Salon Suites: Everything For Your New Beauty Business

Salon Suites: Everything For Your New Beauty Business

Starting a new salon suite is an incredibly exciting time in the life of an inspired beauty pro. You’re taking the reins and opening up your own shop that you have complete control over the operations. But renting a salon suite comes with its own suite of considerations before jumping in. That’s why we’ve created this ultimate guide to the wide world of suite rentals. 

Here, we’ll cover everything aspiring salon suite owners need to know before they sign a rental agreement and begin offering their services to clients.

Salon Suite Guide PDF + [Bonus] Business Starter Checklist

Enter your best email address and you'll get immediate access to a PDF version of this guide along with a business starter checklist to easily go through the steps of starting your own salon suite.

Salon Suites Everything For Your New Beauty Business

We’ve crafted the ultimate salon suites go-to guide for entrepreneurial beauty professionals out there who are looking to break away from the pack, do something different, and create your ideal, personalized business.

We’ll talk about rent, marketing, benefits, and yes, we’ll even talk about some of those super scary negatives that you’ve been avoiding in your head.

Brew up a cup of your favorite tea (or grab a bottle of wine, for all you people who know exactly what you’re about) and settle in for a while to have your questions answered, and your concerns met about getting into the salon suite business.

Salon Suite Guide PDF + [Bonus] Business Starter Checklist

Enter your best email address below and you'll get immediate access to a PDF version of this guide along with a business starter checklist to easily go through the steps of starting your own salon suite.

Table of Contents

The Salon Suite Movement

Chapter 1
Why Salon Suites?

Chapter 2
Getting Started With Your Salon Suite

Chapter 3
Salon Suite Design

Chapter 4
Marketing Your Salon Suite

Chapter 5
Taking The Next Step
In Your Career

Introduction To Salon Suites

You may have been dreaming about opening up your own salon since you were little and now are finally exploring what you need to actually pull it off. 

Congratulations on taking the first steps in starting a well-thought and planned out business venture. Salon suite rentals can be your ticket to actually having a thriving salon in your town, where you can employ a lifetime of skills and passion with whatever clientele you wish to cater to.

You get to call the shots and see how far you can take your new salon! 

Perhaps the greatest aspect of renting a salon suite is that the possibilities are almost endless for where, when, and how you decide to grow your business. 

The biggest shocker to most aspiring suite owners is just how many choices they have. Operate an entire suite or rent a booth? Build out a new salon suite or rent a fully furnished unit?

The good news is that there are so many resources out there to help you chart the best path forward for your unique situation and future goals. 

At Elite Beauty Society, our entire mission is around supporting beauty professionals through whatever comes their way, including with renting salon suite space.

We’ve made this comprehensive salon suite rental guide just for all the cosmetologists, estheticians, and other professional beauty bosses that are wondering if renting is something they should consider. We’ll outline all the steps to take to help you get off the ground — from finding the perfect location to negotiating lease terms, all so you can have the best start possible.

  • Chapter 1
  • chapter 2
  • chapter 3
  • chapter 4
  • chapter 5

Getting Started

Now that you have all of your homework done and are ready to start the lease process, it’s time to compare your options around you. 

Just like shopping for beauty insurance, comparing options helps you understand what’s available and how much it will cost so you can figure out the best value.

Three key areas to look at when comparing salon suite rentals include the lease terms, the cost of the space, and how the location will work for your services.

salon suite design

Where to Look: Finding Your Salon Suite Location

There are so many great resources out there for anyone who is considering renting a salon suite. Choosing a location can be tough and you may be limited by your budget and even the options available in your city. 

That’s where professional salon suite rentals can really be clutch. 

Of the many salon suite rental companies out there, here are a few of the most well-respected in the industry and worth checking out before you choose a location:

Salons by JC: This is one of the most prevalent salon suite rental companies with 100s of locations across the U.S. and Canada. They offer tailored salon rentals and even complimentary concierge services to help get you started.

