How to Start a Smoke Shop


hello and welcome to Corona if you're

thinking about how to start a smoke shop

there are a lot of items to consider

beforehand not only is the business age

restrictive but there are a lot of rules

and regulations that control the

industry it's important that you go into

the process with full knowledge of legal

implications and that your business

complies with each of them once you have

the hard stuff out of the way opening a

new tobacco shop can be a whole lot of

fun business owners can combine it with

liquor and wine sales or even at a small

lounge area with food and drink service

you have a lot of options to make your

store stand out and successful but first

let's take a look at the steps to

opening a new smoke shop the first step

to any successful business is to plan

ahead a thorough business plan is the

best way to start there are several key

areas to cover when writing a great

smoke shop business plan explain who you

are describe what you plan to sell

identify your target audience exhibit

what makes you stand out describe your

operational plan show how you'll market

and track future cash flow starting with

a business plan will keep you and your

team organized and provide more

opportunities for business loans or

other outside investment next find out

what licenses you'll need in such a

heavily regulated industry it's critical

to it obtain all proper licenses and

permits prior to opening you must get a

retail tobacco license from your state

government this allows you to legally

sell tobacco products and tobacco

related items the application is

typically submitted with a one-time

licensing fee approved applications are

valid for a year but are non

transferable to other businesses or

locations if you have a smoke shop

business with multiple locations you'll

need to get tobacco licenses for each

spots though you can usually submit a

single application for all locations if

you sell tobacco products across state

lines you must get a tobacco wholesaler

license from any state that you intend

to sell to all required licenses must be

prominently displayed at each location

you must also keep all receipts and

invoices for all wholesale cigarette and

tobacco products that you've purchased

over the past four years

failure to do both of these items will

result in steep fines from city state or

even federal governments in addition to

the business plan you'll have to figure

out exactly what type of business yours

will be legally for most smoke shops

there will be four primary options sole

proprietorship partnerships LLC's and

corporations the vast majority of smoke

shops will be LLC's if you have a team

and other investors this should be one

of the first items to figure out after

deciding upon the business type you'll

operate you must read

with your state with federal government

again to set up your tax structure you

also need to register for your business

name make sure the name you intend to

use is available prior to submitting

paperwork for licenses and permits start

by checking the registry with your local

government to make sure your business

name isn't taken already most small

businesses will choose a doing business

as or DBA name this means that your

actual business could be registered

under your own name but your DBA will be

different the DBA is what customers will

know your store by remember DBAs do not

provide any legal protection against any

other business from using the same name

if you're worried about copyright issues

you'll need to go through the u.s.

trademark and patent office smoke shops

like any business also need to get

insurance business insurance from the

very beginning is a must for any type of

retailer smoke shops are certainly no

exception there are a lot of risks

assumed when opening a new tobacco store

so you want to make sure you're

protected if anything goes wrong

additionally if you've started to hire

some people make sure that you also get

workers compensation insurance in case

any of your employees is injured on the

job next to your location there are a

lot of smoke shops out there by some

estimates the United States has close to

thirty thousand stores alone

so when you're choosing your location

make sure you're not entering extremely

competitive location you'd also look

beyond strip malls smoke shops seem to

have a propensity towards small shopping

centers but there are other options

while you don't want to be in an overly

competitive area you still want to pick

a location with a lot of foot traffic

and convenient spot for shoppers to stop

by it's not easy to find this ideal spot

but it's worth the time and effort to

find it next focus on your team they'll

be the face of your store and your brand

so you need to be ready to find a great

staff the first thing to look out for a

motivated and talented people smoke

shops typically have a massive inventory

and product selection and many shoppers

come in with questions and need some

direction your staff should be prepared

to be able to answer questions and help

each customer navigate the shopping

experience start interviewing for

positions early in the process and offer

competitive pay so that you attract the

best candidates out there basic

marketing efforts is another critical

item to consider prior to opening your

doors your marketing game will be an

ongoing effort and therefore one that

you can worry more about down the road

but you also need to have a few things

in place from the beginning set up all

social media accounts before your

opening build a website and blog get

listed on Google Yelp and any other

applicable sites look at other media

outlets that might be interested in

announcing your opening and maybe even

come up with a grand opening dealer

event finally figure out your inventory

for smoke shops keeping an accurate

efficient inventory system is the most

critical part of getting started you

can't afford to be out of products that

customers want and you never want to

carry items that aren't popular

especially at the beginning get a great

inventory system through your smoke shop

POS system your point of sale will make

business operations a lot faster and


Korona comes with features built

specifically for smoke shops including

age verification prompts carton and pack

inventory settings loyalty points

programs and speedy transactions to

learn more about Corona sign up for a

free trial to see for yourself and for

more information on starting other types

of businesses check out our blog we go

in deep on POS info and offer a wide

range of general retail advice too so

thanks for visiting us and we hope to

see you again soon