Working as an animal groomer is a way to combine a love of animals with a job that provides a service in high demand. Pet groomers include mobile services, which make house calls and fixed grooming salons. To groom animals professionally you may need one or more licenses depending on the state where you do business and the type of grooming business you operate.
Every state requires businesses that operate within its borders to have a business license. Business licenses make it possible for you to pay taxes on your earnings as an animal groomer. You can also write off business expenses and apply for tax credits or grants available to small businesses. If you have employees, your business license also gives you a mechanism for withholding taxes from your employees' paychecks. Business licenses vary in cost from one state to another but are generally affordable, even for small pet grooming operations.
Only some states require you to have a special license to groom animals, in addition to your standard business license. A groomer’s license requires an additional fee. In some cases, you may need to pass an exam or show proof of completion of a groomer training course. This ensures that you can work with animals in a safe and humane manner. Groomer’s licenses are only valid in the states that issue them.
Environmental licenses and permits are essential for animal groomers in certain states who allow water runoff from the grooming process to enter the sewers or public water system. Groomers who operate mobile services, for example, may need such a permit to empty their tanks on public roadways or allow runoff from a customer's driveway to enter the street. Environmental permits are available as needed at the local level, with county or city utility departments overseeing the process directly to protect all of their customers.
Even if your state does not require individual pet groomers to hold licenses, it may still require grooming facilities to have them. This applies to pet salons as well as kennels and veterinary offices that offer grooming services. Facility licenses are separate from both individual groomers licenses and business licenses. States that require grooming facilities to apply for licenses will review their information to check for any zoning ordinance conflicts before approving a license application.