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Published 01 May 2024
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15 minutes

How To Start a Candle Business

Are you a candle lover who waxes lyrical about starting your own business? Our guide will answer all the burning questions you need to consider before getting your candle business off the ground.

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Many of us dream of starting our own business so we can become our own boss and make money doing the things we’re passionate about. With the rise of online selling – also known as ecommerce – it has never been easier to start a business or a side hustle from home: whether you’re planning to make and sell your own clothes, get into dropshipping, or cash in on your professional expertise by starting a consulting business.

And if you’re a creative or artistic person who has been waxing lyrical about your love of candles, then perhaps you can smell profit in the large – and growing – candle industry. 

But how do you start a candle business? How do you decide what to sell and where to sell it? How do you go about registering your business and finding your first customers?

Thankfully, this guide is on hand to answer all your burning questions about starting your own candle business. Read on to get a handle on all things candles. 

Why start a candle business?

It takes a lot of work to get any kind of business up and running, and a candle business is no exception. 

But if you’re going to be working hard and burning the midnight oil (or wax) to turn your dreams into reality, then you want to know that it will be worth the effort. 

The good news is that there are many reasons why a candle business could work for you:

Start a candle business in 5 steps

1. Research and choose your market

Market research is an essential step when starting any business. If you want to get your own candle business up and running, you’ll need to spend some time investigating the candle industry and working out where to position yourself.

The objective of your market research is to find out more about your potential customer base and competitors, a process which will leave you better prepared to set up your candle business. You’ll also need to decide what kind of candles you want to make – as well as working out where to sell them.

You can manage your market research in several ways. You can read about the candle industry online, as well as talk to customers and competitors – and maybe browse or even buy your competitors’ products.

When conducting market research, your two most important questions are:

  1. Will there be demand for my candles?
  2. Who is my target market, and how will I market my candles to them?

Once you have armed yourself with some market knowledge, you’ll need to decide on the specifics of your candle business. This means thinking about the size and style of your candles, as well as deciding on what kind of wax to use. If you want to make and sell scented candles, then consider which aromas would work for your candles. 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to candle making, and there are many products which your candle businesses might focus on. These might include:

You’re also going to need to work out what type of wax to use. There are many different options, ranging from the most commonly used paraffin wax to soy wax and beeswax. As part of your market research, you may decide to order a few different wax samples to test them out.

During the market research stage, you may also need to source a supplier for the various parts which make up a candle. This is more than just the wax and includes wicks, receptacles, labels, and packaging. Your wax supplier may be able to point you in the direction of dyes, scents, and wicks which go with your wax of choice.

Another thing to think about is what market you’ll be going after. Candles can fall into the following categories:

The final thing to think about is where you’re going to sell your candles. 

Of course, many brick-and-mortar shops stock candles, including many independent stores. But candle businesses are also well suited to an ecommerce business model. You may decide to sell your candles on your own ecommerce website, or you may use an existing platform like Amazon as your online storefront. Your research should help you figure out how you can reach your target market.

You may also consider using a subscription service to reach your customers. With this business model, your customers will pay a recurring fee and in return they’ll receive a delivery of candles at set intervals. 

2. Create a budget for your candle business

Creating a business plan and budget will help give you a better idea of exactly how much money you’re going to need to get your candle business up and running. 

Writing out a business plan will also help you work out if your ideas can realistically be turned into a business. A business plan will normally also be required if you apply for a start-up loan or business loan.

For a detailed guide read our article on how to write a business plan.

It may be possible to start a candle business for as little as £1,000. When starting your own candle business, the following costs will need to be considered:

For a more detailed guide, explore our five-step guide to creating a small business budget.

3. Register your candle business

One of the first official steps in your business journey is going to be choosing a business structure and then registering your candle business. You should take your time and research which business structure best suits your needs:

» MORE: Should I register as a sole trader or limited company?

Now is also a good time to think about licences, insurance, and the laws around running a candle business. 

Generally, you do not need a specific licence to sell candles in the UK. The exception is if you 

plan to sell your candles at a market stall – in which case you will need a market stall licence. Visit for more information and to apply. 

You will need to be aware of the strict laws around the safety and labelling of your candles. There are various warnings and documentation which you must put on your labels. For more information about classification, labelling, and packaging regulations (known as CLP regulation), visit the website of the Health and Safety Executive

The British Candlemakers Federation has also published specific guidance for anyone who wants to make and sell their own candles. Be sure to read, understand, and follow any laws or guidelines around product safety and labelling. 

Your candles will also be subject to the General Product Safety Regulations (2005). Among other things, these laws oblige you to make sure your products are safe before you place them on the market. Visit the Government website for more information. Your local Trading Standards office may also be able to help you understand the laws around candlemaking. 

As if that isn’t enough, you also need to bear in mind that your candles will be subject to the Consumer Rights Act 2015. This law obliges sellers to make sure their products are fit for purpose, accurately described to customers and of satisfactory quality. The Consumer Rights Act entitles customers to return any faulty or defective product for a full refund up to 30 days after purchase or delivery. Between 30 days and six months, you have the option of offering to replace or repair the faulty goods before needing to offer a refund.

Although it’s not a legal requirement for a business with no employees, it’s a good idea to take out insurance for your candle business. 

Public liability insurance can protect you in your dealings with clients and members of the public. Specialised candlemaker insurance is also a good idea, given the various risks and requirements inherent to the candle industry. 

4. Fund your candle business

Of course, you’re going to need some money to get your candle business going. Once you have created a budget and registered your candle business, you are ready to seek funding. You may need to combine the various funding options below in order to get your business off the ground.

You will also need somewhere to put the funding for your candle business, like a business bank account

Remember that while sole traders can continue to use their personal bank account for business transactions (assuming the bank in question allows it), limited companies and partnerships are legally required to keep their personal and business finances separate. In this case, opening a business bank account is a must. 

Even if you are running your candle business as a sole trader, you may find it easier to keep business funds and transactions in their own separate account.

5. Find your first candle business customers

Now’s the time to connect your candles with your customers and, hopefully, make your first sale. 

If you plan to set up your own storefront on an existing ecommerce platform – like Amazon or Etsy – then make sure your profile showcases your candle business in the best possible light. List your products and write accurate descriptions so your customers know what to expect. 

If you have set up a dedicated website for your candle business, use photos and customer testimonials to showcase your products. Share links to this website on social media, and consider setting up dedicated social media accounts for your candle business. 

You can promote your business on social media through influencer marketing, paid advertising, or simply by posting about your products.

Selling your candles across multiple channels – including your own website, online shopping platforms, and directly on social media – will increase exposure for your business. This, in turn, may lead to more sales down the line. 

Meanwhile, if you plan on selling your candles in physical shops, invest some energy into cultivating good relationships with local stores which may end up stocking your products. 

How much do candle businesses charge?

Since there are so many different kinds of candles out there, there’s no one figure to answer the question of how much a candle should cost. Also bear in mind that mass-market, mid-range, and luxury candles are all priced differently.

Mass market candles may be priced under £1 each, while luxury candles at the top end of the market commonly sell for £100 or more. Expect the price of a mid-range candle to fall somewhere between the two extremes. 

As a general rule when setting prices for your candle business, try to aim for a 25% to 50% profit margin on every candle you sell. 

Image source: Getty Images

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