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How to Start an Aesthetics Business

Written by:

Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

How to Start an Aesthetics Business

Fast Facts

Investment range

$87,600 - $152,500

Revenue potential

$499,200 - $1,248,000 p.a.

Time to build

6 – 12 months

Profit potential

$124,800 - $312,000 p.a.

Industry trend




An aesthetics business offers non-invasive aesthetics procedures, such as Botox injections or chemical peels, medical aesthetics procedures, such as body contouring or breast augmentations, or both. 

If you are not a medical professional, the non-medical aesthetics market alone is worth more than $60 billion globally, so it offers a huge opportunity. If you’re a medical professional, the market size for medical aesthetics market is nearly double that size.

In any case, starting an aesthetics business can lead to nice profits.

But before you start taking certification courses, you’ll need to understand the aesthetics business. Luckily, this step-by-step guide details all the business insights you need to achieve aesthetics success. 

Step 1: Decide if the Business Is Right for You

Pros and cons


  • Large and growing market
  • Good profit potential
  • Help people with their self-image


  • Competitive industry
  • Training required

Aesthetics industry trends

Industry size and growth

Non-invasive aesthetics

Aesthetics industry size and growth

Medical aesthetics

Trends and challenges

Aesthetics Industry Trends and Challenges


  • Regenerative aesthetic procedures that reverse damage caused by aging are advancing.
  • The stigma attached to having aesthetics procedures has steadily been decreasing, boosting the popularity of aesthetic treatments.


  • Some controversy exists about non-medical professionals performing aesthetic treatments.
  • The entire aesthetics industry has received some negative press regarding questionable ethics and patient care.

Demand hotspots

Aesthetics Business demand hotspots
  • Most popular states – The most popular states for aestheticians are Washington, Maryland, and Connecticut.((https://www.zippia.com/esthetician-jobs/best-states/))
  • Least popular states – The least popular states for aestheticians are Indiana, Kentucky, and Nebraska.

What kind of people work in aesthetics?

Aesthetics industry demographics
  • Gender 94% of aestheticians are female, while 6% are male.((https://www.zippia.com/esthetician-jobs/demographics/))
  • Average level of education – The average aesthetician has a bachelor’s degree.
  • Average age The average aesthetician in the US is 34.9 years old.

How much does it cost to start an aesthetics business?

Startup costs for an aesthetics business range from $90,000 to $150,000. Costs include training, space rental and preparation, equipment and inventory, and an operating budget.

You’ll need a handful of items to successfully launch your aesthetics business, including: 

  • Beds and chairs for procedures
  • Injectable tools
  • Magnifying lamp
  • Microdermabrasion machines
  • Laser equipment
  • Sterilization equipment
  • Storage equipment for fillers
Start-up CostsBallpark RangeAverage
Setting up a business name and corporation$100 - $500$300
Business licenses and permits$500 - $1,000$750
Insurance$2,000 - $4,000$3,000
Training$5,000 - $7,000$6,000
Space rental and preparation$10,000 - $20,000$15,000
Equipment and inventory$20,000 - $40,000$30,000
Computer system and software$5,000 - $10,000$7,500
Operating budget$40,000 - $60,000$50,000
Sales and marketing budget$5,000 - $10,000$7,500
Total$87,600 - $152,500$120,050

How much can you earn from an aesthetics business?

Aesthetics Business earning forecast

How much you charge will vary by treatment, but the average client will likely pay about $800 per visit. Your profit margin after all costs should be about 25%.

In your first year or two, you might have 12 clients per week, bringing in $499,200 in revenue. This would mean $124,800 in profit, assuming that 25% margin. 

As you gain traction, you might have 30 clients per week. With annual revenue of $1,248,000, you’d make a tidy profit of $312,000.

What barriers to entry are there?

There are a few barriers to entry for an aesthetics business. Your biggest challenges will be:

  • Getting the required training
  • Funding the startup costs
  • Breaking into a competitive market

Related Business Ideas

If you’re still not sure whether this business idea is the right choice for you, here are some related business opportunities to help you on your path to entrepreneurial success.
How to Start an Aesthetics Business

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Step by Step Business values real-life experience above all. Through our Entrepreneur Spotlight Series, we interview business leaders from diverse industries, providing readers with firsthand insights.

Explore Andrea Collins’ skincare insights in our interview – a must-read for anyone passionate about beauty and wellness.

Step 2: Hone Your Idea

develop a business idea

Now that you know what’s involved in starting an aesthetics business, it’s a good idea to hone your concept in preparation to enter a competitive market. 

