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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! 

 Start A Cotton Candy Business

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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

What You Need

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

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

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 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. 


Sugar is an essential ingredient. Purchase it in bulk for the best cost.


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.

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 cart can make it easier.

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. 

Consider the following: 

  • Will this business help you promote a charity or fundraiser? Will it be an important source of income for your family?
  • 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. 
  • 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.

8 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 – 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. 

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.

Offer unique or gourmet flavors. By going beyond the standard cotton candy flavors, you can find more customers.

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.

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.

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