How to Start a Popsicle Business

On hot days, many people enjoy popsicles. They’re cold, delicious and sweet treats. Popsicle businesses specialize in making popsicles. Businesses sell their popsicles to customers out of a storefront, truck or cart.

Learn how to start your own Popsicle Business and whether it is the right fit for you.

Ready to form your LLC? Check out the Top LLC Formation Services.

Start a popsicle business by following these 10 steps:

  1. Plan your Popsicle Business
  2. Form your Popsicle Business into a Legal Entity
  3. Register your Popsicle Business for Taxes
  4. Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
  5. Set up Accounting for your Popsicle Business
  6. Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Popsicle Business
  7. Get Popsicle Business Insurance
  8. Define your Popsicle Business Brand
  9. Create your Popsicle Business Website
  10. Set up your Business Phone System

We have put together this simple guide to starting your popsicle business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas.

STEP 1: Plan your business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:

Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.

What will you name your business?

Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Popsicle Business Name Generator

If you operate a sole proprietorship, you might want to operate under a business name other than your own name. Visit our DBA guide to learn more.

When registering a business name, we recommend researching your business name by checking:

  • Your state's business records
  • Federal and state trademark records
  • Social media platforms
  • Web domain availability.

It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.

Want some help naming your popsicle business?

Business Name Generator

What are the costs involved in opening a popsicle business?

Opening a popsicle business costs very little. King of Pops was started with just a couple thousand dollars and a used pushcart. Stephen DiMare opened The Hyppo with savings from working a single ski season.

The largest startup expense is the procurement of a location to sell popsicles from. Business owners who want to keep their costs low may rent a booth at a market. Or, they can get a mobile cart to take to different locations. Those who have a little more startup capital might look for a storefront they can lease.

Business owners must also buy equipment for making popsicles and ingredients. Equipment may range from cheap molds to pricey automated equipment. Ingredients often include fruits, vegetables, water, sugar, milk and flavorings.

What are the ongoing expenses for a popsicle business?

The ongoing expenses for a popsicle business are minimal. They include rent for a retail space, utilities, and the cost of ingredients and supplies.

Who is the target market?

A popsicle business’ ideal customer is someone who enjoys cold treats and has discretionary income. Such a customer will may want a popsicle, and they’ll have enough money to pay for a gourmet one.  

How does a popsicle business make money?

A popsicle business makes money by selling popsicles. Most are sold at retail prices to customers. Some businesses also have wholesale customers, such as local grocery stores. For example, The Hyppo has over 40 stores that sell its popsicles.

How much can you charge customers?

The Hyppo charges $3.75 for its popsicles. Maintaining prices below $5.00 ensures popsicles are an affordable treat.

How much profit can a popsicle business make?

A successful popsicle business can make tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Some bring in even more. For instance, The Hyppo produces between 20,000 and 30,000 popsicles per week. At $3.75 each, this equates to a weekly revenue between $75,000 and $112,500. The company’s annual revenue is in the millions.

How can you make your business more profitable?

A popsicle business can sell to customers outside of its area through a website. When sold online, popsicles are typically sold by the cooler full. King of Pops, for example, offers coolers of 50 and 100 popsicles.

A business may also increase profits by catering events. King of Pops also does this. The company provides catering for groups of 25 to 2,500.

Want a more guided approach? Access TRUiC's free Small Business Startup Guide - a step-by-step course for turning your business idea into reality. Get started today!

STEP 2: Form a legal entity

The most common business structure types are the sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation.

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your popsicle business is sued.

Form Your LLC

Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC

Have a Professional Service Form your LLC for You

Two such reliable services:

You can form an LLC yourself and pay only the minimal state LLC costs or hire one of the Best LLC Services for a small, additional fee.

Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.

STEP 3: Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!

You can acquire your EIN through the IRS website. If you would like to learn more about EINs, read our article, What is an EIN?

There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.

STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.

Open a business bank account

Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.

Get a business credit card

Getting a business credit card helps you:

  • Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
  • Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money later on.

Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from BILL and build your business credit quickly.

STEP 5: Set up business accounting

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.

STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a popsicle business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.

Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.

Certificate of Occupancy

A popsicle business is generally run out of a storefront. Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO).  A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.

