IMPORTANT: When opening a business, please ensure to submit your business registration application a few weeks in advance as the application process can take up to 4-6 weeks.  Please note, walk-ins will not be processed on the same day. Once your business registration application and additional required documentation has been received, your application will be reviewed.

There are many steps involved in opening a salon or spa, and the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia is here to help prepare members achieve business success. The secret is getting started… but where do you start?

Cosmetology business permits are compulsory by law, and must be issued by the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia to every salon and spa (commercial, home-based or mobile). The Association must be in receipt of applicable forms and prescribed fees prior to issuing a salon or spa permit. Permits must be renewed no later than December 31st of each calendar year. Please read the following information below carefully to properly apply for and register your salon or spa with the Association.

General Guidelines

All employees providing services to the public for fee, gain, or expectation of reward or remuneration must hold a valid and current licence in their scope of practice.  Licences and permits must be displayed in a location visible to the public at all times.  Salon and spas must also be in compliance with Occupational Health and Safety standards, which can be viewed at www.novascotia.ca/lae/healthandsafety/.   

*Students cannot apply for a permit to operate until they have completed the Provincial Exam and become fully licensed with the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia.

The Association may ask for proof that a business owner has fulfilled all other requirements to operate a cosmetology establishment before application approval, such as compliance with the following listed below:

  • Registry of Joint Stock Companies - Individuals or partners using only their personal names without a descriptive element or attachment are not required to register with the Registry of Joint Stock Companies.  Please click here for more information.
  • Municipal Zoning requirements - Zoning is the process of dividing land in a municipality into zones (e.g. residential, industrial) in which certain land uses are permitted or prohibited.  Please click here more information on zoning in your area.
  • Building Permit - A building permit is an official approval issued by the local governmental agency that allows you or your contractor to proceed with a construction or remodelling project on your property.  It is intended to ensure that the project plans to comply with local standards for land use, zoning, and construction.
  • Binder Letter - An Insurance Binder is a temporary document issued by an authorized insurance representative that serves as proof of insurance for your business.  An Insurance Binder is subject to all the terms and conditions of the pending insurance contact.  Please contact your insurance broker for more information.
  • Revenue Canada - Are you a chair/room renter (self employeed) or an employee? Visit  https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/canada-pension-plan-cpp-employment-insurance-ei-rulings/cpp-ei-explained/canada-pension-plan-employment-insurance-explained.html for further information.

Business Registration Forms:

Listed below are the registration forms necessary to apply for a cosmetology establishment permit. Please click on the appropriate link to access the form you require.

To apply for a permit to operate a commercial space salon/spa, salon and spa owners are required to fill out the Commercial Registration Forms, which includes (check list, Schedule C, and Schedule A-2).  All forms are required to be filled and signed; ensuring all other requested documents listed in the checklist are attached when submitting application.

To apply for a permit to operate an in-home salon/spa, salon and spa owners are required to fill out the In-home Registration Forms, which includes (check list, Schedule C, and Schedule A-2).  All forms are required to be filled and signed; ensuring all other requested documents listed in the checklist are attached when submitting application.

*All documentation and fee(s) must be received in order to release a permit to operate.

Effective as of October 15, 2018

The following additions are being added to the Association`s Policies and Procedures and the Salon and Spa Compliance Handbook:

All salon and spas (including in home salons and spas) opened on or after October 15, 2018 must:
  • provide and maintain a separate entrance to the salon/spa (which does not require entry into or visibility of living quarters).
  • provide and maintain an open/closed sign to be displayed on the outside (or in a window visible to the public) of the premises.
  • provide and maintain an Open and Closed sign displayed to the outside public.
  • post a price list and salon/spa operating hours, visible to the public.
  • provide and maintain separate washroom facilities for exclusive use by the public which does not require entry into personal living quarters.
  • provide and maintain a sink with running hot and cold water in the room or in an adjacent room where cosmetology services are being offered.
  • provide proof of insurance to the Association.
  • be in compliance with all Provincial and Municipal laws, including confirmation of the Municipality`s approval (i.e: zoning permit, building permit if applicable and the registry of Joint Stock).
  • be separate from personal living quarters.
  • provide and maintain adequate lighting and ventilation.
  • adhere to all other Acts and By-Law requirements.
  • adhere to the Association`s inspection checklist requirements.
Registration & Permit Fees

$250 +HST Registration Fee:
This one-time Salon/Spa Proprietor Application/Registration Fee. 

Permit Fee: This fee is renewed on or before December 31st of each calendar year. The type of permit for which you apply depends on the number of Cosmetologists working at your salon:

1 Person = Apply for a Salon Licence (1) 70.00 +HST
Up to 5 = Apply for a Salon Licence (2-5) 80.00+HST
Up to 10 = Apply for a Salon Licence (6-10) 115.00 +HST
Over 11 = Apply for a Salon Licence (11+) 140.00 +HST

Business registration forms can be submitted by fax (902) 468-7147, email info@nscosmetology.ca or walk-in.

Once the business registration process is completed, you will be issued a Temporary Permit pending inspection.  The goal of coordinating a first- time inspection between the Association and a salon is to equip business owners with everything they will need to succeed and operate safely from the start.  The Association is aware salon/spa hours may vary, please provide the Association with your current salon/spa hours to ensure a prompt inspection.  Upon a successful inspection, the inspector will provide you with your valid permit to operate. 

For more information regarding inspections, please refer to the Salon & Spa Compliance Handbook

Salon & Spa Relocation

Salon/Spa owners relocating their registered cosmetology establishment are required to contact the Association to obtain a valid permit to operate and complete Schedule A-2.  Salon relocation is subject to Salon/Spa relocation/inspection Fee $150 plus applicable taxes as outlined in Schedule B.  Once the Association is in receipt of forms and fees, a Temporary Permit will be issued and a inspection of the salon/spa will be arranged.  Upon a successful inspection, you will be provided with a valid permit to operate.  

New Ownership

Individuals taking over ownership of an existing salon are required to complete Schedule C and Schedule A-2 along with proof of ownership.  Completed forms can be submitted by fax (902) 468-7147, email info@nscosmetology.ca or walk-in.

Salon & Spa Closure

Individuals no longer operating a cosmetology establishment are required to notify the Association in writing (email accepted) of such closure and request that the corresponding account/membership with the Association be discontinued.  Please click info@nscosmetology.ca to submit request.

Please allow 4 - 6 weeks for processing any application.

Cosmetology Association (NS)
126 Chain Lake Drive
Halifax, NS  B3S 1A2

Hours of Operation
Monday 8:30 - 4:30
Tuesday 8:30 - 4:30
Wednesday 8:30 - 4:30
Thursday 8:30 - 4:30
Friday 8:30 - 3:00

*Holiday or Weather closures/cancellations will be noted in the Calendar
Office: (902)468-6477
Fax: (902)468-7147
Toll Free: (800)765-8757

General Inquiries

Provincial Exam Information

Executive Director
Dana Sharkey, CAE




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