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How Do I Open a Manicure Business?

By K. Testa
Updated Feb 13, 2024
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Like most small business ventures, opening a manicure business typically requires a few basic steps. The initial steps usually include obtaining all of the necessary licenses and permits to operate a legal business, formulating a business plan, securing funding for start-up costs, and finding and setting up the location. Once these objectives are accomplished, you can purchase supplies, equipment, and other necessities. You can then advertise your new manicure business and get clients by networking with others and distributing business cards and other promotional materials. Then, unless you plan to work alone, you might be ready to recruit and hire staff members.

Regardless of where your manicure business will be located, you should contact the appropriate small business administration office for the area to learn how to obtain a local business license. In the U.S., for example, you might need an Employee Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax filing purposes. You might also need a sales tax identification number for your manicure business. A department of revenue or comparable agency can provide more information on such requirements.

The next logical step is to create a formal written business plan. In most cases, you should include your anticipated start-up and long-term expenses, and submit the plan to the bank if you are applying for a business loan. You also should devise a budgeting strategy for tracking your income and expenses. You may also want to include insurance in your plan in order to protect your manicure business from potential liability.

When choosing a location for your new manicure business, you could rent or lease a commercial space; run it out of your home if local regulations allow; or you could provide mobile services to save some overhead costs, such as utilities. Once you have secured a location, you can purchase supplies and equipment. Basic supplies generally include nail polish, hand creams, and other manicure products and tools. You also will need furniture for your manicure salon, along with a computer and phone. If your budget allows, you could add accessories and some personal touches, such as lamps, artwork, or plants, to make the salon inviting and comfortable.

Finally, you can advertise your manicure business in both print and online sources, and include a listing in the local business directories. Distributing business cards or flyers can also help raise awareness of your new business. Once you are established, you can join your local chamber of commerce or other business organization for networking opportunities and referrals. If you plan to hire other people to work for your manicure business, you may be able to recruit talented individuals from a local beauty school.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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