How to open a beauty salon?

In France, the wellness and beauty sector grew by 7% in 2015 compared to 2016. In 2018, more and more households are spending money on cosmetics or treatments. Women are the main consumers of beauty products, facials, body care, etc. Men, on the other hand, are more enthusiastic about all things modelling…

Organic products are all the rage and specialised institutes are springing up all the time. If you also want to create and open your own beauty salon, here are some tips and steps to follow to optimise your time, money and the efficiency of your salon’s launch!

Starting your own beauty salon is a challenge and a great opportunity. Many of you may be confused when you start. The rules to respect are strict and numerous, but they will allow your future salon to be sustainable.

Before taking any administrative steps, and as with any business creation, you will have to establish a sort of inventory: a market study and a business plan.

The market study and the business plan are fundamental, they are the foundation of your concept and what will allow you to follow your dream. Choice of colours, decoration, treatment menu, name, etc. These two files are essential to the success of your project.


The required diplomas
The rule

In aesthetics, a diploma is compulsory. You will therefore be asked to present a Certificate of Professional Aptitude (CAP) or a Vocational Training Certificate (BEP). Manicure, hairdressing, facials, body treatments… All these services are offered in beauty salons and must be carried out by professionals, with equipment that is adapted to the standards. These two diplomas are therefore not optional.


The exception to the rule

If you have worked in the beauty and wellness sector for at least three years, as an employee, independent professional or institute manager, you will be exempt from presenting the diplomas mentioned above.


Financial investment

The market study and your business plan will allow you to anticipate any unpleasant surprises, to know more about your direct or indirect competitors (especially if you wish to specialise). They will also make it easier for you to apply for a loan from the bank. The seriousness of these two files will allow you to demonstrate your motivation to the bank and to ensure that you find the aid and financing necessary to launch your institute! Important: the average minimum investment to create a beauty salon is around 70,000 euros. Ideally, you should have a contribution of about 20% of this amount.
If you believe in it and have prepared good arguments and proof that your institute will be successful, the bank will help you!


The SPI or Stage de Préparation à l’Installation

As with hairdressing salons, a final stage is necessary before opening your institute: the installation preparation course. After this course, you will be fully conversant with the legal, fiscal, social and accounting aspects of running a craft company. This course lasts between 4 and 5 days and costs between €200 and €300 depending on the Chamber of Trades and Crafts in your region.

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 a management profession for 3 years
have already been registered in the trade register
have been a collaborating spouse for 3 years
have a master’s degree or an approved diploma
This application for exemption from the training period must be sent to the president of the Chamber of Trades and Crafts of the region in which the activity will be carried out.


What legal status can you apply for?

As with hairdressing salons, many of you will think of the auto-entrepreneur status. However, here again this is not advisable. The turnover threshold that must not be exceeded could put you at a disadvantage because it is too low for this type of activity.

In this case, you should opt for a SARL or SAS. If you are on your own, you can find out about the EIRL. The EIRL (Entreprise Unipersonnelle à Responsabilité Limitée) is a status that will allow you to protect your personal assets. Another status you can apply for is the EURL, which is a SARL with a single shareholder. This well adapted status allows the manager to determine his or her own remuneration.

Generally speaking, professionals who set up their own beauty salons opt for the sole proprietorship (Entreprise Individuelle en nom propre) or EI.

Once you have chosen your status, all you have to do is register your company with the Chamber of Trade and Crafts.


Setting up your beauty salon

Once you have carried out a market study and a business plan, and the bank has agreed to support your project and you have chosen a status, you are ready to go!

Launch your communication strategy, create your website, use social networks, many communication and marketing techniques are available to wellness and beauty professionals! Take advantage of them!


The requirements inherent to your activity

There are many standards to respect in a beauty salon. And for good reason… You offer services to third parties who confide in you in a relationship of trust.

Safety and accessibility standards (standards relating to establishments receiving the public (safety, fire, fire extinguishers, accessibility of premises to disabled persons, etc.)
Hygiene standards
Standards for displaying prices of services: outside and inside the establishment
Prohibition of medical activities. Indeed, concerning “massages”, the institutes have the obligation to communicate on the term “modelling”. For hair removal, beauticians must only offer hair removal with tweezers or wax. Likewise for tanning, access is forbidden to minors, the diploma must be displayed in the room provided for this purpose. In this same room, protective glasses must be available to customers, and the legal information relating to the use of the machines must also be displayed. The same applies to the methods of use of the machines and the risks incurred in the event of incorrect use.
Mandatory staff signage standards

To help you digitalise your beauty salon and make your daily life easier, discover our offers and our software. Merlin is the cash register software for beauty salons par excellence. It is certified NF525.


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