The Legalities of Licensing.
Updated: Jan 9, 2018
I will tell you right out of the gate, from personal experience, that leaving my commission based job was the right move for me. I won't say that it hasn't come with it's challenges, because it absolutely has. However, It has been worth every. single. struggle. I have always worked better as an independent person, and a team setting never fulfilled me. I wanted to create my own brand, be my own boss, and run my own business. After months of debating, I finally chose to make my dreams a reality. First stop? Creating a business name that would finally set me free.
I knew that my business name would stick with me for a long time, and I wanted to make sure I created something the reflected who I was, sounded professional, but also wasn't too"trendy." I also wanted to ensure my business name would stand the test of time and grow along with me. This should take time, roll with it! Write down all kinds of different words and combine them in different ways to create something that is unique to you and your brand. Use an online thesaurus to bring new words into your name that will make you stand out, but remember to keep your name simple and easy to remember. Make sure you Google your ideas so that you aren't competing with an already established business. For example, if you chose something generic like "Susie's Hair Studio" and this already exists, how are you going to keep your photos, website, etc., separate from a business that already exists? For things like Instagram and hash tagging, this is especially important. You don't want photos or videos of your work going to the same online album or hashtag that someone else has already created and established.
Creating an LLC (Limited Liability Company) for your business is really step one. It's so incredibly easy to do, and for my fellow Wisconsinites, you can do that here. If you're in a different state, simply google search "starting an LLC in (your state)." You'll be able to find information easily, and should be able to complete the task online. If you're feeling overwhelmed and unsure of this process, websites like legalzoom.com will do it all for you for a small fee. To make your life easier, this link will take you directly to legal zooms "creating an LLC" link. xx
After your LLC is created, you'll need to obtain a Sales and Use Tax permit through your state. This allows you to buy product tax free from your distributors. You'll have to save the sales tax you receive when you sell to a client, and then pay that back to the state you live in (this seems oddly complicated, and I almost immediately asked when I learned this why I couldnt just pay sales tax when i bought the product and be done with it. Guys, because you resell the product for more than you purchased it for, you'd have to pay sales tax no matter what. The government knows what's up.) Some states will call a sales and use tax permit by a different name, like a resellers permit, but you will most likely find infortmation on this permit on your states department of revenue website page. My fellow sconnies, you can find this info here.
So, you're killing it. You've created the greatest salon name ever, got your LLC, and you've got your tax permit. The REALLY fun stuff is about to start. But first, one more BIG requirement from your state. LICENSING.
MAKE SURE YOU KNOW YOUR STATE'S REQUIREMENTS for licensing. WI recently did away with its requirements for a managers license. I cannot even elaborate on how much easier this will make your process if you're in the state of WI and without a managers license. Basically, once you're a licensed cosmetologist, you can get an establishment license. I'm not saying you SHOULD, but you can. (Getting great training outside of beauty school is going to make a dramatic difference in the success of your business. Beauty school education is not going to be enough to help you really fly.)
In my State, you have to snail mail in the sheet to get your establishment license. I'm unsure of why this cant be done digitally via emial, but its just how it is. The only thing you'll need to have before you can send in your paperwork for your establisment license is an actual establishment. Newbies take heed, if you sign a lease early, in most cases you'll have to pay on that space before you're in. You cannot LEGALLY start operating your business without your establishment license. I'll touch on Lease agreements a bit down the road, but I would recommend finding a space you love, sending in your paperwork (you need to send in a picture of your space with the lease agreement) and then signing the lease after your licensing is in order. It took me about a week to receive my license (THAT comes via email! yippee!!).
This is where it all begins. Where your business is born and the new adventure starts! There is so much more I cant wait to share with you!
All the love,