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Things to consider when renting a chair at a salon

It comes as no surprise that renting a chair in a hair salon or barbershop is common practice when 54% of people who work in hairdressing and barbering are self-employed. Renting a chair is an easy...

Things to consider when renting a chair at a salon

It comes as no surprise that renting a chair in a hair salon or barbershop is common practice when 54% of people who work in hairdressing and barbering are self-employed.

Renting a chair is an easy way for self-employed hairdressers and barbers to do what they love in a professional environment surrounded by like-minded people with plentiful opportunities to expand their client portfolio. 

But it is just the stylist who benefits from renting a chair, this arrangement has dual benefits for both the stylist and salon owner alike. 

In this article, we’ll explain how renting a chair in a salon works, offer some tips & advice as well as discuss the pros and cons of this approach. 

How does renting a chair in a salon work?

There are three main options when it comes to chair rental agreement terms between the salon owner and the stylist. 

Which you choose should be based on the approach most suitable for your circumstances. 

1. A percentage of takings

In this chair rental agreement, the salon owner would take a percentage of the stylists/hairdressers takings, typically between 40-60%. 

2. Fixed rental fee

A fixed rental fee is the simplest chair rental agreement for the hairdresser and the salon owner. This approach agrees to a set amount to be given to the salon owner for a set period of time. 

As a stylist/hairdresser, you will need to consider how much you typically earn on a weekly/monthly basis before you agree to a fixed rental fee in case you’re unable to maintain these costs (particularly in the event of you falling ill). 

3. Combination of % and fixed fee

In some circumstances, salon owners will operate a combined approach by taking a percentage of earnings as well as a fixed rental fee. 

This generally means the fixed rental fee and % contributed will be smaller than if you were to do one or the other.


Whichever chair rental agreement you decide to opt for, it is important to ensure the terms are clear from the start and both parties agree. This means any potential misunderstandings around the agreement can be solved easily. 

Creating a chair rental contract

To ensure you are both covered, the hairdresser and the salon owner, it is important to create a chair rental contract. This ensures the smooth running of operations and avoids the potential pitfalls that could arise when renting a salon chair.

Things to consider including within your chair rental contract:

  • Length of contract
  • Working hours
  • Disciplinary action
  • Sickness, maternity and holiday
  • Product and equipment
  • Product sales
  • Client protection

Tax and Insurance Considerations

If you’re a self-employed hairdresser or barber, you will be responsible for taking care of your own tax and insurance. 

At Professional Beauty Direct, we have a cost-effective yet comprehensive self-employed hairdressers insurance that covers all types of cutting, colouring and styling. 

With our insurance cover, you will receive public liability insurance, treatment liability insurance and product liability insurance which covers accidents that occur at your work premises, products used or sold on to clients and claims made against you by a client.

What are the Pros and Cons of renting a chair in a salon for a hairdresser?


1. Flexibility

You have complete control over the hours and days you choose to work as long as the salon is open. Depending on your relationship with the salon owner, you may get the opportunity to work within the salon outside of the normal salon hours.

2. Environment

Being self-employed can be a lonely career if you opt to work as a mobile hairdresser or set-up a hairdressing station from home. By renting a chair in a salon, you get to work alongside other like-minded individuals and meet an array of clients as they come and go for their appointments. 

3. Opportunity

By working in a salon environment you are opening yourself up to greater opportunities both in terms of clientele but also in services you can offer at the salon. You’ll find salons get a lot of foot traffic which opens the door to new clients. 

4. Marketing and Promotional Activities

If the salon is frequently marketing itself and creating promotional activities you will inadvertently benefit from this by raising the awareness of your brand and services.

5. PPE and Hygiene

Renting a chair within a salon means you will share the responsibility of providing and using PPE when appropriate to do so as well as the general hygiene of the salon e.g. regularly cleaning your station and equipment after every appointment. 


1. No holiday and sick pay

As you are self-employed, even when renting a chair within a salon, you will not be eligible for holiday and sick pay benefits. That means, in the event, you do take holiday or unfortunately, fall ill and cannot work, you will need to put aside funds to cover your expenses. 

2. Rental fees

If you are having a quiet period of work, you are away on holiday or fall ill, even when you are not operating and generating revenue, you will still be required to pay your rental fees.

3. Restricted working times

Whilst you have flexibility in choosing the times and days you work, you are still potentially restricted to the salon opening hours which could limit the number of clients you can see in a day or week.

4. Potential leave clients behind

If you decide to leave the salon and move to a different salon, go mobile or work from home, some clients may be retained by the salon, or simply, clients may prefer to continue to use the salon due to things like location and environment. 

What are the Pros and Cons of Renting a Chair in a Salon for a Salon owner?


1. Cost-Effective

For a salon, it can be effective having a hairdresser rent a chair in the salon as opposed to paying employed staff members. For example, you will be required to pay employed staff members holiday pay, sick pay, maternity and National Insurance. 

2. Employment Law

Salon owners are not bound to the regulations of ‘Employment Law’ which regulates the relationship between employers and employees. Employment law covers topics such as:

  • Recruitment
  • Terms and conditions of employment
  • Employees and workers
  • Data protection
  • Holiday entitlement and pay
  • Working time
  • Health and safety
  • Equal pay
  • Sex discrimination
  • Maternity and parental rights
  • Age discrimination
  • Disability discrimination
  • Race discrimination
  • Religion and belief discrimination
  • Sexual orientation discrimination
  • bullying and harassment at work
  • Discipline and grievance
  • Whistleblowing
  • Dismissal
  • Employment tribunals
  • Transfer of undertakings (TUPE)
  • Redundancy 


1. Lack of control

As the self-employed hairdresser is not directly employed by you, you will have limited control over some aspects, for example:

  • Working hours
  • Working style (attitude and service)
  • Working culture

2. Internal competition

Another element to consider is the internal competition that introducing a self-employed hairdresser to your salon may create. Self-employed hairdressers are running a business at the end of the day, which may cause issues with clients changing hairdressers or if the hairdresser grows tired of handing over profits. 


If you're renting a chair in a salon, we offer insurance for as little as £39.50 - call our friendly and knowledgeable team for a quote today on 0345 605 8670 or use our online quote and buy system at www.professionalbeautydirect.co.uk.