The cosmetics industry is one that earns billions of dollars in sales per year. Whereas it used to be mainly multi-national corporations making money in the makeup business, today independent and artisan cosmetic companies are starting and growing into successful ventures. Starting a cosmetics business can be enjoyable and profitable, but requires thorough planning.
1. Become familiar with the FDA’s regulations regarding the manufacture and labeling of cosmetics. This information can be found on the “Cosmetics” section of the official United States Food and Drug Administration website.
2. Choose a niche for your cosmetics business; this is your area of specialty within the cosmetics market. For example, you can choose to sell organic makeup, cosmetics that cover up tattoos, special effects makeup, mineral cosmetics or lip care products.
3. Decide where you will sell your cosmetics. Options include a mall kiosk or booth, online artisan marketplace, online auction website, e-commerce store, craft fair or through home parties. Selling your products online is the cheapest option, but it is a good idea to sell through multiple venues to maximize your profits.
4. Obtain the permits needed in your area to start a retail business. For instance, in Houston, TX an assumed name certificate from Harris county and sales tax permit are needed, as well as a sales and use tax resale certificate if you plan to buy cosmetics wholesale as opposed to making them.
5. Purchase the materials needed to produce your cosmetic products such as jars, tops, colorants, lip-safe flavoring oils, natural butters, essential oils and exfoliants from a supplier.
6. Open accounts with wholesale suppliers of makeup if you do not plan to make the cosmetics you sell. You will likely be required to provide business documentation and place a minimum order between $50 and $200.
7. Develop a marketing plan for your cosmetics business. This can include launching a promotional blog or website, placing ads on blogs, forums and websites that your target market frequents, listing your company in online or print business directories, or joining a cosmetic industry association to network with suppliers.