Counting the Dollars: Starting a Cosmetic Business.

  • How to Open this Business: Guide
  • Running Expenses List
  • How To Increase Business Profitability?
  • How to Sale More?
  • How To Raise Capital: Guide


Cosmetics manufacturing is an extremely profitable industry with many opportunities for entrepreneurs. In 2019, by the end of the year, it was worth around billion in the United States. A recent report by P&S Intelligence suggests that the global cosmetics manufacturing industry will grow at a compound annual rate of 6.0% from 2020 to 2024. This growth offers substantial opportunity for entrepreneurs and companies wishing to venture into that sector.

However, starting this type of business is no small business. It involves costs associated with research and development, plant expansions, equipment and tools, inventions, raw materials, packaging materials, labor, licenses and permits, among other costs. In this blog post, we’ll look at all the costs associated with starting a cosmetics manufacturing business and provide a range of tips to help you manage those costs.

start-up costs

When starting a cosmetic manufacturing business, there are many costs to consider. Research and development costs, equipment, plant expansion, machinery and tools, raw materials, packaging materials, labor costs, initial marketing costs and licenses and all allow funding when starting a cosmetics business.

Costs Average cost in USD
Research and development costs 5,000-30,000
Equipment 5,000-25,000
Expansion of facilities 40,000-75,000
Machines and tools 20,000 to 60,000
Inventory of raw materials 25,000-50,000
Cost of packaging materials 35,000-50,000
Labor costs 15,000-30,000
Upfront marketing costs 10,000-20,000
License and permit 2,000-10,000
Total The value varies

It’s important to keep in mind that these costs can vary significantly depending on the size of the operation, type of product, and state and local regulations.

Research and development costs

Research and development (R&D) costs for a cosmetic manufacturing business are typically the highest among start-up and launch expenses. Cosmetics manufacturers must invest in extensive research and development activities to ensure the production of high quality and safe products, which is critical to business success. According to a 2019 report from leading industry experts, research and development costs for cosmetic product development can range from at least ,000 to an upper limit for intensive and more sophisticated products.

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In addition to product development, cosmetic companies need to allocate a large part of the budget for the research and development of packaging materials. This includes safety testing and general prototyping of packaging materials, which can reach ,000-5,000 per product. Industries such as food and pharmaceuticals require extensive and regulated packaging testing, and the same goes for cosmetics.

Finally, cosmetic brands must also keep up with innovations in the industry and develop or collaborate on new products and a brand that appeal to consumers. This type of research can cost between ,000 and ,000, all depending on the type of test, the number of products and the requirements for the product launch.

In conclusion, research and development costs for starting an aesthetic manufacturing business are usually the highest budgetary expenses. This is due to the need for extensive research to test the integrity, effectiveness and branding of cosmetic products, as well as the packaging of these products. Costs can range from ,000 to no upper limit, but generally most cosmetic companies should estimate a budget of around ,000 for research and development.


Starting a cosmetics manufacturing business requires specialized equipment. The exact amount of equipment needed depends on the type and volume of products you plan to manufacture. Generally, cosmetics manufacturing equipment includes packaging, storage, processing, and laboratory equipment. Depending on the type of product, you may also need machines to produce soaps and perfumes.

In terms of cost, average equipment expenses can range from payments of up to ,330 for basic manufacturing equipment, to payments of up to 5,500 for more complete setups. For an average cosmetics manufacturing company’s equipment list, costs range from machinery such as mixers, tanks, and reactors, to 50-,000; Mouillons in passes, homogenizers and hills at 00 – 20,000 USD; Fill, Auger, and Stick Machines at 00-,000; Accessories such as 0 to ,000 in-line heat exchangers, stirrers, and filters; and laboratory equipment such as particle size analyzers and spectrophotometers at 00-,000. In many cases, peripheral equipment such as utility and safety equipment may be required for the efficient operation of these machines.

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It’s important to keep in mind that these numbers represent the average cost of equipment for a small-scale operation and may not accurately reflect the costs associated with a more comprehensive cosmetic manufacturing setup.

