Building a Better Business

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Over the years, we have helped thousands (and thousands and thousands!) of salons, spas, and mobile business users get their spray tan businesses up and running, so we understand that there are a lot of unknowns out there, especially when it comes to the legal side of things. We’ve compiled a bunch of information that we think can help point you in the right direction.

Please be aware that these laws might not be universal, and can change from state-to-state and from country-to-country: so make sure to read up, and then do your own research too!

Step One: Choose a Business Structure

Are you a sole proprietor? Are you incorporated? Do you have an LLC? One of your first business decisions is deciding how to structure your company. Go here for a clear explanation of your options: Business Structuring


Step Two: File for a “Doing-Business-As” Certificate

A “Doing-Business-As” Certificate (DBA) is a quick and simple way to set up your business through your town or city clerk’s office. Fill out your DBA certificate


Step Three: Register Your Business with the State

Corporations, LLCs and other business entities need to register with the Secretary of the Commonwealth before beginning business in Massachusetts (Where Aviva HQ is located). Annual updates are usually required as well. Remember to check with your state to see what the registration requirements are for your business.

Open file for Secretary of the Commonwealth (Massachusetts Businesses Only)


Step Four: Obtain an Federal Employer Tax ID (EIN)

Prior to registering your business with the state, you’ll need an “Employer Identification Number,” issued by the IRS. Obtaining one is free, and can be applied for easily online. Get your EIN Here: IRS


Step Five: Become Familiar with Tax Rules & Regulations

Understanding and managing taxes is an important part of running a successful business. In this section you’ll find all you need to know on this vital topic.

Tax Responsibilities by Business Type

Employer Tax Responsibilities

Federal Tax Forms & Publications


Step Six: Obtain Business Licenses & Permits

Successful businesses stay current and complete through federal, state and local rules and regulations. Use this section to make sure you’re up to speed and up to date.

Guide to State & Federal Business Regulations

Safety-Related Licenses by Business Area

Licenses by Business Type

State Permits Assistance

Expedited Permitting Districts

Building Codes


Step Seven: Business Insurance

Insuring your spa or salon is a big (often mandatory!) step, and we strongly encourage you to do your own research in the matter if you haven’t already. There are so many variables that go into spa and salon business insurance that you really shouldn’t rely on us: go speak to a professional in the insurance industry to make sure you are making the right choice!

A common question among mobile tanners is where to find insurance which even covers going into a client’s house for a spray tan service. The good news is that there are several agencies which do cater to mobile spray tan services, and  you can also purchase general liability insurance as well! Here are a few agencies that offer spray tanning insurance:

(The businesses listed below are for informational purposes only and are not endorsements of the businesses themselves.)  

Alternative Balance


Information on General Liability Insurance


Step Eight: Announce your Business!

Aside from creating a website and a Facebook Business Page (and other social media accounts) for your new business, it’s also important to list your business in free directories and other listings so you can get your name out there! Here is a list of 24 free directories you can start with:

Google My Business

Yelp for Business Owners

Bing Business Portal

Yahoo Small Business Portal

Yellow Pages

MapQuest Business Location



Merchant Circle


City Search




Biz Journal Business Directory

Angie’s List

Dex Knows

Yellow Bot



Magic Yellow

Express Update

City Slick


Become Spray Tan Certified by Aviva Labs

Sign up for one of our no up-front fee, 1-day workshops located in a city near you!

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