Want to start a cotton candy business but not sure of the steps involved?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with all the proven ways and tips in this very helpful article.



Attending a carnival can be a fun activity for all ages.

Just the atmosphere of a carnival is light, exciting, and enjoyable.

First, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

There are competitive games to be played and always the chance to win an over-stuffed toy animal.

There may be small rides to enjoy and in smaller carnivals the opportunity to send someone into the water when your aim is true in hitting the target.

And of course, who can forget the wonderful treats that can be purchased at a carnival.

There is popcorn, corn dogs, ice cream, and various different types of food to eat.

One of the old standbys is the purchase of that sticky but sweet swirl of fluff on a paper cone.

Eating cotton candy is a delicious treat and no respectable carnival would be found without a cotton candy stand.

As a potential business opportunity let us allow that cotton candy to swirl around in our entrepreneurial mind and see what it takes to start a cotton candy business.


25 Proven Ways & Tips for Starting a Cotton Candy Business


1. Know all about Cotton Candy

Cotton candy is a sugar treat or confection that is spun using a cotton candy machine.

This treat is also known as fairy or candy floss and because of its texture it resembles cotton and therefore the name cotton candy.

Cotton candy can take on different flavors and colors.


2. Know How it is Made

Cotton candy is manufactured by melting a sugary formula and spinning it so that strands of this treat are created.

The strands are then spun onto or collected on a long cardboard tube to the point that a large quantity of the stranded cotton candy is accumulated.


3. Equipment

Surprisingly, given the sugary content of the treat and its possible effects on teeth, the cotton candy machine was invented by a dentist.

The dentist’s name is William Morrison and he collaborated with a sugar confectioner by the name of John C. Wharton.

The modern-day cotton candy product was first sold at the 1904 world’s fair and of course was a great success.

The cotton candy machine combines heating and spinning which turns the sugar into liquid with the machine spinning at 3000 revolutions per minute.


4. Research

When thinking about starting a cotton candy business it is first important to do your background research.

Your research should include:

  • Determine how many cotton candy businesses are in your community
  • Number of fairs, carnivals, festivals, etc. are held
  • Reading reviews of customers of cotton candy businesses in your community
  • Learning more about the cotton candy business
  • And so forth

Collecting this information and analyzing it should help you to determine what the competition is like, what you will need to do in order to compete, whether there is a market for your cotton candy business, etc.


5. Business Plan

An important document that needs to be written is known as your business plan.

A business plan is a course of comprehensive action that you will take in starting your business.

The plan outlines your vision for your company and how you will implement the various business aspects needed to be successful.

Some of the components of a business plan include:

  • Executive summary
  • Marketing analysis
  • Budget
  • Startup money
  • SWOT analysis
  • Possible staffing
  • And so forth

The business plan is your roadmap and how you will start and continue on your business and journey and can also be used to present to potential investors if you are looking for investment monies.


6. Fees and Permits

As with any business entity there will be associated fees, licenses, and permits needed to start your operation.

Each state and community is different as to what they require and it is therefore important to check with your local government and state level agencies to see what you need to obtain.

Some of those permits and licensing and associated fees required could include:

  • Business license
  • Food permit
  • Seller’s permit
  • Possible resale license
  • Etc.

In some states you also may be required to attend or take a course online as it relates to food handling.


7. Start-up Money

To begin your entrepreneurial cotton candy business there will be investment money that will be required to start the cotton candy business.

You will need a cotton candy machine and you can purchase one either new or used.

The best way to research what is the better option and price is to use the Internet and conduct a variety of searches.

Possibilities of buying a used cotton candy machine can be through:

  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Facebook

Simply, utilizing a search engine, plug in the keywords of purchase used cotton candy machine and you will see on your screen a number of opportunities.

You can use the same process if you are in the market for a new machine.

A cotton candy machine can range anywhere from $50-$2000 depending upon what grade of machine you are looking for.


8. Business Model

When you are starting your business an important decision that you need to make is how you will file your business with your chosen state and how it will be legally structured.

Some typical choices of the structure of your business would include:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • LLC
  • SCorp
  • And so forth.

What structure you choose will be up to you and will reflect how you submit your reports, how taxes are paid and determined, and so forth.

Therefore, it is best to determine what is best for you personally and for your business that will benefit you the most.

Once you decide upon which model you choose you then need to draw up legal documentation to make this registration of your company happen.

You can employ a lawyer to help you with the formulation of this documentation or there are a number of reputable sites online that have templates that will help you and walk you through the process.

