Skip to Content

How To Start A Cotton Candy Business in 2024 (6 Easy Steps)

Are you interested in starting your own business but are not sure where to start? How about running your own cotton candy business? 

This is a really fun way to make a lot of money without a huge initial investment or massive overhead costs. 

In this article we will show you how to sell cotton candy products and have your own profitable business in no time. 

We will teach you: 

  • The best way to start your business
  • The first things you need to know when it comes to the necessary equipment and skills
  • Tips for creating your marketing plan
  • How much money you can expect to make

How to start a cotton candy business

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure for more information. 


Start A Gift Basket Business From Home

Start A Gift Wrapping Business

Kids and adults alike love cotton candy making it an easy sell at funfairs and corporate events.

A candy floss business is the perfect way to make money while having fun. 

You may think that a cotton candy business is a bit one dimensional but the reason this is such as great business is due to the simplicity.

If you use your creativity, you can offer customers more than the standard cotton candy and grow your business.

By scaling your business,  you can make your own, unique flavors with various fruits and organic ingredients to create premium cotton candy.

How To Start A Cotton Candy Business

Did you know that you can start a cotton candy business  for very little down?

It can be a lucrative and fun way to increase your income, even if you just sell the cotton candy on the weekends.

Once you have your machine, the supplies to make the candy are very inexpensive, allowing you to enjoy up to 90% of the income as profit.

You can sell cotton candy at a variety of events and locales, such as sports games, fairs, parks, and other locations.

Read on to find out how to start a cotton candy business yourself! 

What You Need To Start A Cotton Candy Company

A cotton candy business  doesn’t need much and most of the supplies are easily sourced from online stores. 

That being said, you will need to allocate at least $500-$1000 in startup costs for your equipment and ingredients. 

You can rent or buy a machine that makes the candy.

ave money by buying the other supplies, such as the paper cones, sugar, flavors, and plastic bags, in bulk.

Supplies For Your Cotton Candy Business

Cotton Candy Machine

Of course, the most important thing you will need is a small cotton candy machine.

It doesn’t need to be huge or fancy but it does need to be reliable and good enough to produce a lot of candy floss quickly at large events. 

 The typical cost of buying a used, commercial-grade machine is around $2,000.

To reduce your start-up costs, you can rent a machine at first and save a portion of your profits to eventually purchase your own machine.

You can rent cotton candy machines at your local party supply shops – a quick google will help you find one near you. 

Bear in mind that if you plan on offering different flavors of cotton candy, you might need a dual machine that can make different types at the same time. 


 Sugar is an essential ingredient in this sweet treat.

Purchase it in bulk for the best cost.

Organic sugar is the better choice if you can afford it. 


You can buy cotton candy flavorings online at places like 

You can get flavors such as orange, blue raspberry, pink vanilla, grape, & cherry as well as the traditional cotton candy flavors like bubble gum. 

In order to keep your business fresh, you will want to offer new flavors to your customers whenever possible. 

Plastic bags

Keep your cotton candy germ free and on display for easy purchase by packaging it in plastic bags.

Paper cones

 Buying large quantities of these cones makes them super-inexpensive.

You can easily buy them in bulk. 

Displays and trays

Plastic or metal display stands and trays can be an attractive and simple way to show off your products.

Wagon or cart

How will you transport and display your cotton candy machine and business?

A small wagon or cotton candy cart can make it easier.

If you want to go all out, you can consider using a food truck but this is not necessary at first. 

Signs and Labels 

You’ll want signs and labels  to display the flavors you offer and the prices. 

Vistaprint is a good place to buy all your branding. 

Cash Box

How will you give change to your customers and keep your earnings safe as you work?

If you can’t afford a cash register, consider a small lockbox with a security code or key.

Remember you can take electronic payment with an app like Square. 

Getting Started With Your Cotton Candy Business

The cotton candy business can be a fun way to earn money and interact with others in an enjoyable atmosphere.

However, you’ll want to have a business plan and goals before you start buying equipment.

1.Make a business plan – it’s boring but essential

In addition to a mission statement and a plan, your financial institution may require a detailed business plan if you apply for a loan. 

Consider the following: 

  • Will this business help you promote a charity or fundraiser? Will it be an important source of income for your family?
  • The type of business structure you plan on. Most small businesses operate as a sole proprietor but you can also consider becoming a limited liability company too. Speak to an accountant to see what makes sense. 
  • Your business plan should include your profit expectations. A cotton candy business can provide around 90 percent profit. Depending on the venue, you may be able to sell at least a couple of hundred packs of cotton candy each day.

