What Type of License is Needed to Open a Makeup Business?

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Talented makeup artists can be highly sought after professionals.
Talented makeup artists can be highly sought after professionals. (Image: MrLonelyWalker/iStock/Getty Images)

If you love to experiment with makeup application techniques, and you enjoy making people look good and feel good about themselves, you may have considered a career in the makeup business. Depending on the requirements of your state, you may be required to obtain a license for your business. Your license needs may vary according to your situation and whether you want to work in a salon, open a home-based business or start a makeup manufacturing plant.

Cosmetology License

You may be required to obtain a cosmetology license if your business plan includes the intention to apply makeup to your clients. Many makeup artists attend cosmetology school in order to learn the basics of makeup application, and you may obtain a cosmetology certification or license as a culmination of that training. If you operate your business within a salon, the salon owner will likely require that you maintain a cosmetology license. If you go into business for yourself, contact your state's cosmetology board to determine whether your business requires a cosmetology license.

Business License

Most states require any type of business to obtain a license to legally operate within the state. Many makeup artists are considered independent contractors or self-employed business owners. Speak with a representative at your state or town business office to determine what type of business license you may need for your makeup business. If you plan to sell cosmetics, you may also need a resale license.

Manufacturer License

If your makeup business involves plans to create your own line of makeup or skin care products, contact your state's department of health or local branch of the Food and Drug Administration to find out what licenses you may need. Whether you open your own cosmetics lab or create products in your kitchen, you may be required to obtain a manufacturer's license, and you may be subject to routine health inspections.

Esthetician License

A cosmetology license is important for any qualified makeup artist who wishes to open a makeup artistry business. If you want to provide additional skin care services or start your own business creating makeup products, it may be helpful to obtain an esthetician's license. As a licensed esthetician, you may be better equipped to understand skin conditions and makeup reactions you may encounter as you work with clients.

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