Is Salon Booth Rental better than Commission?

Is Salon Booth Rental better than Commission?

What’s the deal with salon booth rental? Find out what booth rental and salon suite rental is, and if it’s right for you, in this blog.

Our industry is rich with choice, yet short sided with what resources work best for you as an individual. Starting out is tough for most as we struggle to build upon the skills we learned in school, learn new tricks of the trade and for most of us, build a base of loyal clientele.

Some feel they can come out of school and go straight into a rental or suite situation and make it work. Rarely have we seen this executed successfully and can end once promising careers, quickly.

Being a licensed professional in the Salon, Spa and Barber industry leaves you with job options galore. With a bunch of confusing information out there, we thought it would be a good time to clarify questions you may have about salon employment.

There are 2 types of employment in the salon industry. You are either an employee or you are an independent contractor- you cannot be both in any one position.

If you are concerned you may be misclassified, check with the list of mentors on this page to find someone familiar with salon employment laws.

What does it mean to be a salon employee?

Being employed and paid by a salon with a paycheck, means you are one of three things. You are either:

  1. A Commission salon employee being paid a percentage of the services you provide and retail you sell, or you may be earning an hourly wage.
  2. Team Based salon employees are being paid bonuses, hourly and compensated based on how your team performs.


What is a Commission Salon?

In a commission salon you typically have rules, guidelines, schedules and expectations for growth. These are not bad things, this is just what the nature of a commission salon is!

Commission salons provide a ton of benefits, especially for newer salon pros. In most commission salons there is an option to get paid hourly or some type of guaranteed wage until you meet a certain level of hair service sales.

What is a Team Based Salon?

Generally speaking, a team based salon is an environment the compensates you based on the success of the team. Med Spas have far more team based businesses than salons, spas or barber shops.

This is a great environment for beauty pros who enjoy working with others to succeed as a whole. If you like the sound of security but don’t want a team based salon, consider a commission or hourly position.

What is Salon Booth Rental?

Salon booth rental is renting a chair in a salon. This classifies you as a booth renter. This means you pay the owner a fee to work autonomously, providing you own client base and products to use.

The support offered in booth rental salons looks different in each salon. Some will have an overflow of new clients and can build your business, while others do not.

As a rule- don’t expect a booth rental salon, spa or barber shop to help you run your business. Calculate booth rental costs with our calculator before getting into a situation that is not good for your career!


What is Salon Suite or Studio Rental?

Renting a room- a suite or studio in a salon, is salon suite booth rental. This concept is exactly like booth rental in an open concept salon except you are in a room by yourself.

Working in a salon suite tends to have a bit more responsibility and be more expensive than in an open concept salon, but not always!

If cost is a decision making factor in where you decide to rent a booth, use our booth rental calculator to predict income in any booth rental salon.

Why would it be beneficial for someone to rent a booth at a salon, spa or barbershop?

It is beneficial to rent a booth in a salon, spa or barber shop if you are self sufficient, have an established client base or are willing to work to get one. Successful booth renters can manage a business, get new clients, handle inventory, are good with time management and want to be an independent beauty industry professional. You will need to pay rent, buy insurance and thrive in a salon without the support of a salon owner to benefit from booth rental.

Will this work for you, personally?

Answering this question would be like us telling you who to marry! Salon pros thrive in all types of salons, what’s best for you will be determined over time and with experience. 

Is there less drama in Salon Suites?

The short answer, NO! Many salon pros move to salon suites to avoid common irritations that come with open concept salons. Drama, crazy a$$ people and loud music also dwell in salon suites.

While it is easier to keep to yourself in a salon suite, there is still a fair amount of issues in suites. Not all studio suites are created equal. Shop around for your personal best environment before you sign the lease!

Choices, choices…which salon will you work in?

Having so many options as a hairstylist, barber, nail tech, esthetician and massage therapist is a newer concept in our industry within the last 15 years.

Rental has always been available, but not with as many variables and options as there are today. You can chair share, suite share, rent a room, rent by the day, week or go month to month.

Renting a chair, suite or space seems so attractive since you can be your own boss and call the shots. This is something so many established professionals in any industry desire… freedom.

Freedom of choice, scheduling, products, time off, pricing and much more are perks of salon booth rental.

If you do want to rent, consider adding to your income with a great hair affiliate program, like these.

Do you have what it takes for success?

For some, renting is the best option if you are:

  1. Educated and skilled in your craft
  2. Have enough clientele
  3. Can manage time and money well
  4. Know how to navigate taxes and expenses
  5. Know how to build if the client list gets too low.

There are many rental salons, spas and barbershops throughout the US and Canada that can help salon pros interested in renting a booth. They can build your clientele and provide resources for renters to stay in business long term.

It’s important for you to understand what works best for you! Do this by visiting each salon you are interested in and take your time in making impactful career decisions.

If you are on the hunt for a new salon to work in, visit the salon jobs page to find a great salon!


Booth Renting is not for everyone…

The appeal of renting a space to be your own boss is very real. The problem with this option is it is not for everyone.

If you think renting is for you, take inventory on who you are, what you can realistically accomplish and how much work you want to do.

Play out every scenario you can and decide what is most important to you. Make informed career decisions, and check with Salonspa Connection if you need help!

If you are considering booth rental, ask yourself:

Can you effectively manage money?

Are you accountable to your existing clientele and are you able to continue to build as time goes on?

Are you a good with time management?

What happens if you want to have children, get injured or sick and can not work for long periods of time?

Are you able to handle inventory and sell retail in a cost-effective manner?

Do you have good enough accounting skills? Knowing  how much you would make as a renter vs staying in hourly, team-based or commission jobs is the first step in your booth rental decision.

Do you understand how licensing, insurance and taxes work for renters?

How much work are you willing to do as a renter, can you go all the way and manage a suite or would a conventional rental salon be a better option?

Are you a people person who needs to be around other licensed professionals to keep you learning and stimulated?

The choice is ALWAYS yours!

Many renters find after some time out of a commission position that they do not have the time or ability to be their own boss.

Thinking of going rental? Weigh your options, be realistic, talk with other renters about what it’s like to rent and make sure you have the following to support your lifestyle. Life is good on both sides of the chair, where do you belong?

Wondering what your options are? Find out on our Jobs Page!