How To Start a Candle Business? (Step by Step Guide)

Jon Morgan
Published by Jon Morgan | Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Last updated: June 4, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Lou Viveros, Growth & Transition Advisor
Methodology
We meticulously research and verify the information presented in our articles. By consulting reliable sources and ensuring factual accuracy, we are committed to providing readers with well-informed, trustworthy content.

If you're a passionate artisan candle maker, you can venture into the candle business and earn money from your craft.

To help understand how to start a candle business, Venture Smarter's team of business advisors, with years of experience in the entrepreneurship world, conducted comprehensive research on the industry and even consulted with successful entrepreneurs.

In this article, we'll outline the procedures for starting a candle-making business and assist you in determining whether selling candles is suitable for you.

Quick Summary

  • To start a candle business, register your entity, develop a unique brand, create a detailed business plan, and comply with all necessary legal requirements.
  • Develop a captivating brand identity and conduct competitive market analysis to set your candle business apart from competitors in the industry.
  • The global candle market is expected to surpass $5 billion by 2026, highlighting significant of focusing on strategic growth and advancement opportunity in the industry,
  • By working with multiple candle entrepreneurs, we have seen that focusing on unique scents and creative packaging significantly impacts establishing a successful candle business.


8 Steps To Start a Candle Business

Here are the steps to follow to launch your candle business.

1. Register Your Business

Two people are registering candle business on the table

The first step to starting a candle business is registering the entity with the Secretary of State.

Before you initiate the registration process, find a suitable and catchy business name for the entity and verify that it's available.

Register your candle business once you have a name by filing the correct Articles of Organization documents with the state [1].

Candle businesses can register limited liability companies, partnerships, or corporations.

If you're running the business structure alone, registering it as a sole proprietorship is a good idea to guarantee that you accrue all the benefits and pay income tax [2].

2. Develop a Business Plan

Developing a business plan inside an office

A business plan is a document that describes your launch strategy for your candle company.

It outlines your actions and the materials you'll require to reach your objectives. It also establishes a deadline for outcomes.

Your business strategy must include the following:

  • Find a profitable niche: To ensure a market for your kind of candles, you must define and validate your niche. You can choose to sell luxury candles, mass-market candles, or mid-market candles.
  • Conduct a competitive analysis: You may learn about your competitors' goods, marketing strategies, and business models through competitive research.
  • Identify the probable consumer or target market segment: To establish a brand that resonates with your target market, you must first determine who they are.
  • Make financial projections: In your business plan, you should include your economic projections, including price, projected cash flow, candle sales, shipping costs, and predicted ROI, if you require finance.

"A company with a business plan may thrive and expand 30% quicker than one without."

- Delina Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M. Expert in Mergers and Acuquisitions

3. Develop a Brand Identity

Brand identity comprises your logo, color palette, design aesthetic, and company name, among other visual components.

I advise clients that this will serve as your initial impression and set you apart from other businesses.

You'll require a business name to develop your brand identification. Consider your brand's distinctive qualities, your passions, and the experience your candles will provide customers when you come up with name ideas.

Another quick method to engage customers is with a brand narrative.

Drawing from my experience, it's a story that people can use to understand and relate to your brand. Your purpose, message, and voice are built upon this basis.

Ensure your candle line brand story is engaging, relatable, and genuine. It should move your customers to a certain action, whether to sign up, purchase, or contribute.

4. Get Business Licenses and Permits

Stamping a business permit

Applying for a business license is crucial to completing your company's legalization.

When applying for a candle business license, you'll receive a seller's permit, which enables you to charge customers state sales tax.

Visit the official state website and search for the correct business licenses you'll need, then complete the application procedures that your state has specified.

Note that other states have extra-regional or country-specific licenses and permits.

5. Source Supplies

Box of supplies inside a small room

Before you start the candle-making process, you must purchase the correct supplies.

Candle wax if one of the most essential supplies you'll need. According to a report by Wax Melters, approximately 1 billion pounds of wax is used to make candles sold in the U.S. each year [3]. So wax will make up for most of the supply you'll have to budget.

Here is the list of the necessary candle-making supplies you need:

  • Candle wax: You may use any mix of soy wax, coconut wax, paraffin wax, palm wax, and beeswax.
  • Candle base: This is how your candle is packaged. There are a variety of candle holders, including taper, votives, candelabras, lanterns, pillars, and tea light candle holders. Go with what fits your brand.
  • Candlewick: Candlewick options include zinc, paper, cotton rope, and balsa wood sticks.
  • Scents: Because you are responsible for the scent, choose the smells and perfumes you want to include in your collection of scented candles. Select organic blends if you want to be environmentally friendly.
  • Color: You may add liquid or powdered color dye to the wax to give each candle a distinctive hue.
  • Thermometer: You need a thermometer to read the candle wax temperature. It shouldn’t be hotter than 80°C.

6. Make Your Product

Holding a candle inside a glass

Another important step in starting a small candle business is making unique products that appeal to your target audience.

At first, it would be best to start with a modest and manageable collection of candles. You can make one candle from each of your scent varieties and get input from your friends and family on which candles they like.

Recycle the process until you find your hero candle scents. Make a few of these best-selling products, take them to the market, and assess how well they sell.

Once you know what your target market loves, you can invest in mass production of the specific products and focus on growing them.

However, you must consider some things for product making if you want a unique and profitable candle product for your business. These include the following:

Create a Unique Scent Blend

Using unique scents is one method to differentiate yourself from the competition. Making a novel mix gives you instant market recognition.