  • If you plan to lease a location:
    • It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.
    • Before leasing, confirm that your landlord has or can obtain a valid CO that is applicable to a popsicle business.
    • After a major renovation, a new CO often needs to be issued. If your place of business will be renovated before opening, it is recommended to include language in your lease agreement stating that lease payments will not commence until a valid CO is issued.
  • If you plan to purchase or build a location:
    • You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.
    • Review all building codes and zoning requirements for your business’ location to ensure your popsicle business will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.


Food Regulations

When selling food, you will need licensing from a local health department; all establishments serving food are required to pass a health inspection. Tips for faring well on a health inspections.

There are federal regulations regarding what can and cannot be added to, sold as, and processed with food. Attached is a resource from the Food and Drug Administration detailing the process of starting a food business: How to Start a Food Business.

Liquor Licensing

Businesses involved in the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to obtain a liquor license from the appropriate state or local agency. A comprehensive list of laws by state (including necessary licenses, zoning laws, etc), curated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, is included here.

STEP 7: Get business insurance

Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.

There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.

Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.

FInd out what types of insurance your Popsicle Business needs and how much it will cost you by reading our guide Business Insurance for Popsicle Business.

STEP 8: Define your brand

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.

If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.

Recommended: Get a logo using Truic's free logo Generator no email or sign up required, or use a Premium Logo Maker.

If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator. Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.

How to promote & market a popsicle business

The vast majority of a popsicle business’ customers will be people who are walking by. Thus, advertising efforts should focus on getting the attention of nearby people. Signs and free samples are two of the best ways to get people to consider purchasing a popsicle.

How to keep customers coming back

Popsicle businesses attract customers with creative, delicious and unique flavors. King of Pops has made almost 500 flavors, and The Hyppo has over 450 flavors. Business owners should always be developing new flavors. New popsicles keep menu offerings interesting and fresh.

STEP 9: Create your business website

After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.

While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.

Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:

  • All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
  • Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
  • Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.

Recommended: Get started today using our recommended website builder or check out our review of the Best Website Builders.

Other popular website builders are: WordPress, WIX, Weebly, Squarespace, and Shopify.

STEP 10: Set up your business phone system

Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.

There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2023 to find the best phone service for your small business.

Recommended Business Phone Service: is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.

Is this Business Right For You?

Anyone who likes popsicles and is creative in the kitchen might enjoy running a popsicle business. Making popsicles isn’t hard, but coming up with flavors requires some ingenuity.

This is a business that can be started part-time while working another job. Business owners can sell popsicles on the weekends or at events in the evenings. Beau Shell even began a business selling popsicles while still going to school.

Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?

Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!

Entrepreneurship Quiz

What happens during a typical day at a popsicle business?

A popsicle business owner spends a lot of their time making and selling popsicles. When not making or selling popsicles, business owners take care of other tasks. They clean their facility, order more supplies, pay bills, and market their business.

Finally, business owners also must research new popsicle flavors. Researching new flavors involves experimentation. Often, the process is trial-and-error.

What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful popsicle business?

To run a popsicle business, business owners must know how to make popsicles.

Business owners can learn to make popsicles by taking a class. Ice Pop University offers hands-on courses that last one day and a two-hour video course. Finamac has online courses that cover both ice cream and popsicle making.

People’s Pops is a book that has 55 recipes for popsicles and shaved ice. After taking a course, these recipes may provide inspiration for other flavor ideas.

What is the growth potential for a popsicle business?

Successful popsicle businesses frequently start small. They may then grow into regional or national businesses. The Hyppo began with a single location in St. Augustine. Along with its retail partners, the company now has seven of its own locations. King of Pops began with a used ice cream push cart. Now, the company has locations throughout the Southeast and East Coast.

Finally, Popbar is an example of a national popsicle business. Popbar has locations in cities throughout the United States.

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Take the Next Step

Find a business mentor

One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.

Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.

Learn from other business owners

Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.

Resources to Help Women in Business

There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:

  • Funding
  • Events
  • Guides
  • Support

If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.

What are some insider tips for jump starting a popsicle business?

It’s important to select a location for a popsicle business that receives a lot of foot traffic. The size of a storefront is much less important than the foot traffic that a location has. This is why many business owners begin by selling from carts. Carts are small, so renting space in a high-traffic area is more affordable.

How and when to build a team

Most popsicle businesses start as one- or two-person operations. Business owners usually hire people once their business has enough money to do so.

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