How to open a hair salon?

Making your project a reality, setting up your own business is a challenge and a real obstacle course if you are not well prepared.
In the wellness and beauty sector, it is all the more advisable to know all the ins and outs of the business before launching yourself! That’s why in this article we offer you an overview of the different tasks you will have to perform if you want to set up your own hair salon.

First of all, it is essential to have a good understanding of the business;

First of all, it is fundamental to specify that a hairdresser is a craftsman. And this, whether he practices his activity at home or in a salon.
He combines a craft and commercial activity, if and only if he buys and resells hair care products (shampoos, conditioners, masks, nourishing care, etc.). If his business exceeds the threshold of 10 employees, his activity will be considered a commercial activity.

Are diplomas compulsory?

The rule

The conditions are very simple. If you don’t have any qualifications to practice, you won’t be able to open a hairdressing salon. Three diplomas, to choose from, are essential:

  • The professional hairdressing certificate
  • The hairdressing master’s certificate
  • The diploma registered in the national repertoire of professional certification in a field directly related to that of hairdressing

The exception to the rule

If the one of your employees or your spouse holds one or more of the required diplomas, then you can open your hairdressing salon without any problems.
Furthermore, opening a men’s hairdressing salon is much easier than opening a women’s hairdressing salon. Indeed, it is provided by law, that it is possible to open, without a diploma, a barber shop for men in addition to a main activity and in a commune of less than 2,000 inhabitants.

Choosing a status for your business

At first sight, you will tend to declare yourself as an auto-entrepreneur, however in practice, this is not advisable. In fact, the turnover threshold is too low and could put you at a serious disadvantage.

It is therefore advisable to opt for the “no turnover” option;

It is therefore advisable to opt for the following statutes: SARL, SAS or their single-member forms, i.e. an EURL or SASU. By choosing this type of corporate form, you will be protected against your professional creditors. The latter will not be able to seize your personal assets to obtain payment of their bills.

Registering your hairdressing salon

To register your hairdressing salon, you will need to publish a legal announcement in an official newspaper, to deposit the company’s share capital with your professional bank and finally to go to the business formality centre (CFE: centre de formalité des entreprises) to register your salon.

Registering with the trade directory

The rule

Before registering with the trade directory, you must first have completed a pre-installation course (SPI: stage de préparation à l’installation).


During this course, you will acquire the fundamental knowledge for the creation of a craft business. Beneficial and short (between and 4 and 5 days), this course will allow you to be unaware of the functioning of a craft company in the legal, fiscal, social and accounting fields.


Cost of the course: between 200€ and 300€, depending on the chamber of trades and crafts.

The exception to the rule

To be exempt from this course, you must:

  • have been registered for 3 years in the Trade and Companies Register (RCS)
  • have exercised an agricultural or liberal activity or an executive profession for 3 years
  • have already been registered in the trade register
  • have been a collaborating spouse for 3 years
  • have the master’s certificate or an approved diploma

To benefit from this exemption from training, you must send your request by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt to the president of the chamber of trades and crafts of the department where you wish to practice. Of course, you will have to attach to this request all the supporting documents.

If you do not receive a reply to this letter within one month, your application has been accepted and you are exempt from the course.

Funding options you may be eligible for

  • The honorary loan
  • The initiative network loan
  • The Entreprendre Network loan
  • The Pôle emploi business creation aid (for the unemployed)
  • The bank (requires a satisfactory contribution)
  • The financing of the public investment bank (BPI)

The obligations inherent to your activity


When you issue invoices, you must ensure that you display prices including all taxes. Indeed, the invoice must specify the amount to be paid excluding tax and including all taxes. The cash register software must be NF525 certified, such as theMerlin hair salon cash register software.

Fire safety regulations.

The obligation as to the playing of music in your salon

You will need to apply to SACEM for permission to play music in your living room.

If you wish to diversify your activity

In this specific case, you will need to find out beforehand. There are specific standards as soon as beauty products or services are involved.


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Communication and Marketing for Hair Salon
Online Hairdressing Appointment Software


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