Market research could give you the upper hand even if you’ve got the perfect product. Conducting robust market research is crucial, as it will help you better understand your customers, your competitors, and the broader business landscape.

Analyze your competitors 

Research aesthetics businesses in your area to examine their products/services, price points, and customer reviews.

  • Make a list of businesses that offer similar products or services. 
  • Review your competitors’ products and services – their features, pricing, and quality – and marketing strategies
  • Check out their online reviews and ratings on Google, Yelp, and Facebook to get an idea of what their customers like and dislike.
  • Identify your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. 

This should identify areas where you can strengthen your business and gain a competitive edge to make better business decisions.

Why? Identify an opportunity

You’re looking for a market gap to fill. For instance, maybe the local market is missing an aesthetics business that caters to men, or that specializes in regenerative injectables.

You might consider targeting a niche, such as Botox or body contouring.

This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away. 

What? Determine your aesthetics services

If you have a non-invasive aesthetics business, you can still offer a wide variety of services including:

  • Body contouring
  • Skin resurfacing
  • Dermal fillers
  • Chemical peels
  • Laser skin treatments
  • Traditional hair removal
  • Laser hair removal

How much should you charge for aesthetics treatments?

Your prices will depend on market prices in your area, but also on your costs of doing business.

Once you know your costs, use this our profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price points. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.

Who? Identify your target market

Even younger people are opting for aesthetics treatments these days, so you should spread out your marketing to include TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.

Where? Choose a location for your aesthetics business

You’ll need to rent out a space for your aesthetics business. You can find commercial space to rent in your area on sites such as Craigslist, Crexi, and Instant Offices.

When choosing a commercial space, you may want to follow these rules of thumb:

  • Central location accessible via public transport
  • Ventilated and spacious, with good natural light
  • Flexible lease that can be extended as your business grows
  • Ready-to-use space with no major renovations or repairs needed
Aesthetics Business idea rating

Step 3: Brainstorm an Esthetician Business Name

Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:

  • Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out
  • Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better 
  • Name should be relevant to your product or service offerings
  • Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions
  • Including keywords, such as “aesthetics” or “non-invasive aesthetics”, boosts SEO
  • Name should allow for expansion, for ex: “Infinite Horizons Aesthetics” and “Nova Spectrum Beauty Solutions“ over “LustrousLash Lounge” and “SkinPure HydraFacial Spa”
  • A location-based name can help establish a strong connection with your local community and help with the SEO but might hinder future expansion

Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these. 

Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead and reserve your business name with your state, start the trademark registration process, and complete your domain registration and social media account creation. 

Your business name is one of the key differentiators that sets your business apart. Once you pick a name, reserve it and start with the branding, it’s hard to switch to a new name. So be sure to carefully consider your choice before moving forward. 

Step 4: Create an Esthetician Business Plan

Here are the key components of a business plan:

what to include in a business plan
  • Executive Summary: Provide a brief overview of your aesthetics business, highlighting its unique selling points and goals.
  • Business Overview: Introduce your aesthetics business, explaining the types of services you’ll offer, such as skincare treatments, makeup services, or cosmetic procedures.
  • Product and Services: Detail the specific services you’ll provide, including descriptions, pricing, and any product lines you plan to sell.
  • Market Analysis: Analyze the demand for aesthetics services in your target market, considering factors like demographics, trends, and potential competitors.
  • Competitive Analysis: Identify and assess competitors in the aesthetics industry, discussing their services, pricing, and customer reviews, and explain how your business will differentiate itself.
  • Sales and Marketing: Describe your strategies for attracting clients, which may include online marketing, partnerships with beauty influencers, and promotions.
  • Management Team: Highlight your qualifications and those of any team members, emphasizing their expertise in aesthetics, skincare, or related fields.
  • Operations Plan: Explain how your aesthetics business will run day-to-day, covering topics like appointment scheduling, sanitation protocols, and inventory management.
  • Financial Plan: Provide financial projections, including revenue estimates, operating costs, profit margins, and startup expenses, demonstrating the business’s financial viability.
  • Appendix: Include relevant documents such as licensing information, certifications, before-and-after photos (with consent), and any partnerships with skincare product suppliers for credibility and compliance.

If you’ve never created a business plan, it can be an intimidating task. You might consider hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.

Step 5: Register Your Business

Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.

Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business! 

Choose where to register your company

Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you are planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to aesthetics businesses. 

If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state. 

Choose your business structure

Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your aesthetics business will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely. 