Choose more nuanced and sophisticated perfumes that customers can't obtain anywhere else.

You can use scents that evoke memories or feelings of mystery and intrigue rather than the typical flowery and woodsy aromas.

Visual Aesthetics

Creating visual aesthetics for a candle handle

In my experience as a business advisor, I've emphasized to clients that the visual identity of their candle business, encompassing the logo, product photos, e-commerce website, social media platforms, and packaging, significantly impacts public perception.

For instance, targeting a feminine audience, integrating feminine photos, wording, or scents into your branding is crucial.

Venture Smarter has seen firsthand how the careful curation of a brand's aesthetics can elevate its market position.

Most customers indeed use decorative candles to enhance their home décor and enjoy various aromas; thus, designing products with these elements in mind is essential for success.

Design Creative Candle Labels

If you're creative, you can design the labels for your candle-making business using either Canva or Adobe InDesign.

Making a standard candle label that includes editable parts for altering the smell, size, or name of the candle could be simpler.

If each candle scent requires a bespoke design, you may hire a designer from a reputable freelance website to create a professional label for each candle you offer.

Additionally, the label should include:

  • Your company's name.
  • The candle's aroma.
  • Its volume (in fluid ounces).
  • Any other details that clients would find useful.

Consider including the location of the candle's manufacture, the type of wax used, and the website for your business.

7. Build Your Online Store

Using laptop to build an online store

If you plan to launch an e-commerce candle-making business, you must create a website for your company where you can receive order purchases for your candles.

Choose a trustworthy eCommerce website builder with extensive benefits and features, including integrated inventory management, promotional tools, and portfolio management.

Venture Smarter recommends paying close attention to the following candle business tips when designing your own website:

  • Use pristine product images. Offer a variety of studios, lifestyles, and images that showcase your candles from different perspectives. Produce images that are both interesting and educational.
  • Include a thorough description of the goods. List the size(s), scent, anticipated burn duration, and any necessary cautions or usage advice for every candle. This can help reduce scenarios of "what you order isn't what you get" because an item is not as advertised.
  • Make sure it's simple to discover your items and browse your website. As a general guideline, all your items must be reachable in four clicks or less. Utilize menus, breadcrumbs, and "linked products" features to promote the discovery of products on your website.
  • Provide a range of payment methods. When integrating a payment processor with your candle-making business, remember that some consumers might prefer to pay with a credit card, Paypal, Venmo, or Affirm. By selecting payment methods, friction may be reduced at checkout.

8. Create a Marketing Plan For Your Candle Business

Creating a marketing plan for candle business

Creating a marketing strategy for your own candle business will determine the number of sales and customers you get.

Make the most of social media by publishing beautiful pictures of your candles and insightful commentary.

Discuss the aromas of each candle and the feelings they might evoke.

Since customers can't smell your candles through a screen, use descriptive words to create a sensory and mental experience for your audience.

Social media marketing naturally benefits candle companies. But, remember that this is a common practice in the candle market, so consider keeping your costs low to prevent being eclipsed by rivals.

Spend money on advertising and write about specials once a week to get attention.

Given the fierce rivalry in the candle industry, Venture Smarter recommends acquiring visibility early on to boost the company's credibility.

Other marketing strategies to attempt include:

  • Create a newsletter to communicate with clients often and provide product recommendations.
  • Start a blog to increase your site's organic traffic as part of a bigger SEO plan.
  • For your website, gather user-generated material and social proof.
  • Run advertising campaigns that retarget site users and assist you in reaching out to new audiences.
  • Offer additional incentives to clients who send someone else to your website.
  • Run competitions and freebies to raise awareness of your goods.
  • Participate in craft fairs and other community gatherings where you may personally display your wares.

If you want to go the traditional way of selling in a shop, you can market your candles around the neighborhood to raise brand exposure locally.

Collaborate with proprietors of nearby retail stores in the local markets willing to stock handcrafted goods from startup companies.

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FAQs

How Much Does It Cost To Start a Candle Business?

It costs $500-$10,000 or more to start a candle business. The capital amount relies on the company's size, the cost of your raw materials, and other marketing costs.

What Are The Must-Have Materials To Start a Candle Business?

The must-have materials to start a candle business include candle wax, different fragrance oil blends, candle wicks, holders, and colors.

Is the Candle Business Profitable?

Yes, the candle business is profitable. You should get a 25-50% profit margin if you price your products well.

Do You Need Professional Help Starting Your Candle Business?

You may need professional help starting your candle business.

Establishing and maintaining a successful candle-making business requires effort and careful planning. For this reason, we advise consulting with an expert advisor like ZenBusiness.

ZenBusiness offers reasonably priced products, thorough business services, and expert consulting. Its comprehensive support is designed to guide you from the initial application to the ultimate expansion, ensuring your success in the competitive candle-making market.

As you navigate the state application process and strive to create a successful candle-making business, rest assured that ZenBusiness's dedicated internal help desk team will support you at every step. They are committed to your success and are always ready to assist you.


References:

  1. https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/articles_of_organization
  2. https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/sole-proprietorships
  3. https://www.waxmelters.com/Candle-Business-Industry-Facts-s/54.htm#

About The Author

Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Jon Morgan, MBA, LLM, has over ten years of experience growing startups and currently serves as CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Venture Smarter. Educated at UC Davis and Harvard, he offers deeply informed guidance. Beyond work, he enjoys spending time with family, his poodle Sophie, and learning Spanish.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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