2. Check permit and license rules

Each city and state has its own permit and license rules for businesses such as cotton candy sellers.

  • A cotton candy business qualifies under the food service category in many locations.
  • Each city and state has specific health and food storage laws. Check you local state regulations to see what is required. 
  • It’s important to apply for the permits and licenses before you open your business. 

3. Get insurance

Before you start selling your cotton candy, your city or state may also require you to have business and liability insurance.

  • Even if your city or state doesn’t require insurance, you may still want to get it.
  • Insurance can protect your business and personal income. Liability insurance can protect you from lawsuits or complaints from customers.

4. Do Market Research

Before starting any business entity, you need to know that it can actually be profitable.

To do this, you will want to make sure that there are business opportunities for cotton candy businesses in your area. 

The best place to start is by checking out public events and festivals to see if cotton candy is already popular and being sold by someone.

You need to know that there is a demand for the type of cotton candy you plan on selling before you get started. 

The next step is is competitor research.

This will help you to see the different ways other people are selling cotton candy and the prices that they are charging. 

5. Choosing the best location for your cotton candies

As your overall business goal is to make money, a really important step is to work out the right place to sell your cotton candy. 

You may decide to rent out a store but most businesses use a mobile cart so they can attend all different events throughout the season. 

10 Best Places To Sell Cotton Candy 

  1. Sporting events. If you can get permission from schools, stadiums, and others, then you can sell cotton candy at sports events.
  2. Shopping malls. Depending on their rules, shopping malls may allow you to set up  a cart to catch passers-by. 
  3. Local parks. Make sure to check local permits. 
  4. Special Events – community events like parades, festivals and outdoor concerts are good options.
  5. Popular outdoor lunch areas. Do you know where business people, stay-at-home moms, shoppers, students, children, and others like to eat lunch? If you can find these popular outdoor areas, then you can sell more cotton candy.
  6. Local fairs and festivals. These events often attract big crowds of hungry people.
  7. Swap meets and flea markets. They may allow cotton candy to be sold to patrons. 
  8. Birthday parties and other family events. Private events can be lucrative. Even weddings sometimes are a good option for a novelty item like a cotton candy machine. 
  9. Theme Parks – if you are able to get to sell your sugary treat at a local attraction you are sure to have a gold medal business on your hands!
  10. Farmers Market – You might be able to catch your target market as they shop at your local market with their kids.

6. Promoting your Cotton Candy Business

No matter how good a location you choose for your business, it never hurts to get a little extra help which is where your marketing strategy comes in. 

In addition to choosing a fantastically catchy business name, make sure to register the domain name too. 

In addition, secure the handle on all the major social media platforms in order to create a brand identity. 

Make sure to post regularly on Instagram and Facebook.

You can let your fans know where they can find your cotton candy stand and your schedule of local events for the season. 

Another great idea is to create a TikTok video whenever you launch a new flavor or style of cotton candy – you never know, it might go viral! 

A Business Website is another great idea that doesn’t take a lot of time and can help boost your sale of cotton candy. 

You will want a professional looking website where you can display photos of events you have worked at and also show your prices and the flavors you offer. 

I have a step by step tutorial on how to create a website for your small business. 

I highly recommend BlueHost as their plans start out at $2.95 a month for hosting and a free domain name.

If you want an easy way to get started you can create your site using WordPress, that way you can create posts about your services and also add photo galleries.

WordPress is completely free once you have your hosting and domain. (My tutorial above will show you how to use WordPress). 

Making Your Cotton Candy Business Stand Out 

Buying the necessary supplies and setting up your business is one part of the process.

You also have to market your cotton candy business for it to be successful.

Partner with a local or national charity

One of the best ways to spread the word about your business is to partner with charities.

You’ll be helping others and may attract the attention of news stations and other media outlets. 

Offer schools and organizations fundraisers

You can also work with local schools and other organizations such as kids’ clubs.

By doing their fundraisers, you’ll be marketing your company at the same time.

Advertise in print and online

You can advertise in both areas to increase the views. Get a website and your own social media pages. 

Brand your cotton candy

By having a unique name, you’re more likely to get attention.

