a number of ways to market your salon, including:

  • Email campaigns
  • Social media campaigns
  • Loyalty schemes

Salon business statistics

In 2016, the average hair salon owner earned between $24,000 and $49,000. Over the coming years, job growth in the sector is expected to increase by 13%, showing just how much potential there is in this exciting industry. The future of this sector is looking bright, and the demand for beauty services is higher than ever.

New business owners can find their work is incredibly rewarding, especially if it’s a success. The most important part of starting any new business is getting your financial forecasting right and planning a sustainable business model. Make sure your costs breakdown is as accurate as possible to ensure there are no surprises along the way.