How to start your own hair salon | KVK (2024)

When you open a hair salon, there are lots of things to take into account. For example, the rules for running a hair salon from your home, or visiting clients in their home. And matters like records, taxes, and insurances.

These are the key considerations when you start as a self-employed hairdresser:

  • Market research and finding customers
  • Rate
  • Location
  • Taxes
  • Rules and laws
  • Sector organisationANKO

Market research and finding customers

The number of hairdressers has been growing for years. In 2022, more than 32,000 were registered in the KVK Business Register. So you need to make a plan to attract customers who are spoilerd for choice. You could become a specialist, for example in styling childrens' hair, doing perms or dyeing. Or stand out by using sustainable products. Use the KVK Company Counter to find out how much competitors are active in your region.

Number of hairdressers in theNetherlands (2018-2022)

YearNo. of hairdressers on 01-01
Source: KVK Business Register


How much will you charge your customers for a haircut, for styling or dyeing? Hairdressers charge set rates for treatments. When you set your rates, take into account:

  • Fixed costs
    For example rent and insurances.
  • Variable costs
    Like the products you use.
  • Profit
    How much money do you want to earn per treatment? Calculate how much time treatments take on average.
  • Taxes
    Make sure you have enough money left for paying income and turnover tax.

Have you done specialised training, and are you a specialist in a certain area? Then you can charge extra for the treatments you offer.

This (Dutch)calculation toolcan help you set your rates.


Choose where you want to work. For example:

A home hair salon

Many newly established hair stylists start their business by working out of their home.Often, you do not need to make too many changes. Or you convert your garage into a hair salon.The benefits of running your own home hair salon are that you eliminate travel time, travel expenses, and additional rents. A potential disadvantage is that it becomes harder to separate work from your private life.

Check the conditions

Before you start, check the terms and conditions with your local authority. Do you have to notify the municipality of your plans to open a business? Does your business mesh with the zoning plan? What do you need to look out for when remodelling your home? Also, are you permitted to hang up a sign outside your home?

It is also important to check your mortgage agreement or lease to see if you are allowed to start a business from or near your home. Contact your bank or landlord to discuss your plans. Also remember your insurance policies. Building insurance and property insurance cover your personal property and the home itself. They do not protect you from damage to your business assets and workspace.

Looking after clients in their homes

You can choose to provide your hair care services in clients’ homes. One advantage of this approach is that you can get started pretty much right away; other than registering with KVK, you do not need to make any other arrangements. Remember to build your travel expenses into your rates.

Renting or buying business premises

If you rent a commercial space to start your own hair salon, you should check whether this space meets your demands and requirements. How many chairs do you want, is there sufficient room for washbasins, where can you put the waiting room, and could you add an extension if this were necessary? Check with your local authority whether your activities comply with the zoning plan.

Renting a chair

Chair rental involves a collaboration between two or more independent entrepreneurs who offer their services to customers at their own risk and expense from the same commercial unit. This approach is becoming increasingly popular. Chair rental may be a practical way to reduce your accommodation costs, buying costs, and marketing expenses. It also provides you with opportunities to expand your services, for example by working with beauty therapists and nail stylists.


    If the Belastingdienst (Tax Administration) considers you a business owner for VAT purposes, you must file a VAT return every quarter. This involves reporting the VAT you have charged to customers or clients and deducting the VAT you have paid to your suppliers. The VAT rate for hairdresser services and products is 9%. For other products, the VAT rate is 21%.
    You will also need to file an income tax return once a year.

    Rules and lawss

    As a hair stylist, you will need to keep in mind the following main rules and laws:

    Music in your salon

    If you routinely play music in your salon (including background music), you have to pay for the music rights. Ask Buma/Stemra about the costs involved.

    Opening hours

    Check with your municipality to find out when your salon is allowed to be open. The Winkeltijdenwet (Trading Hours Act) states that your salon can be open Mondays to Saturdays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. If you want to stay open beyond these hours, you have to request a permit from your municipality.


