Do You Need A License To Sell Perfume? [Facts and Rules]

Written By Nazia Haque

You can easily make perfume at home, but you cannot sell them as easily.

I understand if you are enthusiastic about getting into the fragrance business, you’d want to know if you need a license for it.

Keep reading to get more insights to pursue your aromatic passion.

Do You Need A License To Sell Perfume_

Do You Need A License To Sell Perfume?

Yes, you do need a business license to sell perfume on whatever platform. And you need to pay to acquire a seller’s right. Moreover, a permit will vouch for your authenticity. In addition to that, you need a business plan. In order to do this, you need to do extensive research.

Looking for something different? Then check out our blog about Do You Give Perfume As A Gift?

What License is Needed to Sell Perfume?

To start a perfume business, you will need a DBA, incorporation, or LLC, and a seller’s permit to buy perfume materials wholesale and sell retail. In addition to that, you must have a business license. To hire employees, you will need a federal and state employer number as well.

Every new business is required to get a business license. A license will authenticate your products. And it’s also applicable for homemade perfumes.

On the other hand, you may also need a seller’s permit if you sell taxable merchandise.

In addition, you will need a federal and a state EIN if you hire employees. For instance, a Federal Tax Id Number and a State Employee Tax number.

Which License Is Required For Perfume Manufacturing?

Firstly, you need to obtain a business license. However, if you start an online business, you just need a business license and a DBA doing business as trade name registration.

Secondly, you need to fulfill Federal, State, and Local Tax requirements for online and home businesses. Here’s how it works:

  • At the federal level, you need to pay income tax on net profit and employment tax.
  • You need sales tax if you sell merchandise and employment tax if you have employees at the state level.

Though it is easier to sell perfumes online than in retail location stores or offices, you still need online perfume permits. Online or brick and mortar require the same licensing.

Most importantly, you must choose the tax entity from an LLC corporation or sole owner before any business license. Here are the tax ID’s that you need to get:

  1. Sales Tax ID
  2. Federal Tax ID
  3. State Tax ID

Finally, once you have got all the required tax information, you’re good to go to start your business legally.

How To Get A License To Sell Perfumes?

How To Get A License To Sell Perfumes?

The FDA regulates all cosmetic products. And our fragrance is regulated as a cosmetic. Now, all businesses need an Apalachicola business tax registration.

Furthermore, a General Vendor license is required for anyone who will sell, lease, or offer to sell or lease goods or services in a public space that is not a store.

Also, note that the maximum number of General Vendor Licenses that the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) issues to non-veterans is limited by law to 853. Only the following individuals can apply for General Vendor License:

  • An individual with a valid waiting list number issued by DCA
  • An honorably discharged veteran residing in New York State
  • The surviving spouse or domestic partner of an honorably discharged veteran residing in New York State.

To sum it up, a license is essential to start any business.

Follow our guide to know Why Are Creed Perfumes So Expensive?

Now, Here’s how you can get the following licenses to sell perfume:

  • Get a Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN) through the IRS website.
  • Get a vendor’s license or retail sales license through your state’s tax department or secretary of state office.

In addition, do contact your secretary of state office to find out what licenses are required in your state.

Are You Allowed To Sell Homemade Perfumes?

Yes, you are allowed to sell homemade perfumes, but you just have to follow specific protocols. Moreover, the mark-up on fragrances is very high. Therefore, if you are successful, you can earn thousands a month, but it will take a while to build the business up to that kind of level.

Meanwhile, you can quickly sell homemade perfumes as there are a variety of methods to do so.

Certainly, you need to market your products the right way. Here’s where you can distribute your perfumes:

  1. In gift shops
  2. In the high street
  3. On online
  4. In independent chemist shops
  5. In toiletry stores

Moreover, you can also sell at craft fairs, local markets, and gift fairs. For example, some fairs take place annually, so keep a lookout for that.

On the other hand, if you wish to sell your perfumes online- you can set up a website. As a result, your products will get direct exposure to the public.

