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How To Start a Candle Business: Let Your Creation Shine in 2024

Caitlin Greyling Caitlin GreylingFinance Specialist
Illustration of a candlemaking workspace with candlemakers behind a table full of candles, bowls for mixing candlewax, and candlemaking tools. Above the candlemakers is a banner with "How to Start a Candle Business" written on it.

Starting a candle business is an exciting opportunity with the US candle market expected to grow by 5% yearly from 2023 to 2030. That’s a lot of potential customers who could be delighted with the warm glow and sweet scent of your candles. However, you might be worried about how to go about launching, especially the associated startup costs.

I hear you. Establishing a business (any business) can be expensive. But the good news is that starting a candle business can actually be quite low-cost, and you can complete the entire process from concept to launch quickly. In fact, you can launch your candle business today using Limited Liability Company (LLC) formation and website-building services.

Of course, the more thoroughly you research and take care to finalize your business and products, the better. That’s why I’ve listed the 6 steps you can take to start creating your candle business today.

Short on Time? Here’s a Quick Guide to Starting Your Candle Business

  1. Research and write a business plan. Before anything else, you must do your market research. You need to know who your target customer is and who your competitors are. You should also finalize a business plan, especially if you want to get funding.
  2. Choose a name and register an LLC. Do you have a catchy name for your candle business? You should check if it’s available for use. Formally registering an LLC with ZenBusiness secures it and protects you from financial and legal liability.
  3. Apply for tax IDs and obtain permits and licenses. Regulations vary by state, including the necessity to register for tax IDs (federal or state), permits, and licenses.
  4. Open a business bank account and get funding. Capital, such as investment money, is necessary to launch and grow a candle business. You can ensure its proper accounting and management via a business bank account.
  5. Source the required materials, resources, and services. Suppliers and outsourced services can supply and/or handle aspects of the manufacturing of your candles. The materials you select will define your product’s quality, look, costs, pricing, and profits.
  6. Launch and market your company. A candle business needs online visibility, starting with a website. Luckily, you can design your own affordably and quickly using a website builder.

1. Research and Write a Candle Making Business Plan

We’ve heard it all before: planning is the key to success. Candles may be a fun product (to make and buy). But things are no different when launching a candle business – starting with doing your market research and drafting a business plan.

Is Starting a Candle Business Really Financially Viable?

Fortunately, candle making is right up on the list for profitable ventures as the profit margins can be quite high. To increase your chances of succeeding, you should conduct market research to help you conceptualize a unique candle product that your target customers will love. It’s also important to keep quality and ethics in mind when sourcing ingredients and materials and pricing your candles.

After the concept, marketing and visibility are the next most important aspects of your candle business. You will need a website, which you can easily design online with little to no design knowledge using a website builder.

To protect yourself and give your business credibility, you’ll also want to form an LLC. You can do this online via an LLC formation service like ZenBusiness.

What Should You Include in Your Candle Making Business Plan?

When starting a business, drafting a business plan can help you avoid confusion later on and crystallize a solid, profitable idea. You should first define the type of candles you plan to sell and their unique selling points. Then, define your target customer and your competitors.

You should also outline your business structure and the responsibilities of each member.

Will you employ staff or outsource any tasks, such as graphic design, packaging, or shipping, to a third party? If so, to whom? You can also map out your marketing plan.

Lastly, create a detailed breakdown of your starting capital, cost of sales, and projected profits. If you need investment money, you should also include how much money you need, its purpose, and repayment terms.

2. Choose a Name and Register Your Candle Business

The name you choose for your candle business will set the tone for the brand – be it fun, luxurious, exotic, or otherwise. It will also inspire your logo and branding. Once you’ve chosen a name, you can reserve it and form your business online using an LLC formation service. Registering an LLC helps protect you from financial liability, grants privacy, and gives your business credibility.

There are rules governing business naming, which can vary from state to state – but in general, no two LLCs in the same state can use the same business name. LLC formation services usually offer basic search tools on their websites, and will check the official availability and legality of a name as part of the filing process.

When registering your LLC, you should also check the availability of and secure a matching domain name that you’ll use when building your website. Our top three LLC formation services can handle registration for your candle business – plus more.

