Self-employment isn’t easy and anyone who told you otherwise was either lying or had the tools and knowledge necessary to pave the way for a smooth ride before they ventured out on their own.

What about you? Is your business plan fully developed? Do you know about your legal obligations? Have you worked out your budget?

Are you truly ready?

Before you quit your day job and start filing business registration papers, take a few minutes to evaluate this self-employment preparedness checklist.

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Are you familiar with your rights, obligations, and potential liabilities?

  • Do you know what it means to be truly self-employed?
  • Is your business model legal in the state where you plan to operate? (On-location services tend not to be legal and mobile salons are typically heavily regulated.)
  • Will you require any special licenses to do business in your area? (For example, a sales and use tax certificate?)
  • Does your business require a fictitious name registration (DBA) or will you be better off forming an LLC?
  • Do you know how to file your estimated federal self-employment taxes quarterly or will you require the services of a CPA?
  • Do you have professional liability insurance? Will you also require general liability insurance?

Have you done your market research? 

  • Who are your clients?
  • Where do they live?
  • What do they need?
  • How do you plan to fulfill that need?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What challenges are you likely to face and how will you overcome them?
  • Does your area truly have a need for your business or will you have to find a more unique and marketable angle?

What do your numbers look like?

  • Do you have enough starting capital?
  • What will your annual operational costs be, including your salary?
  • How much revenue will you need to make to generate a profit?
  • How will your costs affect your service pricing?
  • Can your target demographic afford you, or are your projected prices going to be too high?

Where and how will you do business?

  • Are you going to freelance?
  • Will you rent a booth or studio?
  • Are you opening a home salon or mobile facility?
  • How will you generate additional revenue beyond the beauty services you offer?

Are your branding and marketing materials well-developed and consistent?

  • Have you designed a website?
  • Have you claimed your social profiles?
  • Do you have a high-quality portfolio of your work?
  • Does your logo suit your brand’s tone, personality, and message?
  • How will you internally and externally market your business to ensure it stands out?

Have you finalized your service protocols?

  • What services are you going to offer?
  • What are the steps to each service?
  • How long does each service take?
  • What is the material cost for each service on the menu?

What are your policies?


    • Yes. Rent can be paid by any method the landlord prefers. Some don’t want to pay processing fees on credit transactions and don’t want to risk bounced checks, which is understandable. It’s shady, but not against the law. Withdraw the cash in a single transaction on a regular basis (for instance, every Monday morning). On your online banking ledger, notate that the withdrawal is for rent. Don’t forget to provide her with a 1099 at the end of the year so she knows you’re claiming that money as a business deduction, and the IRS will know she earned it (so she better plan on claiming it as income if she doesn’t want them breathing down her neck).

  1. I wanted to make sure this was legal . As an independent contractor I am paid by commission weekly (60%) . Although I purchase some of my supplies because I’d rather not wait when I need it ASAP, I pay an additional 10% for supply orders I need & an additional $30/month to use the salon scheduling app . I bring my own clients in, there are times the owner gives me clients to service & there are times I take walk ins . I am asked to wear a dress code , & I do make my own schedule. There is so contract in place but I did sign a policy contract for the salon . I do my own marketing & Business cards .
    There are times she asks me to add the salons phone number instead of my direct number on my advertising & cards (but I don’t) .

  2. Aloha Tina I’m planning to rent a room from a salon I’m going to check it out maybe tomorrow what are your advice for me when I meet them I’m so nervous and honestly don’t have any knowledge of this process I read things online thankfully I came across your page it’s very useful and I’m so nervous about it but in my heart I want to do something for myself.
    I thank you in advance..

    • Be careful what you read online. Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t have verifiable credentials. There’s a lot of bullshit out there.

      I recommend making sure that you’re going to be a tenant and that the salon owner won’t be overstepping their boundaries. Their job is to provide you with a space. That’s it. Anything that indicates they want additional control over your business should be a dealbreaker.


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