In addition, you can set up your perfume-selling marketplace on eBay.

How Do I Start a Perfume Business?

How Do I Start a Perfume Business?

You can check out the sell rate, average selling price, and competition to understand how the perfume business works. After reviewing the data from big sites like Amazon and eBay, you will see the potential.

First, create a business plan to sell perfumes.

Here’s what you have to include to draft your plan of action:

  • A mission statement
  • Statement of initial goals
  • Statement of three, six, and 12-month goals for the desired number of product offerings.
  • The desired number of retailers reselling the products
  • Desired cash flow
  • Startup cost
  • Budget
  • Income
  • Profit
  • Loss

Most importantly, you have to constantly update and tweak your business plan with real-world numbers as they become available.

Secondly, invent new scents, especially when you want to sell your creation. Therefore, research for perfume recipes, or create distinctive blends with small batches of essential oils.

And invest time to get familiar with the scents to understand their characteristics.

So start blending scents together, make notes, and find the scents that you want to mass-produce. Also, you can gather constructive feedback from your friend and family on your fragrances.

Third, you need bottles for your fragrances. For that research, perfume bottles, tester bottles, and sample vial wholesalers and the designs they offer for each type of container. Here is how you should proceed next:

  1. Choose a bottle shape and size to represent every type of scent.
  2. Contact the wholesaler who sells perfume bottles.
  3. Get information on how many bottles per unit are required for a minimum purchase.
  4. Find out how much minimum purchase costs.
  5. Inquire about the tester and sample sizes.
  6. Always arrive at an agreeable price for all the bottles required and then place an order.

Next, create your brand by designing a logo to represent the business- incorporate the logo into a range of promotional materials. Here’s what you have to do for marketing:

  • Make mock-up business cards
  • A promotional brochure
  • A label for the bottles
  • An ingredient list to hand to potential resellers

In addition, formulate all the other packaging required for the perfume to make it a finished product.

For example, you need to check for boxes, bags, or other outer wrappings. And contact the wholesaler for all these items and place the order.

Meanwhile, investigate options for a sales presentation display case to look professional and organized when calling potential resellers.

Here are things you need to do to get your final product out there:

Set up a website

Create a website even if you don’t wish to sell online. A site is an informative space which is very important to generate sales. Hence, it will help establish your perfume brand, promote the company, and generate a comfort level for potential resellers and customers.

Set the price

Research and analyze the amount appropriate to sell your perfumes that will not result in loss or scare away customers.

Target retailers

Target exotic and rare, high-end designer boutiques to set an image for your perfumes.

Contact with the mass produces

You need mass production of your scents for that you need to contact a company that does so and which is affordable by you.

Lastly, expand the perfume line’s exposure by finding perfume, aromatherapy, and day spa trade shows to present the line to gain access to the mass market. Also, you can try:

  • Design a display booth.
  • Register for a few shows and man the booth for the duration of the shows.
  • Keep plenty of testers and sample vials of every scent in the line.
  • Encourage people to try each perfume freely, and give away plenty of sample vials, cards, and brochures.
  • Keep all business cards and follow up with a phone call with additional free samples one to two weeks after the show.
  • Fill any orders received from the shows promptly by calling the contracted mass producer, placing the order, and shipping it directly to the reseller.

How To Become A Perfume Distributor?

The perfume industry is growing day by day. Now, if you love fragrances and want to be involved in the industry- learning how to become a distributor can be an exciting and lucrative opportunity.

Firstly, you need to define your selling strategy. For instance, you can sell your perfumes online. So, you can look for large websites like eBay or Bonanza.

And you can also set up your own website to either promote the items you have on other sites or for direct purchase.

Secondly, you need to set up a credit card account. Especially if you choose to sell online and keep inventory- you must be prepared to accept payment from a bank or third-party processor. Here are 3 examples of those:

  • PayPal
  • Postal Service
  • UPS

However, if you chose to drop shipping for your perfumes- meaning the manufacturer ships the product after you sell it – you only need to be able to accept credit card payments.

