There are no nationwide licensing requirements if you want to operate as a freelance make-up artist in the UK, although some councils will require you to register with them if you are operating from your own premises.
They do this to ensure that your premises are safe. This shouldn’t be a problem because if you are running your business professionally, your premises will be safe anyway. You may need to pay a fee to cover the local council’s inspection and you may need to display certain documentation, such as your certificate of registration.
You can find out whether you need to be licensed by speaking to your local council. Your council may require you to have public liability insurance before granting you a licence, but again, if you are running your business professionally, you should have this anyway. You may also need other licences depending on your activities.
Public liability insurance
This type of insurance covers you if a compensation claim is made against you by a member of the public. It usually comes with products liability insurance which covers compensation claims arising from any products that you have sold or supplied.
You should make sure that your public liability insurance includes a treatment risk extension. This extension means that cover for claims arising out of the provision of professional services such as applying make-up would not be excluded.
It’s also important to make sure that your public liability insurance includes a financial loss cover extension. Otherwise, compensation claims for purely economic losses such as a loss of earnings would not be covered.
Even if your local council doesn’t require you to be licensed to be a freelance make-up artist, there are some licences that all businesses need.
If you’re playing background music in your premises, for instance, you need a PRS licence. You may also need a licence if you are using CCTV on your premises.
If you’re holding personal information, such as the details of your clients or your employees, you will also need to notify the Information Commission’s Office. There are rules that determine how you can store and process this information.
It is also important to register with HMRC when you set up as a freelance make-up artist, and to register as an employer if you have any employees.