Do You Need a License to Sell Skincare Products?

Do You Need a License to Sell Skincare Products?

If you’re building a beauty brand in the United States, you will need a license to sell your skincare products. However, you may not need a license at federal or at state level.

While the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) heavily regulates the use of certain cosmetic ingredients, it does not require beauty brands to obtain a special license to sell safe and compliant products. To ensure products are safe and compliant, it’s important to ensure you meet labeling requirements. This includes being truthful and not misleading, and avoiding health claims that cannot be backed up by evidence.


Some states may require skincare sellers to apply for a local state license to distribute products, but many do allow beauty brands to sell their formulations without one. You will need to check local legislation in the state you’re operating in. However, you will need to register with the federal Government to trademark your products.

What is required, however, is a license at Government level. This isn’t specifically for the sale of skincare products or cosmetics, but for all businesses. You will need to register for a business license in order to legally operate under a brand name and, depending on your location, you may also be required to apply for a Seller’s Permit for tax purposes. You can register your business with your local county or city Government.


The Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program

Although the FDA does not require sellers to obtain a dedicated cosmetics license, it does encourage beauty brands to register their products under the Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program (VCRP). If you have custom formulations made up by a cosmetic manufacturer, you may wish to have them file cosmetic product ingredient statements which can help the FDA to continue in their efforts to analyze safety of ingredients.