If you want to sell fireworks to the general public, you would need to open a consumer fireworks store. And because of the dangers involved, we’ll start with one of the most important parts of the process. Find out what permits and licensing requirements are in effect in the area where you want to open a store.
Some state laws may limit your ability to sell certain types of fireworks. Other states, such as Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, don’t allow fireworks tent business sales as part of their state laws.
- READ MORE: How to Open a Retail Store
The Fireworks Industry
Fireworks are a fascinating and entertaining form of pyrotechnics that have a long history and a global appeal. They are used for cultural and religious celebrations, as well as for personal and commercial purposes. The fireworks industry is a lucrative and growing market that faces some challenges but also offers opportunities for innovation and sustainability.
Industry Facts & Figures
According to the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA), the fireworks industry revenue in 2020 was $2 billion, an increase of 55% from 2019. This was due to the surge in consumer demand for backyard fireworks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The APA also reported that the fireworks consumption figures in 2020 were 404 million pounds, an increase of 55% from 2019. The injury rate per 100,000 pounds consumed was 3.8, a decrease of 31% from 2019.
Small Business Deals
The APA estimates there are over 16,000 professional fireworks displays annually in the United States. The largest display is the Macy’s Fourth of July Spectacular in New York City, which uses about 75,000 shells and costs about $6 million.
The global fireworks market was valued at $2.48 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $3.24 billion by 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.9%, according to a report by Market Research Future (MRFR).
The report identifies the key factors driving the market growth as increasing disposable income, rising urbanization, growing tourism industry, rising popularity of festivals and events, and increasing demand for eco-friendly fireworks.
Why Should You Start Your Own Fireworks Business?
Why should you start a small business selling fireworks?
- You’ve always wanted to start your own fireworks business because you have always loved everything about fireworks.
- You want to work in a seasonal or specialty business because it’s a good fit with your personal life.
- You’ve kept up to date on fireworks technology and know what’s popular in the industry. In other words, you’re pyrotechnically minded and know what customers want.
- You’re savvy about zoning laws and necessary permits required to start and operate a fireworks business tent, stand or store.
- You already have a location for the business and selling fireworks is an approved use there.
- You’ve worked hard at various small businesses but you want to work for yourself and make more money.
How to Sell Fireworks
First, as previously stated, do your research before you launch a business. What type of fireworks can you offer for sale, according to local and state laws?
Second, choose what type of fireworks business you’ll start. Will it be a fireworks tent business or a firework stand site? Or will you open a year-round store?
The tent or stand business setup is typically seasonal, in fact, many only operate for a few weeks before July 4. If you want to operate year-round, instead of solely targeting July, you may want a brick-and-mortar location.
- READ MORE: Should You Open a Pop-Up Shop?
Here are tips for launching your fireworks sale business:
- Research state and local laws to learn about any restrictions on what you can sell in the industry. You can also contact your local fire personnel, who can be great resources, most likely up to date on requirements and licenses.
- Choose the type of business you would run, seasonal, year-round, online, or a combination.
- Register your business in your state. Get an EIN (Employer Identification Number) so you can collect sales tax and properly report federal taxes.
- Open a Business Bank Account and get a business credit card.
- Develop a Business Plan and budget. If you’re going to operate seasonally, your budget is ultra important – you want to sell nearly all the stock you purchase.
- No matter which type of business you opt to run, the location is highly important. Often a fireworks business can relatively easily get state fireworks permits but may be denied local permits. Your business may be required to locate just out of a city. If you expect to make money, you’ll need to be in a great place on a heavily-traveled route.
- Establish a website and social media presence. Make your pages a success by creating colorful images and videos.
- If you’re operating a store, will you offer delivery? What permits may you need to carry products for delivery? What permits do you need to ship fireworks? Do you want to focus on online sales? Do you need a resale certificate?
- Take care of your insurance needs. You’ll need general liability insurance. If you add employees, you’ll also need workers’ compensation insurance. If you have a permanent location, you’ll need commercial business insurance. After the purchase of inventory, insurance is one of the highest costs.
- Purchase inventory. As stated, this will be one of your highest costs. However, if your tent, stand, or location gets a reputation for being “out of the best stuff” your customer traffic will slow.
- When do you need to hire employees? This should be part of your business plan. If you do hire employees, what will their starting pay rate be?
- Plan your big opening day. Make sure all the various aspects of that are covered, such as the announcement on your website page and social media pages. Contact representatives from local media and invite them to your event for some free advertising.
What Is a Fireworks Tent Business? What is a Fireworks stand?
|Criteria||Fireworks Tent Businesses||Fireworks Stands|
|Location||High-traffic areas||Rural areas|
|Operating Hours||Seasonal (weeks leading to a major holiday)||Year-round|
|Variety of Fireworks||Limited||Wider selection|
|Sales Tax||Subject to sales tax||May be exempt|
|Profitability||Less profitable||More profitable|
The business operates either out of a business tent or a stand. A fireworks tent business is a temporary business that sells fireworks. The business is typically operated out of a tent, which is often rented from a commercial rental company or personally owned. The tent is typically located in a high-traffic area, such as a shopping mall or parking lot, during the weeks leading up to a major holiday, such as the Fourth of July or New Year’s Eve.
