When running your own beauty salon, there are a number of regulations you’ll need to follow to keep your business, your customers, and your staff safe. And that number has only increased in recent years due to COVID-19. 

To help you stay compliant with the various rules, this guide will explain all of the beauty salon regulations you need to follow. To keep things simple, we can split them into three categories:

  • General regulations
  • Health and safety regulations
  • COVID-19 regulations
  • Financial regulations

If you’d like more information about the beauty business, try some of our other articles, “How to become a self-employed beauty therapist”, or “How to promote your beauty business”.

General regulations

To legally run a beauty salon, there are a few licences you’ll need for the premises, depending on what you’re offering. 

Massages and special treatment

If your beauty salon offers “special treatments”, you will need a licence from HMRC.

According to HMRC, special treatments are any of the following:

  • Massage
  • Manicure
  • Chiropody
  • Light treatments (like sunbeds)
  • Electric treatments (like electrolysis)
  • Treatments involving heat, light, or vapour (like saunas)

If your salon offers piercings too, and you’re outside of the Greater London area, you’ll need to apply for a piercing license.


If you’d like to play music or sound recordings, you’re legally required to have a public performance license issued by Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL).

For example, if you regularly play the radio in your salon, or you use sound recordings during treatments, then this applies to you. 

Serving alcohol

A glass of fizz, or two, has become increasingly common in beauty salons. It’s a great way to enhance the feeling of being pampered that so many customers love. 

If you decide to offer booze at your salon, you’ll need a premises licence to do so. 


A beauty salon can be a pretty dangerous place, so there are several insurance policies you’ll need for your business, such as:

  • Public liability insurance.
  • Products liability insurance. 
  • Employer’s liability insurance. 
  • Treatment liability insurance.

Most insurance companies will offer specialised cover for beauty salons that should include all of the essentials. 

Health and safety regulations

On top of insurance, you should follow some health and safety practices to make sure your salon is safe.

Health and safety with chemicals

Many beauty products contain harmful chemicals that can cause skin irritation or respiratory problems, so you need to pay special attention when using and storing them. 

First of all, you should make a list of all the products you use and the hazardous chemicals they contain. There’s usually a list on the packaging, but you can also get a hazard sheet from the manufacturer.

When working with potentially harmful substances, here are some general safety procedures:

  • Have the correct protective gear on premises.
  • Make sure there’s quick access to clean running water wherever you’re handling chemicals.
  • Store chemicals in containers that are easy to pour from. 
  • Try to source safer versions of products. For solutions, look for ready-made ones. For solid chemicals, look for tablets to prevent spilling. You can also look for chemical-free versions of existing products.
  • Store all of your products in a cool, dry, dark place that’s out of everybody’s way. 
  • Always read the instructions for use on the label. 
  • Don’t let chemicals come into contact with your skin, open wounds, or blood. 
  • When mixing products, like solutions, only mix as much as you’re using to prevent spilling.
  • Wear a mask whenever you’re around products that can cause harmful vapours. 
  • For clinical waste, you’ll need to use a licensed waste contractor. 

If you’re ever in doubt and want to be extra careful, you can get advice from 

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) service. They offer advice and guidance on how to safely deal with potentially dangerous products. 

Health and safety with salon equipment

As well as chemicals, you’ll probably have a lot of potentially dangerous equipment in your salons. 

Here are some general safety practices for using salon equipment:

  • Try to use sterile, single-use equipment when you can.
  • Sterilise all reusable equipment directly after it’s used (if possible). 
  • Perform regular maintenance checks on your equipment. 
  • Keep your salon clean and tidy. 
  • Wash all of your mixing equipment after each use, and dispose of solutions safely. 
  • Disinfect all of your shower heads once a week, at least. 

If your salon offers treatments that use pulsed light or lasers, you’ll need to register with the Care Quality Commission

First aid

Despite your best efforts, accidents are bound to happen eventually, so you should always have a fully stocked first aid kit and an accident book on site. They’ll allow you to treat minor injuries and record them for the future. 

If you don’t have either of these measures in place, then your salon could be more liable for workplace accidents. 

For example, if an employee hurts themselves through something that’s their own fault, you’re not liable as long as they’re properly treated and the accident is recorded. 

COVID-19 regulations

COVID restrictions are starting to ease around the country, but there are still certain regulations you’re legally required to follow.

UK businesses need to follow the following regulations:

  • Complete a COVID-19 health and safety risk assessment.
  • Make sure your salon is properly ventilated. 
  • Clean equipment and surfaces after each customer. 
  • Use hand sanitiser. 
  • Turn customers with COVID symptoms away. 

Additionally, your staff members will have to self-isolate if they:

  • Have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Live in the same household with somebody who has COVID or COVID symptoms. 
  • Have been asked to self-isolate by NHS.

Social distancing, wearing masks, and recording customer information isn’t legally required anymore in England, but you can still take these extra measures for safety.  

Financial regulations

As a business owner, you’ll need to keep records of your company’s accounts so you can pay taxes. Limited companies must also submit their financial records to Companies House and HMRC every year. 

To stay compliant with government regulations, accurate bookkeeping is essential. Keeping records can be time-consuming and tedious. Thousands of business owners across the UK use the Countingup app to make it easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.