Salon Owner Responsibilities to Booth Renters

Salon Owner Responsibilities to Booth Renters

Owning a booth rental salon is supposed to be easy and fun! It IS easy and fun when you understand what the salon owner responsibilities to booth renters are, and can add in perks along the way.

Hi there, my name is Susan Wos and I work with owners across the US and Canada. We help owners find & recruit booth renters and we also sell salons!

Believe it or not, there isn’t a ton you absolutely HAVE to do. The thing that sets one booth rental salon apart from the others IS a much bigger deal.

Some salons do a great job, and others struggle to understand WHAT attracts hairstylists and beauty professionals to want to work with them.

In this blog I will detail what salon owner responsibilities to booth renters are, and give you ideas on what you can do to up your booth rental game.

Additional facts on booth & salon suite owners and experienced, independent beauty pro statistics may be helpful in your quest to learn about what is “normal”. 

Table of Contents

What are the salon owner responsibilities to booth renters?

Salon owners are responsible for providing a safe environment that is state board compliant. This means, no possible exposure to toxic chemicals, dangerous equipment and protection from the outside environment.

The salon must have running water, spaces for the independent contractors to store tools, products and supplies. The salon needs to pass an inspection (in most states), conducted by the state board of cosmetology.

Passing the state board inspection gives you a license to operate. Some states also require a business license to run a business.

As a booth rentals (or salon suites) owner, you are essentially a landlord. Having your own business like a booth rental salon means creating guidelines and assigning responsibilities such as maintaining cleanliness expectations, doing your own laundry and staying compliant with employment law.

This is the absolute base level requirements for a salon owner who own booth rental salons. By no means should you assume that by doing the bare minimum that your business will thrive.

Legally binding contracts for independent stylists

Any beauty professional- stylists, barbers, estheticians, nail technicians or massage therapists need to have a contract with the business owner. The contract outlines the rental fee, non compete clauses (if necessary), expectations, rules and sometimes a culture contract.

Ensure your salon is compliant with salon employment laws when structuring a booth rental contract.

A popular option is chair renters sharing a room or a booth. This allows salon pros to split costs, but these sharing opportunities should be limited to certain hours or days to keep things organized.

Many salon owners who own booth rental salons tend to not have many difficulties running the salon as long as stylists work to be on the same page.

Read this if you need a template for salon booth rental contract or ideas on what to include.

How does Salon Booth Rental Work?

Salon booth rental works much like renting an apartment or commercial space to a tenant. Independent contractors pay a salon owner a rental rate, outlined in a booth rental contract to perform services in your salon.

What are the disadvantages of booth renting?

Disadvantages to owning a booth rental salon are a lack of control over how the independent contractor conducts themselves or does business in your salon. You can get better control over what happens in your salon by prequalifying booth renters who meet your standards.

Please, do not just let anyone rent a chair in your salon. This will lead to an unpleasant situation and is not worth covering rental costs!

Cost Of Operating A Booth Renter Business

The cost of running a booth rental salon varies widely. Overhead costs are fairly low- you pay for the space the salon, equipment like chairs & shampoo bowls, insurance and utilities.

Additional costs depend on what you would like to offer an independent stylist. Open concept salons often offer perks.

Things like being able to get new clients from your salon website, towels, wax to use and sometimes even free shampoo. The more perks, benefits and culture you add to the salon, the easier it is to keep the independent contractor happy!

You must inform your renters of tax information

Independent contractors are responsible for their own taxes. If you need help understanding salon taxes, contact your certified public accountant and check with the internal revenue service.

Set Up an Interview with Potential Tenants

Interviewing potential tenants or booth renters is important to maintain the integrity of your business. Not all renters are responsible, own tools or can pay rent on time.

9 Questions to ask booth renters before they sign a booth rental salon agreement

  1. How did you find out about this salon? (Great record keeping to know where renters are discovering you).

  2. Can you pay your rent on time?

  3. Do you understand what booth renting is?

  4. Do you need or expect walk ins to build your business?

  5. How will you get more customers if you lose clients by moving to this salon?

  6. Do you have your own set clients?

  7. Which salons have you worked in before today?

  8. What has been your biggest issue with past salons?

  9. Do you have the appropriate insurance for salon booth rental?

salon business needs

Your renters must have their own health and liability insurance

Getting the right salon insurance is important for owners to add to booth rental salon rules. Include this in the rental agreement, and check every year to ensure renters stay current with their liability insurance policies.

Negotiate the Terms of Payment Before You Sign

Some salon owners offer everything under the sun, just to get warm bodies in the salon. This is a surefire way to lose control of your business!

