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Candle Making Laws

Applying This to a Business

Did you know: although candles have become pieces of decoration in their own right, any source of burning with an exposed flame should not be forgotten. Lovely works of art… yes, but there are also potential health and safety hazards. This threat should be forefront in any business owners mind – selling your candles carries a responsibility.


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The National Candle Association (NCA) has played an important part in the creation of the industries candle standards. These standards have been developed and published through ASTM International and clearly outline important features that need to be adhered to and are designed to help combat the increase in the number of fires due to candles.


The six key standards with full information, plus a detailed description can be found at the candle subcommittee’s website. In brief, let’s look over these and understand that they do exist, and must be followed.

  • Standard Guide for Terminology Relating to Candles and Associated Accessory Items

  • Standard Specification for Candle Fire Safety Labeling

  • Standard Specification for Annealed Soda-Lime-Silicate Glass Containers that are Produced for Use as Candle Containers

  • Standard Test Method for Collection and Analysis of Visible Emissions from Candles as They Burn

  • Standard Specification for Fire Safety for Candles

  • Standard Specification for Fire Safety for Candle Accessories


The onus is on the seller of the candle to ensure that the candles have been labeled correctly. Take this very seriously.


In addition to safety issues – there are other legal aspects that need to be considered as an owner of a candle business. These include trademarks and copyright as well as website legalities.


Trademark and copyright protection is another important consideration but only if you are selling to the public. Large candle manufacturers and other companies have their own unique fragrances and designs that they have spent many thousands of dollars in developing. These companies justifiably trademark, patent, or copyright their fragrances and designs to stop other candle making businesses from duplication. This affects small businesses as well as large ones and is something that a new business should be aware of.


A good example that came to my attention was the website (and fragrance named after it) called Skinny Dip Candles… a unique fragrance that has at least one copy-cat; by accident or design.


While it would be very easy to have fragrance names similar to those owned by larger companies in error -- the company owning the copyright would be completely within their rights to send a cease and desist notice, even in the case of an inadvertent breech of copyright. Lesson learned: do not infringe on other copyright or trademarks.


Final notation: when selling your candles through the Internet, there are more important aspects that need to be considered. Sites should have a “terms and conditions” page that clearly outlines applicable law, any trademark or copyright limitations and whether prices are subject to change and a disclaimer of warranties and liabilities.


There are laws regarding any business venture – why would candle making be any different? An entrepreneur thoroughly explores all laws as part of their business plan.


Esther B. Smith

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