Business Education

How to Open your own Nail Salon

You ask yourself, "Can I do this?". Yes, you can! You got this.

Starting your own business may be as simple as 1-2-3. Let iGel Beauty help you every step of the way!

Basic Necessities.

Nail Technician License
Business License and Legal Papers
Business Insurance
Equipment (Article: Starting your own Nail Salon: Equipment)
✔ Location

First things first, take some time to establish your knowledge of nails. You could apply to a local beauty school. Cosmetology programs would typically take around 1-2 years. After gaining your nail technician license, you'd be credible to start small time. Depending on your location, you could start servicing clients and building capital. Once you've got that down, you could start with the first step: Planning. 

1. Planning: Mapping out your business 

  • Cost

    • To finance your starting business, you could use your savings, seek contributions, or apply for a loan.

    • Estimate the total startup cost.

    • Try to spend smartly. Remember, you're starting. Only purchase the necessary.

  • Target Market

    • Who are you doing this for? Who would you like to cater? You have to consider your location as well. To appeal to nail-enthusiasts, look for a location near popular spots for leisure like clothing stores, restaurants, gyms, etcetera. 

  • Customer Fee

    • After determining your cost and target market, you could piece together how much you could make. Full gel sets cost around $45-75, while full acrylic sets cost around $30-60. However, this all depends on where you are.

    • Some salons offer lush aftercare or maintenance products that you may opt to sell like nourish oil or hand creams

  • Branding: Name & Aesthetic.

    • Name: It depends on your overall goal, it could be posh, punny, sentimental, quirky, or a mix of the four.

    • Aesthetic: The overall ambiance. There's a simple but powerful magic when it comes to the overall aesthetic of a store. It's impactful. This aspect would bring customers in and make them want to stay. You may even choose swatches such as a cozy pastel color scheme, white with rose gold embellishments, or a clean cool pantone. There's definitely a lot to choose from.

2. Technical: Resources and Equipment

  • Legal Entity 

    • Informal: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership

      • Sole Proprietorship a solely owned unincorporated business that isn’t separated from its owner. 

      • Partnership: a business owned by more than one individual.

        • GP (General Partnership): taxes are filed under the partners' names. Both parties are liable for any actions taken against the business.

        • LP (Limited Partnership): one or more partners may be passive investors (indirectly manages the company) with personal liability protection.

        • LLP (Limited Liability Partnership): some amount of personal liability protection is given to all partners.

    • Formal: LLC & Corporation

      • LLClimited liability company, for personal liability protection

      • Corporation: a complex operational system created through registration with the state with rules and regulations. This is owned by shareholders, ran by a board of directors. 

  • License

    • Cosmetology License: If you haven't secured your license yet, we suggest researching a cosmetology school near your area.

      • Other licenses you may file: a seller permit via the central business licensing association in your area. Try contacting your local business affairs board.

  • Taxes & Permits

    • EIN (Employee Identification Number): business identification for tax bracket (U.S. citizens: you may fill up a form on the IRS website)

    • You may also apply at the Secretary of State in your locality. 

  • Business Accounting

    • Startup Money: consider opening a separate account for your business, this would help you maintain a budget whilst maintaining your personal savings. Since you have already drafted the costs, you may now compare and adjust accordingly. 

  • Rent, Furnishing, & Supplies

    • Rent: Choose a location that would match your branding, aesthetic, budget, and target market.

    • Furnishing: We've listed the basic necessities below. However, depending on the aesthetic that you're going for, you may definitely add other things.

      • Desks

      • Standing stations for technicians

      • Manicure tables

      • Reclining seats with footrests

      • Supply carts

      • Chairs (waiting area)

    • Supplies: Best to keep an inventory of the following items to keep track of expenditure, especially the disposable items.

Luckily, iGel Beauty has got beautiful bundles you may avail of: Ultimate Salon Bundle - Dip & Dap 3 in 1 Professional Collection 1-247 + 8 Free Diamond V10 Lamps and Refill Bundle - iGel No Cleanse Top Coat - 8 oz + 12 Free 0.5 oz Bottles.


3. Social: Running a Successful Salon

  • Hiring Employees

    • It's so much more than hiring skilled nail technicians. Your employees would be representing your brand. They would accept appointments, make sales, and maintain the salon you built from the ground up.

  • Customer Rapport
    This may be the most important aspect of the social aspect of your business. Keeping a long-term relationship with your customers sets the foundation of a thriving business. People talk. Once you are referred to friends and family, it grows. Trust is everything!


Overwhelmed? No problem! iGel Beauty is here to listen to your worries. You may reach out to us at our email or our Facebook Community wherein fellow Beauties such as yourself lift each other up! ♡

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