Want to start a CBD business? Follow these 9 simple steps

You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your cbd oil business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

STEP 1: Plan your Business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:

What are the startup and ongoing costs?
Who is your target market?
How much can you charge customers?
What will you name your business?

Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.

What are the costs involved in opening a cbd oil business?

If you grow your own hemp and turn it into CBD oil, then your costs to start will be low. You can begin selling your product online with little more than a website made for a few hundred bucks with Squarespace and commercial liability insurance in case a customer sues you after using your product. You can also consider partnering with an established farmer to grow their business and your own.

What are the ongoing expenses for a cbd oil business?

Owners need to account for the cost of farming, insurance, and staff salaries. They may also want to hire a lawyer to keep up on the rapidly changing laws.

Who is the target market?

Practically anyone can use this product. CBD oil is used to relieve anxiety, soften skin, and reduce chronic pain. Most famously, it’s given to kids who have severe seizures to reduce their frequency and severity. It can even be taken by people for general relaxation at any time. CBD oil is derived from cannabis, but it does not cause a psychoactive effect like THC will How does a cbd oil business make money?

CBD oil businesses will create their own profit margin for their products, based on the scope of their operation, quality of their product, and demand for CBD oil among their target demographic.

How much can you charge customers?

It’s not unusual to see CBD oil sold for $60 for just 30 mL. 100 mg in a 2 oz bottle of skin lotion can be sold for $85.

How much profit can a cbd oil business make?

CBD oil businesses can make a good deal of profit once their customer base is established. If you charge an average of $60 per product at a 50% mark-up, you’ll need to sell 200 products every month to make $6,000 in profit. This goal can be easier to meet than you may think given the exceptional demand.

How can you make your business more profitable?

CBD oil owners can branch out to different types of products to boost their profits. From skin care to make-up to tinctures to vaping to edibles, there are a lot of different options available.

What will you name your business?

Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our CBD Oil Business Name Generator

If you operate a sole proprietorship, you might want to operate under a business name other than your own name. Visit our DBA guide to learn more.

When registering a business name, we recommend researching your business name by checking:

Your state’s business records
Federal and state trademark records
Social media platforms
Web domain availability.

It’s very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.

Find a Domain Now

After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google’s G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free

STEP 2: Form a legal entity

The most common business structure types are the sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation.

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your cbd oil business is sued.

You can start an LLC yourself and pay only the minimal state LLC costs or hire a Business Formation Service for a small additional fee.

Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.

STEP 3: Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It’s really easy and free!

You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.

STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.

Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business’s name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.

Open a business bank account
This separates your personal assets from your company’s assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank, credit union, business-loan friendly banks, one with many brick-and-mortar locations, and more.

Get a business credit card
This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business’ expenses all in one place.
It also builds your company’s credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.

Recommended: Read our guide to find the best small business credit cards.

STEP 5: Set up business accounting

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.

Federal Business Licensing Requirements

Although CBD oil does not produce psychoactive effects like the THC found in marijuana, the two products are associated closely enought that the production and sales of CBD are currently in a legal grey area. Before starting your CBD oil business, it is important that you make sure to read up on both state and federal laws regarding CBD products. This will help ensure your business functions smoothly and avoids legal trouble.

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a CBD oil business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.

Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.

For information about local licenses and permits:

Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office
Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
Certificate of Occupancy

A CBD oil business is generally run out of a place where the oil is manufactured. Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO).  A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.

If you plan to lease a location:
It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.
Before leasing, confirm that your landlord has or can obtain a valid CO that is applicable to a CBD oil business.
After a major renovation, a new CO often needs to be issued. If your place of business will be renovated before opening, it is recommended to include language in your lease agreement stating that lease payments will not commence until a valid CO is issued.
If you plan to purchase or build a location:
You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.
Review all building codes and zoning requirements for your business’ location to ensure your CBD oil business will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.

STEP 7: Get Business Insurance

Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.

There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.

Learn more about General Liability Insurance.

Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers’ Compensation Coverage.

Recommended: Learn what business insurance for your CBD Oil Business will cost.

STEP 8: Define your brand

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.

If you aren’t feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we’ll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.

How to promote & market a cbd oil business

CBD oil is popular enough that you’re going to have some stiff competition. Most people are going to be looking for CBD oil online — especially if they’re looking for the more concentrated, medicinal products. Paid online ads, organic blog content, and social media can help attract people to your product. If you’re selling general, lower-intensity sprays, then you can develop relationships with general health stores or even grocery stores to stock your products.

How to keep customers coming back

Customers are going to need to feel relief after taking your products. While research is few and far between, you can do your own analysis of which products are working for different demographics by asking for feedback. This can help you suggest the right product so that there’s less experimentation (and frustration) on the part of your customers.

STEP 9: Establish your Web Presence

A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.

It’s rare there will be a ‘typical’ day in the CBD oil business because this business is so new and there are few established business models. An owner may be doing anything from managing inventory to dealing with new regulations to running lab reports for their product. Owners should also be devoting time on a regular basis to keep up with changing trends in their industry (as they can change extremely quickly.)

What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful cbd oil business?

People should have some experience with the cannabis market. Owners should understand the basic public demands as well as the public fears and residual stigma of cannabis. There’s a lot to learn about cannabis due to the variety of the product. Understanding the different terpenes and strains can make it easier for your company to stay ahead.

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