Legal and Business Advice for Freelance Hairdressers

by charlottegw / last updated October 14, 2021

legal advice freelance hairdresser

Are you thinking about going freelance? Does being your own boss sound appealing? However appealing this might sound, there are certain legal and business arrangements that you will need to take into consideration before choosing to be a self-employed hairstylist.

“Being self-employed can be a great choice to improve your work/life balance,” says NHF chief executive Hilary Hall. “But it’s vital to understand exactly what’s involved. A self-employed stylist will very often be a chair renter running their business from someone else’s salon. “You can choose your own hours of work, take time off when you want and make your own decisions about which services and products you offer,” says Hilary. However, there’s much more to it than this, and to help you decide if it’s really for you, the NHF has kindly created a list of the top five things you need to know before taking the plunge into self-employment.

  1. Watertight contract
    If you choose to be a chair renter, you must have a legally watertight contract in place between you and the salon owner which describes in detail how your agreement will work. This should include how much you will pay the salon and exactly what you will get in return. This will help to prevent disputes and expensive legal action in the future. Make sure both you and the salon owner sign the agreement, otherwise it won’t be valid.
  2. Tax and business accounts
    You will be responsible for keeping your own business accounts, declaring your earnings and paying your taxes. If you don’t pay on time you will be fined by HMRC. You must also set your own prices and have your own price list.
  3. Pension arrangements
    You won’t qualify for a work-based pension and the State Pension will not provide enough for a comfortable retirement. Also – remember that the State Pension age is rising. As a self-employed person you will have to make your own pension arrangements.
  4. Sick pay
    You will not be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay so you may need to take out an income protection policy in case you are ill and unable to work. This type of policy can be expensive. You’ll also need insurance to cover your work equipment and belongings, plus public liability insurance in case one of your clients is injured or has their property damaged.
  5. Annual leave
    Being self-employed means you can take time off whenever you want. But the downside is that you won’t be entitled to paid annual leave. You’ll need to plan your finances carefully to cover periods of time when you won’t have an income from your business.

The NHF offers a wide range of business support services to Members including legal, employment and financial advice. Find out more about becoming a chair renter here: NHF Members benefit from free chair renting agreements: and can download a free Members-only expert guide for chair renters:

HJ’s Freelance Week is sponsored by Wella Professionals. For more information about how Wella Professionals can help you in your freelance career click here.

You can also connect with Wella Professionals on social media via Facebook @Wellaprofessionals and Instagram @wellahairuk.

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