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The Hybrid Salon

Updated: Oct 31, 2022

About the author:

LeeAnn Miley is a salon owner based in Hastings, Nebraska, and the President and Executive Director of The Sovereign Stylist. Her personal experiences led her to advocate and educate stylists on proper worker classification. LeeAnn’s blogs are typically focused on tax compliance, worker classification, and general business practices. LeeAnn believes that laws and business are powerful entities when one has knowledge of them and has dedicated herself to spreading such knowledge to the industry she loves.

Hybrid salons are salons that have employees & booth renters. Usually, owner will hire new stylist who need to build up clientele as employees with the goal of eventually becoming a booth renter.

While it may seem that having a hybrid salon is the best of both worlds, they are frowned upon by the IRS & Department of Labor because of misclassification. Unless there are clear boundaries set between employees & renters, there is often constant conflict looming in the air.

Salon owners want to have some sort of control over their workers. They want a sense of uniformity to ensure consistent results & constant flow of customers. Expecting booth renters to abide by rules that employees do is not legal practice. A worker is either an employee or self employed.

Walk-ins belong to the salon and are given to employees of the salon. Booth renters often believe they have rights to walk-ins when in reality, they are responsible for filling their own chairs.

Employees of the salon are expected to have other duties when not with clients, like cleaning & up-keep of the salon. Booth renters are responsible for their station. So, employees often feel as if they are clean up after booth renters.

One stylist said at her salon the booth renters & employees are in 2 different parts of the building. Each group has their own color rooms & back bar, they share laundry & break rooms. She said it can get lonely if she happens to be the only booth renter working that day.

Another stylist said she was supposed to be a booth renter, but was treated as an employee. The salon had centralized payments, all credit cards were ran through the salon’s terminal, they were given a specific schedule to follow & weren’t allowed to sell retail.

State’s & other federal agencies (IRS & DOL) are cracking down on our industry. Stylist are being misclassified, owners are evading taxes & income isn’t being reported. These agencies have even started to “team up.” If you happen to hear from one, it won’t belong before the rest will be knocking at your door. It is time to put some integrity back into our career, our passion. Educate yourself on properly classifying stylist, pay your taxes, report your income & make the world beautiful.


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