Expansion of facilities

When looking to open a cosmetics manufacturing business, much of the cost can come from expanding an existing facility. This may include costs associated with constructions, remodeling and other related activities. According to Statista, from 2014 to 2021 2 billion .

The cost of expanding a facility depends on the level of existing infrastructure, the extent of the space needed and any equipment that needs to be installed. Some of the major design costs associated with facility expansion include:

  • Architecture fees can vary from 5 to 15% of the total cost depending on the complexity of the project. Architectural fees for a million project can cost up to 0,000.
  • Construction and labor costs can vary from 20 to 45% depending on size. These costs also depend on the number of workers involved and the building materials used. For a million project, construction and labor costs can reach 0,000.
  • Utilities and related services such as plumbing, HVAC, and electrical work can range from 5-15% of the total cost. For a million project, utilities and related costs can reach up to 0,000.
  • Equipment Costs can vary from 5 to 30% of the total cost depending on the type and quantity of machinery needed. For a million project, the cost of equipment can reach 0,000.
  • Furniture and equipment Costs can vary from 5 to 10% of the total cost. For a million project, the cost of furniture and equipment can total up to 0,000.

Each of these costs can add up quickly and it is important to be aware of them before beginning a facility expansion. It is also important to consider the potential benefits of expansion and estimate the total cost accurately in order to achieve the desired result.

Machines and tools

Starting a cosmetic manufacturing business requires expensive machinery and tools. Depending on the product you plan to produce, some of the machinery and tools you need may include mixing tanks, mixers, homogenizers, screeners, filter presses, centrifuges, and fillers. To make eye cosmetics, you also need specialized equipment such as encrusting machines and acrylic powder drums. Obtaining this equipment is expensive and can have a significant impact on your start-up budget.

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According to recent statistics from the US Small Business Administration, purchasing new equipment for a cosmetics manufacturing business can cost between ,000 and 0,000. For example, an industrial-grade homogenizer might cost over ,000, a centrifuge ,000, and machines to make semi-solid and liquid cosmetics such as lipstick, lip balm, and cream can cost up to 0,000.

In addition to machinery and tools, you may also need to purchase items such as packaging machines, conveyors, and drums for bottling and distributing your products. These items can cost anywhere from ,000 to ,000 each. Computer systems, shelving and specialized personnel may also be required for efficient production.

Inventory of raw materials

When planning to open a cosmetics manufacturing business, one of the most important costs you will need to understand is the purchase of raw materials as inventory. Depending on the type of cosmetics you plan to craft, you will need to compile a list of materials and ingredients you will need to do the type of crafting you have in mind. According to a recent survey, raw material inventory costs for cosmetic manufacturing companies range from ,000 to 0,000 USD depending on the scale of production and type of manufacturing operation.

In general, the materials and ingredients required for the production of cosmetics include:

  • Raw ingredients such as flavors, emulsifiers, preservatives, etc.
  • Packaging materials such as glass, plastic or cardboard containers, closures, under-packaging components, plastics, paper labels, etc.
  • A range of raw materials such as polymers, polyethylene, acetate and carboxy methyl cellulose.
  • Other materials like colorants, pigments, thickeners and emollients.

Building a proper inventory of raw materials is one of the keys to a successful cosmetics manufacturing business. If you make too much of a single item, or too little, you could end up losing money in the long run. For this reason, it’s important to get it right from the start by having a detailed understanding of the wholesale cost of the raw materials and components you need and by having plenty of experience in the cosmetics manufacturing business.

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Cost of packaging materials

When opening a cosmetics manufacturing business, the cost of packaging materials should be considered. Consumers often want to be able to purchase items with attractive and eye-catching packaging. To achieve this, the right materials must be purchased and used. This could include plastic or aluminum containers, bottles, jars, caps, labels, boxes, etc.

