Florida – 2021-Changes to Cosmetic Manufacturers Law

Yesterday Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a SB 1966 into law, making it possible for small businesses to manufacture cosmetics! This is such GOOD NEWS!


It’s a big act, and one small bit  …(drum roll, please) …  exempts certain persons from being required to have a cosmetic manufacturer’s license!

Before this bill

Before this bill and the changes it puts in place, anyone manufacturing any cosmetic product had to be registered with the state as a cosmetic manufacturer and the manufacturing couldn’t be at a residential location. There were fees, inspections and other requirements essentially making it impossible for a small business or handcrafter to legally make cosmetics in Florida. This post, Florida Regs – 2019 Recap, covers the requirements in detail.

Who doesn’t have to get a permit?

After this bill and the changes it puts in place, if your gross sales are less than $25,000, you do not need a cosmetic manufacturer’s permit; and you can make your products at a residential location.

Limitations & Requirements

There are a few limitations and special requirements:

  1. You must have less than $25,000 in annual gross sales.
  2. You can only sell prepackaged cosmetics that have a label on them that meets the FDA requirements for cosmetic labels.
  3. You may only manufacture soap (not otherwise exempt), lotions, moisturizers, and creams1 “Moisturizers” is not defined within the act; it will probably be defined in the regulations that get created to implement the new law.
  4. You can only sell cosmetics that are stored on the premises of the cosmetic manufacturing operation.
  5. You can only sell products that are not adulterated or misbranded.
  6. IMPORTANT: The product label must include a statement “Made by a manufacturer exempt from Florida’s cosmetic manufacturing permit requirements.” The statement must be in at least 10 point type and a constrasting color.
  7. The Department (of Business and Professional Regulation) can investigate any complaint that alleges an exempt cosmetic manufacturer has violated the law or pertinent regulations;  can enter and inspect the premises, and may require proof of gross annual sales.

What about soap?

When soap is not a cosmetic, the cosmetic regulations don’t apply. To be exempt from the definition of a cosmetic, the soap must be:

  1. The alkali salt of fatty acids (ly/oil soap) AND
  2. Sold and marketed only as “soap”
  3. Make no “cosmetic” claims (other than cleansing)

When soap IS a cosmetic, a cosmetic manufacturer’s permit is required unless the manufacturer has less than $25,000 and the limitations and requirements listed above must be met.

What if you make over $25,000 gross annual sales?

If you make over $25,000 in gross annual sales, you aren’t exempt. If you want to make cosmetics in Florida, you have to have a non-residential workspace facility, get a cosmetic manufacturer’s permit, and have your facility inspected, and comply with the manufacturing regulations.  Basically, you need to have your good manufacturing practices in place. See Florida Regs – 2019 Recap for details.

What happens next?

This Act goes into effect on July 1, 2021.  It updates the Florida LAW concerning cosmetic manufacturers (and everything else it addresses).

At some point in the future, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Licensing will updates their REGULATIONS with the specific details on the implementation of the law. They will also probably update their website, forms and other information.  That may not happen right away.

You can read an unofficial copy of the bill which I downloaded and highlighted here.


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    1. Author

      From the view of the florida regulations, it’s talking about the cosmetic products that YOU make. You have to package and label your products before you sell them.

      1. I’m assuming a sugar and salt scrubs are moisturizers, so I can make the from home , correct ?

      2. Author

        Well, I would think that salt and sugar scrubs are moisturizers. I don’t know how they are going to finally interpret the definition of “moisturizer” and what product types will qualify.

  1. Can you help me understand how it is good news that folks can be making lotions, etc without regulation? We all know the need for good sanitation and good practices when making something that can grow bacteria and mold. A label does not make a product safe.

    1. Author

      True, good manufacturing practices should always be in place. It’s just that Florida has had more restrictions on small handcrafted businesses than any other state, so this is a welcome relief to those who are starting out.

      1. It is good news because an entrepreneur trying to work hard and have a better quality of life is not regulated so much that they cannot ever get traction when starting a small business.The key word here is ” small” these products are topical and not to be consumed.Selling a moldy ot bad batch or inferior product will never survive the scrutiny of the marketplace and would just waste the time, energy and financial resources of the small business owner,in my opinion

    2. This is Great news! Mariana you have no idea what you are talking about! I am old enough to pick where I buy from a fruit stand right? What if someone fertilizes with dog poo? I mean? They regulate that I cannot start a business and sell lotion? Or soaps? Eye shadow? I’m so glad because I am starting a business now.

      1. Should I wait for the ‘”scrubs” to interpreted or confirmed as moisturizers or can I go ahead and make the for selling ??

    3. You are right about good sanitation and good practices – but the majority of home-based cosmetic businesses follow these practices. I have a separate room in my house and keep everything sanitized and organized and use only quality ingredients. I guess it depends on the maker.

    4. Should I wait for the ‘”scrubs” to interpreted or confirmed as moisturizers or can I go ahead and make the for selling ??

      1. Author

        If you have a business or are planning to create on, it might be prudent to see what the final determinations are before creating a product line.

    5. Mariana, it’s good news for people who are not rich and who want to start a business. It’s as simple as that.

  2. I just screamed so loud my husband almost had a heart attack!!!! This is so amazing. A bit late for me, but amazing for the rest. We just bought land in Tennessee to escape Florida laws. Congrats to everyone staying in Florida.

  3. I’m lost on the one regulation, the one about pre-packaged cosmetics? Does this mean I can buy a lotion base, add color & scent, and label it under my business after I seal it and label it?

    1. Author

      The prepackaged means that you – as the manufacturer – must package the product before you sell it. “Pre” (before) package. Package before. And you have to package in accordance with the regulations AND add that warning to the label.

      It does NOT mean that you can only buy a base and use that.

  4. So, basically I don’t need any permit as long as i just make soaps and lotions, and i can work in a designated space at home?

    1. Author

      Yup, so long as you have less than $25000 annual growth sales from your cosmetics.

      1. Why only $25,000? We’re old laws more restrictive? If someone wishes to make their livelihood this way, $25,000 as a ceiling seems to defeat the purpose. Is a cosmetic license expensive? Thank you.

      2. Author

        The previous law required that ALL cosmetic manufacturers get a cosmetic manufacturing permit, which mandated (amongst other things) that the manufacturing could not take place in a residential building. That made it impossible for anyone working from their home to qualify. Other than the cost of the permit, most of the other requirements were primarily getting in good manufacturing practices at the level expected from a full size manufacturer (along with the costs of doing so).

        The new law allows new businesses, just starting up and working from home, to get going without the burden of high start-up expenses or a stand-alone commercial facility. $25,000 isn’t a high number, but it does allow people to get started.

    1. Author

      At the moment, it looks that way. It’s possible that when the regulations are issued there will be more clarifications as to what is considered a “moisturizer”. Possibly bath bombs and scrubs and other similar items could be considered moisturizers. Unfortunately we’ll have to wait for the regulations to see what’s issued.

      1. Marie, a few days ago you mentioned that it is possible that when the regulations are issued there will be more clarifications as to what is considered a “moisturizer”. I find the current wording “moisturizer, lotions and cremes” entirely confusing. I am also hoping that bathing salts / bath bombs and such will be exempt.
        Are you planning to make another post when/if the state clarifies, or where would they publish an official statement?
        Thank you for all the work you are putting into this. I recently bought your book on labelling and wish I had done so sooner!

      2. Author

        As soon as I hear anything further I will certainly post something! If your bath salts and bath bombs are “moisturizing” is some fashion then they might fall under the “moisturizer” category.

      3. Where can I find out if I can sell herb sachets and neck warmers?

      4. Author

        Herb sachets are not cosmetics – they aren’t applied to the human body. Neck warmers are more like pillows – I don’t think they are considered cosmetics either. Just be sure you don’t say that either will make any changes to the body (relieve muscle tension, clear stuffy nose, etc)l.

  5. Hello, when you say constrasting color, the statement “Made by a manufacturer exempt from Florida’s cosmetic manufacturing permit requirements.” has be in color? Does that mean I wouldn’t be able to use a white label with all black wording? Or do you think that the statement itself can be bolded to stand out?

    1. Author

      It’s not explicitly stated in the new law, but using the federal labeling standards as a guide, “contrasting color” normally refers to a sufficient contrast with the background. So black on white is high contrast. They are trying to avoid people using, for example, light blue on a light green background to try to make the lettering “disappear” or make it hard to read. Black on white is the highest contrast there is.

  6. Would whipped body butters and whipped body soaps fall in this category? Also, liquid CP hand soap?

    1. Author

      Whipped body butters would likely fall under the “moisturizers” and/or “creams”. They are cosmetics.

      Whipped body soap and liquid CP hand soap would either be soap (already exempt from the definition of a cosmetic) or a cosmetic.

      You would be not be required to get a cosmetic manufacturers permit if the your gross annual sales (from cosmetics) is less than $25,000.

  7. If I am only selling non cosmetic soap, what does DBPR require?

    1. Author

      If your soap is not a cosmetic, then the Florida cosmetic manufacturer requirements don’t apply. You don’t need to do anything — -just make tons of soap and sell it!

  8. You have helped me so much Marie! I am so happy about this!! I just have one question. What about manufacturing hair oil and hair cream?

    1. Author

      Hair oil and hair cream are definitely cosmetics. Unfortunately I don’t think they would be included under the “lotions moisturizers and creams” limitation For exempt cosmetic manufacturers in Florida.

      1. Is there a reason bath bombs & bath salts are not defined? What are the repercussions to selling them – even if you stay under the $25k rule? Is it illegal to make & sell then at this time in Florida?

      2. Author

        Unfortunatley, I was not privvy to the thought processes behind the wording of the bill. I have asked for clarification and will publish any information I get.

  9. Hello! I’ve read the bill a couple of times but I’m missing the part when it only states lotion, creams and moisturizers. I do see where it states “specified products”, but nothing else. Where can I read about the Lotions creams and moisturizers being the specified products? Thank you!

    1. Author

      The addition is on page 15 of the bill. You can view a highlighted (unofficial) copy of the bill here. Scroll down to page 15 – the section is midway down the page.

  10. Thank youn so much. I am a Floridian and have been struggling with this. This is very good news Hopefully as more folks raise questions, they will do better at redefining what’s possible. Thank you for all you are doing to keep us informed.

    1. Author

      You’re welcome! Yes I expect things will sort out over time.

  11. Thanks so much for the update, Marie! I just moved to Tampa a month ago and thought I was being thwarted by Florida’s fine print. When I read this, I wanted to throw a party! I’m reading your book about Soap & Cosmetic Labels right now, and trying to figure out how I can get my shampoo bars in line with these new regulations (I am an individual handcrafter). It’s not a true soap… therefore it’s a detergent-based cosmetic… hopefully they get a little more specific about the permitted products soon.

    1. Author

      Shampoo bars would probably fall under the “soaps, not otherwise exempt from the definition of a cosmetic” portion of the new bill.

      1. Got it, thanks! So my other concern is regarding the exemption statement… 10pt font?? That seems odd since most of the regulations are in terms of type size, with relation to the size of the PDP. 10pt font is really going to ruin my lip balm label, haha. (3.71875 sq. in surface area!)

      2. Author

        Yes – normally the type size is set by the principal display panel (or, for some things, the entire amount of label-able space on the product).

        This Florida labeling requirement is … umm … unique.

      3. Author

        No – you have to have the required information ON the product. If it won’t fit, you can put it on an attached card (or attach the product to a card). In either case, the CARD becomes the primary display panel for the product.

      4. Wow! I might have found a way to make it work: https://imgur.com/Ohqd8xl

        What do you think?

        This particular formulation + label might be a wash, since it contains CBD oil and that comes with more stipulations/risk than I am prepared to deal with right now. But I think this is how I’m going to proceed with the new permit exemption clause. The font is 10pt, Gloucester MT Extra Condensed. I used the same shade of orange you used in this article, but maybe blue text would look better on my product label. (Graphic design with lots of rules = fun fun FUN!!)

      5. Author

        Looks like that meets the requirements.

      6. Thank you so much for your helpful responses, Marie!! Hopefully they mean the color contrasts the background of the label, and not the other text on the label. I think I want to keep all my text black.

      7. I know you deal only with soaps /cosmetics, but where would I find out if I can make wax melts at home and sell? Thank you

      8. Author

        As you say, wax melts are not cosmetics so they don’t fall under any requirements for a cosmetic manufacture’s permit. As far as I know, there aren’t any state or federal restrictions on making wax melts. You MAY have zoning restrictions in your county or city that apply to what areas allow “manufacturing” or business in general. That’s something you’ll have to check locally.

  12. So whipped body soap would fall under moisturizer, what about shave soap or hair soap and conditioner bars?

    1. Author

      Anything that is applied to the human body for purposes of cleansing, beautifying or promoting attractiveness (as opposed to drugs or food) is a cosmetic. Shaving soap, hair soap, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizers, lotion, cream, bath bombs, make-up, etc.

      “Soap” is exempt if it is is the alkali salt of fatty acids (lye/oil soap) AND is only sold as “soap” and only intended to clean. Shaving soap (if used for shaving) is a cosmetic – not exempt soap – but would fall under the “soap not otherwise exempted” portion of the new bill. Same with “hair soap” (shampoo) and probably conditioner bars.

    1. Author

      The exemption for small cosmetic manufacturers says “lotions, moisturizers and creams”. Bath bombs are not included, although they MIGHT be considered “moisturizers”, depending on what’s in them and how they are marketed.

      I expect that there will be clarifications issued by Florida state over the next few months.

  13. I only make exempt soap right now but my gross sales are going to hit $25k this year so I thought these changes would not apply to me. However I noticed in one of your comments you said it might just be $25k for the cosmetics part of the business? Am I understanding that right, than I can have over $25k in gross sales as long as the cosmetics portion stays under $25k?

    1. Author

      From what I understand, the income limitation is for cosmetic sales only and income from soap that is otherwise exempt from the definition of cosmetic wouldn’t count in the cosmetic income calculations.

    2. Maybe just keep your books very clean, keeping the two separate. I would do a set of books for the soap and another sheet for the cosmetics.

    1. Author

      Lavender Sachets aren’t cosmetics; yes, you can sell them. They still need to be labeled correctly.

      Bath salts are uncertain. Under the new law they MIGHT fall under the category of “moisturizers”, but you would need to correctly market them.

      1. Author

        It depends on what you say about them. If you SAY it’s a moisturizer (and it does moisturize) — then it’s a moisturizer (a cosmetic). If you say it does something else (heal cracked skin, soothe redness, etc) then it’s a drug, not a cosmetic.

  14. I have a few questions I see that you can sell lotions. I’m making lotion bars that follows on lotions right. What about lip butter balms? What about bath bombs can I sell them to. If I just label them as bath bombs no cosmetics saying on it. Can i sell them

    1. Author

      The new law says soap and “lotions, moisturizers, and creams” are allowed. How they are specifically defined is not clarified in the law; it may be claraified in later regulations or statements by the Department. I would expect that a “lotion bar” and “lip butter balms” are both intended to moisturize (so would be “moisturizers”). Bath bombs ARE cosmetics (regardless of what you say about them). They MIGHT fall under the “moisturizer” exemption depending on the purpose and function (and how they are marketed).

  15. So I CAN make solid shampoo bars and conditioners if the gross sales of them is less than $25,000?

    1. Author

      The new Florida law allows for “soap not otherwise exempt, lotions, moisturizers and creams”. A solid shampoo bar would be a “soap not otherwise exempt”. A conditioner isn’t technically on the list of things that are exempt – I don’t know how they will class it in the final rules.

  16. If I manufacture my shampoo bars in another state, may I still sell them in Florida as part of my line?

    1. Author

      Manufacturing in another state implies that you have a business registered in that state that manufactures the products for your Florida company/business. If your Florida business is doing business in another state, there may be business requirements in the second state. How that would be enforced (or not) is a question that I can’t answer. However, I would suggest that you consider the implications of basing your product line and business on something that has the potential of being shut down.

  17. Im so happy to hear this !! I have a couple questions,
    1. If i don’t required a business license, what other permits or licenses i need? Do i just make my formulas and sell them without any type of state license and permit? Planning a small business and im trying to get the right information and permits.
    2. With this new law, I can describe my soap as moisturizing and still make them at home?

    1. Author

      The new law eliminates the need for a cosmetic manufacturer’s permit in the State of Florida IF you meet the requirement of less than $25,000 gross sales AND you only make the allowed products (moisturizing soap is allowed) AND you add the disclaimer to your label.

      It doesn’t negate the need for normal business requirements … registering your business, sales tax filing, and such. You will also have to check your LOCAL requirements for any zoning requirements or restrictions on what type of business is allowed in a residential home. If there are any restrictions, they are usually at the city or county level.

  18. Hello, Marie
    I make my own products however some of them I purchase wholesale premade to re-label. The ones I relabel are considered cosmetics but I do not manufacture them myself, I am just relabeling them. How and what do I need to do as far as the FL new labeling? Do i still need to add that they were “manufactured by an exempt florida manufacture”? Do i need to add the actual manufacturer to the label somewhere? I am a bit confused on this part as I am not making the product, I am just buying wholesale “ready to re-label” items.

    1. Author

      So long as you get them in already in the containers and don’t OPEN the containers, then you con’t require a cosmetic manufacturer’s permit. It’s not part of the small business exemption.

      The label should say “manufactured for …” with your business name and address.

  19. What about bath salts, face masks, and face mists? Where do you think they would be considered?

    1. Author

      I don’t know! I’ve written to the Florida State folks, but haven’t received an answser.

  20. H! And thank you for sharing this great news! One question, will Natural Deodorant apply? Can I make and sell deodorant at home?

    1. Author

      There’s still no word as to what will be specifically covered in the exemption. The law change says “soap not otherwise exempt, lotions, moisturizers and creams”. Deodorant doens’t fit within that statement exactly, but we still don’t know how they will interpret it.

  21. Hi Marie, what about perfume and body sprays? Are they considered cosmetic?

    1. Author

      Anything that is applied to the human body to cleanse, beautify, make more attractive, or alter the appearance is a cosmetic. Scrubs – lip or body – are definitely cosmetics. Whether they fall under the “moisturizer” exemption of the new law is still up for determination. IN MY OPINION, if they contain moisturizing components and are marketed as such, then they SHOULD qualify. (BUT, remember, the final determination will be made by the State of Florida, this is just my opinion.)

  22. I was wondering if anybody can share your marketing results when a potential cutomer read the statement “Made by a manufacturer exempt.. that your product was not manufactured in a FDA approved facility. Assuming most of sales would be from online channels, how an entrepreneur would grow and scale-up when your final product will disclose you make their product in a home kitchen. Any feedback will be highly appreciated.

    1. Author

      It’s an interesting question. My suggestion would be to somehow turn this to your marketing advantage. Put a page on your website that explains the Florida requirement and that smaller companies are exempt (you don’t have to say HOW small). Make it be a PLUS that the track record for the small manufacturers is good enough that they don’t have to get inspected and licensed – and that the licensure is for large companies that have automation and such. You could also include a flier or information in your packages when you send them out so the consumer gets that information when they see the package and the statement. Also – note that it’s not “not FDA approved” it’s “Made by a manufacturer exempt from Florida’s cosmetic manufacturing permit requirements.” which is quite a bit better.

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