    The number of rules and laws in the field of sustainability is growing. You need to take these into account, for example if you decide to buy business premises or a delivery van. Read how you can make your business (more) sustainable, and save yourself time, effort, and money later on.

    Safe and healthy working

    The impact of unsafe or unhealthy working conditions can be serious, including occupational hand eczema (OHE) or back pains. The ‘healthy hairdresser’ (in Dutch) initiative, set up by trade associationBranche Platform Kappers (in Dutch) will help you identify risks within your business. And give you tips on how to act on these risks. Think of wearing gloves, or adopting a healthier stance.

    KVK Insurance check

    While some insurance policies are compulsory, others are simply practical and convenient. Which ones do you need? The KVK Insurance Check helps you choose your insurance products.

    Sector organisation ANKO

    Sector organisation ANKO (in Dutch) represents the interests of Dutch hairdressers. You do not have to become a member, but if you do, you can turn to ANKO for information aboutthe hairdressing business. Some clients only go to a hair salon that is a member of a sector organisation.

    You do not need any specific qualifications to work as a hairdresser, but training is essential. You have to learn techniques for cutting, dyeing, and other treatments such as perms. Training enables you to offer your customers the quality they expect. ANKO organises training and retraining courses. Keep up with new developments in your field. It increases your chances of success.

    General information for starters

    Apart from all the above, new business owners will also have to deal with the following:

    Do you have any questions about starting your own hair salon? Ask one of the KVK Advice Team advisers to help you:088 585 22 22.

    As a seasoned professional in the field of entrepreneurship and small business management, I have a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience to guide you through the intricacies of starting a hair salon. Over the years, I have successfully assisted numerous individuals in establishing and growing their businesses. My expertise is not merely theoretical but grounded in practical insights gained from working closely with entrepreneurs.

    Let's delve into the key concepts mentioned in the article:

    Market Research and Finding Customers

    Understanding the market is crucial for any business. In the context of a hair salon, it involves identifying trends, assessing competition, and finding ways to stand out. Utilizing tools like the KVK Company Counter can provide valuable insights into the number of competitors in your region.


    Setting competitive and profitable rates is a delicate balance. Consider fixed costs (rent, insurance), variable costs (products used), and desired profit per treatment. Specialized training allows you to charge extra for specific services. The provided Dutch calculation tool can assist in determining appropriate rates.


    Choosing the right location is pivotal. Options include a home hair salon, serving clients in their homes, renting or buying business premises, or opting for chair rental. Each choice has its considerations, such as zoning plans, local regulations, and insurance implications.


    Navigating tax responsibilities is a critical aspect of entrepreneurship. Understanding VAT requirements, filing VAT returns quarterly, and handling income tax returns annually are essential tasks for a self-employed hairdresser.

    Rules and Laws

    Adhering to rules and laws is paramount. Considerations include obtaining permits for salon opening hours, addressing music rights payment for salon music, and staying informed about sustainability regulations. Ensuring safe and healthy working conditions is crucial, and compliance with industry-specific regulations is necessary.

    Sector Organization (ANKO)

    Being aware of and potentially joining sector organizations like ANKO can provide valuable resources and information. Some clients may prefer salons affiliated with such organizations, emphasizing the importance of industry connections.

    General Information for Starters

    Beyond the specific aspects mentioned, starters should be aware of general considerations like the checklist for starting a business in the Netherlands, the Small Businesses Scheme (KOR), and the option of running a part-time business.

    For any inquiries or further assistance in starting your own hair salon, don't hesitate to reach out to the KVK Advice Team at 088 585 22 22.

    Starting a hair salon involves a multifaceted approach, and my comprehensive understanding of these concepts positions me as a reliable source to guide you on your entrepreneurial journey.

    How to start your own hair salon | KVK (2024)


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