The packaging can have a huge impact on the product’s drive to market. It has been estimated that on average, 43% of all product launch marketing budget is spent on packaging. The price of this type of material can vary considerably depending on the volume needed to satisfy the demand. According to the recent (2019) statistical data released by World Credit Union, the cost of packaging materials for the cosmetics industry has averaged around USD 7,000. This number may be lower or higher, depending on the size and complexity of the package.

It should be noted that when selecting packaging material, companies should consider sustainability. Environmentally friendly packaging should be chosen and used, both to reduce the company’s carbon footprint, as well as to appeal to socially conscious consumers. Environmentally friendly packaging may cost more upfront than traditional packaging, but has the potential to reduce costs in terms of waste generated.

Labor costs

Labor costs can often be one of the costliest expenses when starting a cosmetic manufacturing business. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of US manufacturing workers in May 2018 was ,256 per year. That works out to an average wage of .84 per hour , and that would include plant managers, engineers, and other senior personnel.

When starting a manufacturing business, you will need to factor in the cost of additional staff you will need to hire, such as researchers, chemists, and regulatory compliance staff. The cost of these staff members can vary greatly depending on their qualifications and experience. Additionally, depending on the type of business entity you are establishing (LLC, S-CORP etc.), you will need to factor in the costs of payroll taxes, insurance, and employee benefits.

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As a cosmetics manufacturing business owner, you will also need to consider the cost of contractors and subcontractors. Depending on the size of your business and the tasks they will be performing, their pay can range from minimum wage up to .00/hour .

Finally, you will also need to factor in the cost of staff training and development in order to get the most out of it. Many companies now provide training and development opportunities to their staff in order to stay competitive in their respective industries.

Upfront marketing costs

Starting a cosmetics business requires a significant amount of upfront marketing costs. Advertising, logo design, website design, and print advertising are just a few of the expenses that can come with starting a business. Additionally, copywriting, video production, or graphic designer fees may need to be factored in.

It is important to research existing competitive cosmetics companies as this will give you a better idea of the minimum budget needed to start a business in this industry. For example, according to the US Census Bureau’s survey of business owners, the average cost to start a business in the cosmetics industry is around ,000. This amount can vary greatly depending on the size and scope of the business and the geography in which it is located.

Additionally, ongoing marketing costs are required to keep a business running. These costs may include advertising, trade show fees and website hosting fees. It’s also important to consider setting aside a portion of the crisis management budget to protect your brand reputation.

Here is a sample of an initial cost breakdown for a cosmetics company:

  • Logo design: ,000 – ,000
  • Print advertising: 0 – ,000
  • Website design: ,500 – ,000
  • Video production: ,000 – ,000
  • Graphic design: 0 – ,000
  • Writing: 0 – ,000
  • Public Relations: ,000 – ,000
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These are basic estimates based on an average size business, but these costs may increase or decrease depending on the size and scope of the project as well as the geographic region in which the business is located.

License and permit

Starting a cosmetics manufacturing business requires you to meet certain licensing and authorization requirements, depending on your state and local government laws. You will likely need to acquire a business permit and license, and also ensure that you have obtained all necessary Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approvals.

In general, the cost of a business permit and license in the United States ranges from to ,000 , depending on the state, local government, and type of business you are opening. If a business needs an FDA license, the cost can be as low as 5 , but some specialty licenses can later cost ,000 .

You may also need to purchase additional permits and insurance to cover potential risks associated with your manufacturing process. These costs can also vary widely, depending on state and local government. However, in general, these fees can range from 0 to ,000 .


In sum, starting a cosmetics manufacturing business involves an array of costs, from research and development to labor, raw material inventories, and packaging materials. Factors such as facility expansion, machinery and tools, and initial marketing costs should be considered when budgeting for the business.

It is important to know that the cost of starting a cosmetics manufacturing business can vary depending on the size and scope of the business. However, our estimates suggest that the total cost of starting this type of business could range from ,000 to million , depending on the complexity and size of the business.

We hope this blog post has provided you with a better understanding of the costs associated with starting a cosmetic manufacturing business. To ensure you manage these costs effectively, we suggest taking advantage of the many resources available, seeking expert advice, and creating a detailed plan for your business. Good luck!