How to Start a Press-Ons Nail Business

Still pondering away at the thought of setting up your press ons nail business? Well today I’m here to get things going for you so that tomorrow this time you’re well on your way to setting up shop and selling.

So about a month ago I gave you first hand information on my experience selling press ons and how to get you going to potentially make that side income and put some food on the table-sort-of-speak. Since that initial press ons video, a lot of you have gotten things rolling and have begun selling your custom press ons. Congrats to all of you who have, and if you want to share the name of your business let’s celebrate together and comment below with your business name and the items you sell.

In today’s video I am essentially going to take you through the step-by-step on how to get set up more so on the business/legal aspect of things. Because this is important and whether you are selling press-ons, cuticle oils, nail kits anything tangible you need this information. And the information in this video is not only helpful for selling press-ons but also selling in general with or without an online store.

This is not legal advice, just first hand info on what I’ve done in the past to sell stuff online and offline also. Also keep in mind that every state may be different so verify with your state to see what and if any of the information shared today pertains to you.

(And in case, you still needed a few supply recommendations, here are a few faves from my Amazon Store.)

Right off the bat, you do NOT need to be licensed as a nail technician to start selling press-ons, you are not physically working on the public. Listen, if you can believe this there are actually a lot of salon owners who don’t even have a tech license to do manicures, they just own the business. 

Much in the same way you are owning a business when selling your line of custom handmade press ons, you are not performing a service on the public, you are selling them a product which definitely entails some licensing, but not occupational licensing which is what a manicurist license is.

Which means that even if you are just a nail enthusiast who can draw exceptional things on nails or create outstanding nail art you can give this a go to warm yourself up to one day possibly training and joining the gang of licensed nail techs.

So how to easily start selling online legally?

Select whether you will be a sole proprietor or limited liability company.

A sole prop does business under their own social security number and is solely liable for debts and damages of the business. Sole props do business under their own name or file some sort of “doing business as” document with their state.

A limited liability company is an incorporated business that does business under its own social security number better known as an EIN for tax purposes. (It’s free just got to the IRS website to sign up for one.) An LLC most importantly protects your personal assets if your business were to be sued. 

Keep in mind that there are annual or bi-annual fees to be paid to your state to maintain your LLC status.

When creating your business name you’ll want to look it up through your county’s public records to make sure it is not out there already or even too similar to an existing business in your area. It’s also a good idea to do a trademark search to ensure you won’t be forced to rename and rebrand later down the line. Furthermore, you’ll want to register your business name as a domain name to start setting up your website for business.

Now if press-ons and maybe just small batch  custom nail items is all you will be doing, personally, an LLC may be a bit much until you actually get major clarity on whether your business should expand in terms of more retail items and even potentially hiring employees.

With that said get acquainted with your state’s SOS (secretary of state) because they are usually the ones to handle business entities within your state.

First things first your state may require you to obtain a general business license even if operating your business online.

Even when selling customized goods like your press on nails you are still responsible for collecting sales tax from all of your sales and therefore you will need to apply for a Sales Tax License (sometimes also known as seller’s permit), … or you can move to 1 of the 5 states who do not collect sales tax.

And I don’t think there is any other licenses to add, but do check with your state’s SOS to see what other forms or permits you may need to start selling.

Lastly, after securing your domain, or website name you’ll need to turn it into an ecommerce website, and so you’ll need to integrate an online store builder to it like Shopify.

If creating a website totally freaks you out, I get ya.

That is why sites like Etsy, and Square exist. So head on over to those sites for the easiest online selling set up. The downside is that the URL you always share will not be a lovely URL with your business name but rather something like and likewise with 

Instead of the beautiful url of Do you see that?

Alright, I don’t think I need to make this any more complicated.

Remember sole prop or, LLC…

Will you be using your SSN or applying for an EIN to do business…

Your name or a DBA filing for the name of your business…

Checking with your state to see if you need a business license or other forms to fill out as an online business…

A Sales Tax License…

A domain name and online store builder like Shopify…

Or simply use Etsy or Square for now if setting up a website freaks you.

If you’d like to come and hang with us and talk Japanese and or solo-preneurship in the industry join me in our private facebook group and let’s grow together.



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8 thoughts on “How to Start a Press-Ons Nail Business”

    1. Amazon is a great and cheap place for nail stuff! Most things I use for my business come from there.
      Essentials you need:
      Press on nails (duh) I reccomend ordering them in clear.
      Nail glue: Order it in bulk, and include it with orders. Makartt makes a cheap pack.
      Files and clippers, plus a know how of basic nail shapes.
      Nail polish: Gel or air dry polish works, but i prefer gel because it lasts longer. Pick up a uv led lamp for it for cheap.
      Bells and whistles:
      Gems: For a little sparkly moment, and for making your nails way more beautiful.
      Stickers: If your feeling like cheating on nail art, these are your best bet.
      Brushes and tools: For doing gorgeous nail art.
      Total cost for everything- around $200 USD
      How much I charge for my sets: 10 dollars for a simple set, 17 dollars for a set with gems/accessories, 25 dollars for a custom set.
      Start social media accounts for your business.
      Tell your friends about your business.
      Wear your nail designs out in public.
      Make sets nobody has seen before, something new and fun.
      If you have the money, make an advertisement on YouTube.
      Ask a blogger/youtuber for a sponsorship.
      Good luck starting your business!

  1. hello i have a question that i hope you can help me with. I am filing for sole proprietorship in Illinois. I will be selling press on’s as well. I’m currently stuck on the part where Its asking for business type. i selected Manufacturing for Primary Business Activity and Retail for Secondary Business Activity but i am confused as to what to enter for Business Type. If you can help me out I’d greeatly appreciate it. Your blog is the best and most informative I’ve come across so i figured you might know. Thank you so much

  2. Hi I have a question about the whole technician license and selling. If I want to start a press on business and I don’t have a tech license, can I put stuff like nail glue and I file in my packages for customers?

  3. Hello! I am a new business selling custom presson nails. An expo reached out to me asking to be a vendor at their next event. They are very successful in the customer turn out rate which is exciting knowing the chances of making a sale will be high. It’s my first time at an event like this and I’m usually used to creating custom fitted sets. Do you recommend selling one size fits all sets or should I go with small medium or large? This part is killing me.

    1. OOooh! What an opportunity! I would go with one size fits all (assuming you’ll be providing about 20+ nails per set?). Can you imagine if all of your Medium sizes are sold… and then cannot make a sale any more because the next customers are neither a small or a large? Just thinking worst case scenario… and I could imagine putting the work of 20+ nails is what is setting you off?

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