Checklist for starting a beauty salon

Published by:
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK

Is it your dream to open a beauty salon? To offer for example, massages, facials, or pedicures? Then you must meet the obligations and rules for beauticians. Learn what to do when you start a beauty salon.

1. Get an official education

In principle, anyone without a diploma can work as a beautician. However, your customers do want to know that they are in safe hands. That is why a recognised senior secondary vocational education (middelbaar beroepsonderwijs, mbo) diploma in Beauty Care is important. If you have completed your education, you can also join the trade association ANBOS (see step 10). Many health insurers only reimburse treatments to your customers if your salon is a member of ANBOS. There are various courses and trainings that teach you to become a beautician. These courses last 1 to 2 years, depending on the training institute and the requirements for previous education.

You may follow the mbo programme if you have one of these diplomas or qualifications:

  • pre-vocational secondary education (vmbo), mixed or theoretical learning path
  • upper secondary vocational school (vbo), on condition that you have passed exams in all subjects required by the training institutes
  • intermediate general secondary education (mavo)
  • transition permit from year 3 to 4 senior of general secondary education (havo) or pre-university education (vwo)
  • hairdresser or sales employee specialising in drugstore/perfumery, mbo level 2.

2. Decide how to start

You can start a beauty salon in several ways:

From home

To start a beauty salon from home, you should check with your municipality whether your plans fit the environment plan. Also, pay attention to the conditions that apply if you want to renovate.

Read more about starting your own business from home.

Rent or buy your own property

You can also rent or buy commercial space. Check with your local municipality whether your plans for a beauty salon are in line with the environment plan.

Read more about renting or buying a commercial property (in Dutch).

Rent a chair

Another option is to rent a chair. You then share a business space with 1 or more self-employed professionals. You can reduce costs by sharing them.

Read more about chair rental at

At customers' homes

You can also visit your customers. Keep in mind that you will incur travel costs. Include these in your hourly rate. Also, make sure you use equipment that you can easily transport.

You must choose a legal structure for your beauty salon. For example, a sole proprietorship. Or, if you work together with other entrepreneurs, a general partnership (vof).

The tool Which legal structure suits your company? can help you choose a legal form that suits your situation.

4. Register with KVK

If you start your own beauty salon, you must register with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK. You pay a one-time fee. You will be automatically registered with the Tax Administration.

Read what you need to know before registering in the Business Register.

5. Set up an administration

You are legally obliged to set up and maintain business records. These give you insight into your financial position and provide all the information for your tax return. You can do the administration yourself, but you can also outsource it to an accountant or bookkeeper.

Read more about setting up and maintaining an administration.

6. File tax returns

You must submit VAT returns. You usually file a VAT return every quarter. But you can submit a request to the Tax Administration to file a tax return per month or year.

In addition to a VAT return, you file an income tax return once a year.

You may be able to use deductible items and schemes in your tax returns. You then pay less tax.

7. Get insurance

When starting a beauty salon, it is important to think about insurance. For example, a professional indemnity insurance. This insures you against the costs of professional errors or negligence.

You can also consider business liability insurance. Your customer receives money for damages that you cause. And there are special insurance policies for beauticians. Insurance is not mandatory, but it is sensible. If you are a member of the trade association ANBOS, you can ask them for advice.

Read more about business insurances.

8. Hiring staff

If you want to hire staff, you will have to comply with the Working Conditions Act. Hiring staff starts with good recruitment and selection. You must also register as an employer with the Tax Administration. And you must draw up a risk inventory and evaluation (RI&E). In it, you record the safety and health risks and the measures that you take against them.

Read more about hiring staff.

9. Demonstrate your cosmetic products are safe

If you make or sell cosmetic products, these products must be safe. For instance make-up, deodorant, and shampoo. You must be able to prove that the production standards are applied when making cosmetic products. And you must use safe ingredients.

Learn more about making or selling cosmetic products.

10. Join sector organisation ANBOS

As a beautician, you can join the sector organisation General Dutch Branch Organisation for Beauty Care (ANBOS, in Dutch) This organisation represents members of the beauty industry at various organisations, such as health insurers and government institutions. ANBOS also maintains contacts with other sector organisations, such as suppliers and training institutions. To join, you need a diploma in Beauty Care.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK