How to Start a Vending Machine Business

A Complete Guide to Start a Vending Machine Business

How To Start A Vending Machine Business: Starting a vending machine business can be easier than you think, especially if you take the following eight simple steps to get it off the ground.

These steps involve finding the right product to offer, searching for the best location, working on the investment and profit margin plan, buying or renting a machine, taking insurance, and more.

By following these steps and taking the right actions, you’ll be well on your way to starting your own vending machine business with little or no money out of your pocket. So what are you waiting for? Your future as an entrepreneur awaits!

1. Decide on the Type of Vending Machine

There are many different types of vending machine businesses you can start. The type of vending machine you choose will depend on your skills, location, and the amount of capital you want to invest. The three most popular types of vending machines are snack and soda machines, ice cream vending machines, and a hot dog or pretzel vending machines.

For a quick start-up, these types of vending machines are usually the cheapest way to go because they require low startup costs. They also offer more room for growth if the location becomes very successful.

One disadvantage is that they are more likely to have mechanical issues due to high use, so it is important to keep up with regular maintenance schedules. Another consideration when choosing between these types of vending machines is that some locations may not allow food items like hot dogs and pretzels, while others may not allow any sort of food items at all due to health code restrictions or lack of need in the area.

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2. Choose a Prime Location

Finding the right location for your vending machines is an important part of your business plan. Make sure that you take into account the potential audience for the vending machine’s products, and find a place with foot traffic to maximize your earnings.

Here’s a list of potential locations for your vending machines:

  • Shopping malls or strip malls (Find a space near the entrance of an anchor store)
  • Offices (Don’t forget about offices at public buildings like schools)
  • Workplaces or factories (Consider supplying your break room with vending machines)
  • Hospitals or clinics (Vending machines offer snacks in areas where there are health restrictions)
  • Airports or train stations (A great place to sell overpriced food)

3. Buy New or Used Vending Machine

A smart way to start your vending machine business ideas is by purchasing one used or secondhand vending machine and seeing how it performs before investing in a larger number of new ones.

Some secondhand sellers will even sell these already filled with products, which saves time from stocking them yourself. One popular website for buying used vending machines is eBay; it’s also possible to buy them from various options specializing in this field such as:

  • Wholesalers
  • Craigslist
  • Manufacturers
  • Retailers and Online Sellers
  • Amazon
  • Alibaba (AliExpress)

4. Decide Business Name

You will need to decide on a name for your business, which can be an abbreviation of the product you are vending (i.e. Candy Palooza) or something entirely new. You’ll also need to register your business with your local authority and set up your legal paperwork, like your Articles of Incorporation and Certificate of Organization, including creating your company’s bylaws. Here are few tips to consider while finalizing a business name:

  • Be Creative
  • Simple and Catchy Words
  • Must be a Unique Name
  • The One That is Easy to Remember

5. Get the Necessary Permits and Licenses

Before you start your vending machine business, it’s important that you know the regulations. First, check with your city or town hall to see if there are any permits and licenses needed in order to operate a vending machine.

Then, make sure that the machines are placed where they won’t obstruct pedestrian traffic or hinder access for handicapped people. Get all of the necessary permits and licenses before you start your vending machine business.

Some other things to think about are how much a vending machine permit costs. What is the average price of a vending machine? How long does it take to get a license or permit? Once you have all of these answered, then you can move on to how much should my budget be when making a contract with the property owner.

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6. Sign a Contract with Property Owners at Vending Site

Signing contracts with property owners at vending sites is an important first step in starting your vending machine business. Property owners may require a signed contract that specifies the terms and conditions of their site. You will also need to know how much it costs for a vending machine permit at the site you have selected.

7. Obtain Insurance

One of the first things you will need before getting started with your vending machine business is insurance. There are several different types of insurance that you should research before you decide what kind of coverage is right for your vending machine business. In order to obtain a permit for your vending machine, you will also need proof of adequate coverage.

You can get insurance from an independent provider or through one of the large companies like GEICO, Allstate or State Farm. The cost varies depending on which type of coverage you select and how much it covers. On average, if you are doing vending machine business in America, you spend between $500 – $1,000 per year for $1 Million in general liability coverage.

8. Maintain Your Vending Machines

Regular maintenance is crucial for your vending machine’s longevity and efficiency. If you’re not able to maintain the machines yourself, hire someone who has experience in vending machine servicing. It’s also important that you have an ample supply of inventory so that customers will always be able to purchase something when they see your machine.

When it comes to pricing, competitive prices are key. Consider stocking healthy snacks as well as high-sugar snacks like candy bars or chips. You should never leave empty spaces on the shelves, so make sure to change out products regularly.

If a customer doesn’t find what they want, offer them discounts or coupons for their next visit. Remember that if you don’t service your vending machine regularly then people won’t buy from it!


Q: How much money can you make out of a vending machine?

A: Depending on your location and the vending machines you are using, you could make anywhere from $30-$300 per month. Suppose you are able to get 500 customers in a month which generates $200 per month and will turn $2,400 per year from a single vending machine.

Q: Is a vending machine a good way to make money?

A: Vending machines offer the opportunity to earn extra money without needing an expensive storefront. A vending machine business can be great for those who live in apartments, are self-employed, or have another job that doesn’t allow them to work during typical business hours.

Q: Can I just set up a vending machine?

A: Yes, you can start a vending machine business. You need to decide the type of vending machine, location to place, take insurance, get permits and licenses, business name, and some other things before starting your vending machine business.

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