(Updated September 2022)

What state and federal laws apply to your beauty business? Don’t wait for a complaint, lawsuit, investigation or fine to find out. 

Trusting information crowdsourced from colleagues and social media may be hazardous to the health of your business.

State Resources

State Governments – This state-by-state directory provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) focuses on small businesses and the self-employed with links for doing business in your state, becoming an employer, paying state taxes and more.

Professional Licensing Boards – Courtesy of the National Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC), visit your state board’s website to learn about licensing requirements, review health and safety regulations, renew or verify a license, file a complaint, participate in a board meeting and contact board staff.

Federal Resources

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (Department of the Treasury)
Mission: “Provide America’s taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and enforce the law with integrity and fairness to all.”
Independent Contractor (Self-Employed) or Employee?
Business Structures
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Business Taxes
Hiring Employees
Employment Taxes
Tax Tips for the Cosmetology & Barber Industry
How Do You Report Suspected Tax Fraud Activity?

Department of Labor (DOL)
Mission: “To foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.”
Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors
Summary of the Major Laws
State Minimum Wage Laws
Hours Worked & Overtime Pay
Unemployment Insurance
Workers’ Compensation
Workplace Posters
How to File a Complaint

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (Department of Labor)
Mission: “To ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.”
Hazard Communication Standard: Safety Data Sheets
OSHA Worker Rights and Protections
Help for Employers
Hair Salons: Facts about Formaldehyde in Hair Products
Health Hazards in Nail Salons
File a Complaint

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Department of Justice)
Mission: “The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects people with disabilities from discrimination.”
Businesses That Are Open to the Public
File a Complaint

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (Department of Justice)
Mission: “Prevent and remedy unlawful employment discrimination and advance equal opportunity for all in the workplace.”
Employees & Job Applicants
Employers/Small Business
Discrimination by Type: Age, Disability, Equal Pay/Compensation, Genetic Information, Harassment, National Origin, Pregnancy, Race/Color, Religion, Retaliation, Sex, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) (Department of Justice)
Mission: “The Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) enforces the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).”
Best Practices for Hiring and Recruiting Workers
Protecting Your Right to Work
EEOC vs EIR Employment Discrimination Comparison

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
Mission: “The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency that protects the rights of private sector employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve their wages and working conditions.”
Employee Rights
Employer/Union Rights and Obligations
The NLRB and Social Media

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (Department of Health and Human Services)
Mission: “The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices; and by ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.”
Cosmetics Guidance & Regulation
Summary of Cosmetic Labeling Requirements
Cosmetic Ingredients
Hair Products
Nail Care Products
Is It Really ‘FDA Approved’?
How to Report Product Problems and Complaints to the FDA

National Institute for Occupational Health (NIOSH) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Mission: “To develop new knowledge in the field of occupational safety and health and to transfer that knowledge into practice.”
Chemical Disinfectants & Sterilants – Reproductive Health
Researching Risk of Birth Defects Among Pregnant Nail Salon Workers and Hairdressers
Hair, Formaldehyde, and Industrial Hygiene

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Department of Commerce)
Mission: “The FTC is a bipartisan federal agency with a unique dual mission to protect consumers and promote competition.”
When a Business Offer or Coaching Program Is a Scam
Multi-Level Marketing Businesses and Pyramid Schemes
Report Fraud

Department of Education (ED)
Mission: “ED’s mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.”
Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs (DAPIP)
Student Loans, Forgiveness
Know Your Rights
How to File a Discrimination Complaint with the Office for Civil Rights

Small Business Administration (SBA) 
Mission: “The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) helps Americans start, build, and grow businesses.”
Register Your Business
Apply for Licenses and Permits