One such website is www.LegalZoom.com.


9. Supplies

The supplies that you will need to successfully operate a cotton candy business include:

  • Sugar
  • Food color
  • Flavors
  • Jars
  • Clones
  • Bags

When purchasing the sugar, it is important that you buy quality sugar and is labeled as food grade so that it is safe to eat.

The sugar that you purchased can be manufactured either from sugarcane or beets.

Also, there are different types of flavoring that you can add to your Cotton Candy machine product. Some of those flavors can include:

  • Vanilla
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Grapes
  • And so forth

The purpose of the jars is to store the product in an air tight container so that it is preserved for sale.

The cones are made out of paper and can be bought in bulk through a variety of online websites.

The storage bags are an alternative to jars if you choose to keep the cotton candy product preserved safely.


10 Suppliers

Most likely the best way to purchase your supplies is in bulk and at a more reasonable cost would be to conduct your research using a search engine and looking for suppliers for cotton candy businesses.

Two such suppliers would be Amazon and Alibaba.


11. Marketing

In order for people to know about your business and your sweet service that you can offer is to ensure that you implement and continually work and rework your marketing plan.

Your marketing plan should have a significant reliance on social media sites, your website, word-of-mouth, networking with other business leaders, sending out flyers, and so forth.

Another idea of marketing your candy cotton candy business is to work with local TV and radio personalities so that when they are promoting an event and are broadcasting remotely you can be part of that process by offering cotton candy to attendees.


12. Storage

When purchasing your supplies another consideration when storing those supplies is where you will store the sugar containers as well as the cones.

If you utilize a space within your home, it is important that you keep the sugar stored in an airtight system to prevent the insects and other pests from causing damage to your supplies.


Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

13. Cart or Wagon

When considering the purchase of a cotton candy machine you may wish to include in that purchase a cart or wagon that will help with the mobilization of the machine and making the cotton candy.

Also, it is important to remember that when utilizing the machine, you will need a source of power and this may be difficult if you are going to a remote event.

You may wish to invest in a generator.


14. Banking

An important consideration when starting a cotton candy business is to open up a separate banking account.

This is important because you don’t want to combine your personal finances with your business finances.

This will be extremely beneficial, especially when it comes to reporting your earnings and filing your various tax forms.

This way you have a separate account that reflects your income and expenses for the business.

When selecting a bank, you can utilize a local banking institution or you can open up an online account.

As much as you are able it is important to keep in mind to limit or eliminate any associated fees and also as partier consideration how you will deposit your earnings either going into a local bank or using their deposit system.


15. Protective Gear

It is important to remember that when operating any type of machinery that you use protective equipment to ensure the safety of all that use the machines.

When operating cotton candy protective eyewear is also an important consideration.

Therefore, whoever is ever operating a machine, should wear safety glasses to ensure their safety.


16. Insurance

It is important that you protect your business and your personal assets when it comes to operating a business.

To ensure that your business is protected it is important to look into buying food vendor insurance.

You can do this by contacting an insurance agent and getting a variety of quotes as to which insurance company offers the best plan and associated monthly premium.

Typically, food vendors pay a medium premium of roughly $30 a month and this insurance will protect you and your business from potential claims or other liability issues.


17. Staff

You may or may not need to hire staff.

If you choose to hire help, the best place to start would be within your own family if there are individuals who are legally able to work and provide help in this manner.

If choosing to employ an individual it is important that they are well acquainted with the making of the cotton candy, are dedicated to making your business a success, etc.

Also, it is important to note that they too, most likely, would need to go through a food handler’s course and be provided with a certificate of completion.


18. Website

It is important as a business wishing to succeed that you have an appealing and welcoming website.

The website should have graphics that are eye-catching to convey the festive approach and carnival like aspect of providing cotton candy.

You can create your own website by utilizing a hosting Internet company such as Godaddy.com  or create your own website at no charge by utilizing Wix.com.

Some important links on your site should include photos of events that you have served, a page about your company, a link to book an event, contact information page, etc.


19. Social Media

It is also important that you fully utilize social media sites such as:

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • And so forth

You can post pictures of your activities, contact information, and direct people to your website.


Where to Sell


20. Farmer’s Market

In many communities they have what is known as a farmer’s market where individual farmers or produce growers in the area can bring their product to an area in town that is typically cordoned off for these vendors to showcase their wares.

It is often a fun activity that families enjoy as they shop for fresh produce and enjoy possible music talent, as well as partake of other vendors who offer a variety of goods.