The great thing about the booth rental model is that it’s flexible. You set the rules in your own beauty business.

If you give deals in the booth rental agreement, be sure to include when full time rent starts. Let the new renter know the current and renewal price in the written lease agreement.

Other Important Factors- You Decide to Hire Employees

Since salon booth renters are not an employee, you may find yourself wanting to switch to a hybrid salon business model.

This is a great option for an established salon, with busy renters who could use some help. Mentoring new stylists is a great way to build a great reputation and keep your chairs full.

If you decide hiring employees is the way to go, there will be a few adjustments to make concerning your current renters. Amending a booth rental salon agreement to reflect rules surrounding clients, beauty products and the physical space is OK, and needs to be done.

How do I pay employees in a booth rent salon?

Firstly, if you have stylist employees and independent contractors- you are considered a Hybrid salon owner. Hybrids work well when the booth rental salon agreement is clearly laid out.

This means, can this person stay an employee or is there an expectation to become an independent contractor? Paing a base pay and buying health insurance may have not been in your plans, either.

Think through what path you would like an employee of your salon to take and make an offer that is line with your goals.

do salons make money?

Schedule your appointments and consider salon software

Salon software is not required to rent a booth or salon suites. Some salons offering amenities like free appointment booking is a great perk.

Be careful though- the California state’s department warns against this practice. Check to see what is legal for clients and salon business in your state before getting other parties involved.

Booth Rental Tips for a Profitable Business

The great part about having your own business is you get to make as much as you want! Salonspa Connection sees the most profitable booth renter businesses as those who go the extra mile.

Salon suites are a perfect example of this. Take for instance, Image Studios.

Image offers laundry service, free salon software, (Gloss Genius), and tons of support for it’s suite renters.

Many rental salons offer help with understanding how many clients renters need to pay for booth space, and help with pricing strategy. Some owners even go so far as giving a few weeks free to generate interest, or giving stylists free reign over using in salon treatments on their own clients.

Lead by demonstrating your values and create a great culture. Give hair stylists with clients a reason to run in and sign a rental agreement.

Advantages of Renting Chairs in Your Salon

The biggest advantage to renting chairs in your salon is less to do as a salon owner! This is an easier business model than an employee based salon.

Renting chairs is perfect for owners who want mature, established beauty professionals who bring their own supplies. Nevertheless, an independent contractor still needs guidance from time to time and likes to feel like they are a part of something wonderful.

If you have worked in or have been a commission salon owner, you understand why stylists become a booth renter. Having your own business is great vs working for someone else, when capable people sign a booth rental agreement.

Adding a booth rental salon agreement to a commission or hourly business can also bring about some financial relief. Just be clear in your mission statement about who works best in your salon!

Why You Should Consider Renting a Booth as a Stylist

Finding growth opportunities to be limiting in your job? More stylists are choosing renting a boothl as their career path in hairdressing.

If you are responsible, have a great client base and can manage a business, salon booth rental may be for you. Before you sign a lease, use this booth rental calculator to predict income and think through business expenses.

What are the obligations for booth renters?

Booth renters are obligated to follow any booth rental salon rules or guidelines in a rental agreement. This can include: buying your own retail products, book appointments, get new business and paying rent.

What is another name for a booth renter?

Another name for a booth renter is independent stylist or independent contractor. You will hear the word “boothies”, as a friendly term for booth renters as well.

Are booth renters considered employees?

Booth renters are not considered employees, they are an independent contractor. Booth renters do their own taxes, their own laundry, have their own salon software and health insurance.

Instead of getting a paycheck, you sign a booth rental salon agreement and pay the owner to work in the business.

How do I start booth renting?

To start booth renting you first need a license from the state in which you live to legally perform hair services. When you have enough hair, skin or nail clients to pay for rent and buy beauty supplies this is the time to consider booth renting.

As a booth renter, you are your own business. You handle taxes, buying products, customer communications and everything a self employed person would do to run a small business.

Renting a hair booth, chair or suite is a wonderful option for responsible beauty professionals. Just choose the right salon to work in and make sure you understand how to manage a business and get new clients before getting into booth renting.


I hope you found this blog helpful with your booth renting questions! Don’t hesitate to reach out to Salonspa Connection for all of your career and business needs.

Explore our website to find a host of different helpful tools that will help you navigate a career in Cosmetology, Barbering, Nails, Esthetics or Massage Therapy. If you are a beauty business owner, consider our consulting board and make sure to list your business on our booth rental board if you are seeking new stylists to work in your salon.


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