Make your packaging stand out

Instead of selling in plain plastic bags, you can use decorative and unique packages. This will attract more customers.

Offer frequent customer rewards

Customers love getting rewards and prizes.

You can make your own cotton candy club and offer rewards for buying more products or bringing friends to buy treats.

Offer unique or gourmet flavors

By going beyond the standard cotton candy flavors, you can find more customers.

Pina colada anyone? 

Give out unique business cards

Include a business card with your product – again, Vistaprint or Staples are good places to source these. 

Attend local small business events

Your local chamber of commerce and other organizations may have frequent small business events.

You’ll learn from other business leaders and network with them.

Add extra products

 if you really want to grow your business, consider selling more products such as sugar cookies or ice cream. 

Start Your Own Cotton Candy Business: FAQS

Is making cotton candy profitable? 

Starting a cotton candy business can be profitable if done correctly.

One of the advantages of selling cotton candy is that it has a high-profit margin as the ingredients used are relatively cheap.

With just sugar and food coloring, you can produce large quantities of cotton candy at low cost but sell them for relatively high prices.

Your profit margin could be as high as 90%. 

However, before starting your business, consider your target market and location.

Cotton candy is more popular in areas with high foot traffic such as fairs, carnivals, festivals, and amusement parks. 

Therefore, it’s essential to find a strategic location where there’s high demand for this type of sweet treats.

Another important factor to consider when starting a cotton candy business is your equipment choices.

You’ll need a reliable machine that can spin the sugar into fluffy strands without overheating or breaking down regularly.

The quality and design of your machine may affect how fast you can serve customers; thus affecting the profitability of your business. 

To maximize your profit margin on cotton candy, it’s important to conduct thorough market research to identify your target customers’ preferences and price points.

This allows you to tailor your menu offerings accordingly while ensuring your prices are competitive with industry standards.

Additionally, investing in high-quality equipment can help improve the efficiency of production while reducing waste – all contributing positively towards profitability. 

How much does it cost to make cotton candy? 

The cost of making cotton candy depends on various factors such as the machine, ingredients, and packaging.

A commercial-grade cotton candy machine can range from $200 to $1000 depending on the quality and features.

While a home-use machine can be purchased for less than $50.

The sugar used to make cotton candy is inexpensive, costing around $1 per pound, with each serving requiring only a small amount of sugar.

Packaging is an essential part of any business, and it also affects the cost of making cotton candy.

Purchasing custom-branded bags or containers can add up quickly, so it’s best to start with simple packaging and invest in branding later.

Overall, starting a cotton candy business requires an initial investment in equipment and ingredients that can vary based on your budget and goals.

However, the profit margin for this business could be high due to low material costs compared to potential sales revenue at events or fairs. 

What license do you need to sell cotton candy

To sell cotton candy, you may need to obtain a business license and a food handler’s permit. 

The requirements vary depending on your state or local jurisdiction.

Some states may require that you hold a specific type of license for selling concession foods like cotton candy.

You’ll need to check with your local health department to find out what permits and licenses are required in your area.

What are some good cotton candy business names?

A great way to make your business stand out is with a great name.

In fact, it might be the first step when you start your cotton candy business.

However, choosing the right one might be your biggest challenge. 

When you are thinking of a fun name, consider some of the different names that we use for the sugary candy: 

  • Fairy Floss – this was the OG name when cotton candy was first created in St Louis in 1904.
  • Candy Floss – this is the name in the UK 
  • Spun sugar
  • Sugar cotton wool
  • Candy Clouds
  • Bunny Tails
  • And don’t forget what the French call cotton candy – Barbe a papa or dad’s beard!

You can use a spin on one of these names to create a unique and memorable brand for your new business.

Then all you have to do is get business cards and flyers printed and you will be ready to take on the world with your gourmet cotton candy business. 

Start A Cotton Candy Business: Final Thoughts

Starting a cotton candy business can be a fun and profitable venture for anyone looking to make extra money.

Whether you plan to set up shop at the local fairground or cater special events, there are several steps you’ll need to take to get your business up and running. 

This line of business is easy to work at part time and still turn a great profit! If you are looking to become a small business owner and are not afraid of hard work, this might be the perfect business model for you! 

More Home-Based Business Ideas

How To Be A Blogger And Earn Money

Start A Soap Making Business From Home

How To Start A Home Daycare & Make Money

 Start A Cotton Candy Business