You can explore this option of being involved in a farmer’s market which may require a set fee to set up a space in which you can sell cotton candy.


21. Malls

Often at malls the management will host various events in order to attract shoppers to their center.

Some of those events could include display of handcrafted items, jewelry or gemstone bazaars, etc.

You could approach the mall management and, as part of the festivities, you can set up your cotton candy booth to help draw in the customers and provide a special treat.


22. Carnivals

Many churches and other organizations will periodically have fundraisers to help with special projects that they are trying to raise money for,

You could approach these churches and bring along your cotton candy business and sell the cotton candy to these church carnival goers.

Obviously, the church or other organization wants to make money for their specially designated project and possibly you could work out an agreement with them to provide a donation to help with the cause and also help in promoting your business as well as earning income.


23. School Functions

Many schools hold carnival type events to raise money.

Some of the causes associated with raising money for a school could include supporting the music department, sports department, PTA, etc.

In working with the schools, you could set up your cotton candy business and a certain percentage of the proceeds could be your donation to the school cause as well as supporting the community and surrounding neighborhood.

Also, this is a good way to get noticed by being involved and marketing your business with the potential of others seeing what you offer.


24. Grand Openings

Many companies have grand openings in their community to bring in customers and increase awareness of their company’s new service to the community.

You can work with these companies and provide your service and also gain marketing exposure by being in attendance.

Ways that you can find out about grand openings include looking at the newspaper or being involved with associations such as the Chamber of Commerce.


25. Private Parties

A great way to sell cotton candy through your business is to be involved with private parties.

By advertising through your website, social media platforms, gaining quality reviews on Yelp, etc. individuals looking for a cotton candy vendor can find you and engage your service for their private parties.

Part of your marketing to private parties can include the guaranteed creation of so many cotton candy treats and can be at a set price depending upon the customer’s anticipation of how many will be attending.

Other interesting Businesses articles to check out for ideas:


Personal Story

Every Sunday evening in the city in which I lived they had an event called Under the Stars where a group of singers were hired to entertain the residents of the community.

At around three in the afternoon folks would start congregating for the event and stake out their particular place on the expansive lawn as to where they wanted to listen to the entertainment for the evening.

In addition, without fail, vendors will start pulling into the parking area and start setting up shop to provide a variety of goodies and treats for those that would be in attendance.

The event started around dusk, but people would line up prior to the show taking place and start to purchase their snack for the evening.

It was a wonderful time for families to get together and be entertained, enjoy the musical event that was about to unfold, enjoy the sights and sounds and especially the smells emanating from the concession area.

There was corn on the cob, barbecue meat on sticks, nachos, etc.

However, by far, the longest line in front of one of these stands was the cotton candy booth where wisps of this fluffy treat were swirled around the paper cone and eagerly devoured by kids and adults alike.


Cotton Candy Business FAQs


Is the Cotton Candy Business Profitable?

As with all business’ profitability is dependent upon how much time the individual is willing to commit, the location of the business and what your market will bear.


What Profits Can You Expect?

According to Comparably, the average salary of cotton candy businesses and makers in America ranges from $18,740-$44,900 per year.

The average median salary of a cotton candy business is $26,950.


You Can Do It

By conducting your research, creating a business plan, interest in the cotton candy business, the possibilities of you earning money through your cotton candy business is evidenced by the long lines that queue up at a cotton candy booth.

With your hard work and commitment to succeed you can earn some good revenue through this sweet line of business and work.



The availability of cotton candy and a variety of carnival like activities is a popular product that is enjoyed by both adults and children alike.

The starting of a cotton candy business is not too involved and requires a small amount of investment money to purchase the needed equipment and supplies.

It would seem that it would be a good business opportunity that would involve your commitment on the weekend and provide a sweet return on your investment.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

Previous articleHow to Start a Party Rental Business (25 Proven Ways & Tips)
Next articleHow to Solve Math and Earn Money (25 Easy Ways & Sources)
Apart from being a seasoned Personal Finance expert who has written for top publications around the world, I bring significant personal financial experience. Long story short... through bad financial choices... I found myself $100,000 plus in debt. I was able to dissolve this indebtedness and regain financial solvency. This financial turn around was accomplished through reading, studying and implementing a financial plan. My financial plan included paying down my debt through budgeting, being cognizant of where my financial resources were being spent, changing my attitude about money and understanding the binding chains of the improper use of credit. Today, and for 10 years, I have been debt free and have invested wisely to enjoy my current retirement. This is allowing me to write to help others make, save and grow money wisely!