Sola Salons: An easy way to start is with these turn-key salon suite rentals. You get a move-in-ready unit along with all kinds of educational tools and technology to really boost your business.

Phenix Salon Suites: On the luxury side is this boutique salon concept. There are hundreds of locations with many more on the way and can be a great way to distinguish your new salon. 

My Salon Suites: Also gearing more towards luxury is the My Salon Suites®. They offer private spaces and high-end amenities for all kinds of health and beauty professionals.

Total Salon StudiosMore of a “co-op” set-up these locations will group many different independent salon renters within a single commercial space. The spaces are designed to foster both creativity and collaboration for the benefit of all.

No matter what route you choose, another important element to consider is whether or not your beauty insurance policy has rental damage insurance.

With EBS, our members get a full $100,000 to help cover the costs of repairs to a rented space like those listed above.

What to Look For Once You've Found Your Salon Suite Location

Salon Suite Rental Prices

Top Questions to Ask Before You Sign a Salon Suite Lease Agreement

  • How much do I have to pay upfront? Security deposits, first and last month's rent, and other fees can add up quickly so make sure you know the exact dollar amount upfront.
  • Are there any other fees? Many salon suite rentals charge a base rent then additional fees for things like cable/internet, electricity, water, pest control, etc. Know the total before signing.
  • How can I get out of the lease if I need to? Sometimes you need to walk away. Be sure to read the fine print on what happens if you break a salon suite rental agreement.

Being in the know before you sign a lease can save a lot of time and money down the road. If there are any provisions in the lease you aren’t sure about - ask. The cost of your salon suite ultimately depends on your state and location, however, many salon studios fall between $235-$500/week to rent

Salon Suite Lease Term Agreements

The cost of the leased space needs to be front and center in your search. For new salon suite owners, your income levels can be low for many months as you get the business started so you really need to be cost-conscious at every level.

In looking for salon suite rentals, weigh the cost versus the benefit of each space you have in mind. Are extra amenities provided for the location? 

Does it come furnished?

Are utilities included?

Do you have access to laundry facilities? Parking?

Understand to the penny the costs to spot the best value.

Salon Suite Location

Location is a key ingredient for success so you need to be weighing this as you look at your options.

You’ll most likely be able to charge more if your location is in a popular and trendy shopping mall versus a strip mall on the edge of town.

However, the costs will also vary.

Again, weigh costs versus benefits to see which scenario provides the best overall value.

Salon Suite Licensing Insurance

An absolutely critical aspect of renting a salon suite is going to be your beauty insurance coverage

If your policy doesn’t include rental damage coverage, you may be left having to pay completely out of pocket if damages occur inside the space. 

Elite Beauty Society members rest easy in this department with a full $100,000 in rental damage insurance included with their policy to help cover the costs of any necessary repairs to a rented space.

certified salon suite owner

Salon suite renters and chair or booth renters are all functioning as their own small business that’s operating inside of another business.

Therefore, they can be held liable when there’s an accident or mistake that causes an injury or property damage. 

These liabilities extend far beyond rental damages including general and professional liability, as well as product liability.

That’s why having a stout salon insurance policy in place before getting started offers the best protection possible for new salon owners.

How you rent a salon suite can differ greatly based on the type of business you set up.

There’s sole proprietorships, LLCs, corporations, and other legal entities that are taxed differently and which your landlord may have different stipulations for.

These options should be covered with a tax professional to understand all the implications for your situation.

  • A sole proprietorship is similar to being an independent contractor. All of your income and expenses are taxed on an individual level and there’s really no separation between you and the business. When you go to sign a lease, your landlord may ask to see your license and insurance and you would be personally responsible for paying the rent.
  • A limited liability corporation (LLC) is a business you form by registering with your state’s business regulator and any local agencies or tax authorities that are required. An LLC provides a legal shield between an owner and the business. Taxes for an LLC are paid by the company and owners would then also file their own personal tax returns separate from the business. When renting as an LLC, the landlord can require what’s known as a personal guarantee which says that even if the business can’t pay rent, the personal guarantor (i.e. you or whoever is signing) would still be legally responsible. 
  • A corporation (Inc.) is also formed when you file with your state and local authorities and they also protect the corporation’s owners from liability for matters related to the business. However, corporations have different structures, are taxed differently, and have different record-keeping requirements. Bear in mind, a landlord may still require a personal guarantee with a corporation.

