You have perfected your new craft and interest in your product is picking up. So, it is important that as a business owner, you are protected and compliant with Trading Standards, and all legal aspects of selling your product. Hopefully, our simple guide will answer any questions you have and will provide all the information you need to know for selling on your candles and wax melts.
The laws surrounding the selling of candles can be confusing and in-depth, but as a candle maker they are not just about protecting the consumer but the manufacturer as well. By following our printable checklist (Link attached) you can sleep easy knowing you are compliant and more importantly, a trustable seller.
As soon as you start selling candles, your governing body will be the local authority Trading Standards. It would be worth your while if you are confused or unsure about anything to contact them or have contact information for them to hand.
The law that will apply to you and the safety of your goods is GPSR (The General Product Safety Regulations 2005). Whilst this isn’t designed for the production and selling of candles or contain any specific laws to follow, it does contain European Standards which when selling candles should be complied with. Failure to do so would show a lack of due diligence.
Like most candle companies you will be selling your product across multiple channels, from social media accounts to online stores. When doing so there are things you need to be aware of. Selling this way will enter you in to a ‘distance contract’ with your consumer. This means you must give a 14 day right to cancel and supply pre-contract information. ‘The Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013’ is a legally binding agreement between you and your consumer so definitely read up on this.
If you have your own business website or social media account, you must provide the following business details
- Business Name
- Legal Ownership Name
- Geographical Address (where legal documents can be sent)
- Email Address
- VAT number (if you are registered)
- British Candlemakers Federation membership details (not required but may help in building consumer trust)
The consumer needs to be aware of who you are as the seller is a legal requirement, as they are entering into a contract with you. This applies to face to face sales as well and these regulations are covered under the ‘Companies Act 2006’ and ‘e-commerce Regulations’. Your company details should be present on receipts, invoices and business correspondences such as emails. The easier these details are to find the better this looks to the customer, this will also help build a level of rapport.
Making sure your company has insurance is the best and only way to protect yourself against any unforeseen circumstances. Several insurance companies will offer ‘Craft Insurance’, which covers candle making. We do advise shopping around to find the best cover at the best price. Even with the correct labelling on your product, the consumer could still take you to court and leave you with large legal bills. So, protect yourself and protect your business!
Additional Label Information
Correctly labelling your product is key to a successful business and mostly consists of including all relevant CLP documentation for each individual candle. We have discussed what is required for this in a separate document (Link attached), please consult this for more information.
If you are selling a product that resembles in appearance or scent a food product, there are additional label recommendations. All products that a child may confuse with a food product and attempt to eat (causing injury or death) is prohibited, normally small products (wax melts in particular) that resemble sweets and cakes. However, don’t worry as a supplier there are things you can do to avoid this outcome such as marking your packaging as ‘Not Food, Do Not Eat’ will help. Other things you can investigate is how you package your product and how to make it more child friendly.
Selling and Labelling a candle as an insect repellent is allowed if your product is registered with ‘The Health & Safety Executive’ (HSE) or you have scientific information backing this up. Failure to have either of these could see you getting yourself into a lot of trouble, for not just false advertisement but for misleading statements.
The same applies to making other claims such as the fragrance efficiency and burn time. You can make these claims only on the provisions that you have the evidence to factually back up your statement. ‘The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008’ cover professional diligence, misleading actions and misleading omissions relating to any marketing materials, adverts, labels or verbal descriptions.
This article is intended as a guide only. Whilst we have taken every care to ensure the accuracy of the information is current and up to date, Cosy Owl accepts no liability for any inaccuracies as regulations are amended frequently. Please refer to the Candle Federation for updates.