A fireworks stand is a permanent structure that sells fireworks. The stand is typically located in a rural area, and it is open year-round. Fireworks stands are often owned by a wholesaler or distributor, and they sell a wider variety of fireworks than fireworks tent businesses.
Here is a list of 10 differences between fireworks tent businesses and fireworks stands:
- Temporary vs. permanent structure: Fireworks tent businesses operate out of temporary tents, while fireworks stands are permanent structures.
- Location: Fireworks tent businesses are typically located in high-traffic areas, while fireworks stands are typically located in rural areas.
- Operating hours: Fireworks tent businesses are typically only open during the weeks leading up to a major holiday, while fireworks stands are open year-round.
- Variety of fireworks: Fireworks tent businesses typically sell a limited variety of fireworks, while fireworks stands sell a wider variety of fireworks.
- Prices: Fireworks tent businesses typically charge higher prices for fireworks than fireworks stands.
- Licensing requirements: Fireworks tent businesses typically require a lower level of licensing than fireworks stands.
- Security requirements: Fireworks tent businesses typically have lower security requirements than fireworks stands.
- Sales tax: Fireworks tent businesses are typically subject to sales tax, while fireworks stands may be exempt from sales tax.
- Insurance requirements: Fireworks tent businesses typically have higher insurance requirements than fireworks stands.
- Profitability: Fireworks tent businesses are typically less profitable than fireworks stands.
In general, fireworks tent businesses are a good option for people who want to start a fireworks business with a limited investment. However, fireworks stands are a better option for people who want to sell a wider variety of fireworks and who want to operate a more profitable business.
There are also a couple of franchises to consider, such as Powder Monkey Fireworks tent business and Phantom Fireworks, which operates a fireworks sale store for wholesale fireworks. Of course, anyone shipping fireworks across state lines must abide by the destination state’s laws or risk criminal charges.
- READ MORE: How to Write a Business Plan
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Fireworks Stand?
You’ll pay the most for inventory. If you’re running a fireworks tent business or firework stand, you’ll also need to pay for security – your location won’t be secure, and you’ll need to hire security to watch the stock when you’re not there.
Here are other costs to consider:
- Licensing and permits
- Point of sale system (best if linked to inventory)
- Create signs and lighting
The size of the business will have an effect on your costs. Here are some estimates:
- Small tent or stand – Start-up costs range from $5,000 to $7,000
- Medium tent or stand – $12,000 to $20,000
- A large tent or stand – $20,000 to $50,000
- Year-round store – Estimates are about $50,000 to maintain stock.
Is a Fireworks Store Profitable?
Even considering the cost of purchasing wholesale fireworks to stock your business, you should make money with every sale. You must create a successful business model that best fits your location and experience level.
A strictly seasonal fireworks business should earn from $20,000 to $50,000 after state and federal taxes. A year-round business should clear at least $50,000. Most businesses are augmenting their sale structure to add services by supplying special events. For example, the business provides fireworks that support a special event, such as a gender reveal announcement (pink or blue fireworks), a retirement, a graduation, or a sports event.
FAQs About How to Open a Fireworks Store
What are the legal requirements for opening a fireworks store?
The legal requirements for opening a fireworks store vary by location but typically involve obtaining a business license, permits from local authorities, and complying with safety regulations.
How do I find a suitable location for my fireworks store?
Look for a location with high foot traffic, ample parking space, and compliance with local zoning laws. Avoid residential areas and check for restrictions on fireworks sales.
What types of fireworks can I sell in my store?
The types of fireworks you can sell depend on local laws. Common categories include consumer fireworks, novelty items, sparklers, and aerial shells.
How can I secure a reliable supplier for fireworks?
Research and connect with reputable fireworks wholesalers or manufacturers. Attend fireworks industry trade shows to establish relationships with suppliers.
What safety measures should I implement in my fireworks store?
Install proper storage facilities, fire safety equipment, and exit signs. Educate staff and customers about safe handling and storage of fireworks.
Do I need insurance for my fireworks store?
Yes, insurance coverage is crucial for a fireworks store. Obtain liability insurance to protect your business from potential accidents and legal claims.
How can I promote my fireworks store?
Use local advertising, social media, and targeted marketing to reach potential customers. Offer discounts, host events, and collaborate with community organizations.
Are there any age restrictions for customers purchasing fireworks?
Yes, most regions have age restrictions for fireworks purchases. Typically, customers must be 18 or older to buy consumer fireworks.
- How to Open a Retail Store
- Should You Open a Pop-Up Shop?
- How to Write a Business Plan
- Best Fourth of July Decorations for Your Business in 2022
Image: Envato Elements
More in: How to Start