ZenBusiness: Accounting & Compliance Covered for Your Candle Business

ZenBusiness LLC formation setup process.
You can form your LLC online in 5 easy steps with ZenBusiness for free (with state fees).
ZenBusiness offers three tiers of LLC formation service: a free entry-level plan and two paid packages (plus state fees). Higher-range ZenBusiness LLC formation packages come with value-for-money extras, including expedited processing, Employer Identification Number (EIN) registration, and domain and website hosting.

ZenBusiness’ free Starter LLC formation package is excellent value, too, as it includes useful invoicing and compliance tools for free. Best for both small businesses and enterprises, ZenBusiness is our top pick because of the quality of its service, specifically in regard to customer support.

Features:

  • Invoicing software. Available on all ZenBusiness LLC formation plans, ZenBusiness Money Essential tracks your business expenses and taxes. All you have to do is link your business bank account to get started. You can also trial and upgrade to Money Pro software if you need access to a more comprehensive range of financial tools.
  • Worry-Free Compliance. Keeping up with your LLC tax obligations can be challenging. ZenBusiness helps you stay compliant by sending you reminders regarding important filing dates, such as your annual returns and license renewals.
  • In-house website builder. With ZenBusiness’ Premium LLC formation package, you get access to its in-house, no-code website builder. You can also sign up for this service as an add-on on any LLC formation plan.

Tailor Brands: Design & Marketing-Forward LLC Formation for Your Candle Making Enterprise

Tailor Brands' logo maker page, asking to enter a logo name
Tailor Brands’ logo maker automatically generates a logo for you.
Who says you have to separate your LLC formation from your design and marketing? Tailor Brands rolls everything into one neat package that will help your business stand out. On the Elite package, you get branding, logo design, merch, graphic design, a domain name for 1 year, and a website on top of your LLC formation.

However, Tailor Brands also offers a free basic LLC formation (plus state fees) package, to which you can add select Tailor Brands’ services as needed. Since Tailor Brands’ focus is on offering affordable outsourced creative services and tools, expect to pay extra for some LLC formation essentials, such as EIN registration and Registered Agent services.

Features:

  • Affordable creative services. Tailor Brands specializes in outsourced design, particularly website and merchandise design. It’s also known for its AI-driven automatic logo maker software. You can add these services to your LLC formation or select the Elite package, which already includes them.
  • Optional expedited filing. If you need your LLC formed in a hurry, you can opt for expedited filing, which should shorten the turnaround to around 2 days.

Swyft Filings: Candle-Crafting Business Essentials & Fast Filing Included

Swyft Filings' LLC formation service page, showing the reasons you should file an LLC online with it
Swyft Filings is swifter than most of the competition with turnaround times of up to 10 days.
With Swyft Filings, business essentials are the focus, particularly with its paid LLC formation packages. Its Standard and Premium paid plans include EIN and essential business documents. You can also access a more comprehensive document library on the Premium plan. This makes Swyft Filings ideal for larger, multimember/employee candle businesses.

Swyft Filings really is swift, as well, having one of the fastest turnaround times of all LLC formation services for both free and paid packages (0-10 days max). Swyft Filings is one of the few LLC formation companies to offer same-day filing, too. It’s included with the Premium package or can be added on as an optional extra to other LLC formation packages.

Features:

  • Compliance Guard trial. Trial this premium compliance tool for free for 14 days with any Swyft Filings LLC formation package.
  • Business Licenses and Permits add-on. Swyft Filings consultants will help you figure out the exact permits and licenses you need to obtain to operate legally in your state or states of choice.
I suggest you secure a domain name that aligns with your business’s name as soon as possible – ideally when registering your business name. A domain name can only be registered by one person, so if the one you want is taken, you might have to reconsider your company name.

Your domain name should feature the exact same spelling as your business name, if possible, with no additional text, numbers, or symbols. And remember, your domain name is a part of your email address, so it will be visible in all your messages. You can register a domain name, as well as purchase site and email hosting directly through a website builder’s paid plan.

3. Register Tax IDs, Permits, and Licenses for Your Candle Business

To operate a US business legally and safely, you need to adhere to a number of regulations, which will vary from state to state. You may need to apply for specific tax IDs (federal/state) to operate and/or hire employees. Additionally, specific state and county business licenses, permits, and insurance may also be mandatory.

