Should I Do Nails From Home? Is It Legal?

Don’t risk getting fined or, worst sued. Protect yourself and your clients by finding out what the law says about home-based salons.

Should I Start My Nail Business From Home?

Are they legal? Should you start your nail business from home because you’re a beginner? Today I’ll give you 7 disadvantages to working from home doing nails.
You’ve probably already heard the phrase “We all start somewhere.” For us nail technicians, that somewhere was at our kitchen table; before, you probably graduated to your own “home studio.” But is doing nails from home really a wise decision?

The #1 reason why you should not be doing nails from home is:

Often times it is Illegal. Hear me out.
When I started doing this nail thing, I committed wholeheartedly as a career. I would daydream about moving to a house that would allow me to form my own nail sanctuary. I was so serious; I did all the research,
because I was fully persuaded that it was happening.

One of the things that I was required to call my local government at the city level.
I lived in a small urban suburb in the Los Angeles area, and this is what I was told.
In many cities, especially large ones, you cannot operate your business from home if the type of business will attract foot traffic to your neighborhood. My city did not allow it, so naturally, I asked the following question
What other city in the LA area would allow it? (Yes, because I was willing to move to make this nail sanctuary thing happen.)
They replied that most likely NONE. A home nail business would require your client to come to your location, increasing foot traffic in your neighborhood.
Just think about the issue with traffic and parking in the Los Angeles area… yeah, that really needs no further explanation. Now throw in the thought of a disgruntled neighbor who cannot find a parking space, and you get why it would not be allowed in big cities.

Now she was an amiable lady. She described that if my business was solely an online business, then yes, I could work and legally claim the operation of my business from home. That makes sense, right?
Now that was Los Angeles, a big city where the population was huge-thousand.
And if you live in a big city, these are most likely your rules. So do check them out and do your own research.

Is it always Illegal?

You may be wondering, When is it permitted to work from home? We have certainly seen people working from home. It begs the question Is it always illegal?
The answer is No. It is not always illegal.
Suppose your local government allows it (your county and/or city). In that case, there are some particular and strict guidelines you must abide by.
An apartment building, most likely, will always be disqualified. Its permitted use is strict as a dwelling place, a living space, not a place of business.
So, when permitted, here are SOME of the guidelines your space must meet. Again, Although these are pretty standard guidelines across the board, do your own research for your municipality, as these may or may not apply to you or have additional guidelines to adhere to.

These are the 5 standard guidelines:

  1. Your workspace must be clearly separate from the living areas in your home.
  2. It must have a non-detachable wall barrier from floor to ceiling,
  3. It must have its own separate entrance/exit door.
  4. Must have its own toilet & washroom facilities.
  5. It must be safe, specifically regarding fire and ventilation protocols.

In addition to these guidelines, you will most likely have to have proper business establishment licenses and, of course, be licensed to perform nail services.
So, you can see now that renting a 2 bedroom apartment and calling one your nail studio will not cut it. As it barely meets any of the guidelines mentioned above.

If you had the same dream of a Nail Sanctuary at home, the thought has probably evaporated. You would have to do some serious updating to your home or garage to make things work in the RARE case it is allowed by your municipality. But stay with me as we are just getting started.

#2: Ventilation.

Now the second reason you would not want to work from home doing nails is something I alluded to earlier, and that is ventilation.
In some areas of your home, you may not have good airflow, let alone proper ventilation systems to extract dust and fumes in the air you’re breathing.
By the way, If you would like a list of chemicals to avoid in your gel nail products, do check out this video.

#3: Mess up your house.

The third reason you should not work from home is that sooner or later, you will mess up something in your home that you really like. Like I did my kitchen table with acetone years ago when just starting.

#4: Hazardous to pets and/or children.

The fourth reason not to do nails from home is all of the potential hazards to your pets and/or minor children, if you have any. We’re talking about drill bits, equipment, chemicals, etc. In the conversation between pets and children, they can quickly negatively impact your operation if either is unruly.

#5: Can’t write-off your business.

Not being able to legally claim your business space as a write-off. Suppose it does not meet the criteria as its own separate place of business. In that case, you may not be able to write off items like utilities, etc. Writing off may help you decrease your tax liability come tax season.
So indeed, working from home when not done correctly can actually put you at a disadvantage business-wise.

#6: Charging your worth.

Is the most impacting reason. I think.

When you do nails from home without being a fully detached operation as per the guidelines, you will soon find that it will be complicated to start charging “your worth.”
The reason is that your clients will always think you are not spending enough on your business because you are doing it from the comfort of your home. You are not commuting, not leasing, etc.
Trust me, in a salon environment, we struggle to convince clients that their money is being well spent when purchasing a service from us. Good luck trying to convince them that rolling out of bed, maybe even in your jammies still, and working within the same roof is worth $50 or $100 worth of nail services.

Listen, I get it. We all have our beginnings if you are new at nails, but you have to make the transition to the real world soon.

#7: Leaving work? or home?

Reason #7 Is probably the next most impacting when you work from home, even on the rare occasions it is allowed. It is hard for you to leave work or work to leave you, especially on a slammed or bad day.
Taking a few steps to your kitchen or bedroom may not be enough space for you to stress bust, and both worlds will collide sooner than later.

Working from home, in general, is very invasive. As much as you may have that private area or home studio, you can easily be pulled back to work, even after you’ve thought you have closed for the day.

Next week, I really hope to make it a fun one for you, and if you have any topic suggestions, comment below!
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Have a merry rest of the week; we’ll see you in the next one!

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