Here are the main options:

types of business structures
  • Sole Proprietorship – The most common structure for small businesses makes no legal distinction between company and owner. All income goes to the owner, who’s also liable for any debts, losses, or liabilities incurred by the business. The owner pays taxes on business income on his or her personal tax return.
  • General Partnership – Similar to a sole proprietorship, but for two or more people. Again, owners keep the profits and are liable for losses. The partners pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) – Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. Again, the owners are not personally liable for debts. Here’s how to form an LLC.
  • C Corp – Under this structure, the business is a distinct legal entity and the owner or owners are not personally liable for its debts. Owners take profits through shareholder dividends, rather than directly. The corporation pays taxes, and owners pay taxes on their dividends, which is sometimes referred to as double taxation. Read how to start a corporation here.
  • S Corp – An S-Corporation refers to the tax classification of the business but is not a business entity. An S-Corp can be either a corporation or an LLC, which just need to elect to be an S-Corp for tax status. In an S-Corp, income is passed through directly to shareholders, who pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.

We recommend that new business owners choose LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation service. They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization, and answer any questions you might have. 

Form Your LLC

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Step 6: Register for Taxes

The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number, or EIN. You can file for your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship you can simply use your social security number as your EIN. 

Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.

The IRS website also offers a tax-payers checklist, and taxes can be filed online.

It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure you are completing them correctly.

Step 7: Fund your Business

Securing financing is your next step and there are plenty of ways to raise capital:

types of business funding
  • Bank loans: This is the most common method but getting approved requires a rock-solid business plan and strong credit history.
  • SBA-guaranteed loans: The Small Business Administration can act as guarantor, helping gain that elusive bank approval via an SBA-guaranteed loan.
  • Government grants: A handful of financial assistance programs help fund entrepreneurs. Visit Grants.gov to learn which might work for you.
  • Venture capital: Venture capital investors take an ownership stake in exchange for funds, so keep in mind that you’d be sacrificing some control over your business. This is generally only available for businesses with high growth potential.
  • Angel investors: Reach out to your entire network in search of people interested in investing in early-stage startups in exchange for a stake. Established angel investors are always looking for good opportunities. 
  • Friends and Family: Reach out to friends and family to provide a business loan or investment in your concept. It’s a good idea to have legal advice when doing so because SEC regulations apply.
  • Crowdfunding: Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer an increasingly popular low-risk option, in which donors fund your vision. Entrepreneurial crowdfunding sites like Fundable and WeFunder enable multiple investors to fund your business.
  • Personal: Self-fund your business via your savings or the sale of property or other assets.

Bank and SBA loans are probably the best option, other than friends and family, for funding an aesthetics business. You might also try crowdfunding if you have an innovative concept.  

Step 8: Apply for Licenses/Permits

Business Licenses and Permits

Starting an aesthetics business requires obtaining a number of licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments.

Some states require a special license for an aesthetics business, and for aestheticians. Check with your state for requirements.

Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as (DBA), health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific licenses and permits. 

You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more. 

You could also check this SBA guide for your state’s requirements, but we recommend using MyCorporation’s Business License Compliance Package. They will research the exact forms you need for your business and state and provide them to ensure you’re fully compliant.

This is not a step to be taken lightly, as failing to comply with legal requirements can result in hefty penalties.

If you feel overwhelmed by this step or don’t know how to begin, it might be a good idea to hire a professional to help you check all the legal boxes.

Step 9: Open a Business Bank Account

Before you start making money, you’ll need a place to keep it, and that requires opening a bank account.

Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your aesthetics business as a sole proprietorship. Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.

Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account. 

Step 10: Get Business Insurance

Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.

Here are some types of insurance to consider:

types of business insurance
  • General liability: The most comprehensive type of insurance, acting as a catch-all for many business elements that require coverage. If you get just one kind of insurance, this is it. It even protects against bodily injury and property damage.
  • Business Property: Provides coverage for your equipment and supplies.
  • Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken due to mechanical issues.
  • Worker’s compensation: Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
  • Property: Covers your physical space, whether it is a cart, storefront, or office.
  • Commercial auto: Protection for your company-owned vehicle.
  • Professional liability: Protects against claims from a client who says they suffered a loss due to an error or omission in your work.
  • Business owner’s policy (BOP): This is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one insurance policy, a combination of the above insurance types.

Step 11: Prepare to Launch

Launching a Business

As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business. 

Essential software and tools

Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks.  

You may want to use industry-specific software, such as Vagaro, RepeatMD, or AestheticsPro, to manage your client records, appointments, marketing, and payments. 


  • Popular web-based accounting programs for smaller businesses include Quickbooks, Freshbooks, and Xero
  • If you’re unfamiliar with basic accounting, you may want to hire a professional, especially as you begin. The consequences for filing incorrect tax documents can be harsh, so accuracy is crucial.