Above all, you need to get a license. Here are the following licenses that you need as a distributor:

  1. Federal Tax Identification Number
  2. Vendor’s license
  3. Retail sales license

Subsequently, find a suitable way to distribute your products. For example, you can go for drop-ship perfumes from other companies. It is a simple and inexpensive way to distribute your products because you don’t have to purchase many products.

As a result, you can focus on marketing your perfumes and collecting sales.

So the items will be shipped by the manufacturer after you send them the wholesale cost. And you can retain the remainder of what you charged as a profit.

Now the next step is to contact the wholesale department. Here’s what you have got to do:

  • Contact the wholesale department of the manufacturers of your favorite perfume brands you’d like to represent and ask to become a distributor.
  • You will need to fill out their application and purchase a certain amount of product to qualify.

After that, you need to invest around $6,000 and $20,000 to gain access to companies like Worldwide Perfumes and their vast inventory.

Meanwhile, the company’s program will provide you with your display cabinets and other sales assistance. And you will be able to distribute the perfumes to salons and boutiques.

The next step is to advertise your products. Here are some pointers for that:

  1. Select stores, salons, and boutiques to offer your perfumes.
  2. Look for local flea markets, craft fairs, and festivals.
  3. Get the word out of your perfumes by showcasing them in different venues.

Lastly, inform your customers by marketing your perfumes online. It will help your current customers get an update on the sales and about new products as they become available.

Look, the two most used platforms for marketing are:

Social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Email newsletters

How Can I Sell Fragrances Online?

How Can I Sell Fragrances Online?

Selling perfumes online is cheap, expands your customer reach, you can sell unlimited perfumes, make a lot of profit, and run your business on your terms.

Now creating a perfume line is the first step towards a successful scent business. But developing strategies to sell your products is the critical part.

First, set your own website for the perfume products. Subsequently, offer the perfume products on as many reliable online sites as possible. Here are 3 online sites to start with:

  • eBay
  • Amazon
  • Etsy

Above all, reliability is essential because you get paid by the site, not directly by the customer. So, if the site doesn’t pay you – you are out of money and perfumes.

Therefore, set up an affiliate program for your fragrances so others can sell them for you on a commission basis.

For instance, a fashion blogger or influencer can post a photo of your perfume and a link to your website on their social media accounts.

As a result, their followers can buy your perfumes. And the bloggers get a commission from you on each purchase.

Furthermore, reach out to perfume bloggers for reviews. If you can afford a budget for bloggers, you can reach out to influential ones and add their reviews to your website.

How To Sell Perfume In a Store?

You can always try to sell your perfumes directly to consumers from a kiosk in a shopping mall. On the other hand, you can also wholesale your fragrances to stores.

However, you won’t get much by wholesaling in stores because they have to mark up the perfume over the wholesale price to make a profit.

But the plus point is that the stores are in charge of selling your products. And stay away from arts-and-craft shows because shoppers there bargain a lot. So you will not make much from bargains for luxury items like perfumes.

Follow our guide to know Is Perfume Bad For You?


Perfumes are considered luxury items, and people have loved them since ancient times. Moreover, fragrances are used widely across different genders and age groups.

So there are plenty of opportunities for you to enter the perfume business.

However, the first thing you need is a plan and a business license to start with. And you can sell homemade perfumes or become a perfume distributor.

To sum it up, the perfume industry has huge opportunities that you can grab and excel.

I hope this article has been an informative read to help you out with your aromatic aspirations. I do encourage you to share your thoughts and queries in the comment section below.

About The Author
Nazia is passionate about perfumes. Her love for perfumes started with her father whom she lost in 2017. She’d often reminisce his memories with the help of his fragrances’. Writing about fragrances makes her happy as she can share its wonders with the world. She also loves reading sci-fi novels and traveling.

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