Open a canine or feline grooming salon

Setting up a canine groomer or taking over a grooming salon is a project for animal enthusiasts familiar with dog and cat maintenance techniques.

It is a job that requires technical skills, good contact with animals, management skills, interpersonal skills and also a certain physical resistance.

Opening a dog grooming salon is a craft : it will therefore be necessary to register with the Chamber of Trades and Crafts.

Note that it is possible to open a grooming salon at home. 80% of groomers are groomers.

Here is everything you need to know to open a grooming salon.

Pet Grooming: Market and Trends.

In recent years, the grooming market has grown steadily . Grooming represents a market of nearly € 1 billion , growing by 20% over five years. But it is a highly competitive and rapidly changing market.

Some market elements and trends to know before opening your grooming salon:

  • In France, dog breeds requiring regular grooming (poodle, yorkie, shihtzu, westie) are in decline compared to breeds that are easier to maintain.
  • The benefits of mowing and cutting are highly competitive and prices are driven down. It will also be noted that many animals do not need to have their hair trimmed or shortened. These services, often seen as main, should therefore be seen as secondary.
  • The services in progress are peeling, trimming by “waxing”, disentangling, brushing (brush, forced air), or bathing and drying.
  • We note the development of specific treatments for dogs: massages, relaxation, spa with bubbles …
  • The product sales (baskets, saddlery, transport cages, care products, foods) are a good supplement income but competition is strong in this niche (pet shops, garden …). Groomers distinguish themselves by offering high-end products.
  • We note the development of zoocosmetology: products based on plants or essential oils, having effects on behavior, breathing or stress.
  • The regularity of loyal customers is estimated at one visit every 5 weeks on average.
  • The feline grooming is increasing.
  • A treatment lasts on average 1 hour and a quarter.
  • Profitable grooming salons charge no less than $ 40 an hour.
  • Home grooming services are developing: they are mainly aimed at the elderly. Home services are less profitable than salon services due to the time spent traveling.

Opening a grooming salon: the necessary qualities.

The job of groomer or groomer is quite demanding and involves risks, especially in terms of allergies or health (back pain, musculoskeletal disorders, fatigue, etc.). The groomer must have a good technical level, and must be comfortable in terms of management and contact with clients. He must work quickly and well to ensure sufficient profitability.

Some tips for success as a freelance groomer:

  • know the breeds and their specificities, keep informed and self-educate constantly,
  • develop the turnover from the sale of products to supplement the income: the ideal would be to reach 20% of the turnover from the sale of accessories and other products,
  • know how to convert occasional customers into regular customers through various promotional media: loyalty card, seasonal communications, promotions, animal birthdays, etc.
  • know how to work in good harmony with veterinarians : they can act as prescribers for your activity.

Grooming standards and regulations.

What diploma to open a grooming salon?

Although the activity is artisanal in nature, it does not require any diploma or special qualification.

However, it is advisable to take appropriate training , for example: Free mousse grooming (CFNT), groomer training from the French Federation of Animal Grooming Craftsmen (FFATA), etc.

It will also be necessary to self-train on the specificities of the races.

Standards relating to grooming rooms.

Setting up a grooming salon requires a specific room with a ventilation system, easy-to-clean surfaces, a suitable bathtub, a water softener, a drying facility, and a waiting area. Animal health standards must be observed.

The other standards are as follows:

  • Safety and accessibility standards:
    • standards relating to public buildings (establishments open to the public): fire safety, extinguishers,
    • accessibility of the premises to disabled people,
  • Display of service prices outside and inside the establishment,
  • Obligation to pay a contribution to SACEM , if music is broadcast in the establishment (radio, TV, etc.).

What is the best legal status for a grooming salon?

In all cases, the groomer activity being artisanal, the creation of the company will be done at the formalities center of the Chamber of Trades and Crafts . An installation preparation course can be carried out (optional), lasting 3-4 days.

The different possible statuses for setting up as an independent groomer are:

  • The micro-enterprise (ex-auto-company): this is a very simplified status that can be adapted to a business startup:
    • no accounting obligation, which has advantages (savings of a chartered accountant) and disadvantages (difficulty in accessing credit),
    • obligation to follow up on receipts ,
    • obligation to open a separate bank account (beyond € 5,000 in annual revenue),
    • social contributions calculated as a percentage of revenue.
  • The sole proprietorship in own name (EI): it is a more credible statute than the micro-enterprise because the accounting is real, but which can reserve some surprises in term of payment of the social contributions; in fact, the latter being calculated on profits, they are likely to vary greatly from one year to another,
  • The Sarl (SARL sole shareholder): this is a suitable status to a living activity exercised. The manager himself determines his remuneration, which serves as the basis for calculating social contributions. The manager is a self-employed, non-salaried worker,
  • The SASU : this legal regime is suitable but a little more expensive than the EURL; the manager is assimilated-employee. This scheme makes it possible to avoid Social Security for the self-employed (ex RSI).
  • For more details, click on each of the links above.

Create a grooming salon in 10 steps.

Here are the main steps to opening a grooming salon and setting up a dog groomer:

  1. Train yourself ,
  2. Imagine the map of your services and validate your choices by a market study ,
  3. Research suppliers of materials and products, get quotes and negotiate terms,
  4. Carry out an economic study: develop a financial plan , list the start-up financial needs and find aid and funding,
  5. Identify the room ; sign a commercial lease ,
  6. Complete the work and decorate your grooming salon,
  7. Performing the training camp at installation (optional)
  8. Choose your legal status and register (Chamber of Trades and Crafts),
  9. Start communication and activity,


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