How Much Does It Cost to Open a Nail Salon Business

How much does it cost to open a nail salon business

If you’re thinking about opening a nail salon, you must know that turning your passion into a thriving business begins with understanding the price tag.

In this article, we’ll list the approximate costs of opening a nail salon, mainly in the US, but you will also find a comparison between the US and European nail salon costs.

The Appeal of the Nail Salon Business

Nail salons are a popular business venture.

According to a market study from Grand View Research: “The global nail salon market size was valued at USD 11.00 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.0% from 2023 to 2030. There has been a growing emphasis on personal appearance and grooming in recent years.”

The nail salon market has many opportunities since the trend for self-care is becoming increasingly popular. Moreover, as a nail salon artist, you can offer express beauty services or sell retail products for nail care to grow your revenue.

Generating a profit out of a nail salon business will take time, so you must be involved in starting and sustaining a business with all you’ve got.

If you are patient, mixing your passion with an expanding industry can be very profitable. 

But first, you need to consider the cost of opening a nail salon business.

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Nail Salon Business 

The costs of opening a nail salon can vary based on factors such as size, location, equipment quality, and staff.

Even though this is the secret ingredient, starting a nail salon needs more than just a passion for nail art. You must create a place with an appealing design, deliver professional services, and handle the business efficiently. 

Moreover, you need to secure licenses and permits, hire a skilled staff, and purchase the right equipment, among other things.

You need to understand the costs involved to know how to handle all these. 

The comprehensive breakdown of opening a nail salon cost involves various aspects, from rent and equipment to licenses and marketing. The initial costs of opening a nail salon include:

1. Lease or purchase of a location

Leasing nail salon location

Whether you choose to buy or rent a place, the location to operate will significantly impact your cost of opening a nail salon. And that’s because different regions and types of buildings will have very different price tags.  


If you consider leasing a salon, there are a few things you need to consider, such as the type of space you need, for how long you will lease it, and how much money you are willing to spend per month on rent.

On average, a nail salon will pay somewhere between $1,500 and $5,000/ month for rent. But your lease can start around $10,000 and $15,000 per month in metropolitan areas, such as New York. However, a busy area means more walk-ins. 

There are other things you need to consider as well.

Most of the time, leasing a nail salon requires paying a security deposit and a couple of months of rent upfront. 

Also, keep in mind that with a lease, the rent goes up about 4% every year, and in certain places, they charge for taxes, permits, and some other fees. 

It’s important to do your research before signing a lease contract. If you don’t have enough time for it or simply want to play it safe, you can always get a realtor to help you find the perfect location.

💰Approximate cost💰:

  • $1,500 and $5,000
  • $10,000 and $15,000 in metropolitan areas


Purchasing a property for a nail salon will increase your upfront costs. But if this idea is more appealing to you, expect to spend anywhere from $150 to $400 per square foot, depending on the area and building.

This means that for a 1,000-square-foot location, you could spend between $150,000 and $400,000.

Plus, you’ll have to research the permits that allow you to operate from the building and other fees, such as stamp taxes. 

💰Approximate cost💰: $150 to $400 per square foot

2. Renovation and design costs 

Nail salon design

Opening a nail salon involves renovation and design. 

You’re part of the beauty industry, so besides a great location, your salon’s design has a pretty important role in its success. 

Make your space welcoming. If you’re doing this yourself, you can create mood boards with different design styles and pick the one you like best. A mood board keeps you organized throughout your entire design process.

If you like the place you’re buying/renting, you may have to do just a few touch-ups.

The cost of fixing up a place can change a lot. It could range from $3,000 for minor upgrades to $50,000 or more for a big remodeling transformation and interior design.

💰Approximate cost💰: From $3,000 $50,000

3. Equipment and furniture

Nail salon equipment and furniture

Another crucial aspect when considering the costs of opening a nail salon business is your equipment and furniture.

Investing in the right equipment and furniture means attracting the clients you want. If you go for professional services, you need excellent nail salon equipment. 

You’ll need manicure tables, pedicure chairs, nail dryers, sterilizers, UV or LED drying lamps, and nail polish displays. 

Manicure stations can cost from $200 to $800 each. Pedicure chairs’ price tag can range from about $2,000 to $7,000. 