The right path to business ownership depends a lot on your personal circumstances and aspirations.

If you’re setting up a simple shop that helps pay the bills for a little while then a sole proprietorship offers one of the fastest and easiest ways to get started.

If you think you might grow this venture into something more and may be looking at selling or passing on the business at some point, a more formal form of business like an LLC or corporation can prove beneficial. 

Cosmetology State Board Requirements

The state board for cosmetology in your state is going to be the authority for all licensing requirements.

The amount of education you’ll need and even the type of education that’s accepted can vary greatly across state lines so you need to be well aware of what all is required from your state in order to ultimately own and operate a salon suite.

Our state requirements for cosmetologists page is full of useful information for initial licensing requirements, as well as continuing education for different states.

We mention licensing because it’s usually a necessary step of renting a salon suite—either from your landlord, state and local business regulators, or all of the above.

Once you are up and running, there can be other guidelines that you have to follow from various agencies in your city including things like having up-to-date fire extinguishers and displaying licensing credentials.

Understanding all these facets before jumping into a lease for a salon suite will help you avoid any potential regulatory pitfalls.

Professional Liability Insurance

Taking the First Step and Getting Insurance Online

Get an affordable, comprehensive, and incredibly straightforward beauty insurance policy in just a few minutes and you’ll receive instant proof of coverage.

So even if you’re at the signing table with your landlord and they ask for insurance coverage, in just a few minutes’ time you can show you’re fully covered. 

Associated Hair Professionals

Alternative Balance

Health and Beauty Association (NAMT/ former IMA)

Occurrence-Form Coverage Yes
Yes Yes
Professional & General Liability Insurance
$2 Million Per Occurrence
$6 Million Individual Annual Aggregate
$2 Million Per Occurrence
$3 Million Individual Annual Aggregate
$1 Million Per Occurrence
$3 Million individual aggregate
$2 Million Per Occurrence
$3 Million Individual Annual Aggregate
Product Liability
$2 Million/ occurrence
$2 Million/ occurrence
$1 Million
$2 Million/ occurrence
Hour Qualification
No Hours Required
No Hours Required
No Hours Required No Hours Required
Required CE hours
No No Hours Required for Insurance
Rental Damage Coverage
100,000 (Fire/Water Legal Liability)
General Liability Limits May Apply
$300,000 (Fire and Water only) $100,000
Stolen Equipment Optional—Add $95 No No $1,000  *$250 deductible
Identity Protection Plan No No No $25,000
Annual Fee
$189 first year
student rate
$99.95 first year
student rate
$159/yr Professional
$25 first year Student
NOTE: The information in this comparison has been gathered from the websites of each organization and other third party sources. No guarantee or assurance is made by Elite Beauty Insurance as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Date that we confirmed this information 2/14/18 APPLY NOW
Occurence- Form Coverage
Professional & General Liability Insurance
Product Liability
Required CE hours
Hour Qualification
Rental Damage Coverage
Stolen Equipment
Identity Protection Plan
Annual Fee $199 $249 $199 $159
NOTE: The information in this comparison has been gathered from the websites of each organization and other third party sources. No guarantee or assurance is made by Elite Beauty Insurance as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Date that we confirmed this information 2/14/18

Salon Suite Guide PDF + [Bonus] Business Starter Checklist

Enter your best email address and you'll get immediate access to a PDF version of this guide along with a business starter checklist to easily go through the steps of starting your own salon suite.

Source List

Contributing Writers: Hanna Marcus, Sanita Rizvic & Chad Lio