When conceptualizing a candle business name, brand, and products, you’ll also want to ensure you don’t violate any existing trademarks, patents, and copyrights. Your business name and candle scents shouldn’t copy that of another candle business, or you put yourself at risk of getting sued.

Similarly, you might want to protect your own brand and products from being copied. An LLC formation service, such as ZenBusiness, can help you apply for a trademark and obtain business licenses and permits, if needed. Though expensive, doing so may save you a costly lawsuit or fine later.

Aside from this, you’ll want to look up any applicable candle safety and manufacturing standards. If you don’t comply with these, you could end up being liable if one of your candles causes damage or injury. Candles aren’t the safest of home decor items, so the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have issued detailed candle manufacturing guidelines to improve safety.

4. Get Funding & Manage Finances for Your Candle Business

You’re probably funding your candle business out of your own pocket, even launching it as a home-based business. As it’s not the most expensive type of business to start, it’s totally viable to do so yourself. However, if you want to grow an existing small business, you may need more funding. You can get startup or growth capital from family, friends, customers (through crowdfunding or shares), angel funding, or bank loans.

You may have fewer expenses if you operate an e-commerce candle business, depending on its size. You may not need to pay rent for a brick-and-mortar store or retail employee hires. However, you likely still need to account for storage and manufacturing premise rental, manufacturing and packaging hires, and shipping costs.

Regardless, you need to account for all your business costs and owed taxes. You should consider recording and routing expenses, income, and collected taxes via a separate business bank account. ZenBusiness’ Money software helps you do just this by linking your business account to your ZenBusiness dashboard. ZenBusiness also offers accounting and bookkeeping services from certified public accountants (CPAs) at an additional cost.

5. Source Materials & Services for Making Candles

Now, for the fun part – finally making your candles. Ideally, you should create some test products before settling on a specific candle formulation or launch line.

Crafting your signature candles requires you to carefully consider the materials you use. Paraffin and soy waxes are vegan-friendly. Beeswax and coconut wax are all-natural, clean-burn options. Then there are the dyes, wicks, molds, containers, and essential and fragrance oils. Experiment as much as possible to get that unique candle product right and ready for sale.

To keep manufacturing costs low, you should always source your materials from wholesalers. Sourcing specifically from candle supply stores also ensures your supplies are generally safe to use for crafting candles.

Some popular wholesale and generalist online marketplaces for sourcing candle making supplies include Amazon, Alibaba, Etsy, Candlescience, Bulk Apothecary, Candlewic, and Candles & Supplies.

You can also get discounted rates on supplies and services such as graphic design by opting for bulk packages or plans. But, ideally, only do this when you’re already making money. If you get thousands of labels or tons of wax for less but don’t sell, that’s a waste. You can use the initial small run to start building your network for future bigger runs and do a little market research on who the best provider(s) will be.

6. Launch and Promote Your Candle Company

When launching a candle business, a website is a must. The good news is that you don’t need any experience with site design – designing an online store using a no-code website builder is super easy. Plus, you can also set up a matching email at the same time, so your business communications look professional.

The website builders listed below feature the most user-friendly platforms, with customizable templates, drag-and-drop elements, and accessible assets. That said, you can definitely enlist the help of a freelance designer if funds allow or if you know someone who does this as a hobby.

Wix: Ultra-Customizable, User-Friendly Site Builder with Stunning Candle-Themed Templates

A candle business website created using Wix's website builder
Wix automatically generated this customizable candle e-commerce store for me in just 10 minutes!
Using Wix’s selection of 800+ stunning, modern website templates, you can create a fully functioning website for your candle business. The Wix platform can also generate a completely unique site for you in minutes based on a few questions you answer about its purpose.

The best part? You can actually design and publish your Wix website for free at a temporary web address. You’ll need to pay to connect your domain name.

The best aspect of using Wix to design your candle website, though, is the user-friendliness of its website builder. The Wix builder’s look, layout, menus, and tools are so easy to navigate and use.You can even use it if you’re a complete beginner, saving you a considerable amount of money on web design in the process.

Wix logo black

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Shopify: Online Storefront Design & Product Listing Made Easy

Not all website builder platforms cater specifically to growing or larger businesses that want to sell products online. E-commerce sites need to list products, pricing, promotions, and take orders and payments – all things a regular website can’t do. Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce website builders on the market, specializing in designs, features, and tools that revolve specifically around selling your candles (and other products) online.

