April 2009

Vicki Peters

The Nail Extension | by Vicki Peters


Am I a Booth Renter?

Finding a job is tough enough in this market and when you find out things are not right at the salon you agreed to work at what do you do?

Many of us that are just starting out do not know what options to look for in a salon environment so we agree to take the job and find out later we are not 100 percent happy with the situation.

How do we know what is legal and not legal and how do we decide if salon employment is a better option for us than booth renting? It is quite the dilemma.

There recently was a post on a popular beauty message board and I wanted to share her confusion mainly because many of us are in the same situation depending on where we work.

Am I a booth renter or an employee?

I work in a salon that has made all the techs sign papers stating that we are all [booth renters]. However, we are paid a commission and receive a paycheck every two weeks. They have also now told us we have to work a minimum of 40 hours a week and we have to use the products they provide and they control our books at all times, even telling us that we cannot get client info such as phone numbers etc. They have even told us we have to be on call on our days off. They do not pay employment taxes, Social Security, etc. and they give us a 1099.

When I was researching booth renting on the IRS website it states that the employer cannot control any aspects of the job that you are doing.

If the employer controls any of this then you are an employee not a booth renter. When this has been discussed they just tell us they are not doing anything wrong. --Help Confused

There are two clear ways to work in a salon, booth renting or becoming an employee. The unclear way is to work on a commission, get paid by check where you are responsible for taxes and the salon controls how you work, products you use and your book. This is an IRS situation.

If you find yourself in this “unclear” situation, as many of us have – me included, do your homework to see what your state allows. Each state has different laws and you must know your rights. However, since you accepted the situation and are already working in this “unclear” work environment the only answer to the solution is to leave the salon if they do not make changes.

Understanding the Difference

Booth Rental


If you do not fall under booth renting or employee categories, challenging the salon once you are working there may be difficult. So be sure to do your homework first and know what you agreed to when you signed the agreement or contract before making any decisions. You have options and you need to be happy with your work situation no matter which working environment you choose.

Vicki Peters is a 28 year veteran master nail tech, competition champion, judge, international educator, author and manufacturer and serves on the Nail Manufacturer Council. For more information visit www.vickipeters.com or email her at Vicki@vickipeters.com.