Your equipment could cost around $2,000 to $15,000 or more.

The furniture is also important to create the right ambiance. The total cost depends on the design you want for your salon and your taste. It can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands, depending on the quality and quantity of items you’re looking to purchase. Higher-end or designer furniture could significantly increase these costs.

💰Approximate cost💰:

  • $2,000 to $15,000 or more for products and equipment
  • From a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands for furniture

4. Utilities

Nail salon utilities cost

The amount of money you’ll pay for electric, gas, and water bills varies depending on the equipment your salon is running, how many hours a day you are in the salon, and the size of your salon.

💰Approximate cost💰: $640 to $4,000 per month

5. Inventory

The quantity and quality of your inventory is essential to meet your customers’ needs. So, to the cost of opening a nail salon, you must add the initial inventory, which might cost between $2,000 to $5,000 or more, depending on the range of products and brands.

Also, you could add an area for retailing nail care products. Selling professional nail products to your clients can increase your revenue and help build trust with your clients.

You’ll spend this much only in the beginning. The cost decreases once you have an inventory in place, and you only need to buy products to replace the ones you used. The average monthly spending on nail products for a mid-sized salon might range between $500 to $1,500.

💰Approximate cost💰: $2,000 to $5,000 or more

6. Licenses and permits

Nail salon license prices

There are a few licenses and permits you need to open a nail salon properly: 

  • General business license. Depending on your location and the salon size, it can cost around $100 to $500 or more.
  • Health and safety permits. These permits range from $100 to $300 or more. They could cover inspections, health codes, and compliance with safety regulations.
  • Certificate of Occupancy. You’ll obtain it after an inspection, but this can vary by state and costs around $250. If they find any issues in your salon, you must correct them and inspect the place again for another charge.
  • Cosmetology licenses and certificates. Generally, all of your personnel need them, and their training will need to be updated. The certificate renewal charge differs by state but usually costs $50.
  • Retail permits. You need them if you plan to sell products to clients. Some states charge you for them, and some don’t (such as California). 

Note: The price for a cosmetology license, or whether you need one or not, may vary depending on the state, so make sure to check your state requirements to find out if you need an approved beauty school. In some cases, all you need is an apprenticeship program.

💰Approximate cost💰: $1,000

7. Training and certification costs

Nail technician training

Professional training is a must when you plan to open a nail salon. It will help you offer services that meet high industry standards and gain the trust of your clients. Plus, it will ensure you meet all health and safety standards.

Professional training can come in different formats: local cosmetology schools, online courses, or specialized nail art training programs.

Most nail tech programs can cost between $1,000 to $5,000. Again, these prices will vary depending on the location.

💰Approximate cost💰: $1,000 to $5,000

8. Insurance

Nail salon insurance

The cost of business insurance for a nail salon in the US can vary based on location. But the good news is that it’s usually affordable. In some states, the insurance can be as low as $50 per month, which is less than $1,000 per year. 

Since this is a necessary cost to protect your nail salon from unforeseen events, property damage, or legal issues, comparing prices from different insurance companies is a good idea.

Without it, business owners might have to pay large amounts of money from their own pocket if any damage or legal issues arise.

💰Approximate cost💰: $1,000/ year

9. Software

Goldie: appointment booking app

You should start on the right foot when you open a nail salon. This means streamlining your business operations from the very start. 

A scheduling system can keep your appointments organized and reduce or eliminate no-shows

Goldie is an all-in-one software that will help you with:

  • Scheduling: Keep everything organized using a booking app.
  • Reminders: Reduce no-shows by sending appointment confirmations. 
  • Online booking: Help your clients book appointments based on your schedule using the same app.
  • Payments: Take deposits at booking. This way, you can be sure you won’t lose all the money in case of a no-show.
  • Services: List all your services in the app.
  • Client management: Take notes on each client so that you remember important details for their next appointment. 
  • Marketing: Send marketing messages to your clients to run promotions.
  • Reports: Analyze your business and maximize your income based on what works for your nail salon.

When it comes to the costs of opening a nail salon, consider the costs of a monthly or yearly subscription for such an app.

See Goldie’s available plans and pricing.

