I do not have my nail technician license yet, but I do have a degree in business. Can I open a nail salon and have someone else manage it?
Yes, you can open a salon in California. The salon must be managed by a person who holds an individual license in California.
--Kristy Underwood, executive officer, California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
Laws may vary from state to state, so if you don't live in California (for which the answer above is valid), then please ask your own state's board of cosmetology.