Beauty business
Table of contents

How to start a beauty business from home

The beauty industry can be very lucrative, considering how expensive treatments can get. The average price of a 30 minute trip to the salon is £45, which means there’s potential for big money in an 8-hour workday. 

You might think that you need to work in a salon to work in beauty, but that’s not true. Over 4 million people work from home in the UK, and that includes beauty professionals. The truth is, you can replicate the salon experience just as well from home with some preparation. Plus, home-based businesses boast a personal touch. 

First steps to starting a beauty business

The first piece of advice when you’re figuring out how to start a beauty business from home is to check whether or not you’re actually allowed to. If you’re renting, your landlord may not allow you to set up shop from home as they would be liable for damages that occur as a result of the products you’re using. 

In that case, you would have to find another property to house your business. 

Obtain a salon licence

Even when your salon is operating from home, you need a salon licence. The exact licence depends on your location, since it’s decided by your local council. Some examples of things you need licences for include: 

In addition to your licencing, it’s important to make sure you have salon insurance. This protects you in case anything were to go wrong or be damaged as a result of your work. You can find plans for around £150 a year. 

Setting up your space

When you’re turning your home into a salon, drawing clear boundaries between your personal and professional space is essential. It helps to clearly define your hours so you have a closing time just like any other business. 

Clear a space, ideally an entire room, in your home that’s devoted only to running your beauty business. Make it clean, organised, and cosy so your customers feel like they’re getting the salon experience. 

Costs of starting a beauty business from home

One of the things you’re probably wondering as you look into how to start a beauty business from home is how much it costs. The good news is that there are only a few things to account for. 

There are actually no formal requirements for practising many beauty treatments. That means it can be relatively easy and cheap to start serving clients. But even though it isn’t required, you'll almost certainly want to take a beauty course if you don't have prior experience.

Not only will you learn how to administer treatments, you’ll also learn what to do if a treatment goes wrong or a customer turns out to be allergic to a product. 

Beyond training and insurance, you'll also need funds for buying your inventory. 

Choosing your inventory

When you’re getting your beauty business up and running, you'll need to buy certain products. Exactly what you decide to buy will depend on which treatments you’re offering. Offering multiple treatments can be a good way to attract more business, especially if you can provide something nearby salons don’t. 

When you’re deciding which treatments you’ll provide, it’s always good to keep an eye on beauty trends and gaps in the market. Trends mean a large potential customer base, and spotting a gap can make it easier to establish a niche. 

Treatments you could offer at home include: 

  • Makeup. Offering makeup requires you to stock numerous products. At the same time, makeup is a big aspect of what attracts people to beauty salons, so learning how to start a makeup business can pay off. 

  • Haircare. Next to makeup, hair treatments are the first thing that come to mind for many people when they picture salons. There's always high demand for great hairdressers – though it obviously takes considerable time and effort to become one.

  • Nailcare. Manicures and pedicures are popular mainstays of the salon. These treatments often include polishing or dyeing. 

  • Tattoos and piercings. You'll have to invest a fair amount of time learning how to safely give tattoos and piercings, but as they're becoming more common, the investment is worthwhile. 

  • Microblading. Here’s an example of a recent trend that only select salons are offering right now. Microblading is the practice of using a small needle to give customers well-defined eyebrows by adding pigmentation under the skin. Because microblading is so desirable and still fairly rare, sessions start from around £90, not including aftercare costs. 

Accepting payments

Running your beauty business from home means you’ll be interacting with people in person. That means when it comes time for you to charge for your services, it’s a good idea to have a card reader handy

SumUp offers some of the most affordable card readers out there, and with our readers, you can accept: 

After you buy a card machine from us, there are no hidden or extra fees. You only pay 1.69% of every transaction you process, so we only get paid when you get paid. 

Not only are our card machines perfect for accepting payments from your home, they’re fully portable. As long as you have an internet connection, you can get paid anywhere. 

Compare card readers

When you're running a small business running from home, the lines between personal and business finances can become easily blurred. To help avoid that, one of the first steps you can take is to open a business account. 

With a SumUp Business Account, you can easily keep your business’s money separated and secure. Our free account gives you 24/7 access to your money. And if you process payments with SumUp, the money you earn will be in your account the next day, even on weekends and holidays. 


As you’ve seen, starting a beauty business from home doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive, though getting trained can take a while depending on your discipline. Keep an eye on the licences you need and on whether you’re permitted to work from home. After that, you’ll just need inventory based on the treatments you plan to provide, and an easy way to accept payments. 

For easy, low-cost ways to accept cashless payments, and other tools to help your business, SumUp's got you covered.

Learn more

Max Elias