10. Marketing and advertising costs

Nail artist recording video for social media

We could add this one to optional nail salon costs, but marketing is a good idea if you want to increase your salon’s visibility (especially if you’re new to the market). 

A few marketing strategies for a nail salon can include social media advertising, search engine optimization, local flyers, and loyalty programs.

These could cost from $1,000 to $10,000 per year.

💡Check out these nail salon marketing ideas.

💰Approximate cost💰: $1,000 to $10,000/ year

So, in the US, the total cost of opening a nail salon can go up to: 

  • If you rent: $25,000 to $120,000 (if we look on the pricier side for remodeling and furniture)
  • If you buy: $170,000 – $480,000 (if we look on the pricier side for remodeling and furniture)

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Nail Salon in Europe

Since the US nail industry dominated the global market with a share of over 33% in 2022, according to the same study from Grand View Research, the approximate costs from before are for a US location.

Still, we can have a look at the costs of opening a nail salon in Europe to compare the prices. This can vary significantly based on factors such as the country, city, specific location, size of the salon, quality of services offered, and various other considerations. 


Renting a commercial space in Europe varies based on the region, city, and size. In major cities, rents can range from €1,000 to €10,000 or more per month. Purchasing a similar property will increase the initial price significantly, and building from the ground up is the most expensive option.

💰Approximate cost💰:

  • €1,000 to €10,000 or more per month
  • €40,000 to €250,000 to purchase an existing salon
  • €100,000 to €500,000 to build a salon from the ground up

Renovation and interior

Then, you have to invest in design or remodeling. If the place you rent/buy is in good shape or you like it just the way it is, there may be little to no renovation necessary. However, if you are starting from scratch, you need at least another €20,000 for improvements, decor, and furniture.

💰Approximate cost💰: €20,000

Licenses and permits

Costs for licenses and permits range from a few hundred to a few thousand euros, depending on the specific permits required and local regulations. 

So, you must check government websites related to small businesses, health departments, or professional licensing boards in the specific European country or countries you’re interested in.

To give you some approximate numbers:

  • Basic business registration and administration fees: €200 – €500
  • Professional license for a nail technician: €500 – €2,000
  • Health and safety permits: €300 – €1,000
  • Salon establishment permit: €500 – €2,000

💰Approximate cost💰: from a few hundred to a few thousand euros

Equipment and furniture

Costs for nail salon equipment and furniture might range from €2,000 to €15,000 or more, depending on the quality, quantity, and brands purchased.

Manicure desks are less expensive than pedicure chairs. Nail technician desks start at around €200, while a pedicure chair can start at €1,500. 

💰Approximate cost💰: €2,000 to €15,000 or more

Initial supplies

Initial inventory and supplies are also crucial since you can’t start working without them. These could cost between €2,000 to €5,000 or more.

Here’s a write-up on the beginner’s nail tech kit.

💰Approximate cost💰: €2,000 to €5,000 or more

Need Financial Help to Open Your Nail Salon?

Loans for nail salons

Now that you’ve seen the approximate costs of opening a nail salon, you may consider financial help.

There are different types of loans for beauty salons, so you should do a bit of research and see which one is right for you. 

This research will also come in handy if you want to know how to open a nail salon with no money. 

It can be a term loan, which is the classic type of loan: you borrow money at a particular interest rate, and then you make monthly payments to repay the loan.

Also, there are different types of SBA loans, equipment financing, or business credit cards.

A way to increase your profit in the long run would be to buy more manicure/pedicure stations and rent them to other nail technicians.

💡 If you want to open a small business with a meager cost and without debt, here’s a blog post on how to do it. You’ll find tips that will help you open a nail salon business with $1,000 or less.

Another option for a low-cost business investment would be to open a salon at home. We covered this topic for you here


Starting a nail salon combines passion with investment. Costs differ in the US and Europe, covering rent, equipment, licenses, and more. 

The average cost of opening a nail salon business in the US is: 

  • If you rent: $25,000 to $120,000 (if we look on the pricier side for remodeling and furniture)
  • If you buy: $170,000 – $480,000 (if we look on the pricier side for remodeling and furniture)

If you think you need it, seek financial help wisely and balance costs against potential earnings. Also, keep in mind that success needs dedication and smart planning.

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