Create a website

Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism. You can create your own website using services like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace. This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech-savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.

Your customers are unlikely to find your website, however, unless you follow Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices. SEO will help your website appear closer to the top in relevant search results, a crucial element for increasing sales. 

Make sure that you optimize calls to action on your website. Experiment with text, color, size, and position of calls to action such as “Book Now”. This can sharply increase purchases. 

Online Marketing

Here are digital marketing strategies to elevate your aesthetics business:

  1. Social Media Engagement: Leverage visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to showcase your work, engage with your audience through stories, and use targeted hashtags to increase visibility.
  2. Collaborate with Influencers: Partner with local beauty influencers or micro-influencers to reach a broader audience, gain credibility, and generate buzz around your aesthetics services.
  3. Limited-Time Promotions: Create a sense of urgency by offering limited-time promotions on specific services, encouraging potential clients to take advantage of exclusive deals.
  4. Client Referral Program: Implement a referral program where existing clients receive incentives for referring new customers, fostering loyalty and expanding your customer base.
  5. Educational Content: Position yourself as an industry expert by sharing informative content on social media or through blog posts, addressing common concerns and showcasing your knowledge in aesthetics.
  6. Participate in Local Events: Attend or sponsor local events, such as health and wellness fairs or beauty expos, to connect with the community, offer on-site demonstrations, and distribute promotional materials.
  7. Online Reviews Management: Encourage satisfied clients to leave positive reviews on platforms like Google My Business and Yelp, enhancing your online reputation and attracting potential customers.
  8. Targeted Local Advertising: Utilize geo-targeted online advertising to reach potential clients in your local area, ensuring your marketing efforts are focused on the audience most likely to engage with your services.
  9. Cross-Promotions with Complementary Businesses: Partner with nearby salons, spas, or fitness centers for cross-promotional activities, such as bundled service packages or shared promotional materials, to tap into each other’s client base.
  10. Personalized Loyalty Programs: Implement a loyalty program that rewards clients for repeat business, offering discounts, exclusive perks, or personalized services for long-term customer retention.

Focus on USPs

unique selling proposition

Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that sets it apart from the competition. Customers today are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they are able to quickly grasp how your aesthetics business meets their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire. 

Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its USP: “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your aesthetics business could be:

  • Enhance Your Natural Beauty with Our Tailored Aesthetic Solutions.
  • Experience Luxurious Aesthetics That Transcend Expectations.
  • Unlock Your True Radiance with Cutting-Edge Aesthetic Innovations.


You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain. But your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running an aesthetics business, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in aesthetics for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections. 

The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in aesthetifcs. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership. 

Step 12: Build Your Team

Building a Team for a New Business

If you’re starting out small from a home office, you may not need any employees. But as your business grows, you will likely need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for an aesthetics business include:

  • Receptionist – take calls, greet clients, make appointments
  • Aestheticians – perform aesthetic treatments
  • Office Manager – accounting, inventory management, scheduling

At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need. 

Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Jobs.com. You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed, Glassdoor, or ZipRecruiter. Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent. 

Step 13: Run an Aesthetics Business – Start Making Money!

Running a Business

How wonderful would it be to help people improve their self-image and self-confidence? You’d also be making a pretty penny in a large and growing market. An aesthetics business has unlimited potential, and you could even expand to new locations.

Now that you have the business know-how, you’re ready to become an aesthetics entrepreneur!

Aesthetics Business FAQs

Is an aesthetics business profitable?

Yes, an aesthetics business can be profitable. The profitability of an aesthetics business depends on various factors such as location, target market, quality of services offered, pricing, and effective marketing strategies. The demand for aesthetic services has been growing steadily in recent years, indicating a potential for profitability.

What happens during a typical day at an aesthetics business?

During a typical day at an aesthetics business, activities include welcoming and assisting clients, conducting consultations, performing aesthetic procedures, providing skincare advice, maintaining cleanliness and organization, managing inventory, staying updated with industry trends, and engaging in marketing activities.

What is the growth potential of an aesthetics business?

The growth potential of an aesthetics business is significant due to the increasing demand for aesthetic services driven by factors such as personal grooming awareness, evolving beauty standards, advancements in aesthetic technologies, the aging population, and the desire for non-invasive cosmetic procedures.

What type of business is an aesthetics business?

An aesthetics business falls under the beauty and wellness industry, offering non-surgical cosmetic procedures and services to enhance the appearance and well-being of clients. It can take the form of medical spas, skin clinics, beauty salons, or specialized aesthetic centers.


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How to Start an Aesthetics Business