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How to start a Candle or Wax Melt Business in the UK

Thinking of starting a candle or wax melt business in the UK? As an entrepreneur, you need to be aware of the legal side of things. The laws are in place to protect your candle making business and your customers too. The last thing you want is to get fined for breaking the law.

In this post, we take you through the legal requirements for selling candles and wax melts.

Legal Requirements For Selling Candles and Wax Melts in the UK

The candle business is lucrative and widely popular. Many people are using candles in their interior decoration to create a relaxing atmosphere. Today, you can find various candle fragrances, from floral and fruit to fresh and dessert-inspired.

If you’re starting a candle-making business, the first thing you need to keep in mind is your goods’ safety. The law that governs this is the General Product Safety Regulation 2005. While the law is not specific on candles, it details standards on candle safety and recommendations.

Companies Act 2006…

By law, customers must be aware of who they’re entering into a contract with. This is usually covered under the Companies Act 2006. Under the law, entrepreneurs must provide the following:

  • Business name
  • Legal ownership name
  • Business address

These must appear on your business documents, including invoice and correspondence via emails. If the information above is present on your business documents, it means protection for your customers.

The information above should also be present on your website. You should also include the following:

  • Your business geographical address
  • Your British Candlemakers Federation membership
  • Email address
  • VAT number

Since your website represents your business online, you must offer supply pre-contract information. Don’t forget to include a 14 day right to return the products. This is good news as your customers will trust your brand and start buying your candles.

Learn more about Distance Sales.

Insurance…

It’s important to ensure that your business has craft insurance. This is true even when selling candles online – Etsy, Amazon or eBay. The insurance protects your business against unforeseen circumstances such as a house fire.

For example, you’re receiving thousands of orders for your candles every week. Your business is growing, but a single house fire incident brings your business down. How you may ask.

The incident happened at your customer’s house. She decided to sue you and claims that one of your candles was the source. Even if the candle came with a warning label, a lawsuit could ruin your business.

With insurance, your business has protection. Before making your first candle, shop around for insurance companies covering crafts such as candle making.

Custom Blends…

Many people are selling and marketing custom blends and melts, mixing fragrance oils and using overpours. If selling custom blends, you need to be aware of the regulations. Every fragrance has its own Safety Data Sheet. This is usually used to create a CLP label.

The law prohibits using one CLP for each separate fragrance and putting them on a product in a list. Combining information from separate CLPs is potentially illegal. If the labels are wrong, and there is an incident involving your customers, they could render your insurance invalid. As such, you would become personally liable in a lawsuit.

Before selling custom blends and melts, make sure each fragrance has its own Safety Data Sheet. This will allow you to create a CLP compliant label for your products.

Food and Insect Labels…

Today, most candle makers are selling candles scented as fruits, sweets, cakes and other desserts. It’s common for such candles to feature food labels. Before labelling your candles with images of food and desserts, there are regulations you need to follow.

The reason why these regulations are in place is that children could confuse the candles with food. If they put the candles in their mouth to eat, it may cause injury or even death. The law applies to using images containing food like cakes, sweets, fruits and other desserts.

Planning on selling and marketing insect repellent candles? If you’re, you must register with the Health & Safety Executive or HSE. The HSE controls insect repellents. If you’ve not given any scientific studies or your insect repellent candles are not on the official register, you could be in trouble. Even when you use insects on your candle labels and packaging, HSE considers it misleading if you did not officially register.

How to Start a Candle/Max Melt Business in the UK

Starting a candle/wax melt business can be daunting, but with our step by step guide, you’ll be up and running in no time.

1) Learn Candle Making…

To succeed in candle making, you need the right knowledge. We recommend heading to the CandleScience website. They have a variety of learning resources. They’re designed for entrepreneurs looking to fulfil their creativity through candle making. Besides learning resources, CandleScience stocks…

  • Fragrance oils
  • Candle making supplies
  • Soap making supplies

Once you understand candle making, you can take the next step to build your candle business.

2) Choose Your Business Name…

Like starting a business, choosing a business name can be daunting. Your business name represents your brand so when picking a business name, avoid hard to spell words. Conduct an internet search and trademark search.

Don’t pick a business name that limits your business as it grows. Use a business name that conveys meaning. Create your business name in seconds with Shopify’s business name generator.

3) Make Your Candles…

Now that you’ve candle making knowledge, the supplies and a business name, it’s time to make the candles. Start by selecting the type of wax for your candles. The most popular ones are:

  • Coconut wax
  • Paraffin wax
  • Soy wax

Most suppliers sell custom blends of these waxes. Next, select the best containers for your candles. We recommend taking a few minutes to shop around. Once you have the right container, start making your candles.

Next, design and create your own labels. We recommend using an online label maker like OnlineLabels. As a trusted source for labels, they offer blank and pre-designed template libraries. They also provide fully customisable label templates.

You can also try their online design software, Maestro Label Designer, to print your labels at home. Maestro Label Designer allows you to use your own custom fonts. By using custom fonts, you help to ensure your business stays ahead of your competition.

4) Choose Your Retail Platform…

When it comes to finding a sales platform, there are five things to consider.

  • Integrations and add-ons
  • End-user experience
  • SEO benefits
  • Solid IT support
  • Payment options
  • Scalability
  • Security
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Analytics and reporting

Alternatively, you can build your online store to sell your crafts. What we recommend is having your own online store and a store on commercial sales platforms like Etsy. This allows you to reach a wider market, have access to intuitive sales and marketing tools.

5) Take Product Photos…

A picture is worth a thousand words. To market your candles professionally, your product photography must be excellent.

Today, customers want to experience products through visuals. They want to see how others are using the product. By having a clear image, customers envision themselves using your product.

To succeed in product photography, look for props to add style to your candles. When it comes to camera choice, you don’t have to use an expensive DSLR. Most smartphones have high-resolution cameras. All you just need is photography lights.

Remember, we are in a world of fast-paced images. As such, ensure that your product photos communicate the right message to your customers clearly.

Learn more about Product Photography for Beginners.

6) Market Your Candles…

Marketing is a huge part of selling your candles successfully. To become a successful entrepreneur, we recommend using multiple marketing platforms. Start with social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Upload photos and videos of your brand and products.

You can also effectively market your candles on social media as follows:

  • Run contests and giveaways
  • Offer exclusive previews
  • Run Facebook ads
  • Introductory offers

When you talk about your brand and products on social media, your customers will connect with your brand. As such, they’ll shop from your online store. Besides social media, market your brand and candles using the following methods:

  • Google My Business promotions
  • Email marketing
  • Events
  • Trade-ins
  • Customer reviews
  • Offer complimentary upgrades

You can also promote and sell your candles at farmer’s markets and craft fairs.

Learn more about Where to sell your candles.

Final Thoughts

Candle making as a side hustle can make you extra cash that you can use to settle debts and for expenses. But if you’re passionate and patient, you can turn your side hustle into a full-time business. If this is the case, you must follow the law. Failure to do so could land you in trouble, ultimately ending your new business.

If you follow the law, candle making is inspiring and rewarding. Before you know it, you could be minting millions of pounds in sales from the comfort of your home.