Just like Wix, Shopify’s platform features templates, drag-and-drop elements, plugins, and tools – but ones that allow you to design an online storefront with no coding or design experience. You can also trial the Shopify website builder for 3 days (no credit card details required) to see if it’s a good fit for you.

shopify-logo-alt

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Squarespace: High-Quality E-Commerce & Blog Template Designs

The Squarespace website builder features similar quality templates to Wix and WordPress. But it caters well to both e-commerce and blog or standard business site creation. It’s well known as one of the best website builders, featuring premium designs that are so aesthetically pleasing and customizable that it’s hard to tell that your website was designed using a website builder at all.

If you want the premium look without paying a graphic designer hundreds of dollars to design your site, Squarespace may be the platform for you. Not only can you design but also manage your site yourself via the Squarespace platform with no coding or design experience. That said, you can’t publish a site for free – but you can trial the Squarespace website builder for 14 days.

Or Use an LLC Formation Service With a Website Builder Included

Some LLC formation services like ZenBusiness have select paid plans that include a free website and domain name registration. So you can get your website sorted out at the same time when you register for LLC formation.

After your business is registered and your website is up and running, you can finally focus on marketing. Start by promoting your candle store and products through your website and social media pages. Additionally, you can sell candles directly on online marketplaces, such as Amazon, Etsy, or eBay. Offline marketing methods such as print, mail, word of mouth, or participating at events and markets can also be effective in reaching potential customers.

Start Your Candle Business Today

Launching a candle business and an initial product line is hard work. Outsourcing LLC formation to professionals and using a website builder can reduce your costs and workload. So you can focus more of your valuable time and resources on that all-important candle business launch.

When it comes to running your business after launch, LLC formation services and website builder platforms may still be useful, especially for compliance, financial, and other administrative services and tools.

And you don’t have to overspend on these tools and services, either. All of the LLC formation services recommended below will register your LLC for free (plus state fees).

Not sure which is right for you? Compare our top three recommended LLC formation services for starting a candle business below.
Standout feature EIN Does it offer a website builder? Starting price
ZenBusiness Custom invoicing and expense tracking software  (Pro & Premium plans)  (proprietary) $0
Tailor Brands AI logo maker and branding tools Paid add-on only  (proprietary) $0
Swyft Filings Expedited and same-day filing  (Standard & Premium plans)  (with SquareSpace) $0

FAQ

How do I start a candle business?

The 6 main steps of starting a candle business include:
  1. Doing market research and drafting a business plan.
  2. Choosing a candle business name and registering your business.
  3. Registering for tax IDs, permits, licenses, and insurance.
  4. Accounting and getting funding for your candle business.
  5. Sourcing materials, suppliers, and outsourced services.
  6. Launching and promoting your candle business.

How much does it cost to start a candle business?

Your costs depend on the scale, type, and size of the business, as well as how smartly you budget and source supplies, services, and labor. However, it’s advisable to start out small, growing your business organically as you gain insights into which candles sell best. You should also consider your state’s business filing fees if you decide to form an LLC.

Can I start a candle business from home?

Yes, but it’s advisable you register it as an LLC. Doing so protects you from some legal and financial liabilities and can be very low-cost. Our top-recommended LLC formation services, including ZenBusiness, can help you form your LLC today for free (plus state fees). However, you could also benefit from its paid packages, which may include a domain name and hosting, Operating Agreement draft, EIN registration, business document library, and more.

How can I reduce my candle business startup costs?

You should always source your candle making supplies at a lower cost from wholesaler suppliers to start. Starting an online candle business is another way you can reduce your startup costs – just be sure to rent additional workspace (storage, warehousing, etc.) as demand arises. However, it’s important to market your business effectively online to win sales, mainly via an active website, social media, and word of mouth.

How can I sell my candles online?

You can sell your candles directly on popular online platforms like Amazon, Etsy, or eBay. Your website can also act as a central hub where you can generate sales online, and linking it to your social media accounts can boost your online presence. Luckily, creating your own online storefront using a no-code website builder with e-commerce capabilities is affordable and easy to do.

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