Setting up your own hair salon has the potential to be a rewarding business. However, it’s essential to follow correct regulations to make sure your business is compliant and well-protected. 

In this article, we’ll discuss regulations that impact hair dressing in Queensland (if your hairdressing business operates in NSW, the laws will be slightly different). 

We’ll also look into the legal aspects of owning your own hairdressing salon such as Workplace Health and Safety, liabilities and legal documentation

Keep reading to find out more.  

How To Set Up A Hair Salon In Queensland

Setting up your own salon requires some thought and careful planning. Here are some ideas on getting started: 

  • Create a business plan that addresses future goals, budget, business structure, marketing any anything else important 
  • Register your business and business name, then open up a separate bank account for your business
  • Apply for relevant taxes
  • Determine a location for your salon (you can have a traditional salon, open a salon in your home or have a mobile salon). 
  • Get any building approvals so you can begin designing and constructing you salon 
  • Market your salon so people know about it 

What Are The Hairdressing Laws And Regulations In QLD?

In Queensland, there is a high expectation of salons to keep up hygienic and safe practices for every client. Hairdressers are required to act in accordance with the Public Health (Infection Control for Personal Appearance Services) Act 2003

In addition to this, the Infection control Guidelines for Personal Appearance Services 2012 also regulate the way hairdressing businesses need to operate in order to provide clients with a safe experience. 

We recommended getting familiar with these pieces of legislation – if you have any questions our legal experts are happy to answer them!  

What Is A Higher Risk Service?

A high risk service is considered to be acts that penetrate the skin, such as tattooing another person. There is additional licensing for services that are considered high risk, however, hairdressing does not fall into this category. 

However, if your salon is considering providing additional services that may meet the requirements for a high risk business, we recommend contacting the relevant authorities to find out more and getting licensed if necessary. 

What Does The Australian Consumer Law Say?

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) protects the interest of consumers that are purchasing goods or hiring a service. The laws aim to ensure that consumers are treated fairly due to a common imbalance of power. 

As such, businesses owe certain duties to consumers under this law.. For service providers, the ACL states: 

  • Services need to be provided with care and skill 
  • The service needs to be for a specific purpose
  • If a time has not been set for the service, them the timing needs to be reasonable 

Consumers have a right to seek a remedy if they feel their rights have been violated, so make sure you are well aware of your obligations and that you are compliant with them. 

How Can I Comply With These Laws?

Compliance with these laws needs to be embedded into your practices. Safe and hygienic practices (such as the regular cleaning of tools and using safe chemicals) should be an everyday consideration. You don’t want customers getting sick after visiting your store. 

Click here to learn more information on being compliant. 

Do I Need A Licence For My Hairdressing Business?

You don’t need a specific licence to practise hairdressing in Queensland. However, you are required to be compliant with any legislation that impacts your profession. 

Additionally, you may wish to get training to be a hairdresser. Again, there is no legal requirement for this. However, many hairdressers either complete a formal training course or work as apprentices until they are considered a hairdressing professional.  

How To Set Up A Hair Salon In Your Home

Hairdressing businesses owners often like to set their salon up at home. It’s convenient and they can be in charge of their availability. If your local zoning allows it, then you may want to consider setting up a hair salon at home. 

Work Health And Safety 

It’s important to keep in mind that Workplace Health and Safety obligations apply to businesses that operate from home, as well.  It is still considered a place of business, so it must adhere to all the compliance procedures a business in a traditionally commercial location would. 

As a result, Workplace Health and Safety practices are still required to be upheld. As the owner of the business it is your duty to ensure your salon is a safe place for both yourself and any employees you hire. Managing Workplace Health and Safety can take the form of:

  • Hiring someone to specifically oversea workplace health and safety 
  • Talking to employees individually so they can raise any concerns
  • Ensuring the environment is free of any hazards 
  • Conducting training practices related to healthy and safe practices
  • Making sure employees have the correct safety equipment i.e gloves 

How Can I Limit My Liability For My Hairdressing Business?

Hairdressers have a duty of care towards their customers, and as the owner of the business, this liability will fall on you. Therefore, it’s important to think about ways to limit your liability in case something doesn’t go the way it was intended to. 

Adding an exclusion of liability clause in your agreements with consumers can exclude yourself from being legally responsible when something unforeseen happens. However, this does not cover acts that were negligent to the customer, harmful, fraudulent or illegal in any other way. 

The same applies for limitation of liability clauses. Inserting a limitation of liability clause into your contracts can work to place a cap on the amount of damages payable if you are found to be liable. However, this clause cannot come into effect if the liability has stemmed from a breach of regulations. 

What Documents Do I Need For A Hairdressing Business?

Legal documentation is also a necessary part of running any successful business venture as they not only cement your relationship with others,  but also work to protect your business. 

Employment Agreement 

As the owner of a hairdressing business, you may consider hiring employees for the business. This is a great way to keep expanding your business and serve more customers. 

However, it’s crucial to have a written Employment Agreement with your staff. An Employment Agreement includes matters such as pay, employment obligations, leave, entitlements termination and anything important to your relationship to make sure everyone knows where they stand.   

Rent-A Chair Agreement

A Rent-A-Chair Agreement is another way to utilise the benefits of hiring staff without hiring an internal employee. Rent-a-chair employees aren’t internal employees of the salon. Rather, they are contractors who pay a fee or commission from their earnings to operate in your salon (so, it’s important to know the difference between an employee and contractor). 

It’s crucial that the agreement between you and your rent-a-chair employee reflects the contractual nature of their hiring. Otherwise, you could end up owing employee entitlements to them. 

Do I Need Terms And Conditions For My Hairdressing Business?

If your business has an online presence, it’s important to have good Terms and Conditions. 

People who visit your website need to agree to your terms before they can further engage with your business. This means you have the capacity to regulate how people use your site and limit liability, which minimises the risk of loss or damage.  

A website’s terms and conditions can also address payment and booking rules you might have in place (it can be catered to your businesses). 

Do I Need Anything Else?

Finally, make sure you have a marketing plan for your business. It would be a shame to go through all the work of opening up a salon and no one hearing about it – get the word out there! You can usually use social media or paid advertisements to reach a market base. 

The online world is a great tool for marketing and making connections. However, it can have some downsides. Be prepared for instances such as bad reviews or system crashes so you’ll be equipped to handle them if they come around. 

Need Help Starting A Hairdressing Salon In Queensland? 

Naturally, starting a business involves a lot of careful planning and a hairdressing business is no different. With the right kind of help, the process can be smooth and you can be ready to start serving clients. 

To summarise what we’ve discussed: 

  • Make a business plan for you hairdressing business
  • Register your business and apply for all the relevant tax obligations
  • Get familiar with all the legislation that applies to your professional and practice strict compliance
  • If you’re setting up a home salon, make sure workplace health and safety is still a priority 
  • Consider and plan for any liabilities
  • Have all necessary legal documents in order
  • Market your business to get the word out there 

If you would like a consultation setting up a hair salon, you can reach us at 1800 730 617 or team@sprintlaw.com.au for a free, no-obligations chat.

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